A Best List

A recent issue of New York magazine commemorated its 40th anniversary and included best-of-the-best lists for various categories in the four decades it has been published. Lists like these are one of our great secret guilty pleasures even though most people make fun of them. We all read them to see who/what got included and who/what didn’t.

Of particular interest to me in this issue (once I’d made it through the myriad best-of-best restaurant categories) was a list of what the author considered the most important architecture of the period. I wasn’t at all surprised to see so much architectural glass and metal gracing the photos of the structures (which went from the Ford Foundation Building in 1968 to the New Museum for Contemporary Art in 2008).

CLICK HERE to see the whole list.

Going over the choices, I was struck by how many of them have a particular meaning to me, both personal and as part of the architectural glass and metal community.

The World Trade Center, of course, not just for what it has come to symbolize but also for the number of times I’d been in it and the experiences I’d had there. And for all its glass and metal curtainwall including the viewing deck which always gave me vertigo.

The Citicorp Center for the same general reasons and its unique glass wedge top. The Morgan Library Expansion, not only for its memories and associations but also because Renzo Piano’s design with its light and spaciousness has such an enormous impact on me every time I go there.

The Hearst Tower, which for me is indelibly associated with Jamie Carpenter and the great body of work he has given the design world.

The list certainly made clear that the past 40 years have been good for design in New York City, as it has been elsewhere as well.