NEW YORK | 270 Park Ave | 1,389 FT | 70 FLOORS

Agree - they add beauty to the building - and I’m thankful for them



Yeah, I mean a gargoyle is about as purely ornamental as it gets. It’s essentially a decorative sculpture — art for art’s sake. Cornices, friezes, cupolas and (non-radio mast) spires are all prime examples as well.

I’d also call that circled bit of masonry (?) above the window ornamental. I guess you could argue there’s a sense that it’s supporting the floor above it, but it’s not making some kind of optical illusion of structural support.

These flat pilasters are a better example of the kind of thing that drives me crazy:


Like, what’s the point of this?

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In Brooklyn there are endless examples of structural ornamentation and although nobody stops to appreciate it, somewhere in the back of their mind’s they must.


Seeing architecture as a purely functional and structural discipline is one of the biggest mistakes of the past century. For centuries before that, art was an essential part of it. That’s why we can still appreciate old buildings. I can’t say the same for many modern buildings.,


Right. I feel like we’re misunderstanding each other. I also find dogmatic “form-follows-function” architecture boring. I am very much pro-expressiveness and ornamentation. I want more gargoyles, more chrome, more elaborate cornices and spires.

It’s just this specific trend — of creating an illusion about how a building is supported with faux beams, columns, even faux brick facades — that I find bizarre and annoying.


I would say all of those trends are also creating illusions—from Roman faux columns to gargoyles and statues, they are all trying to trick our perception.

Form follows function is my jam and if they can find a way to jazz it up a little in the process, great.

Yes, I noticed correctly yesterday that they started dismantling the lift yesterday.

Pics by Mulan M.


I often appreciate nice brickwork.


That is the main point I believe you are making. The the ‘fake’ steel beams are both ‘deception’ and ornamentation: where gargoyles (and the Bull Heads depicted) are purely ‘ornamentation’.

I do see the ‘ornamental’ value of the big diamond shapes on the facade; but they are not ‘structural beams’ - they just LOOK LIKE structural beams.

In that sense I could see one objecting to the ‘fake’ beams being “deception” as apposed to being TRULY and EXCLUSIVELY “ornamentation” .

I think that subtle distinction is being made by the above comment by MK… :thinking:

So riffing off 5Bfilms photo/comment - the fake beams are pure BULL… :rofl:


I dunno what difference it makes if there is a fake beam or a freakin gargoyle. Aesthetics is the reason for the existence of both. Who cares if the layperson thinks the fake beams are structural. Lol


yeah, IMO they accentuate the positive. Happy Friday YIMBY peeps - “don’t mess w/Mr. in-between”


“Fake” beams have been around for a long time. Perhaps the most famous and beloved are the I beams on the exterior of Miess’ Lake Shore Apartments in Chicago. They are very special adornments that make the facade extraordinary. I too think the label “fake” is not very helpful in deciding whether the design “sings.”.


OK, so MK says that fake beams are “bizarre & annoying”. I get that - it is the ‘fake’ aspect of that architectural embellishment that can perturb the viewer… :woozy_face:.

It is also an important distinction that only a discerning & knowledgeable person would appreciate and/or recognize.

For example: The Beams & Columns in this photo (different building) are which of the following -
A. Decorative only
B. Structural only
C. Both Decorative & Structural

Bonus points - what building is depicted in this photo…

The cladding has reached the top of the third tier :tada:. Two more left. I know the final tier has a lot of mechanical floors but unsure about the 4th one. Is another slowdown going to happen?


The 4th tier is 80% mechanical.


The trade term is “faux beams” - but now this is a pointless matter of semantics. If something ‘stinks’ and we choose to say something “smells” - we are making a distinction without a REAL difference.

I get your point - ‘fake’ has somewhat derogatory connotation. However, everyone here may not know the french term ‘faux’… :woozy_face:

Fair points all around. MK has made a good point - perhaps I (we) have been enlightened.


Instant classic view

Rocket Homes


The diamonds really make the east and west elevations something special, I don’t mind at all that they exaggerate the true structure behind.

I found this photo of a beautiful earlier model of the design — I kind of prefer the diamond-less top tier here as it makes it seem overall slightly more soaring: