We've received two comments on our earlier post about the proposed new building on Columbia Street (see below). A clarification of the criticism of the original post is in order: nowhere is it indicated that the new building should be designed using a traditional or historic vocabulary. The Waterfront District is indeed a 'mixed bag' of styles (as are most New York neighborhoods, actually) and of course contemporary design can coexist successfully with historic buildings.
The problem with Loading Dock 5's project is just that it is not very good, not that it is 'contemporary'. And being 'green' does not compensate for clumsiness. Unfortunately one can't refer to it any longer. That the image of the building was removed from their website indicates that either they or their client was not happy about it being seen by the public. Why would that be, if the designers and the developer were confident of their work?
I am encouraged that there is some discussion about this project! I hope that others, plus the developer and designers (with plans and images, hopefully) join in: we'd love to see a lively exchange about this: it would help all of us clarify what kind of city we hope to live in and signal our expectations to the inevitable future developers.