Back to the Future: New York City explores streetcar transit route linking outer boroughs

City Terrain, East, News, Transportation, Urbanism
Wednesday, February 10, 2016
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(Friends of the Brooklyn Queens Connector)

(Friends of the Brooklyn Queens Connector)

Remember the New York City streetcar? Unless you’re a New Yorker of a certain age, you definitely don’t. Advances in transportation technology (what die-hard conspiracy theorists refer to as Great American Streetcar Scandal) drove streetcars all over the U.S. straight to the last stop. Yet, it’s now very possible that two neighboring boroughs, Brooklyn and Queens, will be reunited once again via a new streetcar line of their very own.

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In gentrifying Brooklyn, illicit luxury housing is sprouting from community gardens

Larceny and deed fraud are on the rise, and those with a mind for leaving confusing trails of paperwork are profiting from illegitimate purchases of land. A classic case of this can be found on Maple Street in Prospect Lefferts Gardens, Brooklyn.

But the garden quickly began showing weeds…

Jeanne Gang’s fire station brings civic design to deep Brooklyn neighborhood

Architecture, East, Unveiled
Thursday, January 28, 2016
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(Courtesy Studio Gang)

(Courtesy Studio Gang)

Chicago-based Studio Gang is designing a modern fire station for the Brownsville community in Brooklyn. The two-story, precast concrete structure, to be built on a vacant lot at 1815 Sterling Place, includes bright red accents as the facade pulls away from the street plane.

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Woody and The Donald

East, Eavesdroplet, Urbanism
Friday, January 22, 2016
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(Courtesy Gawker)

(Courtesy Gawker)

Here is a story to file under the Republican presidential primary, celebrity, radical American politics, and affordable housing policies in New York City. The Conversation writer Will Kaufman reports that the “This Land is Your Land” folk singer Woody Guthrie lived in Federal Housing Authority–financed housing in Coney Island‘s Beach Haven. Those residences were constructed by non other than Fred Trump, Donald’s father.

The story continues…

It’s now too expensive to build local for New York’s modular construction industry

Development, East, News
Thursday, January 21, 2016
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Prefab concrete bathroom pods at a factory in Poland. The high cost of manufacturing in New York is driving away many modular construction firms. (seier+seier / Flickr)

Prefab concrete bathroom pods at a factory in Poland. The high cost of manufacturing in New York is driving away many modular construction firms. (seier+seier / Flickr)

Thanks to high rents, New York City is losing one of its longtime modular construction companies at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. And the news could send ripples through the city’s prefab construction scene. Read More

TEN Arquitectos’ mixed-use downtown Brooklyn building tops out

Architecture, East, News
Monday, January 11, 2016
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(Courtesy Ten Arquitectos)

(Courtesy Ten Arquitectos)

TEN Arquitectos286 Ashland Place, a 384-unit, 32-story mixed-use development in Downtown Brooklyn, has topped out. The building’s 45,148 square feet of community space will host 651 ARTS, The Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts, the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), and the Brooklyn Public Library.

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With the go-ahead from City Planning, this office building may close the book on the transformation of Williamsburg’s waterfront

Architecture, Development, East, News
Thursday, January 7, 2016
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25 Kent (Courtesy Heritage Equity Partners)

25 Kent. (Courtesy Heritage Equity Partners)

Office space is in short supply in Brooklyn. A 2004 rezoning of downtown Brooklyn was intended to facilitate the development of 4.5 million square feet of Class A office space. Since then, the local development corporation Downtown Brooklyn Partnership estimates that only 250,000 square feet of office space has been built.

The space crunch also spreads north, to Williamsburg. This week, the Department of City Planning is expected to approve developer Toby Moskovits’ (of Heritage Equity Partners) application to alter manufacturing-only zoning for a nine-story, 480,000-square-foot office building at 25 Kent Avenue.

Continue after the jump.

ODA brings mallcore to Brooklyn with this stacked mixed-use development

(Courtesy ODA)

(Courtesy ODA)

Master box-stacking architecture firm ODA has unveiled its latest addition to the Brooklyn cityscape: an eight story, mixed-used development at 71 White Street in East Williamsburg. Read More

100 Fountains will revive New York City’s esteemed public drinking culture

City Terrain, Design, East, Urbanism
Tuesday, December 15, 2015
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A drinking fountain on the High Line (Eden, Janine and Jim / Flickr)

A drinking fountain on the High Line (Eden, Janine and Jim / Flickr)

Water, water, everywhere,
Nor any drop to drink.
—Samuel Taylor Coleridge, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner

Though New York has the some of the cleanest municipal tap water, New Yorkers now consume 1.25 billion bottles of water annually. A contributing factor to the rise in bottled water consumption is the decline in the number of public drinking fountains. New York–based Pilot Projects would like to revive the grand tradition of public bubblers through a novel design/build competition.

More after the jump.

Under budget pressures, WXY reveals new ideas for long shuttered Brooklyn War Memorial

Preliminary renderings show WXY-designed vision for a revamped Brooklyn War Memorial (Courtesy Downtown Brooklyn Partnership)

Renderings show WXY-designed vision for a revamped Brooklyn War Memorial (Courtesy Downtown Brooklyn Partnership)

The band Barenaked Ladies famously speculated on what a million dollars could buy: a little tiny fridge filled with pre-wrapped sausages, K-cars, a woman’s eternal, undying love, or fancy ketchups.  Well, this isn’t the nineties anymore, and, as community leaders in Brooklyn are learning, seven figures will not be nearly enough to renovate and preserve the Brooklyn War Memorial.

COntinue reading after the jump.

Ocean Liner S.S. United States may dock in Red Hook after ship-shape conversion

Rendering of the proposed S.S. United States conversion (Courtesy GBX)

Rendering of the proposed S.S. United States conversion (Courtesy GBX)

New York City has 520 miles of coastline. The city’s coastline-to-swanky-offshore-vessel ratio, however, is seriously skewed. Although New Yorkers may enjoy drinks on the Frying Pan, at Chelsea Piers, or visit the oil tanker cultural center aboard the Mary A. Whalen, in Red Hook, there is certainly room for another moldering boat-turned-modern-recreation-and-entertainment-space. Read More

On View> Rachel Whiteread: Looking Out at Luhring Augustine Bushwick

East
Thursday, October 29, 2015
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(Courtesy Luhring Augustine)

(Courtesy Luhring Augustine)

Looking Out
Luhring Augustine Bushwick
25 Knickerbocker Avenue, Brooklyn, NY
Through December 20, 2015

Rachel Whiteread is a thoroughly architectural artist. Her sculpture exposes the spatial relationships between common objects, or whole buildings, and their environments.

Read More

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