Stimulus, Coming to a Street Near You

East Coast, Other
Tuesday, March 31, 2009
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New York City's stimulus projects. (WNYC)

New York City's two-dozen stimulus projects. (WNYC)

First Recovery.gov, now the NYC Stimulus Tracker. Yesterday, when Mayor Michael Bloomberg unveiled the $1.1 billion in new infrastructure spending resulting from the city’s cut of the federal stimulus bill, he also announced the creation of a special website to lend transparency to the process, not unlike the model set out by our dear mayor. (Judging by WNYC and ProPublica’s Shovelwatch map, though, everyone’s getting in on the act, with all but five states and numerous municipalities launching such sites.) Read More

Shovel Oh So Ready

Other
Tuesday, March 31, 2009
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Architect and friend of AN Jeremiah Joseph writes in with this report of the March 27 WORKac lecture, “Shovel Ready,” at Parsons.

Amale Andraos and Dan Wood, of the 2008 PS1 Warm-Up pavilion fame, tag team presented their work to a standing room only crowd. With a range of projects, from buildings to urban proposals, the duo showed the office’s penchant for both intelligence and wit. Like many young offices most of WORKac’s work is still in the realm of unbuilt projects, but with five competitions already completed in 2009 this office has no intention of waiting around casually for the work to knock on their door. Read More

Artists to Redesign Biennale Facilities

Other
Monday, March 30, 2009
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The bar and cafeteria designed by Tobias Rehberger. (all images courtesy Fondazione La Biennale di Venezia)

The Venice biennale was founded in 1895 in one of La Serenissima’s few green spaces, the Giardini di Castello. It has occupied a random series of buildings in the park, which include national pavilions (the Belgians built the first in 1907 and the U.S. joined the party in 1930) and an undistinguished hall called the Italian pavilion since the late 1930s. Today the organization that operates the biennales (art, architecture, film etc.) announced plans to change the name of the Italian pavilion in the giardini to the Palazzo delle Esposizioni della Biennale and upgrade its aging infrastructure. While these changes will be welcome by the public, the spaces are all being designed by artists, not architects. Read More

Freedom for Pataki

Other
Friday, March 27, 2009
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George Pataki, back in his gubernatorial days, walks through the temporary PATH station. (DTE)

George Pataki, back in his gubernatorial days, walks through the temporary PATH station. (DTE)

And here we thought they’d dropped the name Freedom Tower awhile ago, around the time Freedom Fries went out of fashion. But according to the reports seemingly everywhere today (it was front page news in both the News and the Post), now it’s official–the Port Authority has dropped the name. The man who came up with it, however, has quite a few things to say to that. According to the Observer, Pataki was none too pleased about the decision: Read More

A Crane Regulation Too Far?

Other
Friday, March 27, 2009
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March 16, 2008 (MSNBC)

March 16, 2008 (MSNBC)

As decades-old federal crane and derrick regulations continue to go under review, Engineering News-Record reports that New York Buildings Commissioner Robert LiMandri fears the city’s rules may be overruled when the less stringent federal regulations are finally enacted. LiMandri testified on March 18 at a four-day Occupational Safety and Health Administration hearing in Washington, D.C. “Reliance on this industry to regulate itself would be a fundamental mistake,” he said. Read More

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Esto-ordinary Videos

Other
Thursday, March 26, 2009
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(Albert Vecerka/Esto)

“Everybody’s doing it.”

That’s how Erica Stoller of Esto described the august architectural photo agency’s foray into web video. Now don’t fret. At the heart of these videos remains Esto’s unparalleled still camerawork, but given these changing times, experimentation is in order. And, as Stoller’s colleague Joel Sanders explained, the philosophy remains the same. Read More

Allied in Ann Arbor

Other
Thursday, March 26, 2009
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Richard Barnes

All photographs by Richard Barnes

While unlikely to receive the scrutiny or attention of the Museum of Arts and Design in New York, the new addition to the University of Michigan Museum of Art is something of a return to form for Brad Cloepfil and Allied Works. Read More

Inside The Mind Of Moss

Other
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
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At SCI-Arc last Wednesday Eric Owen Moss, introduced by good friend Thom Mayne (who broke Moss’s brain down into its essential parts, as seen above), lectured on his firm’s most recent projects; an impressive combination of new technology, structural research, and wild rule-bending that has unfortunately produced precious few actual buildings, but many competition near-misses around the world. The good news is that this trend is turning around, Read More

MTA Doomsday Rally

Other
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
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Transportation Alternatives has planned a rally tomorrow to pressure Albany into rescuing the beleaguered MTA, a move supported by the Governor and Assembly but not yet, if ever, by the Senate. We can only hope the actual rally is as, uh, exciting as the video they produced to promote it. Stop by on your way to work and see if the dragons actually show up.

Stars to Trash City Sanitation Facility

Other
Monday, March 23, 2009
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The downtown glitterati are upset about the planned sanitation and salt storage facility planned at Canal Street and the West Side highway. Read More

Mike And Ah-nold Go to Washington

Other
Sunday, March 22, 2009
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Our dear friends Mike Bloomberg and Arnold Schwarzenegger and their pal Ed Rendell dropped by Washington this weekend, first to visit with President Obama and then, today, Meet the Press. They were in town to promote their two-month old partnership, Building America’s Future, which seeks to promote the reconstruction of the nation’s aging infrastructure along with its expansion into the future. Read More

Grand (Central) Slam for MTA

Other
Friday, March 20, 2009
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Trump has held court in Grand Central for 30 years.

Trump holds court above Grand Central. (AIA Archiblog)

Donald Trump’s Grand Central Tennis Club may see its last baller this spring. According to the Daily News, the tony courts, long frequented by politicians, celebrities, and tennis pros, will be closed to make way for a new rest area for Metro-North conductors and train engineers. Trump has leased the space from Metro-North for 30 years, paying $4 a square foot, about 4% of the average Grand Central going rate. Read More

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