If you use the term “starchitect” in earnest, you are my enemy.
Obviously, as an alleged “nostalgia blogger,” that might be my predictable, go-to position, but hear me out. This isn’t about nostalgia. This is more about appreciating and respecting what we already have and not seeing the need to fuck with it further.
According to this giddy piece in Curbed from last week, “The Starchitect-Led Projects That Will Transform NYC’s Skyline, Mapped”, the topography of New York City is poised to get a rigorous makeover somewhere between the opening scenes of “Blade Runner” and the backdrops on “The Jetsons.” The map of Manhattan will shortly be plagued with more artless rods, spindly spires, giant-sized shampoo bottles and other shrines to monied exclusivity to complicate the symmetry, clog up the cityscape and, of course, blot out the sun. Scrolling through this sprawling article, I felt the need to adjust the headline. This variety of vulgarly luxurious, structural priapism isn’t so much “starchitecture” as it is “devourchitecture.” It will eat Manhattan whole and render it unrecognizable.
I do not fear progress, nor do I detest innovative architecture. I just don’t think we need this much further development, especially when the streets below these gleaming towers are peppered with countless empty storefronts and “FOR LEASE” signs.