Vice President Biden and Governor Cuomo announce design competition for New York City’s airports

Completely unofficial, not-going-to-happen rendering of Laguardia. (Courtesy Neoscape & Global Gateway Alliance)

Completely unofficial, not-going-to-happen rendering of Laguardia. (Courtesy Neoscape & Global Gateway Alliance)

If you’re not a fan of Auntie Anne’s Pretzels, then LaGuardia Airport really has nothing to offer you. Besides travel-friendly food options like “jalapeño and cheese pretzel dogs” the aging, dirty, sometimes-leaking airport is by all accounts a disaster. Just ask Vice President Joe Biden who once said that if he blindfolded someone and took them to LaGuardia they would think they were in “some third world country.” The Vice President adding, “I’m not joking.”

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Letter to the Editor> Golden Age of Rail

Denver's expanded Union Station. (Robert Polidori)

Denver’s expanded Union Station. (Robert Polidori)

[Editor's Note: The following comment was left at archpaper.com in reference to John Gendall’s feature article on multi-modal transit hubs (“The Golden Ticket” AN 07_08.06.2914_MW). Opinions expressed in letters to the editor do not necessarily reflect the opinions or sentiments of the newspaper. AN welcomes reader letters, which could appear in our regional print editions. To share your opinion, please email editor@archpaper.com]

The original design of all grand U.S. railroad stations fit the architectural design foundation “form follows function.” Unfortunately the years have not been kind to these railroad stations. Real estate developers have coveted the rail yard property for non-transportation development. In some cases these rail yards have yielded to interstates, highways, and streets. This has transformed the depot (waiting room, ticket offices, etc.) into just “a nice old building that used to serve the traveling public.”

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Pictorial> Minneapolis’ downtown transit hub by Perkins Eastman, “green central”

Minneapolis hosted the Major League Baseball All Star Game this year, and many of the 41,000 people in attendance used some new public transit to get there. In May the city opened Target Field Station—a multimodal transit hub and public space at the foot of the Twins’ Target Field that designers Perkins Eastman hope will catalyze development.

More photos after the jump.

Archtober Building of the Day #17> East 34th Street Ferry Terminal

Architecture, East, Transportation
Friday, October 17, 2014
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(Eve Dilworth Rosen)

Archtober Building of the Day #17
East 34th Street Ferry Terminal
E 35th Street at FDR Drive
KVA Matx

Public architecture is alive. The 34th Street Ferry Terminal, designed by KVA Architects, integrates structure, social use, the natural environment, and digital technology to realize an architecture that is sensitive and responsive to its surroundings.  This approach, called “soft” or “resilient” infrastructure, creates a dynamic civic space in which flows of water, people, and information are manifested in the structure.  Inspired by Walt Whitman’s 1900 poem, “Crossing Brooklyn Ferry,” the design emphasizes the fecundity of the waterfront and the multiple uses of the pier, not only that of the commuter but also that of the wanderer, viewer, or fisherman.  Technology accentuates elements of nature so that the commuter might slow down, absorbing the light, water, and the beautiful terminal, before entering or re-entering the city.

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Seattle’s bike share program, Pronto, launches today!

Transportation, West
Monday, October 13, 2014
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A bike sharing station in Seattle's Belltown neighborhood. Bikes will be delivered on Monday. (Ariel Rosenstock)

Here’s one bike sharing station in Seattle’s Belltown neighborhood, with bikes coming Monday. (Ariel Rosenstock)

In the last few years, urban bike sharing has popped up all across the United States: in cities like Boston, New York, Washington D.C., Miami, San Francisco, and Chicago among others. Finally Seattle is getting it’s first bike sharing program, Pronto Cycle Share, today.

Continue reading after the jump.

Biker’s Tan: Citi Bike system opens in Miami next month

East, Transportation, Urbanism
Thursday, October 9, 2014
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Citi Bike Miami. (Courtesy ciitbikemiami.com)

Citi Bike Miami. (Courtesy ciitbikemiami.com)

By now, you probably know about Citi Bike‘s woes in New York City: the damaged equipment, the broken seats, and—what else?—oh, right the money problems. But with a bailout reportedly imminent, and expansion likely next year, things are starting to looking up for the bike share system. And that’s not all—the blue bikes aren’t just expanding around New York, they’re headed down to the palm tree-lined streets of Miami as well.

