Open Streets Events Rolling Out Across the Country This Summer

Summer Streets 2011 (New York City Department of Transportation/Flickr)

Summer Streets 2011 (New York City Department of Transportation/Flickr)

The Open Streets movement is a wildly popular tool in the Tactical Urbanist‘s arsenal. The concept is simple: shut down city streets to automobile traffic for a day so pedestrians and cyclists can fully utilize our most plentiful public spaces. Cities from New York to Los Angeles now celebrate their open spaces with programs that are about to kick off for the summer season. Here’s a roundup of some of the top programs around the country.

View upcoming open streets events after the jump.

BKSK-Designed Topper for the Meatpacking District Gets Landmarks’ Blessing

BKSK's revised design for 9-19 9th Avenue. (BKSK Architects)

BKSK’s revised design for 9-19 9th Avenue. (BKSK Architects)

And another glass and metal addition is set to rise atop a low-rise building in the Meatpacking District. The Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) has voted to approve the BKSK-designed topper to the two-story building at 9–19 9th Avenue, which is best known for housing Keith McNally’s famous French bistro, Pastis. Continue reading after the jump.

New York City Traffic Safety Laws Signed by Mayor De Blasio Seek To Strengthen Vision Zero Plan

Mayor de Blasio signing the legislation on Monday. (New York City Mayor's Office)

Mayor de Blasio signing the legislation on Monday. (New York City Mayor’s Office)

In his ongoing effort to eliminate traffic fatalities through Vision Zero, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has signed 11 new traffic safety bills. According to Streetsblog, the bills “suspend the licenses of dangerous taxi drivers, require the installation of 20 mph Slow Zones, and make it a misdemeanor to strike a pedestrian or cyclist with the right of way, among other changes.”

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Kohn Pedersen Fox Sprouting Glass Superlatives Around New York City

101 Tribeca's pinnacle. (Courtesy Kohn Pederson Fox)

101 Tribeca’s pinnacle. (Courtesy Kohn Pedersen Fox)

Kohn Pedersen Fox (KPF) is racking up an impressive collection of superlatives with a host of new glass towers in New York City. Of course there is Hudson Yards where a glossy KPF-designed building will become the tallest tower at the country’s largest private development site, but that is just the start of it.

Continue reading after the jump.

Details of Tadao Ando’s New York City Residential Building Unveiled

The apartments at 152 Elizabeth.

The apartments at 152 Elizabeth. (Courtesy Tadao Ando)

Since news about a Tadao Ando–designed residential building in Manhattan’s Nolita neighborhood broke in March, anticipation has been building about what the Pritzker Prize–winning starchitect had planned for his first large-scale project in New York City. Now, renderings of the seven-story project have been published by Dezeen, but they offer a frustratingly vague sense of what’s in store for Elizabeth Street.

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Brooklyn Dominates 2014 Municipal Art Society MASterworks Awards

Architecture, Awards, East
Wednesday, June 18, 2014
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The Weeksville Heritage Center by Caples Jefferson Architects took the MASterworks top honor. (NIC LEHOUX)

The Weeksville Heritage Center by Caples Jefferson Architects took the MASterworks top honor. (NIC LEHOUX)

For over 120 years, the Municipal Art Society has been an important organization in New York City’s efforts to promote a more livable environment and preserve the best of its past. It’s successful preservation campaigns and advocacy for better architecture—such as its advocacy to rebuild a better Penn Station—are well known. Now the organization has announced its annual MASterworks Awards, and of the nine buildings selected this year as honorees, many are in Brooklyn, confirming that borough’s continuing upgrading evolution.

