LYNN PROJECT SINKS. Bummer. SFMOMA, soon closing for several months for its Snøhetta-designed expansion, was hoping to keep things interesting by hiring Greg Lynn to design a floating exhibition in the San Francisco Bay. The project, coordinated with sail maker North Sails, would have included 200 sculptural chairs (made out of carbon fiber—the same material used in America’s Cup boats’ sails) under a large canopy on a large barge, providing clear views of the America’s Cup, which will soon be held in San Francisco. According to North Sails, Lynn may now produce some of the chairs for Vitra instead.
MAS Takes on Grand Central. The Municipal Arts Society is celebrating Grand Central‘s upcoming centenial, by holding a design challenge to reimagine the grand dame for the next 100 years. Foster & Partners, SOM, and WXY have each been invited to revamp public spaces inside and outside the terminal. More DOT pedestrian plazas anyone? The results of will be shown at the society’s third annual Summit for New York City on October 18. (Photo: Tom Stoelker/AN)
Announcing the Gehry Prize. Frank Gehry has won every architecture award you can think of, from the Pritzker to the AIA Gold Medal. Now he has one named after him, thanks to his $100,000 donation to SCI-Arc. The Gehry Prize will be awarded annually to the school’s best graduate thesis. The first prize will be handed out this Sunday at SCI-Arc’s graduation. Gehry has been a SCI-Arc trustee since 1990, and has been involved with the school since its inception in 1972. Which reminds us: SCI-Arc will be 40 next year.
Inwood Hill’s Land Artist Young Jee Passes Away. Young Jee, the land artist who carved his work into earth of Inwood Hill has died, DNAinfo reports. Far from the galleries flanking the High Line, Jee’s quiet compositions served as an anecdote to high concept, in keeping with the park which is the largest natural tract of land in Manhattan. (Photo: Tom Stoelker / AN)
Tacha Sculpture Saved!. In an about face, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie reversed a decision to demolish Athena Tacha’s Green Acres, a site specific installation at the State’s Department of Environmental Protection. Tacha is largely credited with bringing the land art movement into the social context of architecture. The 1985 sculpture’s staying power remains contingent upon private funding to restore the piece. With Art Pride New Jersey, Preservation New Jersey, and The Cultural Landscape Foundation all rallying to the cause, Green Acres looks like it will remain the place to be.
SPURA Redevelopment Sails Through City Planning. The planned 1.65 million square foot redevelopment of two blocks of the Lower East Side was approved by the Department of City Planning with no requests for changes, according to DNAinfo. The Seward Park Urban Renewal Area (SPURA) is a Moses-era slum clearance project that has stood vacant since the 1960s. The redevelopment would include 900 apartments, 500 of which would be designated as permanently affordable housing, as well as retail, community, and green spaces. The plan now needs approval from City Council to proceed.
Mies-En-Scène. Mies better have a big old casket, because he’s undoubtedly been doing a lot of rolling over lately. First, the project to convert the lower floors of the IBM building into an eye-rolling five-star hotel called the Langham Chicago is back on. And now the city of Detroit and HUD are fighting over the fate of the foreclosed Lafayette apartment buildings. Let’s just hope they end up in the hands of a preservationist. (Photo: Courtesy Langham Chicago)
With New Rankings, Pedaling Cleveland Forward. Despite an increased focus on sustainable transportation, Cleveland lost its spot on Bicycling Magazine’s list of the 50 most bike-friendly cities. With New York’s bike share program delayed, DC reporting increased bike ownership, and Chicago rolling out new protected lanes, efforts to promote pedaling in Cleveland have not dominated national bike news. But after landing 39th on the magazine’s list in 2011, the city was not named this year. That prompted Rust Wire to rally for Cleveland to “boldly prioritize bicycle infrastructure,” building on a recent safety ordinance considered one of the most progressive in the state. (Photo: Spacing Magazine/Flickr)
Join AN for a Glass House Conversation. Inspired by our upcoming trip to the Venice Architecture Biennale and the entry for the U.S. Pavilion, AN is hosting a convo on the Glass House Conversations site today through September 2. Talk to us about ways of affecting change in the built environment—are you an advocate of spontaneous intervention? Critical compliance within the established system? And what do these terms mean to you? (Just to stir the pot, we’re using a debate format.) Weigh in with your examples and opinions!
Rail Picking Up Steam in the East and Midwest. According to the New York Times, Amtrak is gaining riders in the northeast corridor thanks in part to arduous airport security procedures and frequent airline delays. Amtrak also beats airline shuttles in on-time arrivals and proximity to major business centers. In Chicago, the Chicago Transit Authority is counting 16 months of ridership increases for both rail and bus lines. The rail system has seen 51 consecutive months of ridership growth, including a 6.2 percent jump over the last six months. Last year the CTA carried 523 million riders. [Photo: Bruce Fingerhood/Flickr]
City Set to Sell Air Rights to Build Greepoint Park. In yet another example of public private park partnerships, New York City has put out an RFP for a developer to buy air rights for land near Newtown Creek in Brooklyn, DNA.info reports. The deal would allow the city to finance a promised park on the Greenpoint waterfront and to move MTA tram tracks that currently sit on the site.
Columbus Statue Becomes a Tabletop Tchotchke. In one of the more off-beat installations to come from New York’s Public Art Fund, Tatzu Nishi’s Discovering Columbus will feature the statue of Christopher Columbus—of Columbus Circle fame—as the center piece to a pedestrian living room environment. Scaffolding is already rising around the statue’s pedestal and will eventually culminate in the platform holding a cozy lounge that will open to the public on September 20.