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Designer Defends New Bowery Hotel

ARCHITECTURE_current&futureCourtesy of Gene Kaufman Architect The Salvation Army building at the corner of Bowery and East Third Street. Right: A rendering of what the corner will look like when Gene Kaufman’s Bowery boutique hotel is completed.

Much has been said about the design for the new boutique hotel and restaurant that is expected to take the place of the vacant Salvation Army building on the corner of the Bowery and East Third Street.

Several local blogosphere commentators have made it clear that this addition is not welcome in their neighborhood. Andrew Berman, executive director of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, jokingly referred to the 11-story, 72-room hotel as the “red tumor building” in reference to a series of asymmetric balconies that will protrude from the building and glow red at night.

“It’s totally inappropriate and I think it will be another unfortunate, unwanted intrusion into the Bowery,” said Mr. Berman. “The scale is wrong, the design is wrong. It almost seems designed to offend.”

Gene Kaufman, the architect hired by the Paris-based Louzon Group to design the hotel and restaurant, is aware of the East Village’s reaction to the renderings published by The New York Observer last month, but is hoping it might not be permanent.

“The neighborhood sentiment in the beginning is the start of a process,” said Mr. Kaufman, who has designed other controversial hotels in New York. “It’s not necessarily reflective of what’s going to happen in the long term.”
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