Photo: Ezra Stoller © Esto
2 Columbus Circle, Upper West Side
Modernist architect Edward Durrell Stone designed 2 Columbus Circle as a museum to display a private art collection. It opened in 1964, and after serving its initial use, became home to city offices during the 1980s and 1990s. Vacant since 1998, it is now ringed by scaffolding and a chain link fence. The city is in the process of selling the building to the Museum of Arts and Design, which intends to cut windows into the solid facade that is the building's most distinctive feature, replacing the marble with terra cotta.
Despite lobbying from the group Landmark West and others, the Landmarks Preservation Commission has declined to give the building protected status, or even hold a public hearing on the matter, and lawsuits to prevent the sale of the building have failed. The National Trust for Historic Preservation named the building one of America's 11 Most Endangered Historic Places of 2004.