NYC Passes Zoning For Commercial Development on Governors Island. Yesterday City Council green lighted new zoning to allow commercial development in 40 historic structures on Governors Island. This change will introduce restaurants and retail establishments to the sleepy, mostly park-filled island, and also help to generate revenue for the upkeep and operations of the island’s parkland. One stipulation of the rezoning is a commitment from The Trust for Governors Island to use union labor for all construction projects. (Photo: Courtesy Trust for Governors Island)
Final Decision: City Council Votes for 10-Year Permit for MSG. This afternoon City Council voted 47-1 to limit Madison Square Garden’s permit to 10 years. The arena, sitting atop Penn Station, had requested a permit in perpetuity, but a coalition of government officials, preservationists, and transportation advocates protested and pushed for a truncated 10-year renewal. Critics hope this term limit will ultimately encourage the re-location of the Garden to allow for a complete overhaul of the train station and an improved arena. According to DNA Info, the station is “North America’s busiest rail station,” and many have argued that it is beyond capacity and poses a safety risk for commuters. (Photo: doriandsp/Flickr)
Free Again? Cooper Union students’ 65-day occupation of the President’s office has come to an end. The board of trustees, administration, and student occupiers announced this month that the school will now reconsider its controversial decision to end its tradition of free tuition. A new proposal establishes a “Working Group”—consisting of a selection of trustees, faculty members, students, alumni, and administrators—to examine the school’s finances and come up with a strategy to reinstate its full-tuition scholarship for students. The Working Group will provide recommendations to the Board of Trustees by December 1, 2013. (Photo: Courtesy Free Cooper Union / Facebook)
Five NYC Mayoral Candidates Camp Out in Public Housing for One Night. Mayor candidates experienced first hand just what it is like to live in New York City public housing this Saturday. DNA Info reported that Reverend Al Sharpton, affiliated with the National Action Network, organized a sleepover for five of the contenders: Bill de Blasio, John Liu, Christine Quinn, Bill Thompson, and Anthony Weiner. The mayoral hopefuls camped out overnight in sleeping bags in the Lincoln Houses in East Harlem. New York City Public Housing Authority (NYCHA) has been plagued by budget cuts and a 4000,000 back log of repairs, only exacerbated by the damage caused by Hurricane Sandy. (Photo: eastcolfax/Flickr)
Seth Pinsky Leaves NYC Economic Development Corporation. After nearly five years at the New York City Economic Development Corporation, Seth Pinsky (pictured) is leaving public life for a position at RXR Realty. As president of the EDC, Pinsky ushered in a number of major real estate deals including Atlantic Yards, Hudson Yards, and the Cornell Tech Campus. He also was charged with the task of heading up the Special Initiative on Resiliency and Rebuilding after Hurricane Sandy, which gave birth to “A Stronger, More Resilient New York.” Mayor Bloomberg has nominated Kyle E. Kimball, currently the executive director of NYCEDC, to take on the role of President. (Photo: Courtesy NYC EDC)
Slow Boil. The designers at New York-based Atopia Innovation, must have been stewing over the past year. Although the gag order imposed on all participating architects and designers by London’s Olympic Organizing Committee (a.k.a. LOCOG) was lifted in January, Atopia only stepped forward in late June to say that the Olympic Cauldron designed by Thomas Heatherwick and used in the 2012 opening ceremonies seems to have been directly inspired by studies Atopia delivered to LOCOG between 2006 and 2008. Check out the sketchbook that seems to prove the point at atopiainnovation.com. (Photo: Courtesy Thomas Heatherwick)
Friday> Cocktails & Conversations with William Menking & Richard Weller at the Center for Architecture. Tomorrow evening, please join AN‘s very own William Menking and landscape architect Richard Weller at the Center for Architecture at 6:30 p.m. as the pair kick off the weekend with a unique cocktail prepared by Toby Cecchini, author and bar tender. Cecchini will prepare a specially mixed drink inspired by Weller’s work. One drink is included with admission: $12.50 for AIA members; $15 for non-members.
(Very) Bike Friendly Streets. It’s summer time! And you know what that means, bikes! Many (very) enthusiastic cyclists followed up National Bike Month by (very) carefully covering their bike seats and stripping down for the World Naked Bike Ride! (NSFW) Yes, on June 8 cyclists all around the country rode completely or partially naked through the streets of their respective metropolises. In San Francisco they braved a recent ban on public nudity. In Los Angeles they cruised through the hipster zones of Silver Lake and Echo Park, and in Portland they even had a naked marching band to cheer them on. If that’s not an argument for bike friendly streets, we don’t know what is.
New Rochelle Launches Waterfront Competition. Today, the city of New Rochelle, New York, officially launched the three-part Waterfront Gateway Design Competition, which hopes to draw imaginative plans for the redevelopment of the city’s waterfront and downtown communities. For more detailed information about the competition follow this link!
Baumann Named Cooper-Hewitt Director. Come June 16th the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum in New York, the only museum in the United States devoted solely to historic and contemporary design, will welcome a new director, Caroline Baumann. Baumann, who has served as acting director of the museum since September 2012, in her new role will primarily oversee the renovation of the museum and the reinstallation of its galleries, scheduled to open in fall of 2014. “The new Cooper-Hewitt visitor experience—physical and digital—will be a global first, a transformative force for all in 2014 and beyond, impacting the way people think about and understand design,” announced Baumann in a press release. (Photo: Erin Baiano)
Thursday> SMPS-NY Communications & Industry Leadership Awards Gala. Tomorrow night SMPS-NY (Society for Marketing Professional Services) invites you to their Annual Awards Gala where they will proudly honor the outstanding achievements of members of the architecture, engineering, and construction industries by announcing the winners of the 2013 Communications & Industry Leadership Awards. This year a group of jurors, including Molly Heintz, Contributing Editor at The Architect’s Newspaper, carefully sorted through 200 entries and selected six winners. This years winners include SBLM Architects for their Brand Identity, Hausman for their extraordinary Event/Holiday Piece, Perkins+ Will for their Marketing Campaign, and Dattner Architects for their website. Eric Schlau, Marketing Coordinator at MBI Group was the recipient of the Mary Findlen Professional Grant and Patricia Neumann, CPSM was awarded the Industry Leadership Award. The festive gala, which will be held at Providence, a spacious and elegant event-venue located near Columbus Circle, will feature a cocktail, beer and wine reception as well as a sit down dinner.
HPD Helps Out Homeowners. More than six months after Hurricane Sandy swept through New York City, homeowners are still struggling with the aftermath of the storm. To help with the recovery efforts, the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) has issued a Request for Qualification looking for developers to rebuild one- to four-unit homes in the city that were damaged by the storm. Funding for the effort will come from Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery money, and all projects must meet the requirements of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The deadline for proposals is June 5, 2013.