Strange Agreement

Okay, mark today on your calendars, because I happen to agree with NYFC’s Commie Mayor:

Mayor de Blasio: ‘We Are Going to Ban’ Glass and Steel Skyscrapers

Okay, my reasons for agreement are not the same as his reasons for this policy.  He wants to ban glass and steel skyscrapers because of oh-so-fashionable Green reasons, while I want to ban them because they’re cold and fugly.

Long ago, I used to work across the road from this  Helmut Jahn-designed monstrosity:

…and I just loved  those afternoons when my office was turned into a combination sauna / tanning salon.  The company had to invest in smoked-glass office windows and blinds for an entire floor because of this bullshit.

They’re also a menace:  try driving in a city at dawn or sunset, turning a corner and being utterly blinded by the sunlight’s reflection off some architect’s wet dream.

One of my favorite scenes in a movie was the last few seconds of Fight Club, where a whole bunch of glass skyscrapers are blown up.

I have an alibi.


  1. Ah, there’s nothing more entertaining than a politician trying to dictate the laws of physics. (It’s almost as entertaining but not funny as watching them trying to dictate economics.) Only so much square footage available, many people want to occupy that square footage, therefore many floors. You can only build a mud hut so tall so steel. Electricity for lighting costs money, so glass.

    But yeah, the buildings are ugly and reflected / absorbed sunlight is a hazard.

    Here again, it’s That Idiot di Blasio, so his rantings have an audience.

    1. Nah, that’s 43 Diagonal Street, across the way from the Johannesburg Stock Exchange building (where I used to work).
      The Thompson Center addition, though, is also a Jahn brain-fart.

  2. Look up the changes they had to make to Disney Hall in LA. The dramatically curved (south-facing) facade turned in to a burning oven when the sun came out, I think it even damaged the concrete walkways with the heat. They had to scuff up the stainless steel panels to keep from blinding drivers.

  3. The glare problem isn’t confined to office buildings. Low-E windows on detached houses can melt vinyl siding – really, it’s a thing. Imagine standing in front of that siding for a while. No fan of vinyl, but melting it doesn’t do much for improving its looks.
    If you put up a building, codes should mandate low reflectance glass. Your problem how to manage heat gain, not somebody down the street a ways.

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