Friday, December 28, 2007

Architecture: Cornices Extend Buildings to the Heavens 

Cornices Extend Buildings to the Heavens - December 27, 2007 - The New York Sun

An interesting primer on the cornice, an important but often overlooked piece of architecture.

Architects have long pondered how best to signify that their building has stopped its penetration into the heavens, and the most popular means they have employed is the cornice, a protruding element that overhangs the building's façade. This element is usually not too tall, so as not to seem ungainly, and not too deep, so as not to appear too dangerous or cast too large a shadow. Cornices, like most architectural elements, come in a variety of shapes and designs, but most are quite detailed and complex and often are the most decorative element of a building's exterior.

Many are elegant and impressive, like the one found atop the Metropolitan Club on the northeast corner of Fifth Avenue at 60th Street, or the Verona apartment building, designed in 1908 by William Mowbray, at 32 E. 64th St., shown at right. Other cornices are quite minimal.

While cornices were popular in pre-war residential architecture, they are much rarer in new buildings, although Annabelle Selldorf's design for the building under construction at 200 Eleventh Ave., best known for the "garage" rooms in many of the apartments, features an interesting, curved cornice interpretation. The center of the top of the façade at the A Building at 425 E. 13th St., designed by Cetra/Ruddy and now nearing completion, has another cornice variation, a perforated overhang.


Commercial Real Estate 'Rules' Changed in 2007 - December 27, 2007 - The New York Sun 

Commercial Real Estate 'Rules' Changed in 2007 - December 27, 2007 - The New York Sun

Michael Stoler gives his take on the unforgettable and not-to-be-missed year that was 2007, for commercial real estate.

For owners, operators, and developers of commercial real estate, 2007 will be remembered for the serious changes that have taken place in "the rules of the game."

The turmoil in the credit markets resulted in a decrease in transactions in the fourth quarter and gave further credence to the expression "cash is king" when purchasing an asset. In addition, the market started to reward "relationship banking," and investors who failed to maintain excellent relationships with their investment bankers and balance sheet lenders had few places to go to secure financing.

Over the course of the holiday season, members of the real estate community banded together to commiserate on the turbulent year past and discuss what could be the next industry phenomenon: that real estate investors increasingly will seek to raise their own real estate investment funds.

A number of successful real estate investors were fortunate during the last year of discontent to have public and corporate retirement funds, foreign investors, and high net worth individuals commit to provide funding for both funds and joint ventures.


As we enter 2008, expect real estate investors to look for opportunities to reach out to institutional institutions to fund real estate investment funds and joint venture opportunities.


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