Nosy Neighbor: What Are Those White Things at 137 Franklin?

Any idea what these white things sticking out of the windows at the building under construction at Franklin and W. Broadway might be? —P.

P. wasn’t the only reader to inquire about those. The architect I spoke with at Tribeca-based StudioMDA—who wanted to be anonymous—said they’re technically spandrels. (“In a building with more than one floor,” says Wikipedia, “the term spandrel is also used to indicate the space between the top of the window in one story and the sill of the window in the story above. The term is typically employed when there is a sculpted panel or other decorative element in this space, or when the space between the windows is filled with opaque or translucent glass, in this case called spandrel glass.”) In house, however, StudioMDA has been calling them shadowboxes. They’re entirely decorative, and not illuminated, and they just at different angles so as to reflect the light in different ways.

Now that we have the chance to see them up close, they’re much clearer in the renderings that have been around for a while (above right). And in hindsight, the video below—which I mentioned back in March—certainly does allude to such a feature.

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Previous Nosy Neighbor posts:
What’s that thing at W. Broadway and Leonard?
What happens to old cobblestones?
Are buses allowed to idle on Laight?
What’s happening with the Verizon building?
Will the construction at Hudson and Laight ever end?
What is Esoteric on Walker Street?
What’s up with the building under renovation on Franklin?
Is N. Moore getting cobblestoned?
What are those orange awnings for?
What’s happening at 73 Warren?
Can you recommend any Tribeca picture books?
Why are those shuttles on Greenwich?
What’s coming to 15 Canal Street?
Who enforces sidewalk-café regulations?
What’s going on at 27 Desbrosses?
What happened to the Lilac?
When will those trailers on West Street go away?
Do you know anything about 20-24 Varick?
What’s happening to my parking lot?
Is Pier 26 being worked on again?
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1 Comment

  1. I believe that the AIA also classifies them technically as “Pigeon Pooping Perches.”