Van Alen and National Park Service select finalists to re-imagine visitor experience at national parks
The Van Alen Institute and the National Park Service (NPS) have announced four finalists in their competition to modernize visitor experience at four national parks. While the National Parks Now competition aims to “[design] the 21st Century National Park experience,” it’s about more than launching an app or two and boosting WiFi signals.
Demolition of the graffiti mecca known as “5Pointz” in Long Island City, Queens has become a flashpoint in New York City development. The iconic arts institution was literally whitewashed by the developer last spring and has since been turned to rubble to make way for two rental towers. As the controversial project continues in Queens, the destruction of another world-renowned graffiti forum, just a few miles away in the South Bronx, has gone largely unnoticed.
NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission changes course, won’t remove sites from historic consideration
As AN wrote earlier this week, the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) was prepared to “de-calendar” about 100 historic buildings and sites at a meeting next Tuesday. The Commission’s planned action expectedly drew a loud and spirited backlash from preservation groups. Now, just a few days before the action was scheduled, it appears the response has had the desired effect. The New York Times is reporting that the Commission has withdrawn its proposal. “In withdrawing the proposal, [LPC Chair Meenakshi Srinivasan] said she wanted to provide more time for people to speak up for certain properties while making clear all would be dealt with sooner rather than later,” explained the Times.
In an effort to supposedly streamline New York City’s landmarking process, the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) will drop 96 buildings and sites from consideration for historic preservation. These sites span all five boroughs and include Union Square, Greenwood Cemetery in Brooklyn, and the Pepsi-Cola sign in Long Island City (above).
The Parson’s exhibit How Things Don’t Work: The Dreamspace of Victor Papanek should have the tagline, “There are few professions more harmful than industrial design.” Every designer should see the show before it closes on December 15. There are many designers today who believe that design—what we might think of as the planning or intention behind the creation of a material object—can solve almost any physical problem. But the Austrian-born and American-educated designer Papanek, the subject of this exhibition, had a different and more expansive view of the field.
With the final rafter installed on Santiago Calatrava’s World Trade Center Transit Hub the New York Times has done a deep-dive on how, exactly, the long-delayed structure ended up costing close to $4 billion. While the hub ultimately looks more like a stegosaurus than a dove taking flight, as Calatrava originally envisioned, it is undeniably a head-turning piece of dramatic architecture. But one that will be forever grounded by the reality of its staggering price tag.
The planned giant Ferris wheel in Staten Island—one of kookier of the Bloomberg-era megaprojects—is apparently still happening. Eavesdrop always thought the step-Borough deserved more than a tourist trap wheel and a giant outlet mall, but hey, apparently Amanda Burden thought differently. According to the Associated Press, New York Wheel CEO Rich Marin said the project will include a thrill ride that will “simulate a ride in a subway car.” Here’s a better idea: buy a MetroCard.
It’s never too early to start planning for the summer. As we head into winter, try to warm yourself up with thoughts of visiting Governors Island, with an iced coffee in one hand and pure, summertime optimism in the other. When you make that dream a reality in a matter of months—on the other side of a polar vortex or two—you will be greeted on the island with a new public pavilion. The City of Dreams Pavilion will be the fifth consecutive installation to come out of a competition hosted by FIGMENT, the Structural Engineers Association of New York, and the Emerging New York Architects Committee of the AIA New York Chapter. While a winning design won’t be announced until next month, FIGMENT & Company have unveiled their five finalists.