[quote]Governor Andrew Cuomo’s January 4 State of the State message included welcome news for West Siders who dream of a day when the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center no longer dominates their neighborhood. A proposal to replace the 1986-vintage, 1.37-million-square-foot hall with a 3.8-million-square-foot facility in Queens wasn’t buried in the details of Cuomo’s address: It was front and center, the first item in his economic blueprint, promising jobs, tourist dollars, and, for the West Side, $2 billion in potential private-sector development along the Battery Park City model—minus the Javits.[/quote]
[twocol_one]In Other News
[twocol_one_last]It all sounded grand, except that it echoes the same expectations that gave rise to the convention center in the first place when it was expected to generate 16,000 permanent jobs, $38 million in city taxes, and some $832 million in revenues to the city. And while, two years after opening, it brought in $988 million, according to a report published in The New York Times, it remained a crystalline white elephant blocking integrated urban development on the far West Side.[/twocol_one_last]
The Javits was conceived by Governor Hugh Carey’s administration with the highest hopes and with the best talent brought to bear. James Ingo Freed of I. M. Pei & Partners (later Pei Cobb Freed & Partners) envisioned it as a 20th-century crystal palace where, according to firm descriptions, “the play of solidity and transparency in which the vast interior, flooded with natural light, combines indoor and outdoor views” makes the space, with its glass vestibule soaring as high as 150 feet, “a covered city square” rather than the industry-standard remote, windowless mega-box.