Plug Pulled on Brooklyn Bridge Park Velodrome

East
Thursday, January 10, 2013
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Site of the Brooklyn Bridge Park Fieldhouse. (Courtesy Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation)

Site of the Brooklyn Bridge Park Fieldhouse. (Courtesy Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation)

An ambitious plan to build a $50 million velodrome in Brooklyn Bridge Park has been scrapped due to budget problems. Philanthropist Joshua Rechnitz had committed funds for the project to be built inside the footprint of an old one-story industrial building sitting within the park boundaries but, despite scaling the project back, site requirements like an aesthetic roof and the risk of flooding at its waterfront site made the proposed building too expensive.

Continue reading after the jump.

Situ Studio Salvages Hurricane Sandy Debris for Valentine’s Day Installation in Times Square

East, Newsletter
Thursday, January 10, 2013
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Rendering of Heartwalk in Times Square. (Courtesy Situ Studio)

Rendering of Heartwalk in Times Square. (Courtesy Situ Studio)

The fifth annual Times Square Valentine Heart Design has been awarded to Situ Studio. The Brooklyn-based architecture firm presented a design that features “boardwalk boards salvaged during Sandy’s aftermath—from Long Beach, New York; Sea Girt, New Jersey; and Atlantic City, New Jersey. ”

The project titled Heartwalk is described “as two ribbons of wooden planks that fluidly lift from the ground to form a heart shaped enclosure in the middle of Duffy Square.” The competition was cosponsored by Times Square Arts, the public art program of the Times Square Alliance, collaborated with Design Trust for Public Space. The installation opens on Tuesday, February 12, and remain on view until March 8, 2013.

Another view after the jump.

A Win for NYC Tenants: A New Bill Holds Landlords Accountable

East
Thursday, January 10, 2013
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Workers repair a water leak. (Courtesy Enokson/Flickr)

Workers repair a water leak. (Courtesy Enokson/Flickr)

It will now be increasingly difficult and costly for New York landlords to flip properties by making quick fixes to buildings that require major structural repairs and improvements. The New York City Council passed a bill yesterday that will allow the Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) to clamp down on landlords who don’t “repair underlying conditions that lead to repeat violations” stated the City Council in a press release.

These violations could include leaks or damaged roofs that lead to mold, which could have a deleterious effect on a tenants “quality of life, health, and safety.” The new legislation will give the owner a four-month period to take the proper measures to fix the problem and provide proof of their compliance. Landlords could face penalties of $1,000 per unit or a minimum of $5,000 if they fail to comply with the order by deadline.

Continue reading after the jump.

To Rebuild or Relocate? Cuomo Offers Options.  Houses damaged by Hurricane Sandy (Courtesy of David Sundberg) Over the last few months, there’s been much talk about rebuilding smarter after Hurricane Sandy to prepare for the next super storm. But one alternative has gone under the radar until today’s State of the State Address when New York Governor Cuomo proposed the Recreate NY-Home Buyout Program that would provide funds to buy out homeowners who wish to sell their properties and relocate elsewhere. Capital New York reported that a resident estimated that 60 percent of his Fox Beach community in Staten Island wants a buyout, and through FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Grant Program, that just might be possible. But for a buyout to happen, it requires a several-step process that would need the “Bloomberg administration to petition the state for grant money.” If Cuomo follows through on his proposal, residents of Fox Beach and other waterfront communities who want to relocate might get their wish. (Photo: David Sundberg/ESTO)

 

Crane Collapse in Queens Injures Seven

East
Wednesday, January 9, 2013
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Construction crane collapse in Queens. (ChristinaCNN/Twitter)

Construction crane collapse in Queens. (ChristinaCNN/Twitter)

A 300-foot-tall crane collapsed today in Long Island City, Queens, injuring seven construction workers. The accident happened at the site of a new 26-story luxury residential tower by developer TF Cornerstone, part of the 21-acre waterfront East Coast development. The NY Times’ City Room blog reported that crane owner, New York Crane and Equipment Corporation, was acquitted of manslaughter charges stemming from a previous 2008 collapse in Manhattan that killed two. Today’s collapse of the temporary crane structure occurred while attempting to lift a load onto the construction site. Three of the injured were taken to the hospital and fortunately it’s believed that injuries were non-life-threatening. More photos of the collapse at Curbed and Gothamist.

SLO Architecture Proposes a Train Station Rehab in the Bronx

East
Wednesday, January 9, 2013
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Photograph of abandoned Westchester Avenue Station. (Courtesy SLO Architecture)

Photograph of abandoned Westchester Avenue Station. (Courtesy SLO Architecture)

When two architects, Amanda Schachter and Alexander Levi, principals of SLO Architecture, came across an abandoned train station in the Bronx located next to Concrete Plant Park, they saw a unique opportunity to reuse a historic building and help facilitate better access and use of the adjacent green space. Tonight at the Youth Ministries for Peace and Justice in the Bronx, Schachter and Levi will present their project, called Bronx River Right-of-Way. In an interview with Urban Omnibus, the architects describe how they will split the station, designed by Cass Gilbert in the 1930s, into two parts.

Continue reading after the jump.

