This year may be remembered as the year we began the battle against midcentury modern buildings in the name of energy efficiency. I have feared this for years.
Applying “inefficient” to an entire era of buildings can be dangerous. Hence the controversy over Michael Bloomberg’s Midtown East rezoning plan, which would allow New York to replace aging commercial buildings with office towers in East Midtown.
The plan has received derision for promoting density over neighborhood, new over old, and bigger buildings without transit or street improvements. What it also does is encourage demolition of existing buildings. But does one green approach – density – supersede another green approach – keeping what’s already here?
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