6. 2 Columbus Circle/Museum of Arts and Design

Perhaps even more controversial was the renovation of 2 Columbus Circle, a building that had been part of an on-going preservation battle for landmarking. It began life in 1964 as the Gallery of Modern Art, showcasing the collection of A&P heir, Huntington Hartford, which included works by Dali (commissioned especially for the opening), Rembrandt, Monet, Manet and other famous painters. The marble clad building was divisive architecturally from the get-go, but by the early 2000s there was a sort-of revival for it. It landed on many must-save preservation lists, including the 11 Most Endangered in 2006 by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. By that point, the building had changed hands and was eventually gifted to the city by Gulf and Western.

The Museum of Arts and Design was selected as the developer and commenced a renovation and expansion of the building, changing the appearance drastically. Its striped new look was nearly universally derided by architectural critics when completed, but the views from the popular restaurant atop, Robert @ MAD, are rather stunning.