Monthly Archives: May 2016


A four-foot victory in a long war

Victory over 4-foot lot near E. 88th Street just a squirmish in long war.

Victory over 4-foot lot near E. 88th Street just a squirmish in long war.

Let us celebrate the city’s decision to stop an obscene abuse of the zoning laws.  A developer had attempted to use a four-foot-wide lot to build a tall luxury condominium on Third Avenue near 88th Street. The city stopped him.

Friends of the Upper East Side Historic Districts is doing a victory lap, as well it should.

But rather than regard this decision as a war being won, we we should see it as an isolated case involving an egregious example.  The developer’s tricks were so outrageous that even the deBlasio administration couldn’t let it pass.

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The problem with graphics

What’s wrong with this picture?

 

New York Times fails to explain that there are no too tall buildings around Sutton Place because their are no zoning rules restricting height there.

Ever ask yourself why there are no “too tall” buildings around Sutton Place?

The New York Times has an interesting piece, Forty percent of Manhattan’s Buildings Could Not Be Built Today.  One of its claims is “A New New York Would Be Shorter.”  As Exhibit A, it offers a graphic showing older structures that exceed current height limits.

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Then there’s building sway…

Penthouse at 432 Park. Literally a moving experience.

Penthouse at 432 Park. Literally a moving experience.

 

Clearly, if elevator shake in high-rise elevator shafts pose challenges, then the challenges posed by buildings themselves must be more so. After all, a too-slow or a too-fast elevator ride does not make the hair stand as much on end as the idea of a building’s tendency to sway in the wind. Wind – now and then high wind – always affects tall buildings, which toward the top can sway up to two feet back and forth in a high wind. Earthquakes are more problematic, but, as with hurricanes (except for Sandy), New York City has seen few, and none of consequence, thus far.

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