Photo of the rear of 170 Amsterdam Avenue after rain, taken from a 23rd story apartment at 160 West End Avenue. Courtesy of the tenants group that has raised concerns about the building.
By Eileen Katz
The new rental building at 170 Amsterdam Avenue (68th street), which stands out for its unique exoskeleton structure, is rapidly wearing out its welcome for some of its neighbors.
Residents at 160 West End Avenue whose apartments face the rear of the new building say they’ve quickly grown tired of the raw concrete view. They’ve come to call a small structure on the roof “the bunker.”
“While everyone understands all views are insecure in NYC, unprecedented ugliness on a luxury building suggests cause for alarm,” the residents wrote in a letter to West Side Rag.
The building won a citation this year from the New York state division of the American Institute of Architects, among other awards. Apartments hit the market several months ago. The picture at right shows the front towards the end of construction.
According to the statement from the residents group, they first grew concerned about how the structure looked in July and were “stunned to hear from Equity’s on-site property manager that the roof was in fact ‘finished per design.’”
The residents wrote to Handel Architects and developer Equity Residential more than a month ago. Group co-leader Fran Seigel said she heard back this week, after West Side Rag began making inquiries.
George Kruse, Equity Residential VP of Development, said he’d discuss the issue with architect Frank Fusaro. “The entire building is poured concrete. When it gets wet, it’s going to look like that.”
“No one is thrilled about this,” Fusaro acknowledged. He called Seigel and discussed possible remedies, including treating the concrete to eliminate the mottling.
It’s still not clear what might be done about this – if anything – and who would pay for it.
“We realize it is a very challenging situation – David and Goliath at best – but we think a minimal cosmetic fix, like properly finishing the unsightly concrete, is not a huge deal,” the residents wrote in their statement.
Two more photos from the tenants group show the roof on a dry day: