The Architect’s Newspaper extends our best wishes to all our readers for Thanksgiving. We’d also like to thank our 40,000+ twitter and nearly 30,000 facebook followers for your engagement throughout the year. We enjoy the conversation and hope more of you will join us. Happy Holidays from AN. We’ll be back on Monday.
Noted author and critic Jane Holtz Kay passed away November 5 at the age of 74 from complications of Alzheimer’s disease. Her book Asphalt Nation: How the Automobile Took Over America and How We Can Take It Back propelled her into the national spotlight as she chronicled the affects of cars on the American landscape. Jane Jacobs remarked about the book, “Jane Holtz Kay’s book has given us a profound way of seeing the automobile’s ruinous impact on American life.” She had been working on a sequel to Asphalt Nation, documenting climate change and global warming, called Last Chance Landscape. Holtz Kay was also architecture critic for The Nation and formerly for the Boston Globe. She is survived by her sister, Ellen Goodman, daughters, Julie Kay and Jacqueline Cessou, and four grandchildren. The staff at The Architect’s Newspaper sends our condolences to her family, friends, and colleagues.
AN was back at Greenbuild this year in San Francisco, and we offered readers at the expo a chance to win an iPad Mini and $250 to stock it with the latest tunes, apps, or anything else, really. Over 130 of you participated in the Greenbuild Booth Crawl Contest, and we’re pleased to announce that Joshua Hickman of California was drawn as the lucky winner. Congrats Joshua!
Heading into the holidays, the AIA has more good economic news to report: the Architectural Billings Index (ABI) has recorded a third straight month of growth. The October score was 52.8, up from September’s 51.6 (any score above 50 indicates a growth in billings). The uptick reflects improving conditions in the housing market and real estate more broadly. All four regions were in positive territory, with the South leading at 52.8, followed by the Northeast at 52.6, the West at 51.8, and the Midwest at 50.8.
And then there were 20. The Bloomberg Mayor’s Challenge has narrowed its list of competing cities to 20 finalists! The competition—which encourages architects, city planners, and governments to come up with innovative solutions to improve city life—was originally announced in June by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg to assist in addressing urban challenges. Of the 305 cities that submitted proposals, 20 were chosen to continue to the next step: an Ideas Camp, where the final five will be selected and a total of $9 million will be awarded to implement their ideas.
Visit Greenbuild, the world’s biggest green design conference taking place this year in San Francisco, for a chance to win an iPad Mini and a $250 AMEX gift card thanks to The Architect’s Newspaper, Buro Happold, YKK AP America, Greenscreen, Monodraught, and Firestone Building Products. Hit up the GRAPSHISOFT, YKK AP, Firestone, and Greenscreen booths to collect a postcard to be stamped by each of the four companies. Be sure to fill out your contact information on the postcard. Your postcard will be entered in a lottery and AN will select a winner the week of November 19th. See you at Greenbuild!
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.
John Johansen, a creative force in New York City architecture for nearly 50 years years, died at his home in Wellflett, Mass on October 26. A member of Walter Gropius’ first class at Harvard starting in 1935 Johansen was a confirmed modernist but committed to a highly personal, idioysynctatic, and artistic version of the style.
He was also a member of the New Canaan Five (Marcel Breuer, Philip Johnson, Landis Gores, and Elliot Noyes) and a celebrated designer during this period, but in recent years many of his best known designs like the Mechanics Theater in Baltimore and the Mummers Theater in Oaklahoma City have come under attack and are threatened with demolition.
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!
Planning and transportation wonks from around the country gathered at NYU’s Kimmel Center this morning to mark the beginning of three-days of the NACTO Designing Cities conference, emphasizing new and innovative ideas for designing streets and public spaces. To jumpstart the event, the National Association of City Transportation Officials released the Urban Street Design Guide, collecting design principles, strategies, and case studies from across the country on how to best design and implement everything from cycletracks to bus rapid transit.