Will New York’s Bike Lanes Last? Gil Penalosa Addresses the Planning Commission

East
Tuesday, July 24, 2012
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The 8th Avenue Complete Streets program keeps cyclists safe from cars and car doors. (Courtesy NYCDOT)

The 8th Avenue Complete Streets program keeps cyclists safe from cars and their doors. (Courtesy NYCDOT)

With only 75 weeks left in New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s administration, cyclists the city over will inevitably be concerned about the next mayor’s stance on bike lanes and street designs lest initiatives put in place under Bloomberg fall from grace. One need only to recall Marty Markowitz’s parodic tricycle stunts poking fun at bike lanes or former NYC DOT commissioner Iris Weinshall’s efforts to remove a protected bike lane from Brooklyn’s Prospect Park West to realize that the concern is not unfounded.

At yesterday’s regularly-scheduled City Planning review session, former Bogotá Parks Commissioner Gil Penalosa was invited to give a pep talk, placing a particular emphasis on bike lanes. He warned an audience filled with commissioners and planning staff that as the weeks wind down before the mayor leaves office, they’d better get cracking at PR and permanence: the public needs to become even more familiar with the bike network and the infrastructure needs to become permanent—and striped bike lanes won’t cut it!

Continue reading after the jump.

City Makes High Line Phase Three Official, Signs on the Dotted Line.  City Makes High Line Phase Three Official, Signs on the Dotted Line Today the City and Friends of the High Line announced the acquisition of the third and final portion of the abandoned rail line from CSX, securing once and for all its future as a linear park. The section, which extends into what will become Hudson Yards, will add another half mile to the leafy line. CSX donated the line to the city. Final design work for the third phase is underway. Construction is set to begin later this year.

 

Chelsea Market Faces Uphill Battle at City Planning

East
Monday, July 23, 2012
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The highly contextual design shift by Studios may have to shift even further... east.

The highly contextual design shift by Studios may have to shift even further... east. (Courtesy Jamestown)

Seems the bad news is about to get worse for Jamestown Properties. The developer’s plans to add 330,000 square feet to New York’s Chelsea Market met with resistance from the Community Board 4 and Borough President Scott Stringer, both of whom gave conditional nays to the proposal designed by Studios Architecture. Now with City Planning’s public hearing set for this Wednesday, Commissioner Amanda Burden has clearly indicated that she is not pleased with the an addition proposed to hover over the High Line along Tenth Avenue. “I remain concerned about the massing and how it effects the High Line experience,” Burden said a pre-hearing review session today.

The two additions to the market include 90,000 square feet addition on Ninth Avenue and a 240,000 square foot addition along Tenth Avenue. As much of the building’s mid-block remains excluded from Jamestown’s plan, it seems likely that area will come in to play. “They do have a whole block,” the commissioner said.

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New York’s AIDS Memorial Approved by a Beleaguered Community Board 2

East, Newsletter
Friday, July 20, 2012
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The approved AIDS Memorial is on track for installation across the street from the former St. Vincent's hospital. (Courtesy NYC AIDS Memorial)

The approved AIDS Memorial is on track for installation across the street from the former St. Vincent’s hospital. (Courtesy NYC AIDS Memorial)

It was a week of devastating lows and mild highs for Community Board 2. With NYU virtually assured of getting their 1.9 million-square-foot expansion plan through City Council next week, in spite of vigorous local objection, the mood at last night’s executive board meeting was decidedly grim. But a new design for the AIDS Memorial, to be incorporated into the proposed St. Vincent’s Hospital Park across the street from the former hospital site in Greenwich Village, offered some hope. The new design was in response to a demand that the designers incorporate community input, providing hope for some that that the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP) was not a waste of time. “With ULURP being ULURP, I didn’t think this would happen,” Village resident Robert Woodworth said of the memorial designed by Brooklyn-based studio a+i.

Continue reading after the jump.

The Enterprise Has Landed, Camping Out Until New Building Completed

East
Friday, July 20, 2012
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The Intrepid's bulbous temporary addition as seen from the river.

The Intrepid's bulbous temporary addition as seen from the river. (AN/Stoelker)

The U.S.S. Intrepid looks visibly pregnant, and it seems as though she still hopes to give birth to an offshoot of the museum in a parking lot directly across the street. About nine months ago, New York’s Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum revealed that it had its eye on a prime parcel owned by New York State adjacent to the museum on 12th Avenue to house its newest attraction, the Space Shuttle Enterprise.

Most of the recent attention on the shuttle has focused on the herculean effort to get it onto the deck, where it rests in a temporary pavilion that sits on the bow looking like a bulbous balloon about to burst. A spokesperson for City Planning said that the city’s zoning laws extend out to piers but requirements for permanently docked structures are a bit nebulous.

Continue reading after the jump.

How Nave Can He Be? Parsing Goldman Alley

East, Eavesdroplet
Friday, July 20, 2012
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(Garrett Ziegler/Flickr)

(Garrett Ziegler/Flickr)

Financial giant Goldman Sachs has received lots of attention recently for its headquarters at 200 West St. New York Times architecture critic Michael Kimmelman waxed poetic about the building’s glass canopy by Preston Scott Cohen. The canopy, said Kimmelman, “elevates what is really just a gap between two buildings into something almost as inspired as the nave of a great Gothic cathedral. That’s the power of architecture.” Or, in this case, the architecture of power.

