In the News: 56 Leonard Time-Lapse Video

••• “As far as construction time lapse videos go, this is one of the better ones. It’s to the point, doesn’t play around with any fancy angles, is of an actually interesting building (Herzog & de Meuron’s 56 Leonard, of Jenga-facade fame), and is mercifully un-scored.” —Curbed

••• “Through a federal visa program known as EB-5, foreigners, more than 80 percent of them from China, are investing billions of dollars in hotels, condominiums, office towers and public/private works in the hope it will result in green cards. [… Five hundred foreigners] have put $250 million into the Four Seasons hotel and condominium in the financial district. […] One aspect that has come under scrutiny is location. Projects are supposed to be in areas of high unemployment, yet are in prosperous neighborhoods like Midtown, Chelsea and Tribeca. This is because developers are allowed to incorporate contiguous census tracts in their calculations.” —New York Times

••• “More than a hundred costumed bulldogs are set to walk in a ‘blue carpet’ fundraising event in Peck Slip Plaza on Saturday […] from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.” —DNAinfo

••• “Mariah Carey is settling a bombshell lawsuit by a longtime staffer who charged the diva had stiffed her on overtime for a whopping seven years, court papers show. […] A second Manhattan Federal Court suit against Carey and her estranged hubby Nick Cannon alleging they stiffed and then wrongfully fired their nanny is still pending.” —Daily News



  1. Am I missing something, or does 56 Leonard lack most of the “jenga” structure that originally featured in the buildings designs and public presentation? The building itself (and the video) is turning out to be a straight-up high rise with a balconies applied to the facade in a gently alternating pattern — nothing like the strongly offset layers that the original design promised. The original design was fantastic; this is banal and a huge disappointment. Walking past it in the last few months, it has seemed stalled to me. Aren’t there regulations that prevent such a substantial change in design? If I had bought an apartment on spec in the building, I’d be very unhappy with what it actually turned out to look like, and I can’t help wondering whether this video (with its “helpful” chalk-outline finish) is meant to forestall complaining (or worse) by early buyers.

    • the most “jenga-y” part is by far at the top. The rendering is pretty bland at the bottom, if you look closely. I think once the upper floors are poured and the middle floors get glassed, it will be more distinct.

    • no, hst, you’re right. the building was originally depicted as going through to worth street and getting thinner at the top. this allowed it to be more asymmetrical. also the terrace layout is not following the original rendering. the developer has removed those graphics from their site but they’re still out there if you google.

      erik, are you allowing links? if so here’s the original rendering:

  2. Frightening. A neighborhood-wrecker. And I love the way Anish Kapoor has gone from an artist to a logo.

  3. the jenga part is at the bottom and the top 10 floors or so. it’s an amazing building.

  4. Though I always thought 56 Leonard was way TOO tall, I liked the building or I liked the developers’ very stylish photos of the building. The quirkiness of the shape. Boy was I wrong. The photos were SO deceiving. It is ugly.
    And those outdoor spaces are frightening – talk about being one with the elements.
    I am SO sad it is in our neighborhood. I wish we could “transport” it uptown to mate with One 57!

  5. Such an eyesore. This is another example of architects trying to show off their personal vision with no regard for the neighborhood or the community. So sad.

  6. Question: Does the black outline in the photo and at the end of the video mean that this building will get even taller?