Jump to content


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.


Long Island City Skyline?

Recommended Posts

High-Rises Are Arising, but Are They a Skyline?

By JAKE MOONEY | July 25, 2004

The city seen from the Queensboro Bridge," as F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote, "is always the city seen for the first time, in its first wild promise of all the mystery and the beauty in the world."

It should go without saying that Fitzgerald was referring to Manhattan, "rising up across the river in white heaps and sugar lumps." Queens, which Nick Carraway would have glimpsed had he turned around, has always had many things to offer. An awe-inspiring skyline was never among them.

But now the borough, home in Jay Gatsby's world to ash heaps and murderous mechanics, may be taking small steps skyward in Long Island City. The borough's tallest building, the 48-story Citigroup skyscraper at Court Square, is getting a 14-story neighbor across the street, the company announced this month. And Queens West, the development parcel across from the United Nations, is home to 42-story and a 32-story apartment buildings, and will get two more rental buildings, each over 30 stories tall. At the East River Tennis Club, two 28-story condominium towers are taking shape.

"Certainly what was there before as you drove along F.D.R. Drive looking at Queens, it wasn't the most inviting view," said Joseph Conley, chairman of Community Board 2. "There used to be this Manhattan view of Queens as being this gritty industrial area, because that's all you saw."

Tall buildings and the zoning that allows them could help give Queens a new image, Mr. Conley said. Still, new development must be done sensitively, he said, to protect residents' "million-dollar view" of Manhattan.

In Brooklyn too, a mini skyline might rise. Its highest building is the 34-story Williamsburgh Savings Bank, but if the developer Bruce Ratner gets his way and builds four towers as part of his Nets arena plan, one of those towers would stand taller than the bank.

But what about the view of Queens?

Carol Willis, the director of the Skyscraper Museum in Lower Manhattan, was hesitant to pronounce it a skyline just yet. Of the planned Citigroup building, she said, "I think it's certainly not a skyscraper." Plus, she added, "You're not going to get a skyline with two buildings."

Ms. Willis said skyscrapers typically required access to mass transit, a waterfront and affordable land, all of which are available in Long Island City. But whether those qualities will yield a memorable skyline depends on a strong economy, a zeal for development and, perhaps most important, a lucky alignment of the stars.

Could that happen in Queens anytime soon?

"I guess you have to define 'soon,' " Ms. Willis said.

From The New York Times

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.