Hyatt Union SquareUnlike Paris, whose magistrates have enforced a general unity upon their architecture, especially as regards the height of contiguous buildings, the streets of New York tend to be a jagged tumult of two-story taxpayers vying with soaring high-rises.
Many of the locals insist that this clamorous variety is what gives the city is honky-tonk charm: in fact, the results more often than not are quite ugly. A case in point is 132 Fourth Avenue, a two-story classical structure clad in limestone and not a bad-looking building in itself. Its neighbor, at 77 East 12 Street, is a pallidly functional exercise in red-brick rationalism from the 1960s. Now a new, 12-story Hyatt Union Square hotel, designed by Gene Kaufman, has risen over the scrupulously preserved façade of the two-story classical structure at the corner of Fourth Avenue and 13th Street and is set to open in the fall of this year…. [more]