Video> Exhibition Recalls NY′s Lost Garden of Eden

East, East Coast, Newsletter
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
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Adam Purple's Garden of Eden in the Lower East Side (Photo by Harvey Wang)

Adam Purple's Garden of Eden in the Lower East Side (Photo by Harvey Wang)

As he watched his Manhattan neighborhood crumble and burn around him in the urban decay of the 1970s, Adam Purple decided to build a garden. For roughly a decade from the 1970s until 1985, Purple’s Garden of Eden earthwork expanded with concentric circles as more and more buildings were torn down. Photographer Harvey Wang is marking the 25th anniversary of the garden’s destruction with an exhibition at the Fusion Arts gallery running through February 20.

Click through for more info and a video about the exhibition.

Bus Bonanza Expected at WTC Memorial

East, East Coast
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
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Memorial grove and the Museum Pavilion under construction.

While most of the World Trade Center site whirls in mid-construction, the National September 11 Memorial is a mere 208 days from completion. That thought brings both relief and consternation to local residents who have seen their neighborhood become a national flash point for mourning, controversy, and debate. It is also about to become one of the most heavily trafficked tourist destinations in the country.

Read more after the jump.

Community Board 4 Welcomes Bjarke to New York

East, East Coast
Thursday, February 10, 2011
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Proposed W57 tower viewed from the Hudson River (Courtesy BIG)

Proposed W57 tower viewed from the Hudson River (Courtesy BIG)

Bjarke Ingels’ star-studded ascendancy to New York architecture fame was checked last night as Community Board 4′s land-use committee had its first look at Durst Fettner Residential’s planned W57 tower in Hell’s Kitchen. Already sobered by a two-hour discussion of planned zoning changes only blocks from BIG’s courtyard-skyscraper hybrid, the board quietly sat through Ingels’ signature multimedia show detailing the strenuous process that guided the sloping tower’s design.

Read more about the public unveiling after the jump.

World Trade Weekly: Last of the Deutsche Bank

East, East Coast
Wednesday, February 9, 2011
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[ As the World Trade Center continues its ascent, AN stops by the massive construction site for a weekly update. ]

From behind a blue tarp shielding the remains of the Deutsche Bank building, the sound of groaning metal being bent into submission has stopped. Debris sits separated in two neat piles, one for crushed cement and the other for metal. A polished Peterbilt mack truck with an empty container made its way through gate to take away yet another load. There were no formalities, but by this time next week the last of the World Trade Center ruins will be gone.

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Jugaad Urbanism: More Than Just Making Do

East, East Coast, Newsletter
Wednesday, February 9, 2011
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The window at the Center for Architecture, projecting street fair festivity.

There is no direct English translation for the Indian word ‘jugaad,’ but the gist of it is to “make do.” But simply “making do” does not aptly describe the clever and resourceful strategies on display in Jugaad Urbanism: Resourceful Strategies for Indian Cities, a new exhibit at the Center for Architecture that opens tomorrow night. For the most part the exhibit shirks high design in favor of “design by the people, for the people.”

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Code Orange: You, Too, Can Be a Zoning Expert

East, East Coast
Tuesday, February 8, 2011
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You can’t miss the New York Department of City Planning’s 2011 Zoning Handbook—it’s bright orange. Clear and navigable, the book reads like an intermediate level foreign language textbook.

The latest edition, like the 2006 version, includes user-friendly line drawings of buildings connected to cartoon balloons providing detailed information. The new handbook hit the agency’s bookstore yesterday.

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Partying for the World Architectural Festival

East, East Coast
Thursday, February 3, 2011
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Paul Finch welcomes the New York crowd to the launch of World Architecture Festival 2011

The 2011 World Architecture Festival was in town beating the drum for their international competition at the Van Alen Institute last night. Paul Finch, the festival’s program director, was joined by AN Editor-in-Chief William Menking and Van Alen Chair Abbey Hamlin in hosting the star-studded event.

The frigid weather did not deter a distinguished crowd—white maned Richard Meier, red scarved Bernard Tschumi, man of the hour Thomas Leeser, Parks Commish Adrian Benepe—from celebrating what promises to be a hot ticket this November in Barcelona. With his English lilt Finch thanked the crowd for coming and promised his remarks would steer clear of Ricky Gervais territory.

He briefly outlined some of the goals for this year’s program, which included a bigger tent to incorporate interior architecture as well. While no hat was passed, Finch did say that the organization would be happy to take donations in any denomination. Jan Berman of MechoShade promptly offered to make a donation in lira.

Check out a gallery of the festivities after the jump.

World Trade Weekly: Lunch Break Edition

East, East Coast
Wednesday, February 2, 2011
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[ As the World Trade Center continues its ascent, AN stops by the massive construction site for a weekly update. ]

Lunchtime at the World Trade Center site is a colorful sight even on an overcast and foggy day. Hundreds of construction workers in bright yellow and orange safety vests pour into neighborhood delis and pizza joints, but most crowd into the tiny local gourmet food store, the Amish Market. There, burly gents in hard hats hum to the Nat King Cole soundtrack while choosing prosciutto over pastrami. Make no mistake, these guys know food.

