The original design for Parke-Bernet, which would have been developed by Aby Rosen, was to rise from the centre of the original building and would have provided a statement feature in the heart of the 1950’s limestone structure. But residents were disturbed by the proposal. One resident is reported to have stated that the structure would be ‘a glass dagger plunged into the heart of Upper East Side’. The Landmarks Preservation Committee were also responsible, having halted the development in January in objection to the design.
There was, however, one supporter on the committee. Jan Hird Pokorny, an architect, was said to have stood up for the design, comparing it to the Leaning Tower of Pisa and the Dome of Pisa which historically were built a hundred years apart but complement each other perfectly.
The redesign is a much more subdued offering than the first and a complete contrast with a low, squared bronze-clad design which will lie directly on top of the existing building. The design is, again, subject to approval from the Landmarks Preservation Committee.
Niki May Young