Op-ed: SOM’s Project Commodore threatens to overshadow Grand Central Terminal. But are concerns over its height overblown?

Before climate change increased the average bottom-depth temperature of New York’s Hudson River by upward of three degrees, much of the river was given to freezing in winter. And on one such occasion, in the 1830s, Cornelius Vanderbilt is said to have scampered out onto the frigid waterway by himself, hoping to grab one of his steamboats and yank it free after it had become locked in the ice. He succeeded—he usually did—and as usual, he was doing it by whatever means necessary. The Commodore, as he came to be known for his riparian exploits (and not, notably, for any actual military service), was the archetype of the 19th-century

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