Lights, Camera, Demolition: New Play Honors Old Penn Station

East
Tuesday, April 2, 2013
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Penn Station, Interior, Manhattan 1935-1938 (Courtesy The Eternal Space)

Penn Station, Interior, Manhattan 1935-1938 (Courtesy The Eternal Space)

While the future of the current Penn Station will be up in the air for some time, a theater group plans to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the original Penn Station’s destruction, which takes place on October 28. Taking place this fall, playwright Justin Rivers and director Barika Edwards will present The Eternal Space, a play that chronicles the demolition of the architectural monument and acts out debates over historic preservation that are still relevant today.

According to the play’s website, the set will transport the audience back in time: “Using the latest in projection technology, the photographs will speak for themselves making the audience feel as though they are sitting in the station itself.” Present photographs are also used to create the station in its current form and to show the passing of time.

Architecture and urban planning have taken center stage before in performances such as In the Footprint: The Battle over Atlantic Yards, Murder, Love, and Insanity: Stanford White and the Gilded Age, an opera about Robert Moses, and a series of plays by Moshe Safdie’s son Oren.

Boulevard 41 Could Provide Pedestrian-Friendly Connection Between Broadway and Bryant Park

East
Tuesday, April 2, 2013
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Boulevard 41 would connect Bryant Park with pedestrian plazas on Broadway. (Courtesy Google Maps)

Boulevard 41 would connect Bryant Park with pedestrian plazas on Broadway. (Courtesy Google Maps)

In New York these days, pedestrian plazas keep sprouting up in different pockets around Midtown Manhattan, an area known more for its heavily trafficked avenues and streets than its pedestrian-friendly corridors. And now, The New York Times reported that business owners along West 41st Street are pushing for their block, stretching from Broadway to Bryant Park, to be transformed into a tree-lined plaza, dotted with tables and seats. The street will stay open to traffic, but parking would be eliminated to make room for the promenade connecting Bryant Park with Snøhetta’s now-under-construction revamp of the Times Square pedestrian plaza.

Wally Rubin, District Manager of Community Board 5, told AN that the transportation and environment committee voted last Thursday to recommend approval of the plan, dubbed “Boulevard 41,” which will then go in front of the full board for a final vote on April 11th. If the Department of Transportation then green lights the proposal, the plaza could open as soon as this summer.

Guggenheim Announces Expansion of Frank Lloyd Wright Museum

East
Monday, April 1, 2013
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Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum's Proposed extension (courtesy oiio architecture office)

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum’s Proposed extension. (courtesy oiio architecture office)

“What if we decided we needed a little more Guggenheim?” asked New York- and Athens-based group Oiio Architecture Office. In a shocking announcement on its Facebook page, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum today disclosed that it will be expanding—vertically: “We are pleased to announce that beginning today, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum will begin construction to expand the original Frank Lloyd Wright design by an additional 13 floors.” The museum has always faced spatial limitations,and as the Whitney has taken to expanding over the High Line, renderings for Oiio Architecture Office show the Guggenheim rising vertically from its Fifth Avenue site, continuing the building’s signature spiral form. While this expansion is sure to garner criticism from preservationists, as the buildings is currently listed with both the National Register of Historic Places and the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission, representatives from the museum have stated that the proposed addition will respond respectfully Wright’s original design.

After Delays & Setbacks, New York City Launching Bike Share System In May

East, Newsletter
Monday, April 1, 2013
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Blue dots indicate the first phase of the bike-share rollout while gray dots denote stations that will be added to the service later in 2013. (Courtesy NYCDOT)

Blue dots indicate the first phase of the bike-share rollout while gray dots denote stations that will be added to the service later in 2013. (Courtesy NYCDOT)

When Hurricane Sandy plundered the East Coast in late October, it didn’t spare New York City’s Bike Share system, then in storage at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, causing damage to electrical components in the docking stations. Due to damage and delays from the storm, the initial launch of the Citi Bike Bike Share System will be scaled back and thousands of bikes originally meant to be part of the second phase will be pushed back to a third. The first blue Citi Bikes are expected to hit New York City streets this May.

