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Carlos Zapata’s West 24th Street Facade Declared ‘So Flat’

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After the complete rapture that was 688 Broadway, it would have been pretty tough to get the Landmarks Preservation Commission all that excited about another building yesterday. As it turned out, the Carlos Zapata-designed 22 West 24th Street didn’t have much of a chance in the first place. After a presentation in which Zapata laid out his firm’s methods of analyzing and incorporating the verticality and horizontality of the adjacent buildings, followed by scathing testimony from Community Board 5, the Drive to Protect the Ladies Mile District, and the Historical District Council, the LPC came down firmly on the side of the latter three groups. “It’s very curious,” said one commissioner, “that analysis of the adjacent buildings, which are representative of the context of the neighborhood, should produce a design so devoid of that context.” He then put it more succinctly: “So flat.” Zapata was sent back to the drawing board.

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