Via the excellent blog Jeremiah’s Vanishing New York, comes this story about the bizarre lengths developers will go to construct high-rise buildings around and above lower-scale buildings that don’t want to be moved. The holdouts come to be absorbed by the new construction:
“The Blob could be a metaphor for the way many of us feel everyday as the new New York encroaches and devours…”
In the early or mid 1980s, a similar thing was done in midtown. A high-rise tower was built around an existing brownstone where the tenant didn’t want to move. The brownstone is still there, although I think the tenant died a few years ago. In that instance, I think there was something comendable about the effort — it preserved the person’s home and also left a trace of the many brownstones that used to line those blocks of midtown.
In this latest instance, though, there’s something grotesque and disturbing about it. Far from seeming respectful of the tenants who choose to stay, the effort seems to psychologically (if not physically) bulldoze them.
For additional context, Vanishing New York provides this New York Times story on the project.