My apartment faces the towering buildings across the river in Jersey City. While I can mostly see only their higher floors and not the river itself, the views of the open sky and sunsets are important to us West Siders.
I was shocked, stunned, and appalled a few months ago to look out my window one night and see glaring LED lights strung up and down the newest luxury high-rise in Jersey City—The Ellipse—built by the LeFrak Organization. It is a serious eyesore to anyone looking across the river from the Village or Chelsea. I have written to Corey Johnson (and received only a form response), left messages at LeFrak, and even filed a complaint with the Jersey City Building Department. I am sure I am not the only one disturbed by this light pollution so I am hoping that someone can do something about it.
Yours, Walter Boxer
It’s Easier to Make Ugly
Response to Walter Boxer
When they began to build the West Village in the early 1800s, the architectural style was Federal. You can see an example of that style in the 1834 St. Joseph’s Church on 6th Avenue, just opposite the now-defunct Staples. It offers a row of white, Doric columns right from the Parthenon, but the Industrial Revolution made it easier for an architect or builder to easily indulge in architectural detailing. He could, if he wanted, flip open a catalog and pick a Medusa head for a tenement window cornice. Making things ugly had gotten very easy indeed.
So, now, all around the squat, landmarked West Village are the sprouting condo asparagus towers. Their architects have their own tools for ugliness: Steel frames let them play with shapes, with alternate floors headed off in different directions like a gargantuan rasp.