From The New York Shitty Inbox: The Horror Of 200 Franklin Street

May 6, 2009 by
Filed under: Abjectecture, Greenpoint Magic 

Many of you who have read this blog over the years are all too familiar with my fixation on an architect named Karl Fischer. There reasons for this are manifold but they all essentially boil down to the fact he is responsible for some of the more hideous (and enormous) structures that now pollute north Brooklyn’s landscape. Enough so that my good friend Bob Guskind named a strip of Bayard Street (which features a number of his “creations”) Karl Fischer Row.

Unfortunately what some seem to have overlooked is Mr. Fischer has also left an indelible imprint upon Williamsburg’s less famous sister: Greenpoint. 305 McGuinness Boulevard and 130 Diamond Street are two of the better known pieces of Karl’s handiwork to be found here. And then of course you have 200 Franklin Street.

198 Franklin Street Shitty

When completed this— one of the most woeful examples of modification permit abuse and one of the ugliest things mankind has ever concocted— will be what the residents of the Astral, a landmark building, will have to look at every day. Lest I have not made myself perfectly clear already: I loathe this building. And this morning as I perused my inbox I learned I am not alone.


What’s more he (or she) decided to make his/her feelings known to this building’s creators.

Odin writes:

Dear Miss Heather,

I thought I would share something of my own pursuits as it is particularly relevant to the Franklin St. development discussion. Attached are images of a poster I made in response to the building going up at 200 Franklin St. It is disheartening that something even more gargantuan could be erected at 60 Commercial St which is now such a tranquil post industrial setting.

The screen printed posters were not received well and were quickly painted over. Not as many people saw them as I had hoped, but I may do a second run.

Your fellow neighbor

Follows is what the folks at 200 Franklin Street did not want you to see.

200 Franklin

It came… a lurking twelve story behemoth that sought to devour the surrounding skyline. Can any force keep this monstrous edifice from casting its shadowy pall over the neighborhood or will this building become another…


Excellent question, Odin. You can read more about how this poster came into being by clicking here.

Miss Heather


6 Comments on From The New York Shitty Inbox: The Horror Of 200 Franklin Street

  1. rowan on Wed, 6th May 2009 3:22 pm
  2. i like that poster very much. and i’m pissed that i can no longer see the Empire State building from my stoop. thanks, karl fischer!

  3. FreemanSt on Thu, 7th May 2009 4:55 pm
  4. I kind of like this design. It is simple and non-offensive and is more interesting than almost anything else that has gone up in the neighborhood (I know–not saying much). Whether it is out of scale is another issue, but you can’t blame the architect for that. That is the city’s fault for zoning.

    Even though I kind of like the design, I find it very odd. They tore down a warehouse to build a new faux warehouse. Then the tower grows out of the new faux warehouse as though the architect is trying to preserve the “historic” structure on the first two floors. It is the same concept as Norman Foster’s Hearst Building, one of my favorite recent buildings in NY, but here the lower building isn’t even historical.

  5. kip1021 on Tue, 12th May 2009 9:20 am
  6. this poster is very funny i love how the building tower looks like it is godzilla. the people running for there lives are hilarious. its a great design. is this poster for sale?

  7. duckfeather on Wed, 20th May 2009 4:27 pm
  8. ms. heather:

    did odin send you a high-res version of this poster? i live two blocks north of this intersection and if permitted, would love nothing more than to abuse my employee color-copy privileges and plaster these things up all over the building site. of course, it is up to the artist… i just love kicking asshole people/projects/eyesores like this in the shins, whenever possible.

    also, has there been a lot of progress on the building lately? i haven’t noticed much change in the last few months, and am wondering if this abomination, too, might be stalled by financial difficulties (hallelujah)…


  9. kmtiszen on Sat, 5th Dec 2009 1:00 pm
  10. Wow… this is awesome. I’m moving to an apartment near this building in a few months and I’d LOVE to get my hands on this print. I know this all went down a long time ago, but would the artist be opening to selling prints? Or could I get my hands on a high-res version?

    What a great piece!

  11. smo on Mon, 12th Apr 2010 9:31 pm
  12. hot damn those posters are amazing! i have to look at that eyesore every time i walk out my door and round the corner and i choke back the barf. i hope those posters get reprinted! i’d totally buy one…maybe even a shirt since they couldn’t really paint over that!

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