Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Madison Square Garden: the building the people love to hate

Madison Square Garden is so big that you risk simply don't notice it.

Yes, I heard that: despite of being a true legend for the ears of people like me (that have lots of recordings of live concerts there), Madison Square Garden is regarded like one of the worst buildings in NY. Of course this is a very provocative and nostalgic view, but of course I had to see it with my own eyes.

The most bizarre shows on earth took place at MSG

First of all, the MSG carries a really functional architecture. It is not intended to be more than a big place to hold any event intended to carry on there. It is so big that is almost impossible to take photos of it, consisting in a cylindrical building and a very high tower, big enough to cover a whole block close to Times Square. The Madison Square Garden as we know today was completed in 1968, after much controversial plans, and that's one of the reasons for the 'love-it-or hate-it' reaction lies in its site.

Of course it's impossible to see any sky behind the actual building

The root of all the controversy that fills lots of discussions forums is the fact that MSG was build to replace the charming Penn Station, that was a true beauty for so many, but it was in bad shape. At the 50's it was planned a big change in the area, and the idea of bringing the MSG there prevail over others. The station still works there, underneath the arena.

Penn Station, which building was replaced for the Madison Square Garden

The Madison Square Garden itself has changed locations for three times before reach its actual place. It's been receiving any kind of events since circus and sports events until musical concerts. It is by far the most popular arena in the city, and is the self claimed the most famous in the world.

One of the past incarnations of Madison Square Garden

It sounds very unreliable that Madison Square Garden comes to be demolished or change its place again, so there's no much room for discussion now. The place which it stands is a very 'build' one, and i believe is very difficult to change anything there. Actually there's no much room for big changes in Manhattan, it seems. There are areas being renovated like Chelsea or some areas at Lower East End, but the real building business looks to be happening in Brooklyn more than anywhere. But still there are people that hopes one day that big ugly building will be removed with no trace behind.


Tricia said...

it looks like you know more about nyc than most new yorkers! how interesting, i had no idea about MSG or about the defaced Banksy art. great blog!

eduardo said...

thanks for your visit tricia!