The beautiful ArtDeco skybridge on the MetLife buildings by Madison Sq. Park is being demolished.
Staff have hacked away on the bridge for the previous few weeks to take away the detailed steel work piece by piece, reviews Untapped New York. As of Friday, pictures present the bridge decreased all the way down to its signature arch curving over East twenty fourth Avenue.
A public relations consultant for SL Inexperienced, which owns the Metropolitan Life Insurance coverage Firm buildings at 1 Madison Avenue and 11 Madison Avenue which anchor the bridge, mentioned the demolition was required for the redevelopment of the property.
“The as-of-right zoning for One Madison dictates that the redeveloped tower is ready again from twenty fourth Avenue and due to this fact couldn’t connect with the skybridge, requiring that the skybridge be eliminated as building begins. These plans had been introduced to the Landmarks Preservation Fee, Group Board and preservationists final yr,” mentioned Jeremy Soffin of Berlin Rosen in a press release.
SL Inexperienced purchased the 1 and 11 Madison Avenue buildings in 2015 with plans to construct a 27-floor, 1.4 million square-feet workplace tower round components of the unique buildings. MetLife not operates from these buildings, which at present host the North American headquarters for Credit score Suisse and Sony Company, according to the Real Deal.
The bridge’s demolition comes as SL Inexperienced kicked off its growth with a ribbon-cutting ceremony Monday, the place Mayor Invoice de Blasio hailed the approaching challenge as a much-needed increase for town.
“If this had been regular instances, we’d completely be celebrating this challenge as a result of it’s going to do good for Madison Sq. Park,” de Blasio mentioned.
SL Inexperienced additionally developed One Vanderbilt, the tallest workplace constructing in Midtown, and the fourth highest skyscraper within the metropolis.
Whereas among the MetLife properties by Madison Sq. Park are landmarked, the skybridge and the 2 buildings it’s connected to should not, Untapped New York identified in an extended publish concerning the historical past of MetLife’s architectural affect on town. As the corporate grew in dimension, the bridge was built in 1953 to attach the workplace areas on the two buildings, as was an underground tunnel.
Govt Director of the Historic Districts Council Simeon Bankoff lamented the loss, saying the MetLife skybridge was a extremely evocative instance of the Artwork Deco model.
“It was a specific second the place perform and sheer design labored collectively fantastically,” he informed Gothamist. “One of many issues about this explicit skybridge is that not solely are they moderately uncommon however this one was fairly elegant. The Artwork Deco model actually lent itself properly to skybridges, simply because that was a part of the entire graphic model and throughout the graphics of the time, throughout the work and the illustrations and images. It actually captured a component of Nineteen Thirties, Nineteen Forties New York in a manner that skybridges of the Seventies don’t fairly do.”
Whereas there are nonetheless a handful of skybridges left in New York Metropolis, they’re not all as trendy because the MetLife bridge. Nonetheless, when encountered within the wild, “they’re an surprising architectural articulation, in that liminal place between the streetfront and the skyline. Your eye travels up and all the sudden there is a component that’s surprising and brings delight,” Bankoff mentioned.