Back at the site, just two bays of the Deutsche Bank remain to tear down, a row of windows appeared on the northwest corner of One World Trade, and the steel mullions for a glass curtain wall began to wrap their way around Snøhetta‘s Museum Pavilion.

A photo tour of the construction site just after the jump.

Turrets, Trumpets, and Baseball Greats

East, East Coast, Newsletter
Wednesday, February 2, 2011
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Addisleigh Park residents clockwise from top: Ella Fitzgerald, Count Bassie, Fats Waller, Milt Hinton, Jackie Robinson and Lena Horne. (Courtesy: NYC LPC, Jazzagemusic.com)

Yesterday morning, after a bevy of Modernist aficionados crowded into the Landmarks Preservation Commission hearing room to tout the merits of Bunshaft’s interiors at the  Manufacturers Hanover Trust, the commission turned their focus to two historic African American neighborhoods: Sandy Ground in Staten Island and Addisleigh Park in Queens. The unanimous vote for the landmarks designations passed on the first day of Black History Month.

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Quick Clicks> Piano, Plazas, Babbling, Budget Cuts

Daily Clicks, East Coast
Wednesday, February 2, 2011
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Updated plans for Columbia's Jerome L. Greene Science Center in Manhattanville (Via NY Observer)

Updated plans for Columbia's Jerome L. Greene Science Center in Manhattanville (Via NY Observer)

Manhattanville’s Piano. While tallying who is the biggest landlord in New York (it’s still the church by a hair), The Observer uncovered a few new views of Renzo Piano’s Jerome L. Green Science Center at Columbia’s Manhattanville campus, seen here next to a train viaduct.

Pedestrianizing New York. The remaking of New York’s public spaces continues its forward march. Brownstoner has details on the planned pedestrian plaza on Myrtle Avenue in Brooklyn and StreetsBlog highlights DOT’s plans to create a permanent block-long Plaza de las Americas in Washington Heights.

Archi-babble. Witold Rybczynski talkes issue with architecture’s professional jargon in Slate, including a beginner’s guide to commonly used words from assemblage to gesamtkunstwerk. What’s your favorite word from the language of architecture?

Subway Squeeze. We’re not talking about your crowded commute, but New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s proposal to trim $100 million from transit. Transportation Nation and StreetsBlog have the details and implications for getting around New York.

Quick Clicks> Greenways Coast to Coast

Daily Clicks, East Coast
Tuesday, February 1, 2011
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Planned pedestrian and bike path under the Hells Gate Bridge (Courtesy NYCEDC)

Planned pedestrian and bike path under the Hells Gate Bridge (Courtesy NYCEDC)

Hell’s Gate. Gothamist reports that the NYC Economic Development Corporation is planning to spruce up a trail beneath the Hell’s Gate Bridge railroad trestle on Randall’s Island. The pedestrian and bike path will eventually connect to the South Bronx Greenway.

Portlandia Greenway. A multi-use path planned since 2004 is finally getting underway in Portland, according to Bike Portland. The South Waterfront Greenway Trail might not feature those great archways from the Hell’s Gate Bridge, but it does offer another innovation: separated pedestrian and bike paths.

Biking JFK. Golden Gate Park could be much more bikable this spring. StreetsBlog says a bright green dedicated, bi-directional bike lane is planned along San Francisco’s John F. Kennedy Drive and will eventually connect western neighborhoods with downtown and park attractions.

Have you’re say. The Brooklyn Greenway Initiative and the Regional Plan Association are hosting a visioning workshop for a planned greenway in Red Hook, Brooklyn. You can voice your suggestions for the Columbia Street Waterfront Park tomorrow, February 2 at 6:30PM.

Bunshaft Deconstructed?

East, East Coast
Monday, January 31, 2011
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Manufacturer’s Trust Company, Fifth Avenue, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, New York, NY, 1954 Gelatin Silver Print © Ezra Stoller, Courtesy Yossi Milo Gallery, New York

The Landmarks Preservation Commission has put the Gordon Bunshaft-designed Manufacturers Hanover Trust Company Building onto its Public Meeting/Public Hearing agenda for tomorrow morning at 9:30AM. Up for discussion will be the building’s first and second floor interiors, including the entrance lobby, escalators, teller counters, and floor and ceiling surfaces.

The iconic vault designed by Henry Dreyfuss, which is visible from Fifth Avenue, and Harry Bertoia’s multifaceted metallic screen both made it on to the agenda. But according to Theodore Grunewald of the Coalition to Save MHT, the Bertoia has already been removed by Chase Bank, the sculpture’s owner.

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