You can’t make a monument without breaking some eggs. Fabergé cosmetics heir Reed Rubin is protesting a decision by the board of Roosevelt Island’s Four Freedoms Park to not include a donor inscription on the Louis Kahn-designed FDR memorial. For a $2.5 million donation in honor of Rubin’s parents Vera D. and Samuel Rubin, founders of the cosmetics firm and the Reed Foundation, the foundation claims it was promised an inscription in a prominent spot (preferably near the bust of FDR on a slab facing Manhattan).
The board of the park, not wanting to compromise the monument’s design, proposed an inscription in another location in the park. Rubin and the foundation are fighting back, and had tried to postpone October’s dedication. The New York Daily News quoted a letter written by the park’s board chairman William vanden Heuvel to the foundation: “You may prevail in a courtroom. But it will be a Pyrrhic victory, dear friends, a scar not a medal on the list of your achievements.”
While New York and the East Coast try to return to normal after the brutal Hurricane Sandy, AN takes a look at most dramatic storm-related sights as we batten down the hatches for the oncoming nor-easter. Our Lower Manhattan offices reopened on Monday with lights working but our steam-powered heat is still out (space heaters have been working overtime). Architecture for Humanity and AIA New York have already begun mobilizing the design community to help with the recovery effort, as have countless other organizations accepting donations and volunteers.
Dear readers, Eavesdrop had the opportunity to explore Louisville, KY—our hometown—and Cincinnati, OH (a.k.a. Porkopolis) over the weekend. It’s been six or seven years since our last trip to Cincy and we have a couple things to say about it. It’s kind of a real city, like dense and old, with just enough corporate headquarters looming over the skyline.
We finally got to see the HOK designed Great American Tower in real life and it’s just as bad in person as its renderings. You may remember that we thoroughly made fun of its fugly, Princess Di inspired, steel tiara—something about lipstick on a pig. Let’s update that to a more current comparison. That tiara is more Honey Boo Boo than Princess Di. Eavesdrop is not a fan of hats or tiaras on buildings—i.e. the Pappageorge Haymes-designed One Museum Park in Chicago with its sailor cap. The American Institute of Steel Construction disagrees, recently giving said tiara a design award.
The sun has set on the east coast and trick-or-treaters are beginning to fill the streets, but keep your eyes peeled for starchitects lurking in the shadows. Building Satire has imagined five of our favorite international stars as vampires, witches, mimes, scary clowns, and Frankenstein. Spooky! But what starchitect could pull off a pirate or headless horseman? Share your suggestions in the comments. [Via Curbed.]
Hurricane Sandy devastated much of the northeastern United States overnight, hitting Lower Manhattan especially hard. The 14-foot storm surge, the highest tide ever recorded in 200 years, swept across the city filling tunnels, basements, and streets and causing massive power outages across Lower Manhattan.
AN‘s Murray Street headquarters is fortunately located on high ground in Tribeca, but the city-wide subway shutdown, power outage, and cell service outages have made the offices temporarily inaccessible. Editors in New York and across the country continue to work through the aftermath of the natural disaster to produce the best in architectural journalism daily, both in print and online as New York returns to normal, but please bear with us as we work to return to our normal routine, and check back often for the most current architectural news.
Hurricane Sandy is bearing down on New York and New Jersey, and the current 55 to 60 mile an hour wind gusts tearing through Central Park have already taken their toll on Manhattan’s starchitecture, partially collapsing the construction crane at Christian de Portzamparc’s supertall One57 tower on West 57th Street.
We can’t resist when architects bring out the knives and engage in the fall ritual of pumpkin carving. Jenny Wu of the LA-based Oyler Wu Collaborative shared the results of their annual pumpkin carving contest set in front of the firm’s Screenplay installation. Happy Halloween!
CRITICAL HALLOWEEN : On Banality, on Metaphor
Saturday, October 27
10pm til Late
The Autumn Bowl
67 West Street, Greenpoint, Brooklyn
The second annual Critical Halloween hosted by the Storefront for Art and Architecture promises to generate a spooky skyline on Saturday. Mixing in a new theme of “Metaphor” with last year’s banner of “Banality,” guests are invited to critique and comment through costume. Judging by 2011 event (see below), it’s the ultimate cathartic carnival for all things architecture and design. Get inspired here.