Stern, Durst, Brewer Sing Praises of IRT Powerhouse, Pray for Its Preservation

columbia 4 n yhs Stern, Durst, Brewer Sing Praises of IRT Powerhouse, Pray for Its Preservation

Full steam ahead! (Courtesy of New York Historical Society/Columbia)

In light of the recent news that the former New York IRT Powerhouse has joined the “Seven to Save” preservation list, notable builders and community members have spoken out about the historic value of the building.

Robert A. M. Stern, the Yale architecture dean, dean of classicist architects and godhead of luxury throwback apartments noted:

By virtue of its vast interior spaces, its location, and its compelling industrial beauty, the powerhouse has the potential to serve us in many ways. Should Con Edison move on, it’s easy to imagine the building entering a new phase of life as an amenity for the entire city—a museum, a mixed-use center—who can predict?  But one thing is certain: it needs to be preserved.

The Durst Organization, those daring developers working on an unusual apartment pyramid just next door, commented:

The IRT Powerhouse is beautiful, compelling and historically significant building that deserves preservation and protection.

Local Councilwoman Gale Brewer, lady of the Upper West Side, only had the highest regards and joy to hear that the building was selected:

I am delighted that the Preservation League of New York State has chosen the Powerhouse as one of it’s 2012 Seven to Save buildings.  This masterpiece of Beaux Arts design by Stanford White is a landmark by every measure; an icon of modernity and industrial history, architecturally superb, pleasing to the eye, and it stands at a prominent site on the Hudson shore.  We should no more destroy it than we would Grand Central, and we cannot afford to lose it as we Penn Station. Once preserved for adaptive use, it will become as iconic a symbol of New York as the Muss d’Orsay is of Paris and Tate Powerhouse of London. Let’s get serious about preserving the very best of our heritage, and save the powerhouse as a legacy for generations to come.

The full list of supportive quotes can be found on the Save the IRT Powerhouse blog.

mewing@observer.com