Philadelphia’s Healthy Rowhouse Project helps low-income residents weatherize their homes

Philadelphia's Healthy Rowhouse Project prevents abandonment through home repair assistance (Courtesy Jukie Bot/Flickr)

Philadelphia’s Healthy Rowhouse Project prevents abandonment through home repair assistance. (Courtesy Jukie Bot/Flickr)

For many homeowners and landlords, big ticket repairs can leave gaping holes in the budget. For many low income homeowners, mending a leaky roof or weatherizing an older home can be prohibitively expensive. Vital repairs go unmade, damaging the structure and exposing residents to mold and weather extremes. Responding to this challenge, the Design Advocacy Group, a coalition of planners, architects, and activists, founded the Healthy Rowhouse Project (HRP) in 2014.

Continue reading after the jump.

This tangle of highways in Providence, Rhode Island, could give way to a green boulevard

The 6/10 Connector today. (Courtesy Moving Together)

The 6/10 Connector today. (Courtesy Moving Together)

According to Moving Together Providence has the potential to be a “world model for urban design.” That is of course, if the city decides to go ahead with their ambitious proposal of tearing up the 6/10 connector which joins Routes 6 and 10 between Olneyville and the interchange with Interstate 95, replacing it with a bicycle- and bus-friendly green boulevard.

Continue reading after the jump.

Philip Johnson-designed relic Tent of Tomorrow gets fresh coat of paint

Architecture, East, News, Preservation
Tuesday, October 20, 2015
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The New York State Pavilion (Courtesy NYC Parks Department)

The New York State Pavilion (Courtesy NYC Parks Department)

Until recently, the Tent of Tomorrow looked very yesterday. Part of the Philip Johnson–designed New York State Pavilion at the 1964 World’s Fair has been restored to its original color, “American Cheese Yellow,” earlier this month. Read More

Postmodern Purgatory: Illinois Governor announces plan to sell Helmut Jahn’s Thompson Center

ILLINOIS GOVERNOR RAUNER ANNOUNCES STATE’S PLAN TO SELL CHICAGO’S POSTMODERN ICON. (Photo by Rainer Viertlboeck)

ILLINOIS GOVERNOR RAUNER ANNOUNCES STATE’S PLAN TO SELL CHICAGO’S POSTMODERN ICON. (Photo by Rainer Viertlboeck)

Hot on the heels of round table discussions of the preservation of Postmodern monuments at the Chicago Architecture Biennial. One of Chicago’s most iconic and controversial Postmodern landmarks finds itself on unsure footing. The James R. Thompson Center, designed by Helmut Jahn and constructed in 1985, was the site of a press conference held by Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner to announce the proposed sale of the building.

Continue reading after the jump.

There’s a Michael Graves–designed apartment hidden in the Brooklyn Museum

(Courtesy Brooklyn Museum)

(Courtesy Brooklyn Museum)

Fun fact: there’s a set of fully furnished rooms, designed by Michael Graves, that lives in storage at the Brooklyn Museum. Built between 1979 and 1981 for Susan and John Reinhold, the suite within their duplex at 101 Central Park West was donated to the museum when the couple divorced in 1986. Preserved in situ, the rooms are a rare surviving example of interior postmodern architecture.

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How Ada Louise Huxtable Saved Salem: Symposium marks the 50th anniversary of urban-renewal critique

Architecture, East, Preservation
Wednesday, October 7, 2015
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Old Town Hall, Salem, Massachusetts, 1816.

Old Town Hall, Salem, Massachusetts, 1816. (Great Island Design)

On October 13, 1965, the New York Times ran a piece of architecture criticism on its front page, above the fold, spanning five out of seven columns. The writer was Ada Louise Huxtable, and the topic was the looming decimation of downtown Salem, Massachusetts—near Huxtable’s summer home in Marblehead. “Urban Renewal Threatens Historic Buildings in Salem, Mass.,” read the headline. “Foes Fear Plans Will Mar Old New England Heritage.” Those were the dark years between the demolition of New York’s Penn Station in 1963 and passage of the National Historic Preservation Act in 1966.

