When Nicolai Ouroussoff got a look at the building that Jean Nouvel designed for New York City back in 2007, he called it "the most exhilarating addition to the skyline in a generation." The architecture critic for The New York Times at the time, Ouroussoff name-checked the heavyweights in his review: Cass Gilbert, who designed the Woolworth Building; the Chrysler Building's William Van Alen; the god Mies van der Rohe. Even the 19th-century English art critic John Ruskin is summoned in praise of Nouvel.
The skyscraper in question, 53 W. 53rd Street, adjacent to the Museum of Modern Art, isn't finished yet. Construction has only just begun. But history has already vindicated Ouroussoff's untethered praise.