Inglorious Supertalls

New Supertalls Test the Limits, as the City Consults an Aging Playbook

Most striking about this safety of architecture critique is its appearance in the Real Estate section by a down-to-earth real estate reporter rather than the Arts section by the supertall architecture critic.

Most of the Real Estate section, at the bottom of the online NYT, is about marketing of fabulous urban apartments and glorious homes in the suburbs.

Architectural criticism usually is positioned higher up to offer overviews of the city as if on a helicopter or private jet surveying miniature castles, duchies and kingdoms awaiting latest well-heeled invaders from overseas where wealth is hidden. Safety of architecture, for which buildings departments are supposed to be focused, gets short shrift except when disasters occur, then comes analyses of what went wrong, hands are wrung, lips are flapped, reports are churned, spokespeople in housed and out housed deliver the standard exculpation for failure and promises of doing better in the future.

Rebuild back better and more sensationally coutured. Thus redux of WTC in new royal poofery.

Latest supertalls creaks and wiggles and sloughing off of required disclosures are the bonus of having a knowledgeable journalist cover the story, unfettered by the need for glorifying "the greatest city in the world with the best safety codes," pronounced by city mouthpieces.

Brace for more shocking revelations: structural peer review of the supertalls, enacted after 9/11, need hard-looking writes DoB's chief structural engineer.