I applaud the new commitment of WestView News and George Capsis to tackle the travesty that is the MTA Mulry Square Ventilation Plant. My bedroom window fronts on this site so I have suffered through every stage of its construction for over three years, beginning in 2013. The preposterous claim by the MTA that the building is finished is an outrage and an insult to our Historic District and indeed our entire city.
Proof exists online of renderings of what the finished plant should look like: a “faux townhouse” (see http://gvshp.org/blog/2011/06/01/final-mta-mulry-square-vent-plant-designs-unveiled/).The MTA would have us believe that what we’re looking at now is the final design. This is an outright lie. They installed the chain-link fence “frames” for the 9/ll clay tiles, with spotlights over each. They installed one side of brick veneer and then stopped. I questioned a site supervisor about completing the project on the day the MTA finally took down the ugly construction fence we’d lived with for so long. He smugly explained that the plant was finished, and that the exposed concrete sides are “Brutalist” architecture. When I said that “Brutalist” is not part of the architecture of the Village, he wouldn’t back down, amused at my agitation.
The sad-looking patches of dirt and the bench arrangement speak of another unfinished plan. No one is maintaining this area—garbage collects around the benches, one of which faces the chain-link frames that frame nothing but the concrete base. Only a lunatic could have designed this.
The weed- and garbage-surrounded benches stand in stark contrast to the delightful St. Vincent’s Memorial Park across Seventh Ave. That park was paid for by Rudin Management, the developers of Greenwich Lane. Which prompts an idea—maybe WestView News can contact Bill Rudin and get him to exert some pressure on the MTA. After all, the $4M+ condos on West 11th near Seventh that face south have a non-obstructed view of Mulry Square and its ugliness—the owners deserve more for their money. As do all of us longtime residents of Greenwich Village.
Kudzu Vines for Mulry Square
Thank you so much for the articles in your paper about the structure at the corner of Greenwich Avenue and 7th Avenue. You wonder how a designer can sit down with a blank sheet of paper (computer screen?), and this is the best they could come up with.
One solution that comes to mind is the Kudzu vine which I remember seeing it in South Carolina where it completely covered abandoned farm buildings. Have a look at the following link. It may be a bit extreme, but still… https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kudzu_in_the_United_States
Earlier today, I walked past the row houses on the corner of Greenwich Street and 11th Street which are covered in some kind of beautiful vine. That might be a solution for the ventilation tower.
Another alternative could be the following link: http://greenscreen.com/
Again, my thanks for your terrific neighborhood newspaper and this particular coverage. Keep at it.
—Vance Stevens, 63 Perry Street