PaperCity Magazine

May 2019- Dallas

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58 I t is a strange sensation to have been living for the past couple of years in the wilderness when, suddenly, overnight, the entire world swarms around you. But that is exactly what happened one evening this March when Hudson Yards, after decades of planning and years of feverish construction, threw open its doors. More than 17,000 guests flocked to the far west side of Manhattan for their first look at the massive $25 billion development, an entirely new neighborhood that includes a seven-story shopping center, a half-dozen futuristic skyscrapers, and a pair of instant cultural icons, the Vessel and The Shed. Considered the largest construction project in America, Hudson Yards, which will cover 28 acres, is the most ambitious development in New York since Rockefeller Center. And, for those of us who have been living in this formerly remote section of the city, its debut HUDSON YARDS OBSERVED IN AN EXCLUSIVE FOR PAPERCITY, DE MENIL BIOGRAPHER WILLIAM MIDDLETON WEIGHS IN ON MANHATTAN'S GRANDEST URBAN DEVELOPMENT SINCE ROCKEFELLER CENTER — AND AMERICA'S LARGEST CONSTRUCTION PROJECT: THE DECADES-IN-THE-MAKING $25 BILLION HUDSON YARDS. Vessel at Hudson Yards was like that moment in The Wizard of Oz when the film shifts from black and white to color. I moved from Houston to New York in the spring of 2017, into a handsome red-brick building, Abington House, designed by Robert A.M. Stern, well known in Texas for his design of the George W. Bush Presidential Center. Completed a few years before by Related Companies — the same developers of Hudson Yards — the building sits between 29th and 30th streets, between 10th Avenue and the High Line. My apartment looks onto 30th Street, meaning that I had a front-row view of the building of Hudson Yards. To the left is The Shed, the city's newest arts center, in a remarkable 200,000-square-foot structure that, incredibly enough, is on wheels so that performance spaces can expand or contract. Directly opposite my place is the first of the buildings to open: 10 Hudson Yards, a 52-story office tower that houses the American headquarters of L'Oréal and Coach. It has two rows of massive stone columns that are planted on either side of the High Line, creating a 60-foot high, block-long veranda. The elevated park, a 420-foot jaunt along 30th Street that is known as The Spur, concludes over 10th Avenue in a big open space for public art and performances (The Spur, which will be the final section of the High Line, is scheduled to open June 5). Right outside my windows, I have seen the construction of a massive angled planter lined in sheets of steel, huge bags of dirt raised onto the elevated structure, and a small forest of trees, the largest on the High Line, lifted by cranes into position. Just beyond the new park is the entrance for The Shops at Hudson Yards, a bold building in steel and glass, clad with perforated steel, containing more than 700,000 square feet of retail and restaurants. At the entrance, I have seen the sparkling Neiman Marcus logo placed above the revolving doors and kept an eye on the seven floors of windows as the retail was finished out.

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