Staten Island’s Old Orchard Shoals Lighthouse stood as a protective beacon in Sandy Hook Bat for 119 years, but has now been reduced to rubble atop its rocky outcropping after being slammed by Hurricane Sandy. Built in 1893, the cast-iron lighthouse once stood 51 feet tall and had been listed on the National Park Service’s Maritime Heritage Program, but had been declared obsolete by the General Service Administration and sold at auction in 2008 for $235,000. The US Coast Guard confirmed this week that the stout structure succumbed to the storm. Light House Friends has more history on the Old Orchard Shoals Lighthouse:
In the late 1800s when winter ice closed down Staten Island Sound, the waterway separating New Jersey from Staten Island, an estimated 15,000 tons of shipping were forced to use the narrow channel that ran along the eastern shore of Staten Island. In doing so, the vessels passed dangerously close to Old Orchard Shoal. A bell buoy and a lighted buoy initially marked this shallow area, but mariners considered these navigational aids grossly inadequate…After $60,000 was approved, construction of the lighthouse was completed in 1893. The new fifty-one-foot, cast-iron tower was cone-shaped, built in the “spark plug” style common among offshore lights in that region.
You can’t make a monument without breaking some eggs. Fabergé cosmetics heir Reed Rubin is protesting a decision by the board of Roosevelt Island’s Four Freedoms Park to not include a donor inscription on the Louis Kahn-designed FDR memorial. For a $2.5 million donation in honor of Rubin’s parents Vera D. and Samuel Rubin, founders of the cosmetics firm and the Reed Foundation, the foundation claims it was promised an inscription in a prominent spot (preferably near the bust of FDR on a slab facing Manhattan).
The board of the park, not wanting to compromise the monument’s design, proposed an inscription in another location in the park. Rubin and the foundation are fighting back, and had tried to postpone October’s dedication. The New York Daily News quoted a letter written by the park’s board chairman William vanden Heuvel to the foundation: “You may prevail in a courtroom. But it will be a Pyrrhic victory, dear friends, a scar not a medal on the list of your achievements.”
Hurricane Sandy is bearing down on New York and New Jersey, and the current 55 to 60 mile an hour wind gusts tearing through Central Park have already taken their toll on Manhattan’s starchitecture, partially collapsing the construction crane at Christian de Portzamparc’s supertall One57 tower on West 57th Street.
The Durst Organization is launching a composting pilot program for the 600-unit Helena apartment building on Manhattan’s West 57th Street. The program will start in the next few months and, if successful, will be implemented in Durst’s planned 32-story W57 tower designed by Bjarke Ingels and expected to finish in 2015. This composting scheme, potentially serving 1,350 apartments, will be the largest residential composting project in the New York City.
CRITICAL HALLOWEEN : On Banality, on Metaphor
Saturday, October 27
10pm til Late
The Autumn Bowl
67 West Street, Greenpoint, Brooklyn
The second annual Critical Halloween hosted by the Storefront for Art and Architecture promises to generate a spooky skyline on Saturday. Mixing in a new theme of “Metaphor” with last year’s banner of “Banality,” guests are invited to critique and comment through costume. Judging by 2011 event (see below), it’s the ultimate cathartic carnival for all things architecture and design. Get inspired here.
This morning Cornell University unveiled more detailed renderings of their NYC Tech campus on Roosevelt Island. The latest plans for the graduate campus include a five story eco-friendly academic center designed by Pritzker Prize winner Thom Mayne and a campus layout by Skidmore Owings & Merrill. The roomy organization of this campus hub brings to mind the vast, expansive interiors of Silicon Valley, putting a priority on shared communal space over isolated classrooms.
Andrea Zittel: Fluid Panel State
Andrea Rosen Gallery
524 West 24 Street
Through October 27
Andrea Zittel’s tenth solo show, Fluid Panel State, at the Andrea Rosen Gallery, her expands on her previous ideas that our culture is fixated on assigning order to a chaotic world by defining the personal and social significance of objects and by creating a distinction between everyday objects and art. Zittel demonstrates through a panel, a nebulous form, how an object can exceed functional properties, such as shelter or clothing, to convert into an art object, such as a tapestry or a painting. The gallery is compiled mostly of handmade textiles, designed by Zittel, but also includes large enamel paintings, smaller framed paintings on paper, and a large carpet placed in the center of the installation. A PowerPoint presentation further discusses the properties of the fluid panel state expanding on the importance positioning has in attributing meaning to a flat panel. Ultimately the exhibit leaves viewers to decide if they are experiencing art or object.