SASIKALA RAJESWARAN | Editor | sawdust.co.in | India
Sasikala Rajeswaran, a journalist by profession and an architecture and interior design enthusiast has built an extensive network of friends in the field of architecture and interior design not only in the country but also across the globe. This in-fact has enabled her to do in-depth research and deliver quality stuff, that too in simple and declarative style.
Controversies are not new to the new American President, Donald Trump whose 16 minutes inauguration speech rattled the world capitals on Saturday. Whether it was controversies chasing Trump or other way around, Mr President has mastered the art of remaining in news – for whatever reasons! For example, Trump Tower, a 58-story mixed-use skyscraper located on Fifth Avenue between 56th and 57th Streets in Midtown Manhattan, New York City faced controversy in 1979 before construction had even begun! Trump Tower serves as the headquarters for The Trump Organization and houses the penthouse condominium residence of U.S. President Donald Trump.
The Trump Tower was constructed on the site of the former Bonwit Teller flagship store, an architecturally renowned building that was built in 1929. As per the original plan, Bonwit Teller building’s Art Deco exterior limestone bas-relief sculptures of semi-nude goddesses, as well as the massive ornate 15-by-25 foot grille above the store’s entrance were to be removed and be donated to the Metropolitan Museum of Art which was never done. Instead the sculptures, which were valued at $ 200,000 were scrapped and destroyed.
Even before the construction, the New York Committee for a Balanced Building Boom had raised concerns about the planned rezoning of the area that would arise due to the construction of high-rise towers along Fifth Avenue between 40th and 57th Streets. Controversies did not end here and continued during the construction process too. In fact, a contractor was sued by Trump alleging his total incompetence. Apart from these controversies there were labour related issues too which were lingering around for several years after construction.
The building was granted permission by the City of New York to build the top 20 stories of the building in exchange for operating the atrium as a public space, owned by the city. The atrium itself was the subject of comments from various quarters, some criticising it while others coming in support of it. While some commended the atrium describing it as a “fantasyland for the affluent shopper” or New York City’s “most pleasant interior public space”, critics called it “preposterously lavish” and “showy, even pretentious.”