Skyline debate wrapup

While the debate about the New York City skyline sponsored by the Municipal Art Society and The New York Landmarks Conservancy is over, the conversation about the historical is far from finished.

The debate held last week was entitled, Debating New York’s Skyline: Evolving or Embalmed? It was moderated by Paul Goldberger, architecture critic for The New Yorker. Panelists included Kenneth T. Jackson, the Jacques Barzun Professor in History and the Social Sciences, Columbia University; Phyllis Lambert, founding director and chair of the Board of Trustees, Canadian Centre for Architecture and Dinu Bumbaru, policy director of Héritage Montréal, and former secretary general of ICOMOS.

Our live coverage of the conversation highlighted the points of the debate: New York City’s skyline is beautiful, distinctive and recognized around the world. Recently, plans for two buildings (15 Penn Plaza and Tower Verre) have raised questions on how new tall buildings affect the skyline and whether the skyline should be preserved. Given New York’s ever-evolving skyline, can and should certain views be preserved?

The panelists were in agreement about how a skyline should be an evolving entity, but had varying opinions about how the evolution should happen or look. Professor Jackson for example said “If New York wants to think of itself as the center of the world, it can’t put restrictions on it’s new buildings.”

Some of the most interesting remarks came from the audience. We talked with some of them about their reactions during and after the conversation, and got a chance to catch some closing comments in the video below:

Click below for the cover it live coverage of the debate:

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