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The New Yorker on The New York Times Newsroom

New Yorker architectural critic Paul Goldberger visited the much talked about new NY Times newsroom. His piece, “Towers of Babble,” is certainly worth reading.

He gives an interesting history of the newsroom. He admires the building itself. But worth noting is what he says about the interior:

With its sea of cubicles partitioned by wood-veneer cabinets, it is vastly more sophisticated than any workplace the Times has ever had, but sleekness has brought a certain chill (though the effect will be pleasanter when the birch trees go into the still unfinished courtyard). You also don’t get much sense that anyone has really rethought the idea of the newsroom in the electronic age. Ultimately, it’s hard not to sense that the Times, so determined to have a building that makes a mark on the sky line, had a failure of nerve when it came to the interior.

As an amusing aside, another New Yorker writer visited the old NY Times building in June to follow a scavenger around:

A walk last week through the denuded ex-headquarters of the Times, on West Forty-third Street, was kind of spooky for a citizen already in an apocalyptic frame of mind. The paper’s empty offices, mid-gutting, suggested the twin desolations of war and obsolescence. But in the eyes of the “architecturologist” Kevin Browne, who searches modern ruins for loot, these wastes were full of possibility. Browne had come to the Times Building from another scavenge job (the old Queens County Courthouse—spectacular terra cotta) to look in on some of the spoils he’d been coveting since the Times decamped to Eighth Avenue, last month.


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