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Towers by Thomas Leeser and Enrique Norten Break Ground in Brooklyn

Enrique Norten's tower along Flatbush Avenue (left) and Thomas Leeser's hotel are under construction. (Courtesy Respective Firms)

Enrique Norten’s tower along Flatbush Avenue (left) and Thomas Leeser’s hotel are under construction. (Courtesy Respective Firms)

Construction has started on two towers set to rise in the BAM Cultural District in Fort Greene, Brooklyn. Unlike most new projects in the area, one of the buildings to rise off Flatbush Avenue, a 32-story structure designed by Brooklyn-based architect Thomas Leeser, will not be luxury apartments, but a 200-room boutique hotel run by Marriot. The tower is one of the most architecturally distinct high-rises to arrive in Brooklyn in quite some time, with prominent, asymmetrical carve-outs along its glass facade that make it appear as if someone—or something—has slashed through its skin with a knife.

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Winning Crowdsourced Designs Unveiled for New York City Hotel

The work space. (Pierre Levesque via PSFK and Prodigy Network)

The work space. (Pierre Levesque via PSFK and Prodigy Network)

It is only fitting that a crowdfunded hotel slated for New York City has a crowdsourced design as well. For its new, extended-stay hotel at 17 John Street, developer Prodigy Network, along with design blog PSFK, launched the Prodigy Design Lab, which allowed designers from around the world to submit plans for the project’s interior spaces and digital services. After 70 submissions were received and 10,000 votes cast, three winners have been announced.

COntinue reading after the jump.

Brooklyn’s Kentile Floors Sign to Be Disassembled And Relocated

Design, East, News, Preservation
Friday, June 13, 2014
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The Kentile Floors sign in 2004. (Ranjit / Flickr)

The Kentile Floors sign in 2004. (Ranjit / Flickr)

A compromise has been reached in the heated battle over the fate of Brooklyn’s iconic Kentile Floors sign. The New York Times reported that the sign’s owner will dismantle the structure and donate its red letters to the Gowanus Alliance, a local group which plans to reinstall the sign nearby. For that to happen, though, the eight-story, 50-year-old sign must first be removed from its current rooftop home without breaking. “There are some hurdles to clear,” reported the Times. “The permits require that the 20-foot-high letters be reduced to four-by-four-foot sections and sent down a debris chute off the roof.” City Councilman Brad Lander, who recently launched a petition to save the sign, told the paper he hopes the letters can be removed with a pulley and not “crammed down a chute.”

 

 

Drop Your Drawers For Cycling: Vision Zero Clothing Comes to Brooklyn

City Terrain, East, Transportation
Thursday, June 12, 2014
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vision-zero-clothing

Friday the 13th just got a whole lot scarier. Tomorrow, on the tail of The World Naked Bike Ride in Portland, Oregon (NSFW Link), a similar clothing-optional bicycle boosting event is coming to Brooklyn. Topically dubbed Vision Zero Clothing (in what must be an honest homage to New York Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Vision Zero plan, which proposes to stop people from getting run over by cars), the event is scheduled to get underway at 6:00 p.m. at Grand Ferry Park in Williamsburg (which, incidentally, is a favorite hangout of the Hasidic Jewish community).

More information after the jump.

ASLA New York to Honor Rebuild by Design Champion, Leader of Governors Island

Governors Island (Courtesy The Trust for Governors Island)

The head of the Trust for Governors Island is among those being honored. (Timothy Schenck)

The New York chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year at the 2014 President’s Dinner Gala. For this occasion, the ASLA has selected the Rockefeller Foundation’s Judith Rodin, the Trust for Governors Island’s Leslie Koch, and the NY1 News Organization as their honored guests.

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Kentile Floors Sign in Gowanus Brooklyn is (Likely) Doomed

Art, Design, Development, East, Preservation
Wednesday, June 11, 2014
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The Kentile Sign in Gowanus. (Flickr /

The Kentile Sign in Gowanus. (Flickr / ekonon)

The industrial past of Gowanus, Brooklyn is rapidly disappearing as the neighborhood transitions into a more mixed-use future. As the low-slung factories and warehouses continue to disappear, the iconic, eight-story, Kentile Floors sign could go with it.

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