Originally shared by e-architect, August 17, 2015
Donald Trump, the New York City real estate magnate with shockingly bad taste is running for President of the United States in a crowded Republican primary field. Trump is in first place. Last week’s New York Times headline read: “Trump Says He’d Be a Smarter President Than His Competitors.”
Trump cites his credentials to hold the highest office in the U.S. to his hands-on approach to solving business problems. Attached here exclusively for e-architect is a photograph I took in June of the disability accommodations at Trump’s luxury condominium at Columbus Circle. Instead of less expensive universal design, this photograph shows the accommodations Trump makes available to those of us who use wheelchairs and other mobility devices for locomotion.
Returning back to my lodging after treatment at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, it began to rain. At Columbus Circle, I tried to get in from the rain, but Trump’s disability elevator did not work. I got wet; soaked, indeed.
This is how The New York Times described the building in April, 1996: “Fancier than Trump Tower. Glitzier than the Trump Taj Mahal. Pricier than Trump Palace or Trump Parc. Its glossy brochure trumpets Trump International as ‘the most important new address in the world.’
“Hmmm. Anyway, it’s big.
“Buyers (more than half the 166 condominium apartments have been sold, sight unseen, Mr. Trump says; the 168 hotel suites went on the market last week) are the kind of people who like their windows tall (nine feet), their ceilings high (10 feet), their living spaces sprawling (up to 5,500 square feet) and their prices steep ($8.4 million buys a five-bedroom penthouse).”
I have just returned from two weeks in the hospital and am especially sensitive to disability issues relating to architecture. Trump’s decision to unnecessarily use inaccessible steps for grandeur and then meet federal ADA requirements with an expensive elevator that does not work dependably may very well indicate the kind of President he would make.
As a partisan Democrat, I hope Trump wins the Republican nomination. He would be sure to be defeated in the general election. A comparison to Trump and his architect’s approach to disability access will appear in the next Joel’s column–part three of the four-part Piano Whitney series.
Joel’s Column will assert that Renzo Piano and Zaha Hadid are examples of architects who would not make the mistakes Donald Trump forced his architect to make.