Photo of the Day: Hurricane Sandy Recovery on Staten Island

East
Friday, November 16, 2012
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(Spencer T Tucker/Courtesy NYC Mayors Office)

(Spencer T Tucker/Courtesy NYC Mayors Office)

National Guard troops help clean up the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy in Staten Island’s New Dorp Beach neighborhood this week during President Obama’s tour of damaged areas around New York. To get involved with recovery efforts in the region, please visit the NYC Service website to find groups seeking volunteers, supplies, and more.

Wright or Wrong? Debate over Massaro House Authenticity Rekindled

East
Friday, November 16, 2012
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Frank Lloyd Wright's Massaro House. (Ahalife)

Frank Lloyd Wright’s Massaro House. (Ahalife)

The story goes like this: In 1949 an engineer named A.K. Chahroudi commissioned Frank Lloyd Wright to design a home on Petra Island in Lake Mahopac, New York, which Chahroudi owned. But the $50,000 price tag on the 5,000 square foot house was more than Chahroudi could afford, so Wright designed him a smaller, more affordable cottage elsewhere on the island.

Fast forward to 1996 when Joseph Massaro, a sheet metal contractor, bought the island for $700,000, a sale that also included Wright’s original yet unfinished plans. Though he says he only intended to spruce up the existing cottage and not build anything new, one can hardly fault Massaro for wanting to follow through on a home Wright once said would eclipse Falling Water. In 2000 Massaro sold his business and hired Thomas A. Heinz, an architect and Wright historian, to complete and update the design, a move that incensed the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, who promptly sued him, stating he couldn’t claim the house was a true Wright, but was only “inspired” by him.

Continue reading after the jump.

Hurricane Sandy Deals Another Blow to New York’s Bike Share Ambitions

East
Thursday, November 15, 2012
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Citibike station at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. (Michael Cairl/Brooklyn Spoke)

Citibike station at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. (Michael Cairl/Brooklyn Spoke)

After the sad news back in August that New York City’s already-delayed bike share system—Citibike—would be delayed until the spring of 2013, we’d almost forgotten about the thousands of bright blue bikes that have been in storage at the Brooklyn Navy Yard while computer glitches are worked out. The apparently-cursed bike share system is back in the news, however, as the New York Times reports that some of the equipment was damaged during Hurricane Sandy when the East River inundated waterfront Brooklyn.

Floodwaters up to six feet deep apparently damaged program equipment including the docking stations, but the NYC Department of Transportation would not comment on the extent of the damage or whether it would cause further delays in launching the system. DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan told the Times, “We’re working on it.” Some believe the electronic design of the docking stations could make them especially vulnerable to flooding.

Videos> The 425 Park visions of Foster, Koolhaas, Rogers, and Zaha Hadid

East
Wednesday, November 14, 2012
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Norman Foster's winning design. (Courtesy Foster + Partners)

Norman Foster’s winning design for 425 Park. (Courtesy Foster + Partners)

After today’s announcement of Norman Fosters next project in New York, a luxury condo tower at the United Nations, we just can’t get enough of the British starchitect. Luckily, a stash of video renderings and presentations from the firms behind the planned 425 Park tower can provide just the fix. It wasn’t too long ago that the starchitect-filled competition for the new Park Avenue tower selected Foster + Partners as its winner. Now after the design presentations at the recent MAS Summit and the release of photo renderings from all players—including runners up Richard Rogers, Rem Koolhaas, and Zaha Hadid—we can indulge in the virtual demonstrations of their designs.

Click through to view the videos.

Days After Major Renovation, Sandy Shutters Statue of Liberty Indefinitely

East, Newsletter
Monday, November 12, 2012
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The Statue of Liberty the day after Hurricane Sandy. (Courtesy US Coast Guard)

The Statue of Liberty the day after Hurricane Sandy. (Courtesy US Coast Guard)

In October, AN reported on new accessibility improvements at the Statue of Liberty, including installing a new HVAC system, improved ventilation, and a fire stair climbing through the 126-year-old statue. After remaining shuttered for a year during the improvements, Lady Liberty triumphantly reopened this fall.

