|The view from across the street, |
my former tenement building (Google Maps screenshot)
|The house that was replaced by the tower|
|The view from my Soho tenement apartment.|
Photo courtesy of the former townhouse owner
Tomas Rossant of Ennead Architects
Now years later I was across the street, this time for an open house at the sprawling co-op where I swore I'd never live even if I could afford it, but my mother told me I shouldn't care what a building looks like from the outside, and many years later a need for space has forced me to reconsider. I looked over at Father Fagan Park and remembered a small gathering of neighbors for dinner where we celebrated the garden club's success in securing city funds for new plants and green paint for the wooden benches. We all enjoyed taking care of the park. As we shared each other's potluck dishes and the beautiful weather that evening, we never anticipated the city digging it up to repair water and sewer lines, a project that would last two years, and a loss of the brick pavers in favor of concrete (the city wanted concrete because it was easier to replace if they had to dig it up again for repairs). The park isn't as pretty as it was, but I could never enjoy a view of the park in the same way or overlook that glacial tower.
After seeing the apartment, which surprisingly was on the back of the building and had a grand open view of gardens and townhouses, I decided not to make an offer. The realtor said that air rights had been sold to a hotel across the street to preserve the view. Air rights? I hadn't even thought about air rights. But that's how the tower next to my old tenement building got done, and despite the area's new landmark status, I wasn't willing to believe that a tower or a gleaming new building of any height could never go up in an open garden between buildings. As a co-op owner, I would be inconsolable.
|My parents' visit to Soho in 1996|