Atlantic Yards Could Be Considered Part of Downtown Brooklyn

East
Tuesday, January 8, 2013
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Preliminary boundaries of the proposed BID indicated in red dashes. (Courtesy Downtown Brooklyn Partnership)

Preliminary boundaries of the proposed BID indicated in red dashes. (Courtesy Downtown Brooklyn Partnership)

The area around the Barclays Center, stretching from the commercial blocks of Flatbush to Atlantic and Vanderbilt avenues, might soon be Brooklyn’s next Business Improvement District (BID). The Downtown Brooklyn Partnership announced in a press release yesterday that it has taken steps to organize a steering committee made up of local stakeholders to evaluate which BID services are needed. Property owners would pay an additional property tax to subsidize services such as streetscape improvements, maintenance, security, and programming. According to the Atlantic Yards Report, a BID would support Ratner’s “campaign to call the entire Atlantic Yards site part of Downtown Brooklyn.” First the BID needs to go through several hearings and approvals by local community boards, the City Planning Commission and New York City Council before moving forward.

Obit> Ada Louise Huxtable, 1921-2013

East, National
Monday, January 7, 2013
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Ada Louise Huxtable.

Ada Louise Huxtable.

The legendary architecture critic Ada Louise Huxtable has died at 91. Winner of the first Pulitzer Prize for Criticism, Huxtable served at architecture critic for the New York Times and was also a contributor of numerous editorials about the city’s built environment. She later served as architecture critic for the Wall Street Journal, where she most recently wrote a scathing critique of the proposed renovation of the New York Public Library by Foster + Partners (“You don’t ‘update’ a masterpiece. ‘Modernization’ may be the most dangerously misused word in the English language.”).  Known for the crystalline clarity of her arguments and the cutting precision of her words, Huxtable was unmatched in her lifetime as an architecture critic. She made the city and its architects better. Julie V. Iovine has penned a full remembrance that will run in the next print edition of AN.

Making Room: New York Micro-Apartments on Display Beginning January 23

East
Monday, January 7, 2013
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Rendering of the "Making Room" exhibition. (Courtesy Resource Furniture)

Rendering of the “Making Room” exhibition. (Courtesy Resource Furniture)

Think you could live in just 325 square feet? While Manhattan is already famous for its cramped quarters, micro-apartments are poised to take space efficiency to the next level with Murphy beds lurking behind sofas and roll-away walls concealing closets. You’ll have a chance to test drive one of the tiny abodes at a new exhibition, Making Room: New Models for Housing New Yorkers, organized by the Museum of the City of New York and the Citizens Housing & Planning Council.

continue reading after the jump.

Bloomberg Looking Up Again at Richard Rogers’ Three World Trade

East
Monday, January 7, 2013
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3 World Trade. (Courtesy Silverstein Properties)

3 World Trade. (Courtesy Silverstein Properties)

Almost a year ago, reports surfaces that, without an anchor tenant, the 80-story Three World Trade tower by Pritzker-winner Richard Rogers of Rogers, Stirk, Harbour + Partners would be lopped off at seven stories. Without an anchor tenant signing up for at least 400,000 square feet of space in the $300 million tower, the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey will not guarantee the project’s debt. Mayor Bloomberg is optimistic, though, telling the New York Post last week that the tower is “closer than anyone realizes” to landing that all-important tenant, which could be GroupM, a subsidiary of  advertising giant WPP. The Post said the company is interested in 550,000 square feet of the tower’s 2.8 million total square feet. If a deal is signed and construction continues, the tower could be complete in 2015.

Bloomberg also delivered the not-unexpected news that Norman Foster’s 88-story Two World Trade tower will likely remain a stump for the near future. SOM’s One World Trade and Fumihiko Maki’s Four World Trade are expected to be finished by the end of the year. In the meantime, take a look back at Silverstein’s blockbuster video rendering of the complete World Trade Center site.

More after the jump.

Post Office Gets On Board for Grand Central’s Centennial

East
Friday, January 4, 2013
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Grand Central Terminal to have its own stamp. (Courtesy USPS)

Grand Central Terminal to have its own stamp. (Courtesy USPS)

This year’s a big one for New York’s Grand Central Terminal: On February 2, the Warren & Wetmore-designed train station will celebrate its 100th birthday. We expect to hear quite a bit about Grand Central all year long, as a massive rezoning effort takes shape around the Beaux Arts landmark. For instance, take a look at the Municipal Art Society’s recent recent reimagining of the terminal by Norman Foster, SOM, and WXY.

Now the United States Postal Service is getting on board with a stamp by artist Dan Cosgrove depicting Grand Central’s main concourse. The Express Mail stamp carries a price tag nearly as big as the station itself, but like the trains running beneath Grand Central, it’s sure to offer speedy transit. [Via Gothamist.]

SOM’s Roger Duffy Adds Another Skyscraper to Manhattan’s 57th Street

East
Friday, January 4, 2013
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Rendering of 250 East 57th Street by SOM's Roger Duffy.

Rendering of 250 East 57th Street by SOM’s Roger Duffy.

A proposed 57-story residential tower designed by SOM’s Roger Duffy at the corner of Manhattan’s East 57th Street and 2nd Avenue is seeing new life after laying low through the recession. The Observer reported today that the 250 East 57th project, announced in 2006, will begin construction this year now that developer World Wide Group has filed new construction papers with the city and began clearing the site.

AN previously reported how the project is a partnership with the New York City School Construction Authority to extract the air-rights value beneath the city’s school properties. In this case, developers of 250 East 57th paid the Department of Education $325 million for a site lease and agreed to rebuild P.S. 59 adjacent to the tower’s site, including roof terraces and a large astroturf play area. Roger Duffy told AN at the time, “A lot of school sites in New York remain underdeveloped in terms of FAR (floor-area ratio).” The school opened in September 2012.

Continue reading after the jump.

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