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A blog from CityRealty (Links below will take you to the 6sqft site)

Carter's View

The 1,000-foot-high, mixed-use tower that Sciame Construction Company is planning at 80 South Street a few blocks south of the South Street Seaport is distinguished by its column of twelve 4-story cubes, ten of which are "townhouses in the sky" and two of which are commercial spaces.

The design of the tower by Santiago Calatrava has been widely praised and he will be the subject of an exhibition opening next month at the Museum of Modern Art.

CityRealty.com was therefore delighted today to have stumbled upon the fact that Mr. Calatrava's staggered tower of boxes strongly recalls "Scheme 4" by Howe & Lescaze in 1930 for the Museum of Modern Art in which nine boxes of galleries were stacked at right angles to each other.

The discovery was made while flipping through "New York 1930, Architecture and Urbanism Between The Two Wars" (Rizzoli International Publications, 1987) for information about the former Bankers Trust Building at 14 Wall Street that was reported to have been sold yesterday.

In their fine book, authors Robert A. M. Stern, Gregory Gilmartin and Thomas Mellins noted in the 1930 design of Howe & Lescaze "each gallery would have been a self-contained, windowless spatial unit attached to the vertical spine of the service tower, where lobby windows and a dramatic, glass-enclosed staircase would have provided a relief from gallery fatigue."

"The stack of rectangular galleries," they continued, "was capped by a cylindrical rooftop restaurant; an auditorium was located on the ground floor....The unique functional and spatial organization of Scheme Four derived from the limitations of the site and an adventurous system of skylights that poured natural light into a glazed chamber above each gallery, where it was to have been regulated by reflectors and shades (controlled by photo-electric cells), mixed with artificial light, and diffused through the continuous sash ceiling of the gallery."

Meanwhile, a GlobeSt.com article by Barbara Jarvie today stated that "Cooper-Horowitz Inc. has been retained by Sciame Tower Development LLC to serve as exclusive capital advisor for the $300-million site acquisition and construction," adding that "the development team includes Sciame, which is a partnership of Frank Sciame Jr., John Evans and John Golieb."
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Additional Info About the Building

 
Architecture Critic Carter Horsley Since 1997, Carter B. Horsley has been the editorial director of CityRealty. He began his journalistic career at The New York Times in 1961 where he spent 26 years as a reporter specializing in real estate & architectural news. In 1987, he became the architecture critic and real estate editor of The New York Post.