The latest, and more critical, take on Goldmans’ HQ by Times writer N. R. Kleinfield outlines the firm’s impact on the surrounding area which at the time of the buildings completion in 2009, was short on shops and restaurants. So using its $1.65 billion in Liberty Bonds plus $115 million in tax breaks, Goldman just created a neighborhood in its own image.

Conditional Nay on Chelsea Market Expansion.  The Tenth Avenue expansion. In what many are calling an opening shot in the 2013 mayoral race, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer has recommended a conditional disapproval of the Chelsea Market expansion proposal. The recommendation is in cahoots with Community Board 4 which voted to only allow the project if it provides off-site affordable housing and a 20 percent reduction in height along Tenth Avenue. As City Council Speaker Christine Quinn represents Chelsea, The New York Times coverage of the expansion been through the prism of the upcoming race, which will likely see Quinn face off with Stringer, among others. And with Google just across the street from the proposed development, big tech sector businesses will be studying the speaker’s move as closely as her local constituency.

 

New Yorkers Feeling Blue as Bike Share System Delayed

East
Wednesday, July 18, 2012
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Coming to a curb near you...in August. (Branden Klayko/AN)

Coming to a curb near you...in August. (Branden Klayko/AN)

We’ve been anxiously waiting for the city to drop off the planned 10,000 Citi Bikes—after all, there will be 82 bikes parked just outside AN’s HQ in Lower Manhattan!—as part of NYC’s bike share system originally slated to open this month. Our dreams of riding with the wind in our hair were crushed, or at least postponed, when system operator Alta began surreptitiously tweeting news of the delay: “Look for the launch in August.”

When the bike share system is complete, 10,000 bright-blue bicycles will be scattered throughout three boroughs, docked at 600 stations located in Manhattan, Long Island City, and a healthy chunk of Brooklyn from Downtown Brooklyn to Bed-Stuy and north through Greenpoint.

The bikes and stations are being assembled at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, and with 20,000 tires to inflate, we’re willing to give them a little slack. In the meantime, check here for public demonstrations being staged around the city, where you might just land yourself a free helmet.

WTC’s Glass Half Full.  One World Trade is now half full (Stoelker/AN) After fits and starts the General Services Administration finally signed on the dotted line to lease 270,000 square feet at One World Trade, pushing the tower over the symbolic 50 percent leased mark. “The fat lady sang,” Senator Charles Schumer told the New York Post. The GSA joins Condé Nast and Chinese real estate giant Vantone after a protracted negotiation that was stalled by Beltway bickering.

 

On View> Garden Folly Installation Opens at Socrates Sculpture Park

East
Wednesday, July 18, 2012
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(Courtesy Architectural League of New York)

(Courtesy Architectural League of New York)

Folly
Socrates Sculpture Park
3205 Vernon Boulevard
Queens, NY
Through October 21

Socrates Sculpture Park and the Architectural League of New York present the inaugural recipients of the park’s “Folly” grant and residency for emerging architects and designers to New Yorkers Jerome Haferd and K. Brandt Knapp. The residency was established to investigate the intersection of architectural and sculptural disciplines and the increasing overlap in references, materials, and techniques between the two. To this end, young architects and designers were asked to propose a contemporary interpretation of the folly, a structure whose purpose is purely decorative but architectural in form. Haferd and Knapp’s winning submission, Curtain (above), is composed of a series of slender wooden posts that define a space of 20 feet on each side and a triangulated roof canopy approximately 8 to 12 feet high. White chains, some suspended between posts and some left hanging, will suggest occupiable spaces within the structure and will sway with the breeze off the East River—a play on the modernist conception of the “curtain wall.”

More photos after the jump.

NYU 2031 Plan Get’s A Flattop Chop

East
Tuesday, July 17, 2012
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(Montage by AN, Rendering courtesy NYU)

(Montage by AN, Rendering courtesy NYU)

After two weeks of negotiations between the New York City Council and NYU, the Council Land Use Committee and Subcommittee on Zoning voted today to approve the modified version of NYU’s 2031 plan. The plan will move before the full Council on June 25th for a final vote to give the univeristy the go-ahead to begin constuction in Greenwich Village.

The nine member Zoning Subcomitee voted unanimously to approve the plan, while Land Use approved it 19-to-1.

Continue reading after the jump.

WXY’s Beach Pavilion Catches a Wave in the Rockaways

East
Tuesday, July 17, 2012
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(Courtesy WXY)

(Courtesy WXY)

As part of Quennell Rothschild’s master plan for the Rockaways, WXY Architects was tapped to design the beach pavilion and two shade shelters. The pavilion will be open to the public tomorrow, Wednesday, July 18, with a ribbon cutting set for later this month.  A wave-like roof flows from a utilitarian box enlivened by glazed brick stripes arranged in muted shades of mint, lime, and hunter green. Circular openings are punched into the roof covering a large outdoor boardwalk made of recycled plastic.

Continue reading after the jump.

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