Continue reading after the jump.

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Edward Durell Stone-Designed School Could Make Way For Luxury Tower

East
Friday, March 29, 2013
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Edward Durell Stone's PS 199. (Courtesy Google Maps)

Edward Durell Stone’s PS 199. (Courtesy Google Maps)

New York City’s financially-strapped Department of Education is seeking to cash in on a 99,000 square foot lot on 70th Street just west of Broadway, but a local elementary school and the legacy of one of America’s first Modernists stand in the way. If the Department gets its way, the three-story P.S. 199, designed in 1963 by Edward Durell Stone, will be sold to developers and replaced by a 340-foot-tall luxury residential tower in the already crowded Upper West Side neighborhood.

Continue reading after the jump.

Recalling 1993: The New Museum Dials A History Lesson Into Manhattan’s Payphones

East
Friday, March 29, 2013
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Map showing participating payphones around the New Museum. (Courtesy Recalling 1993)

Map showing participating payphones around the New Museum. (Courtesy Recalling 1993)

Craving an adventure? The New Museum dares you to travel back in time to 1993 by picking up many of thousands of Manhattan payphones and dialing the toll-free number 1-855-FOR-1993. You’ll find yourself checking your surroundings as you’re immersed into an oral history of what it was like to live on that block in 1993. The project, “Recalling 1993” is part of a larger exhibition at museum entitled NYC 1993: Experimental Jet Set, Trash and No Star, named after the rock band, Sonic Youth’s eighth album recorded in 1993.

Continue reading after the jump.

Officials Endorse Plan To Restore Rail Service On Abandoned Viaduct in Queens

East
Friday, March 29, 2013
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Current conditions along the old rail corridor. (Courtesy Friends of the QueensWay)

Current conditions along the old rail corridor. (Courtesy Friends of the QueensWay)

The debate over the future of the abandoned Rockaway Long Island Railroad (LIRR) line is heating up, and while a proposal to convert the viaduct into a version of the High Line called the QueensWay has gained early momentum with support from the likes of Governor Cuomo, it looks like an alternative proposal to restore the long-defunct rail line is picking up steam as well. According to the Queens Chronicle, a source revealed that Representatives Hakeem Jeffries and Greg Meeks will call for for federal transportation subsidies to return the line to rail service. For residents, the reactivation of the railroad could mean a significantly faster commute into Manhattan.

Continue reading after the jump.

Opposition to Madison Square Gardens Heating Up

East
Friday, March 29, 2013
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Madison Square Garden. (Thanos Papavasiliou / Flickr)

Madison Square Garden. (Thanos Papavasiliou / Flickr)

Madison Square Garden has been on the move since its inception in 1879 as a 10,000-square-foot boxing, bike racing, and ice hockey venue in an old railroad depot at Madison Avenue and 26th Street. The facility later moved into an ornate Moorish-style building designed by famed Stanford White, architect of the Penn Station, which the arena notoriously replaced at its fourth and current home on 33rd Street in Midtown (after a brief stop on 50th Street). Now, if community boards, civic and planning groups, and Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer get their way, the venue will be sent packing once again.

Continue reading after the jump.

April 12: NEW Dialog Workshops at Facades + PERFORMANCE Conference

East
Thursday, March 28, 2013
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A tour of the recently reclad Javits Center will be part of a special Facades + Performance Dialog Workshops.

A tour of the recently reclad Javits Center will be part of a special Facades + Performance Dialog Workshop.

Many conferences leave audiences sitting in a dark theater while speakers and panelists perform on stage. At Facades + PERFORMANCE, April 11-12 in NYC, attendees have the opportunity to have in-depth conversations with architects, fabricators, developers, and engineers. Day 2 Dialog workshops, a new feature at this year’s conference, offer participants an opportunity to interact with some of the industry’s top experts in an intimate, seminar-style setting with a goal of encouraging inquiry and problem-solving.

