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Renderings of the second phase of The Moinian Group's huge development on West 42nd Street east of 11th Avenue were publicized today on

Several posters on its discussion board on New York City real estate described a rendering of 605 West 42nd Street as two towers, one 57 stories and the other 54 stories, with a total of 938 condominiums.

The rendering, however, appeared to indicate one tower and Daphne Viders, director of communications for The Moinian Group, confirmed for this afternoon that the rendering depicts one, not two, towers.

The new tower will rise just to the east of the Atelier, the first phase of the Moinian development. The 46-story Atelier was topped out this spring and has 478 condominium apartments. Its sleek blue-glass facade is punctuated by banded groups of different fenestration patterns that do not extend fully around the slab tower.

The new building appears like two slabs: the shorter, southern slab has a pronounced grid fenestration pattern punctuated by four different windows bands that pay homage to the Atelier's distinctive facade; the taller, northern slab, however, not only has a clear facade that is not distinctively gridded but also a roofline that slants upward from the west to the east and an eastern facade that is angled to the east, adding new visual dynamics to the grouping, one whose slants connect with midtown while their "notches" thematically recall oceanliner bridge aesthetics that once dominated the Hudson River waterfront in Manhattan.

The developers purchased the project, which will be known as Atelier, in June from the J. D. Carlisle Development Group and CUBS 42nd Street LLC.

The new building will include 375 parking spaces and about 200,000 square feet of retail space.

Forty-Second Street west of Eighth Avenue has been undergoing a major transformation for many years, led by some off-off-Broadway theaters, then the twin apartment towers of the full-block Manhattan Plaza project, then Harry Macklowe's Riverwest apartment tower followed by Larry Silverstein's Riverplace tower overlooking the Hudson River. More recently, Extell is completing its very tall Orion apartment tower just to the west of the "Green Giant," as the great, former McGraw-Hill Building designed by Raymond Hood is known. Two other apartment towers have been recently completed and there are two very large undevelopment parcels that are likely to be development in the not distant future.

Meanwhile, the state has just approved a major expansion of the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority is reexamining a proposal from the city to purchase its large amount of air rights over train tracks west of Penn Station, and the Times Tower on Eighth Avenue at 41st Street has been topped out recently - all of which adds up to a lot of real estate activity.

While some observers have characterized the Moinian Group's 42nd Street towers as flamboyant and colorful exercises in Miami style, it would be hard to not characterize them as "handsome" and "attractive," much to the lament of some posters at who are convinced that's vocabulary is limited.

There is always a shock in comparing renderings with finished products. What appears daring and bold in a drawing may be merely a carbuncle in some prince's eye.

Kondylis's designs for Moinian on 42nd Street have a simple but stunning resonance where fine proportion and ?n may outweigh detailing.
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.