All of this is the absurd consequence of two bad and thoroughly thoughtless laws, Local Law 10, passed in 1980, and Local Law 11, passed in 1998, that mandated these ugly and largely useless sheds. You won’t find them in anything like the same abundance in Paris, Berlin, London or Hong Kong, and yet it is not evident that the imperiled citizens of those metropolises are dying left and right. Meanwhile, you can no longer look in any direction on the Upper East or West sides, in Midtown or the Financial District, without seeing these scaffolding bridges. Nor is it possible any longer to walk with pleasure down Park Avenue — unless you enjoy the constant interruption of these sheds that are so efficiently destroying the urban fabric of New York City.
James Gardner, formerly the architecture critic of the New York Sun, writes on the visual arts for several publications.
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