Participants can select one workshop each from morning and afternoon sessions to create a customized daylong schedule that best suits their professional goals. For those interested in the renovation of large commercial facades in the urban environment and the use of contemporary curtainwall technology to renovate old masonry buildings, a special full-day session, “The Challenge and Opportunity Presented by an Aging Building Stock” is being led by Mic Patterson, director of strategic development at the facade technology firm Enclos. The workshop meets at Enclos’ Advanced Technology Studio, but to discuss retrofitting there’s no better classroom than the city of Manhattan itself—the group will conclude the day with a visit the Javits Center for a tour of the recently reclad building. As part of the program, case studies will be presented by Robert Golda of Heintges; William Paxson & Mayin Yu from Davis Brody Bond, and Hamid Vossoughi of Halsall Associates.

Up to 8 AIA/CES  LU or LU/HSW credits available. Register here.

Check out the full Dialogue Workshops menu after the jump.

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A Spruced Up Central Park Precinct Opens to Public

East
Wednesday, March 27, 2013
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Exterior of Central Park Precinct (Courtesy of New York City Department of Design + Construction)

Exterior of Central Park Precinct (Courtesy of New York City Department of Design + Construction)

Mayor Bloomberg and the NYPD gathered yesterday to unveil the newly renovated Central Park Precinct, the oldest stationhouse in the city. According to DNAinfo, the $61 million project included repairs to the crumbling building and a new canopy and glass atrium over the lobby, with the help of Karlsberger Architects.

More photos after the jump.

New Renderings Detail Kohn Pedersen Fox’s One Hudson Yards

East
Wednesday, March 27, 2013
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rendering of Extell's KPF-designed One Hudson Yards tower. (Courtesy One Hudson Yards)

Rendering of Extell’s KPF-designed One Hudson Yards tower. (Courtesy One Hudson Yards)

With both the Hudson Yards and Manhattan West mega-developments underway on Manhattan’s West Side, several other projects in the area are coming into closer focus. Among them, Extell’s structurally criss-crossed Kohn Pedersen Fox-designed tower across 11th Avenue from Hudson Yards proper taking the name of its larger neighbor: One Hudson Yards. New York YIMBY spotted a bevy of new renderings of the 877-foot-tall diagrid tower posted to a just-launched project website. At 56 floors, the tower, shown with a wavy ledge peeling up the building’s facade at its main entrance, will front the Michael Van Valkenburgh-designed linear park, Hudson Boulevard, where the new Dattner-designed 7 line subway will emerge through glass canopies.

More renderings after the jump.

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Future of Gehry’s World Trade Center Performing Arts Center Still Uncertain

East
Wednesday, March 27, 2013
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 A rendering of a preliminary design of performing arts center at World Trade Center site (Courtesy of Gehry Partners via The New York Times)

Model of a preliminary design for the WTC performing arts center. (Courtesy Gehry Partners via NY Times)

It is not uncommon for projects to change over time, but the performing arts center planned for the World Trade Center site has undergone many iterations. It has been tweaked, downsized, refocused, delayed, and at one point, possibly re-located to another site. Now, the New York Times reported that the center has been whittled down from a four-stage arts complex housing multiple cultural organizations—including the International Freedom Center, Signature Theater, the Drawing Center, and the Joyce Theater—to a multidisciplinary arts space with just one main stage. The Joyce Theater is the only remaining organization that will still be part of the center, though it will not be based at the World Trade Center site as previously planned.

The next step is to find an artistic director who can oversee center and curate its programming. Frank Gehry has been working on the design of the center, but the recent changes have called for him to scale it back. Once costs and programming are nailed down, the preliminary board will move forward with fundraising efforts. Right now, though, it looks like the center won’t open its doors until 2017 or 2018.

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