Oculus - Winter 2013 - (Page 18)
one block over
Financial District Turns Touristy
After hours, it's not deserted anymore
BY CLA IRE WILS O N
sed to be that weekdays after 4:30, New York's Financial
District was a no-man's land. Wander down there on a
weekend, and you had the place to yourself. Nothing was open,
but the deserted narrow streets and grand buildings were a joy
Since 9/11, however, millions of tourists converge daily on
Lower Manhattan, which has morphed into a bustling place to live
and play. Many banks and financial institutions that once dominated the area have decamped for more modern Class A office
space midtown, while downtown has become a mecca for countless other businesses whose service needs also cater to tourists.
"Creative industries, technology, fashion, publishing - these
are the people migrating down here," says Nicole LaRusso,
senior vice president for economic development and planning
for the Downtown Alliance, the area's business improvement
organization. "Post-9/11, $30 billion in public and private
investment has been pumped into transportation, open space,
apartment buildings, and culture. The more investment being
made, the more it draws."
It is estimated that 2,500 more apartments will be added
downtown (below Chambers Street) over the next few years,
including both office conversions and new residential towers
like the 76-story New York by Gehry at 8 Spruce Street.
New hotel rooms, however, will outpace residential development. According to the Downtown Alliance, 2,660 hotel
rooms are currently in the pipeline, with 1,994 of those under
construction. They include Silverstein Properties' 82-story Four
Seasons Hotel and Residences at 30 Park Place designed by Robert A.M. Stern Architects and SLCE Architects, Hidrock Realty's
28-story Courtyard Marriott designed by Danny Forster Design
Studio, and others bearing the brands Hilton, Sheraton, and
Marriott. Conversions of historic buildings into hotels include
Temple Court at 5 Beekman Street, with 285 hotel rooms and
85 condo units to be designed by Gerner Kronick + Valcarcel,
Architects, and the Dermot Company's mixed-use development
of the Battery Maritime Building (home to the Governors Island
Ferry). Dermot is also in partnership with Downtown restaurateur Peter Poulakakos to convert Pier A, just south of the Ritz
Hotel, into an event space slated to open in Spring 2014.
There may be more as tourism grows. The biggest draw right
now is the 9/11 Memorial site, which has attracted some 10
million visitors since opening in 2011, according to Michael
Arad, AIA, designer of the memorial and partner in Handel
Architects. Adding much more tourist appeal - even beyond the
visitors who come only for the architecture - will be the 9/11
Oculus Winter 2013
©Davis Brody Bond/SquareDesign Lab
(clockwise from top) The 9/11 Memorial
Museum Pavilion by Snøhetta.
Rendering of Memorial Hall with Last Column
in the National September 11 Museum,
designed by Davis Brody Bond.
The 82-story Four Seasons Hotel and Private
Residences New York, Downtown, designed
by Robert A.M. Stern Architects and SLCE
Architects, is scheduled to open in 2016.
Memorial Pavilion by Snøhetta and Museum by Davis Brody
Bond; the World Trade Center towers by Skidmore, Owings &
Merrill, Foster + Partners, Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, and
Maki and Associates, with Westfield Group's 365,000-squarefoot shopping mecca; the Santiago Calatrava-designed PATH
station; and SHoP Architects' Pier 17 (see pg. 35).
Danny Forster, documentarian and host of a popular TV
show about design, and principal in Danny Forster Design Studio, lives downtown and sees it becoming a hub where people
will want to gather. "It has an interesting mix of transportation
infrastructure, businesses, new restaurants, recreation, and the
memorial," he says. "That cross-section will give this neighborhood a kind of dynamic it never had."
Claire Wilson writes for the New York Times.
The Fun Factor: Visitors + Vistas
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Oculus - Winter 2013
First Words Letter from Two Presidents
A Word from the Editor
Center for Architecture
One Block Over
Opener: Designing – and Defi ning – a Moment in Time
Eat, Drink, and Wear the Brand
Architecture Tourism: New York City’s Waterfront – and Beyond
Development Does DUMBO
A Tale of Two Piers
Healing Buildings to Heal a City Once Again
Index to Advertisers
Oculus - Winter 2013