October 29, 2023

The Latest on the VACANT LOT

There have been some changes to the proposal for a casino to be built on the three-block piece of land just to the south of the United Nations.

For one thing, the much derided Ferris wheel is gone ‒ a victim of general bad-mouthing ‒ and in its place are two new arrivals. First, a star architect, Bjarke Ingels [the Via 57 West apartments, et al] coupled with the promise that nearly 40% of the apartments will be for middle-income families. 513 units, in perpetuity.

Here is a new rendering of the proposal: from left to right, the residential towers, the hotel (gold buildings) and at the base, a circular structure that houses the entrance to the casino, the majority of which will be built underground. 

Coming soon to the site is the appropriately-named Field of Light at Freedom Plaza, designed by Bruce Munro. Made up of 17,000 fiber-optic spheres that change color, the installation will be on view for 12 months and is scheduled to be unveiled in December.
A close-up view of the festivities. Both imaginary images staged by the Soloviev Foundation in an effort to give their proposal some buzz. Still, if the casino is not built, all bets are off ‒ including the loss of 513 middle-income apartments.

Your comments, as always, are welcome.


  1. The gold buildings are so ugly...

  2. Those gold buildings can't be for real. That looks like something from the late 1960s or early 70s. Horrible.

  3. This is a rare environmentally sensitive parcel that a responsible government and community are responsible to save. Eminent domain or philanthropy are tools if not the duty of good citizens to help address the health and safety of our planet. We have the power to raise our voices.

  4. Honestly, a hotel and casino near our little enclave is sad. A great opportunity is being missed to build a beautiful park.