In Construction> New York City’s East Side Access tunnel dons a yellow raincoat deep underground

(Courtesy MTA Capital Construction / Rehema Trimiew)

(Courtesy MTA Capital Construction / Rehema Trimiew)

Every so often, New York City’s MTA shares a batch of construction photos to remind New Yorkers that one of its long-delayed projects is still chugging along beneath their feet. The latest photo set takes us underneath Manhattan where the MTA is busy borrowing tunnels that will one day connect the Long Island Rail Road to Grand Central. The whole project is expected to cost nearly $11 billion and won’t be wrapped up until 2023, so no need to rush through the gallery.

Check out a gallery after the jump.

Van Alen and National Park Service select finalists to re-imagine visitor experience at national parks

The Falls Gorge and bridge, Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park, Paterson, NJ. (Courtesy Van Alen Institute)

The Falls Gorge and bridge, Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park. (Courtesy Van Alen Institute)

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.

Continue reading after the jump.

SLO Architecture helps preserve New York City’s disappearing graffiti walls

Architecture, Art, East, Preservation
Monday, December 8, 2014
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The new canopy. (Courtesy SLO Architecture)

The new canopy. (Courtesy SLO Architecture)

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.

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NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission changes course, won’t remove sites from historic consideration

Union Square in New York City which would would have been part of the "de- calendaring." (Flickr /  massmatt)

Union Square in New York City which would would have been part of the “de- calendaring.” (Flickr /
massmatt)

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.

New York City to remove 96 sites from landmark consideration

The Pepsi-Cola sign in Long Island City would be "de-calendared by the Landmarks Preservation Commission.

This Pepsi-Cola sign in Queens would be “de-calendared” by the Landmarks Preservation Commission. (Flickr / Whiskeygonebad).

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).

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Collective-LOK’s stunning Van Alen storefront to open next week in New York City

Architecture, East, Interiors, News, Newsletter
Thursday, December 4, 2014
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The Van Alen Institute's new street-level space. (Courtesy Cameron Blaylock)

The Van Alen Institute’s new street-level space. (Courtesy Cameron Blaylock)

To commemorate its 120th anniversary, the Van Alen Institute is opening a new street-level space in New York City next Tuesday. The space, designed by Collective–LOK and located at 30 West 22nd Street, functions as a programming hub, event space, and gallery. Collective–LOK is a collaboration between Jon Lott (PARA-Project), William O’Brien Jr. (WOJR), and Michael Kubo (over,under). The team’s proposal, called “Screen Play,” won the Institute’s  2013 Ground/Work competition, which received over 120 design submissions.

Continue reading after the jump.

On View> Parsons explores “How Things Don’t Work” through December 15

Design, East, On View
Wednesday, December 3, 2014
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howthingsdontwork2

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.

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Here’s how Santiago Calatrava’s New York City transit hub got its enormous $4 billion price tag

Architecture, Development, East
Wednesday, December 3, 2014
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Final rafter being installed on the Hub's Oculus. (Courtesy Port Authority)

Final rafter being installed on the Hub’s Oculus. (Courtesy Port Authority)

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.

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In Construction> Herzog & de Meuron’s 56 Leonard

56 Leonard. (Courtesy Field Condition)

56 Leonard. (Courtesy Field Condition)

It’s impossible to look at renderings of Herzog & de Meuron’s 56 Leonard and not immediately think of Jenga, the game guaranteed to shame one unlucky partygoer for pulling the wrong piece and ruining everyone’s fun. Good times! Anyway, back to 56 Leonard in New York City—the 60-story, glassy version of that nerve-wracking game.

Continue reading after the jump.

Kimmelman says “flawed” One World Trade is a “cautionary tale”

One World Trade. (Flickr/ gigi_nyc)

One World Trade. (Flickr/ gigi_nyc)

New York Times architecture critic Michael Kimmelman has weighed-in on 1 World TradeNew York‘s tallest,most superlative, open-but-not-yet-completed skyscraper. And, spoiler, he is no fan. Kimmelman’s piece is so chock-full of quotable critiques, it’s hard to decide where exactly to begin. But let’s start with the politics.

COntinue reading after the jump.

New York City to get 10,000 free public Wi-Fi portals

A link in the Flatiron District. (Courtesy CityBridge)

A link in the Flatiron District. (Courtesy CityBridge)

New York City is a city like no other. It’s lousy with things to see: architectural icons, world-famous parks, A-list celebrities, pigeons, food carts, and pigeons eating off of food carts. With so many sites, it’s a real bummer that so many New Yorkers walk around the city staring directly into the hollow glow of their phones. This isn’t going to change anytime soon, especially with the de Blasio administration announcing that, starting next year, the city’s dated payphone system will become “the world’s fastest municipal Wi-Fi network.”

Continue reading after the jump.

Eavesdrop> Staten Island to Get a Subway (Simulator)

The New York Wheel is planned for Staten Island. (Courtesy New York Wheel)

The New York Wheel is planned for Staten Island. (Courtesy New York Wheel)

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.

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