010 What We've Lost:
Viewing NY History
There is so much built history lost in New York, often replaced by the very buildings we now adore. The New York Public Library and Bryant Park replace what was once a magnificent reservoir built in the Egyptian style, which replaced the NY version of the Crystal Palace, and so on. The World Trade Center replaced Radio Row, and the current WTC replaced the original WTC. There are some truly sad disappearances: Penn Station, the original Madison Square Garden, the Astor Mansion, most of Park Avenue, countless brownstones and a Morris Lapidus beauty on 14th Street.
These buildings all exist in memory and some rather spectacular photographs, etchings and even paintings. A set of viewing telescopes could beautifully recapture the past. Imagine stepping up to the kind of observation binoculars on the Empire State Building, but at street level and with a dynamic view of what once was. History is easier to learn from if it is truly accessible, and these viewing machines would make history part of the daily experience of life in the City.