Consensus among the city’s political players is growing in favor of the relocation of Madison Square Garden from its home atop Penn Station. Yesterday, City Council held a public hearing to discuss the future of the Garden and the overcrowded train terminal. Filmmaker Spike Lee, surrounded by an entourage of former Knicks players, testified on behalf of the Garden. According to the Wall Street Journal, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn expressed her support of a ten-year term limit for the arena in a letter addressed to the Garden’s President and CEO, Hank Ratner, on Wednesday. The owners of the arena have requested a permit in perpetuity, however, several government officials and advocacy groups—including Borough President Scott Stringer, the Municipal Art Society (MAS), and the Regional Plan Association—have called for limiting the permit to 10 years. This comes after the City Planning Commission voted unanimously for a 15-year permit extension.
New York City-based artists and architects Jieun Yang and Ji Young Kim have secured a spot in First Park, located between East First and Houston Streets near Second Avenue, for a futuristic Urban Forest as part of the 2013 Public Summer installation program, overseen by contemporary architecture group SUPERFRONT. According to the group, “This program is sponsored every year by SUPERFRONT to provide an opportunity for young and emerging designers to produce a temporary installation in New York City while also fostering a community conversation about architecture and design.”
On May 19, SUPERFRONT in partnership with First Street Green hosted a competition to decide which artwork would occupy the space this summer. Although still awaiting approval from the Parks Department, the winning design will likely be installed from July through August and will be open to the public on the weekends.
After Hurricane Sandy swept through the east coast, it left Water Street, a sleepy corridor in lower Manhattan, even more deserted. But now, Department of City Planning (DCP) has proposed a zoning text amendment to enliven the quiet downtown stretch by allowing for seating, art installations, food trucks, concerts, and other such events and amenities on privately owned public spaces (POPS). Sprinkled throughout the city, POPS are unique public areas that are maintained by developers for public use in return for more floor space in their development.
Frank Gehry, who is currently working on Facebook’s new Silicon Valley campus in Menlo Park, California, will design a new office for the company’s New York-based engineering team at 770 Broadway in Manhattan. The move will nearly double the company’s current workspace.
In a note from Serkan Piantino, Facebook New York’s engineering team site director, the new offices will share many of the same features of Facebook’s California headquarters, but with a twist that is uniquely New York. Approximately 100,000 square feet across two floors will be updated with open, collaborative spaces, conference rooms, cozy and casual work areas, writeable surfaces, and integrated video conferencing equipment. There are also plans to build out a full service kitchen for Facebook employees.
At 770 Broadway, Facebook will join tenants AOL/Huffington Post, Adweek, JCrew, and Structure Tone. The move from their current offices at 335 Madison Avenue is scheduled for early 2014 under a 10-year lease with building owners Vornado Realty Trust.
For nearly a decade now, New Yorkers have been turning their focus on revitalizing the city’s waterfront, a trend that has only grown in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. WXY Architecture’s East River Blueway and Bloomberg’s Vision 2020 are two examples of initiatives that seek to build sustainable, accessible, and engaging shorelines for the city. But with summer approaching and the days heating up, what city dwellers may want most from their estuaries is a cool, clean dip. Brooklyn-based design firms Family Architects and PlayLab hope to make that dream possible, but they still need $250,000 to get started.
The South Street Seaport‘s Pier 17 won’t be around much longer in its current form as it awaits a $200 million overhaul by SHoP Architects, but this summer, the neighborhood surrounding it has some exciting plans in store that bring the hottest trends in temporary urbanism to the waterfront site. Starting on Memorial Day Weekend, the See/Change program will bring film screenings, a SmorgasBar, and pop-up shipping container boutiques in hopes of enticing New Yorkers back to this once-trendy Lower Manhattan neighborhood.
Reclaim NYC, the grassroots organization established for post-Hurricane Sandy relief in the design community, will hold its second furniture exhibition and charity sale during New York Design Week from May 16 to 18 at 446 Broadway, a 5,000-square-foot gallery in the heart of Soho. All event proceeds will go to local communities affected by Hurricane Sandy via the Brooklyn Recovery Fund, a sub sect of the Brooklyn Community Foundation.
What: Tracey Emin’s Roman Standard
Where: Petrosino Square (Spring and Lafayette Streets, NYC)
When: May 10 to September 8, 2013
This summer, Nolita’s Petrosino Square in New York will feature Roman Standard, a thirteen-foot-tall pole with a solitary bronze bird perched at the top. From the ground, the towering sculpture by Tracey Emin, sponsored by Art Production Fund, White Cube, and Lehmann Maupin in collaboration with NYC Parks & Recreation, is so lifelike that onlookers may mistake it for a real bird. According to the artist, the figure is a sign of “hope, faith, and spirituality” that should serve as a source of reflection. The showcase will be on view from May 10 to September 8, 2013.