Michael Kimmelman Proposes A Queens-Brooklyn Waterfront Streetcar

The proposed streetcar route. (Courtesy New York Times)

The proposed streetcar route. (Courtesy New York Times)

As development along the Brooklyn and Queens’ waterfront has increased dramatically over the years, transportation options—for residents old and new—has not. The number of glass towers, startups, and parks along the East River has only been matched by style pieces on new “it” neighborhoods from Astoria to Red Hook. But, now, the New York Times’ Michael Kimmelman has used his platform to launch a plan to change that equation, and give these neighborhoods the transportation system they deserve.

Continue reading after the jump.

Letter to the Editor> Health Food and Historic Preservation

The Coignet Building in Gowanus, Brooklyn is believed to be the first concrete building in New York City. (David Gallagher / Flickr)

The Coignet Building in Gowanus, Brooklyn is believed to be the first concrete building in New York City. (David Gallagher / Flickr)

[Editor's Note: The following are reader-submitted responses to a pair of articles about the opening of an urban Whole Foods in Gowanus, Brooklyn, “Suburbs Meet City” (AN 03_03.05.2014), and the pending redevelopment of the Coignet Building on the site, “Set in Stone” (AN 03_03.05.2014). 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]

Thanks for the article (“Suburbs Meet CityAN 03_03.05.2014). About the note at the end referring to the project’s intent—is it possible that what could be a corporate marketing ploy on the front end positively contributes to a vibrant local culture? If consumers keep demanding this type of sensitive response from national corporations, I hope with time this business strategy evolves and matures from just local products and signs that say “Brooklyn” all the way to careful stewardship of a community, i.e. good use of the Coignet Building, etc. Thanks again.

Chris Hoal
Intern Architect
Gresham Smith & Partners

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New York City’s Vision Zero Arrives on Atlantic Avenue with “Arterial Slow Zones”

DOT Commissioner Trottenberg Announces Atlantic Avenue "Slow Zone." (Flickr / NYC DOT)

DOT Commissioner Trottenberg Announces Atlantic Avenue “Slow Zone.” (Flickr / NYC DOT)

Vision Zero is coming to Brooklyn and Queens‘ Atlantic Avenue. Nearly eight miles of the notoriously dangerous thoroughfare will be transformed into the first of 25 planned “arterial slow zones.” Last Wednesday—at the busy corner of Atlantic and Washington avenues—Department of Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg announced that the city is taking immediate steps to save lives by reducing the street’s speed limit from 30MPH to 25.

More after the jump.

Barclays Center’s Bald Spot to Get Green-Roof Toupee

The Barclays Center green roof. (Courtesy SHoP Architects)

The Barclays Center green roof. (Courtesy SHoP Architects)

Over one-hundred-thousand-square-feet of sedum will be implanted into the Barclays Center’s massive, logo-emblazoned, bald-spot of a roof. According to the Wall Street Journal, SHoP is designing the green topper for the one billion dollar arena. Plans for a public green space on top of the arena date back over a decade, but were later scrapped due to cost constraints.

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New York City’s Population Reaches All-Time High

East
Monday, March 31, 2014
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New York City Crowds ( Victor Villanueva / Flickr)

New York City Crowds ( Victor Villanueva / Flickr)

New York City is more jam-packed than ever. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the city’s population is 8,405,837, which is up more than 230,000 from 2010. The Bureau reports, “the increase is fueled by people continuing to move to the city, a decline in the number of people leaving the city, as well as the continued surplus of births over deaths due to life expectancy in the city reaching new record highs.” Every borough experienced population growth, but none as significantly as—duh—Brooklyn.

De Blasio and Domino Sugar Factory Developer At Odds Over Affordable Housing

Development, East
Monday, March 3, 2014
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Domino Sugar Factory Renderings. (Courtesy SHoP Architects and James Corner Field Operations)

Domino Sugar Factory Renderings. (Courtesy SHoP Architects and James Corner Field Operations)

The $1.5 billion redevelopment of Brooklyn’s Domino Sugar Factory has reached a potential breaking point just days before a vote to seal its fate. It’s New York Mayor Bill de Blasio against developer Jed Walentas in what can best be described as an old-fashioned standoff. The lines are drawn—here’s where things stand.

Continue reading after the jump.

On View> Erica Stoller & Melissa Murray Walk The Line With New Brooklyn Exhibition

Art, Design, East, On View
Friday, February 21, 2014
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Beneath the furthest known stack, 2013. (Courtesy A.I.R. Gallery)

Beneath the furthest known stack, 2013. (Courtesy A.I.R. Gallery)

Traverse
A.I.R. Gallery
Brooklyn, New York
Through March 2, 2014

Traverse is an exhibition of new works by Melissa Murray and Erica Stoller at A.I.R Gallery in Brooklyn’s DUMBO neighborhood. Murray’s work focuses on pausing her daily life to examine personalized images that are swiftly tucked away in her subconscious. Stoller makes wall related sculptures that relate to the plane of the wall and garners meaning from the surrounding area.

