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I.M.Pei-Designed Apartment Buildings Landmarked

Dispatch from New York | Published : 19/Nov/2008 12:45

Any architecturally-curious visitor to Downtown Manhattan will probably remember three buff-colored high-rise towers occupying the southern fringes of Central Greenwich Village, just above Houston Street. They are University Village (also known as Silver Towers) - a residential complex designed by James Ingo Freed (I.M.Pei & Associates) and owned by New York University. And they’ve just been landmarked, which protects them from future alterations or modifications.

University Village

Photo: Britta Frahm

The city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission voted yesterday to give the protected landmark status to the three identical 30-story towers built in 1967 in the Brutalist style. The design of the towers was clearly influenced by Le Corbusier.

This happens in the context of a larger tussle involving New York University, the city and Greenwich Village residents. To put it simply, NYU is looking to build more (to the tune of 6 million square feet of space) in already densely built Downtown Manhattan. Specifically, there were discussions of a fourth tower going up: consistent with Le Corbusier’s fundamental principles, the three are pretty liberally spaced. It is widely believed that the university agreed to the protection status in a concession to the locals opposing its expansion plans.

University Village (Silver Towers)
100-110 Bleecker Street
New York, NY 10012