Continue reading after the jump.

Review> Paul Gunther on preservation and the ongoing exhibit, Saving Place: 50 Years of New York City Landmarks

Grand Central Terminal, 2014. (Iwan Baan)

Grand Central Terminal, 2014. (Iwan Baan)

Saving Place: 50 Years of New York City Landmarks
An exhibition at the Museum of the City of New York and Catalog edited by Donald Albrecht, Andrew Dolkart, and Seri Worden
Through January 3, 2016

Since the first trace of the species homo sapiens, human evolution only represents four one hundred thousandths of one percent of the earth’s age. In proportion to an 80-year life span, that means just 31 hours—less than a day and a half of the 701,280 hours lived.

With the existential threat of climate change and ecological ruination gaining traction in collective consciousness—combined with the outsized expectations of breath-holding fundamentalists for whom earth’s rapturous end can’t come soon enough—our sense of what permanence means has begun to shift. If all human culture to date is just four-dozen millennia and we’ve wreaked so much havoc already, “forever” strikes a dubious chord.

Continue reading after the jump.

Theaster Gates opens Stony Island Arts Bank at Chicago Architecture Biennial

Architecture, Art, Midwest, Preservation
Monday, October 5, 2015
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The main floor of the Stony Island Arts Bank will be used for exhibitions (Steve Hall)

The main floor of the Stony Island Arts Bank will be used for exhibitions, like the current show by Carlos Bunga  (Steve Hall)

If you’re in town for the Chicago Architecture Biennial, be sure to visit the newly-opened Stony Island Arts Bank, a formerly derelict 1923 bank structure on Chicago’s South Side that has been transformed into a spectacular center for exhibitions, artist residencies, and the preservation of archival collections of black culture. The building’s rebirth was made possible by artist Theaster Gates’ Rebuild Foundation, which has renovated three other buildings in the area as part of its program of “culturally driven redevelopment.”

More after the jump.

Performances rule the day at the Chicago Architecture Biennial

We Know How to Order by Bryony Roberts and the South Shore Drill Team (Mimi Zeiger/AN)

We Know How to Order by Bryony Roberts and the South Shore Drill Team (Mimi Zeiger/AN)

Performance has been the breakout surprise of the Chicago Architecture Biennial. While many of the works inside the Chicago Cultural Center grapple with issues of urbanism, politics, and the resonances of Modernism (especially Mies’ oversized presence in the city) in contemporary culture, the three performances included in the opening weekend program address and embody what is at stake. Read More

Archtober Building of the Day 2> New York Hall of Science

(Courtesy Eve Dilworth Rosen)

(Courtesy Eve Dilworth Rosen)

Intrepid Archtober-ites ventured to the site of the 1964-65 World’s Fair to explore a monument of the Space Age. The New York Hall of Science, a 90-foot-high undulating vertical structure designed by Wallace K. Harrison, was meant to create the illusion of floating in deep space. Cobalt glass shards stud the 5,400 coffers in the rippling wall, filtering sunlight into the interior and bathing it in an intense, blue glow.

Read More

Oakland Uber Alles: Gensler unveils new East Bay headquarters for booming ride-share company

Architecture, Development, Other, Preservation, West
Thursday, September 24, 2015
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Revamped Sears building with facades on both Broadway and Telegraph Avenue. (Steelblue)

Revamped Sears building with facades on both Broadway and Telegraph Avenue. (Steelblue)

Not content with 423,000 square feet designed by SHoP Architects in San Francisco’s Mission Bay, Uber is expanding into Oakland. The company purchased the former Sears building from developer Lane Partners, who bought the building last year. Genlser is on deck to transform the old department store into 330,000 square feet of creative office space. The iconic chunk of real estate prominently faces both Broadway and Telegraph Avenue and its redevelopment marks a turning point for Oakland.

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