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Winners announced in vision42design competition to redesign New York’s 42nd Street

Awards, East, Transportation, Urbanism
Wednesday, October 8, 2014
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(Courtesy vision42design)

(Courtesy vision42design)

The 7 member vision42design jury met on October 3 and spent the day looking at nearly 200 digital design proposals to transform New York City’s 42nd Street. They easily decided on a list of ten projects that they considered the most outstanding. In a more contested second round of discussions, the jury was able to narrow these projects to a short list of three professional projects and a student-designed project to move onto the second round of the competition.

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Gritty site underneath Boston’s I-93 to become public space…and parking lot

Art, East, Transportation, Urbanism
Monday, October 6, 2014
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01_Infra_Space_BeforeThe possible future of "Infra Space 1". (Courtesy MassDOT)

 

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation wants to transform a gritty site underneath Interstate 93 in Boston into a public space that people actually want to visit—or at least park their car. BostInno reported that the $6 million project, called “Infra-Space 1”, is part of MassDot’s wider initiative to give new life (and lighting) to vacant lots underneath the city’s elevated infrastructure.

Continue reading after the jump.

First look at new plan for Philly’s 40th Street Trolley Terminal

The trolley terminal revamp. (Courtesy Andropogon Associates via University City District)

The trolley terminal revamp. (Courtesy Andropogon Associates via University City District)

Philadelphia is getting tantalizingly close to transforming its 40th Street Trolley terminal into an inviting public plaza. Plans to remake the one-acre space have been in the works for about a decade, but things officially got started in 2012 when the University City District (UCD)—a collection of businesses and institutions near the terminal—was awarded a William Penn Foundation planning grant for the project.

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New York City receives $191 million in federal funds for new Staten Island Ferry vessels

East, Sustainability, Transportation
Monday, September 22, 2014
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U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx and NYC Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg. (NYC DOT)

U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx and NYC Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg. (NYC DOT)

By 2019, two new Staten Island Ferry vessels should be crisscrossing the New York Harbor. Outside of the Whitehall Ferry Terminal this morning, United States Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx announced that New York City had been awarded a $191 million grant to design and construct these vessels that will be more agile and storm-resilient than what’s in the ferry’s current fleet. These funds will also allow the city to invest in resiliency measures at the ferry’s terminals and at surrounding public transit systems. This federal grant was just one component of the U.S. DOT’s latest round of Sandy-related funding, which provides over $3 billion for resiliency measures for the East Coast’s public transit systems. Roughly 90 percent of this money is allocated for projects in New York State and New Jersey.

Continue reading after the jump.

VIDEO> Repairing and Replacing Two New York City Region Bridges

The New Tappan Zee Bridge. (COURTESY TAPAN ZEE CONTRACTORS)

The New Tappan Zee Bridge. (COURTESY TAPAN ZEE CONTRACTORS)

Bridges. They can be grand and majestic, awe-inspiring symbols of engineering ingenuity, city-defining pieces of infrastructure, and, as you may have heard by now, at serious risk of collapsing. To stop that from happening, engineers basically have two options: repair or replace. Both of those strategies are currently pursued in the New York City region.

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Eavesdrop> The Mean Streets of Suffolk County

City Terrain, East, Eavesdroplet, Transportation
Wednesday, September 17, 2014
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Center Drive South in Suffolk County. (Courtesy Google)

Center Drive South in Suffolk County. (Courtesy Google)

Bicycling magazine may have named New York City the nation’s best city for cycling—surprising many from calmer towns—but even more stunning is their selection of the worst place to pedal: nearby Suffolk county. Don’t worry Suf-folks, it’s not strictly personal. You’re way of life is symbolic of our national transportation imbalance. “Really, right now, the worst city is in the suburbs,” said Bicycling’s editor in chief Bill Strickland. “We picked Suffolk to be  emblematic of that.” And urbanists wonder why they get tagged as elitists.

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