Queens Crap on South 4th
This eyesore comes to the Southside courtesy of Lee Engineering of Corona, Queens. We would say that it is easily the ugliest, most out of place new building in Williamsburg, but truth be told, its hard to be that absolute around here. Perhaps we need a Warren Commission to get to the bottom of that issue.
What makes 99 South 4th Street all the more awful is the comparison to another new building (actually an Alt-1) three doors away. This one (107 South 4th Street) was designed by John Conaty of Standard Architects, a local (Northside) firm that understands that in the right hands, contextualism can mean contrasting forms and non-traditional materials. It is not matching materials and cornice heights (and before anyone asks, the Lee atrocity would not look better with a cornice). Even the garage on the Standard building manages to become a part of the streetscape.
Like much of the Southside, this block contains a number of nice buildings that date back to the Williamsburg's (and Williamsburgh's) early days. Shown below, the four buildings to the left of 99 South 4th and the buildings to either side of 107 South 4th were all constructed prior to the Civil War. At one point in time, this block was home to some of Williamsburg's more prosperous businessmen and middle-class professionals. The buildings are generally simple in decoration and detailing, typical of the period - another concept that the folks at Standard seem to grasp. And one that is lost on engineers from Queens.