Above, 2 Columbus Circle, today, as well as an artist’s rendering of the planned redesign.

You might not be that familiar with this building; it’s known as 2 Columbus Circle, or, more quaintly, as the “lollipop building”.  It is located right off of Central Park, in New York City, near the new AOL Time Warner headquarters building.  It was designed in the mid-1960s by Edward Durell Stone, and built to house the modern art collection of Huntington Hartford.  By 1975, however, the building was closed, and put up for sale.  The city used it, intermittently, throughout the ’70s and ’80s.  It has remained empty since 1998, but loved (mostly by shut-ins and the elderly), ever since.

Admirers have called it “an abandoned work of romantic modernism that has irritated and amused New Yorkers for 30 years.”  More eloquent critics have called the building an “eyesore”, a “derelict nine-story white elephant”, and “heinousness defined”.  (The last, by me.)

The city of New York sold the building to The Museum of Arts and Design, in 2002.  The museum has proposed plans for renovating the interior and drastically modifying the exterior.

However, the minute the new owners began talking about changing the facade, people were up-in-arms.  Public meetings became circuses, lawsuits were initiated, famous people got involved.  The protests and public outcry were not successful.  The city chose to not give the building landmark status, in August, paving the way for renovation to begin.  Maybe.

The New York Times ran an article this morning with the director of the museum that has purchased the building from the city.

Courtesy of The New York Observer:


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