The 2 Columbus Circle Game

New York Magazine, July 4, 2005.


Over the past twenty months, the ranks of the building’s would-be saviors have swollen from a seeming handful of “cranks”—such as Tom Wolfe, viewed as a serial troublemaker with unfortunately easy access to people who buy ink by the barrel—to the biggest landmarks coalition since Grand Central days. The most authoritative of 2 Columbus Circle’s early defenders was architect Robert A.M. Stern, dean of the Yale School of Architecture. Bob and Laurie and their allies rolled their eyes, as if to say, “Well, you know Bob Stern and his . . . notions.” But soon the numbers and the reputations (more deans of architecture and urbanism, Robert Venturi, Chuck Close, Frank Stella, and virtually every major preservationist organization) became too big for knowing eye-rolls. The pressure became yet more intense last month when another Times critic, Nicolai Ouroussoff, called the building “essential to the city’s historical fabric” and flogged the Landmarks Commission some more.

New York Magazine