The Postmodern Watchlist
As preservation battles rage, will architecture from the 1970s and 1980s get its turn?
(page 6 of 16)
Because the townhouse was in a historic district, the mullions had to be thickened to more closely match the others in the neighborhood.
Some of the Postmodern buildings now eligible for preservation once had to contend with landmarking decisions themselves. Matt Sabatine’s townhouse, designed by Agrest and Gandelsonas Architects after Manhattan’s Upper East Side was landmarked in 1981, is a fine case in point.
“We wanted to make an interpretation, quite clearly,” Agrest says. “We didn’t want to replicate a historic building.” The solution, which had to be approved by the Landmarks Preservation Commission, was to build a curved limestone facade that, in Agrest’s words, was a “hinge between two institutional buildings that had almost opposing styles”—the Modernist Asia House by Philip Johnson and the Gothic Central Presbyterian Church. During the approval process, the rectilinear base, originally designed as an indoor garage, remained as a way to echo the edge of the street. “We had to compromise at some point, because of the commission. A lot of other people got away with things, doing whatever,” Agrest says, ruefully. “But that’s a long story.” —Avinash RajagopalEdit ModuleEdit Module