Continue reading after the jump.

Before & After> 25 of New York City’s Most Transformative Road Diets

dot_changes_16bdot_changes_16a

New York City has been adjusting to its new Mayor Bill De Blasio, who took office at the beginning of the year. The new mayor has been slowly revealing his team of commissioners who will guide the city’s continued transformation. As AN has noted many times before, De Blasio’s predecessor Michael Bloomberg and his team already left a giant mark on New York’s built environment.

With little more than paint, planters, and a few well-placed boulders, Bloomberg and former Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan‘s street interventions have been some of the most evident changes around the city. Whether it’s at Brooklyn’s Grand Army Plaza, above, or at Snøhetta’s redesigned Times Square, these road diets shaved off excess space previously turned over to cars and returned it to the pedestrian realm in dramatic fashion as these before-and-after views demonstrate.

As we continue to learn more about our new Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg, take a look back at 25 of the most exciting road diets and pedestrian plaza conversions across New York City from the Bloomberg era.

See more transformations after the jump.

Silent Light Installation Illuminated Sound Pollution in Brooklyn

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Silent Lights at Night (New York City Department of Transportation/Flickr)

First proposed in 2011, Brooklyn’s Silent Light installation has finally become a reality.  Located at the intersection of Park Avenue and Navy Street under the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway (BQE) in Red Hook, the series of gates frames a pedestrian walkway that passes through an area of heavy vehicular traffic. The structures are covered in LED lights activated by surrounding noise from cars to create fleeting light shows of various colors and patterns.

Continue reading after the jump.

Brooklyn Hotel Bossert Conversion Shuffles Architects, Takes Step Forward

Development, East, Preservation
Wednesday, January 8, 2014
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hotel_bossert_archpaper

(Courtesy Reading Tom/Flickr)

After several false-starts, plans to re-open the landmark building as a hotel appear to be underway. Jeffrey Holmes of Australian Architecture firm Woods Bagot is the latest figure attached to the project. Developers David Bistricer and Joseph Chetrit of the Chetrit Group purchased the Brooklyn property for $81 million from Watchtower Society in November 2012 but progress subsequently stalled.

Selldorf Architects and Gene Kaufman have both at times been tipped to lead the rennovation, but neither is currently affiliated with the project.  While initial prospects looked grim, the city has recently approved plans to change the building’s certificate of occupancy, allowing for construction to begin with an eye towards a summer re-opening, a year later than expected.

First Mods of World’s Largest Prefabricated Building Assembled in Brooklyn

Architecture, East, Technology
Monday, December 16, 2013
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First modular component of B2 tower hoisted up (Courtesy of DKC Public Relations, Marketing & Government Affairs)

First modular component of B2 tower hoisted up (Courtesy of DKC Public Relations)

Last Thursday, the first mods of the SHoP Architects’ prefabricated skyscraper—the B2 tower at Brooklyn’s megaproject, Atlantic Yards—were hoisted up and assembled into place. The 32-story residential tower, which will be half affordable housing, will rise within the Atlantic Yards development adjacent the Barclays Center. The modular components are being built locally in a 100,000 square foot facility in the Brooklyn Navy Yard. When construction is complete by end of 2014, it will be the world’s tallest pre-fabricated building.

Changes Ahead for North Brooklyn: Two Massive Projects Move Forward

Architecture, Development, East
Monday, December 16, 2013
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SHoP-designed proposal for Domino Sugar Refinery (COURTESY SHOP ARCHITECTS AND JAMES CORNER FIELD OPERATIONS)

SHoP-designed proposal for Domino Sugar Refinery (COURTESY SHOP ARCHITECTS AND JAMES CORNER FIELD OPERATIONS)

Last week was a big week for development in the already condo-saturated area of north Brooklyn. Brownstoner reported that City Council gave the massive Greenpoint Landing proposal the green light to construct 10 towers along the East River waterfront. While the project already had the approval to build as of right, the developers made a few concessions including an agreement to build a public school, offer free shuttle service to transit nodes from the complex, bump up the number of affordable housing units, and allocate money towards Newton Barge Park.

In Williamsburg, the SHoP-designed Domino Sugar Refinery proposal (pictured) received Community Board One’s approval. Two Trees also had as of right to build its string of towers, but the developer is now seeking to increase the height of the buildings and add more green space. Board members requested a few tweaks to affordable housing options and retail.

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