What to Do With New York’s Ugliest Building, 375 Pearl Street

Dreaming of a better skyline. (William Weber/Curbed)

William Weber is quickly becoming The Observer’s favorite architectural dreamer. The former Curbed intern most recently gave us his vision for a much bigger Midtown (courtesy the coming rezoning), and now he has tackled the city’s ugliest building, 375 Pearl Street.

Even though the concrete monolith is now a data center and not offices or apartments—which would actually necessitate something attractive—Mr. Weber has come up with a simple solution, adding a swooping façade to the building that might just be affordable and practical. Call it a gift to the city and a beacon of tech’s can-do spirit.

Unfortunately, David Sabey, the Seattle data-center king who now runs the building, told The Times earlier this year that he rather likes the building’s look. “It is ironic, because we like the look of the building,” Mr. Sabey said. “It has a good cover that won’t let in a lot of heat gain, and it is very stout—it is really very data-centeresque.”

At least we have the Gehry building to balance it out.