So, we’re walking up on 7th ave the other day, and we look down 57th St. and I say to my BIL “that’s a great building. It’s the Grace building. It says it right on the facade in big black letters.”
So, later on, we walked by it, and there were no big black letters on it. “Hmmm,” I thought, “I swear I remember seeing ‘GRACE’ written across that.”
So, even later on, we’re down on 42nd St. and me and the BIL took a leak in that little bathroom right near the public library. Well, we come out of the bathroom and he says, “hey, look” and wouldn’t you know it, the GRACE building is sitting right there. Looking exactly like that bad boy up on 57th street.
So, what’s the straight dope? Same company? What’s the name of the one on 57th St? You just can’t tell an architect “make me a building just like that other one” can you?
Heh. Same architect. In fact, the Grace Building on 42nd is basically the first draft of what became the Solow building at 9 W. 57th St. That plan was rejected by Solow and put on a shelf until W.R. Grace wanted a similar internationalist design.
That sweeping front is a way to use set-backs – basically, many buildings in NY have to have setbacks so there’s some hope of a teensy bit of sun reaching the street and to reduce the canyon effect. Most buildings have right-angle setbacks, as the Empire State Building, for example. The Grace and 9 W. were another approach.
No, it wasn’t a question. It was a typo. Like Alessan, I think that modern architecture is a blight. But at least I now know who to blame for foisting two of those buildings on Calgary. Here is the first one, and here is the second one.