CityLand: Designation Should Not Mean Demolition

There’s a new post at CityLand regarding the AT&T Building at 550 Madison Avenue and how, to the dismay of the architectural and preservation communities, the Commission has declined to include the lobby in the Landmarks Preservation designation.  Here’s a clip:


The Commission has offered its reasons for rejecting out of hand the AT&T lobby. None is convincing. Some are untrue.


To be clear: the lobby is just as designed by Johnson and Burgee. When the building opened, the lobby featured as its centerpiece “Spirit of Communication,” better known a “Golden Boy.” The 24-foot statue had stood atop the company’s old headquarters downtown at 195 Broadway. In 1992, AT&T sold the building at 550 Madison to SONY and removed the piece to its new suburban campus in New Jersey. The statue graced the lobby for only 8 years.


Read the full post here.


550 Madison Avenue July2015, from Wikipedia


One thought on “CityLand: Designation Should Not Mean Demolition”

  1. When I worked for the Tri-State Regional Planning Commission on the 82nd floor of One WTC for many years, I had a great view of the old AT&T building and its “Golden Boy” perched on top.
    Tri-State was dissolved in 1982, the statue was removed in 1992 and the WTC was attacked and in 2001.
    Things change, not always for the better, and I guess historic preservation laws are trying to keep what’s near and dear!
    One approach would be to reverse the entire process – shrink wrap the Manhattan CBD and make it entirely protected. Then individual buildings and their interiors could be de-protected on a case by case basis.

    George Haikalis

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