Back in 2008, I penned a weepy little paean about the changing face of Astor Place and St. Marks Place, appended with the photo above, taken – presumably – from one of the Zeckendorf Towers on Union Square looking south (I don’t know, I didn’t take it … but it’s lovely, isn’t it?). I thought I’d exhume that photo today in light of the recent, disturbing disclosure of details about the forthcoming abomination to blight Astor Place. I don’t remember the initial designs for the coming building looking quite so imposing.
In the short term, my kids and I have been greatly enjoying the sudden vast expanse of light and space of Astor Place. I can’t help from commenting every time I walk by the flattened ruins of the frankly rather dull NYU building that formerly stood between 3rd and 4th Avenues how nice it would be if they simply put down a wide, green lawn instead of another soulless, giant glass Rubik’s Cube. Fat fucking chance of that.
In any case, dear reader, take another moment to glance at the photo above and savor the Astor Place of yesteryear. We shall not see its like again.
For another view of an unspoiled Astor Place, click here.