“Christopher Columbus is a controversial figure for many of us, particularly those that come from the Caribbean,” said Puerto Rican-born City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito. According to DNAinfo, Viverito is calling on the city to consider removing the Columbus Circle statue of the Italian explorer as part of their larger 90-day review of “symbols of hate.” She first introduced the proposal on Monday at a rally in East Harlem to remove another controversial statue, that of Dr. James Marion Sims, who achieved his title as the father of modern gynecology by performing experiments on slaves without consent and without anesthesia. Columbus, honored for discovering the Americas, is also believed to have enslaved and killed many of the indigenous people he encountered. In response, the Mayor’s office said the proposal will receive “immediate attention.” But of course, not everyone is happy about it.
Both sides of the debate
The former American Bible Society building (L); SOM’s new design for 1865 Broadway (R)
In the fall of 2015, the American Bible Society moved from their long-time home at Broadway and 61st Street to Philadelphia. Their Columbus Circle/Lincoln Center headquarters was built in 1965 by architects Roy O. Allen Jr. and Donald C. Smith of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, who created a 12-story Brutalist structure that was the first in the city constructed with load-bearing, pre-cast concrete exterior walls. But with the institution’s recent departure came the sale of the building at 1865 Broadway for $300 million to AvalonBay Communities. The developer returned to the original architectural firm to create a new condo-rental tower at the site, and CityRealty has now uncovered SOM‘s first official rendering of what will replace their former work, which, interestingly enough, harkens back to the Brutalist aesthetic.
Find out more this way
Maybe it’s the location near Lincoln Center and lots of shopping, or maybe it’s the unobstructed views of Central Park, or maybe it’s the ease of planting tons of one’s foreign cash without worry within its walls, whatever the case may be, the ultra-luxe Time Warner Center has just drawn in a record $50.92 million sale.
The owner, Russian billionaire Andrey Vavilov, listed the sprawling 14-room penthouse for $75 million early last year, then dropping the price to $68 million in November, finally landing on $51 million with a buyer known only as “Columbus Family LLC,” according to city documents filed today. As CityRealty reveals, the transaction is the highest ever recorded at the building; the runner-up, incidentally, the same unit, which traded hands last in 2009 between Vavilov and Austrian investor Gerhard Andlinger for $37.5 million.
Have a closer look inside
Wouldn’t it be nice to live on top of the world? Well, somebody is in luck because a spacious 3BR/3BA apartment just opened up at the Residences at Mandarin Oriental.
This luxurious Columbus Circle pad rests on the 71st floor, with gigantic windows that overlook Central Park, as well as both the East River and the Hudson. The 3,168-square-foot apartment has ebonized oak floors and black granite accents. It also features a large eat-in kitchen with stainless steel appliances, a sub-zero refrigerator, and a wine cave.
Whoever purchases this impressive, recently renovated home will not only have bragging rights, but access to all of the amenities of the Mandarin Hotel. So yeah, this person will basically be living in a hotel. Jealous yet?
See photos of the lavish pad here