Until Hurricane Sandy. The New York Times reports that the statue itself suffered no major damage during the storm (despite any fake Twitter photos you may have seen), but the grounds surrounding the “Mother of Exiles” suffered quite a bit of damage. Among the problems is damage to the large dock where ferries would unload visitors. Additionally, the promenade surrounding the island lost more than half of its brick pavers during the storm. There’s also some worry that the new mechanicals just installed might have suffered damage when the statue’s basement flooded. No timeline has been given as to when the monument will reopen.

Architects Build A Times Square Pavilion to Promote Dialogue for Veterans Day

East, Newsletter
Monday, November 12, 2012
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Matter's "Peace & Quiet" installation in Times Square. (Courtesy Times Square Alliance)

Matter’s “Peace & Quiet” installation in Times Square. (Ka-Man Tse / Courtesy Times Square Alliance)

Opening today for Veterans Day, a new pavilion designed by Brooklyn-based Matter Architecture Practice aims to bring a little Peace and Quiet to the hectic liveliness of Times Square. The new temporary pavilion, built yesterday and set to remain standing through November 16 is described as a “dialogue station” by its architects. “It is a tranquil place to meet, share stories, leave a note, shake hands, or meet a veteran in person,” Matter continues on its website. Times Square “seemed the ideal circumstance (or mad challenge) to initiate and inform a poignant exchange of ideas, to will intimacy in an instance of its opposite.”

Continue reading after the jump.

Massive New Development on the Brooklyn Waterfront Sparks Last Ditch Protest Effort

East, Newsletter
Monday, November 12, 2012
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Handel Architects' Design for Greenpoint Landing.

Handel Architects’ Design for Greenpoint Landing.

When it comes to waterfront development in New York City, there’s always a battle to be waged, and this time, it is over 22 acres near Newtown Creek in north Greenpoint, Brooklyn where developers, Park Tower Group, plan to break ground in the summer of 2013 to build Greenpoint Landing. Curbed reported on Election Day last week that someone circulated a flyer protesting the development’s ten 30-to-40-story luxury residential towers to be designed by Handel Architects. This protester’s main gripe is the scale and density of the project, which the flyers state is much larger than “most of the buildings average 5 stories” and doesn’t allow for much “green space.” But the plans for Greenpoint Landing are well on its way, and could include a pedestrian bridge by Santiago Calatrava.

More images after the jump.

Sandy Snuffs Out Century Old Lighthouse near Staten Island

East
Friday, November 9, 2012
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The Old Orchard Shoal Lighthouse before and after Hurricane Sandy. (Courtesy US Coast Guard)

The Old Orchard Shoal Lighthouse before and after Hurricane Sandy. (Courtesy US Coast Guard)

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.

[Via SI Live and Working Harbor.]

More images of the destruction after the jump.

Egg on Face at Louis Kahn’s Four Freedoms Park?

East, Eavesdroplet
Thursday, November 8, 2012
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Four Freedoms Park on Roosevelt Island. (Paul Warchol / Courtesy FDR Four Freedoms Park)

Four Freedoms Park on Roosevelt Island. (Paul Warchol / Courtesy FDR Four Freedoms Park)

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.”

 

Architecture For Humanity Begins Recovery Work On East Coast

East, National, Newsletter
Monday, November 5, 2012
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Devastation in Breezy Point, Queens (CNBC)

Devastation in Breezy Point, Queens (CNBC)

As the northeast is slowly getting back on its feet, non-profit Architecture for Humanity is already commencing its plans for rebuilding and recovery. While it’s still early, the organization, which is partnering with AIA chapters in the hardest hit regions, is starting first with impact assessment. Generally working in hard hit areas around the world, this is the first time their New York chapter has had to respond locally, pointed out  Jennifer Dunn, New York Chapter Leader. AFH is not only looking to re-build, but to re-build better. “We don’t just want to help build back the coastline but create more resilient communities that can withstand future disasters,” said co-founder Cameron Sinclair in a statement.

Architecture for Humanity is looking for support in the form of donations or volunteers. Donations can be made online here, while volunteers should email  volunteer@architectureforhumanity.org. Flood repair strategies are posted here.  Further updates will appear on the Architecture for Humanity website as soon as they are available.

Frankenstorm Snaps Crane at Portzamparc’s One 57

East
Monday, October 29, 2012
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Partial crane collapse at Manhattan's One 57 tower. (CBS News via Observer)

Partial crane collapse at Manhattan’s One 57 tower. (CBS News via Observer)

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.

Read More

Durst’s BIG Composting Scheme Biggest in New York

East
Friday, October 26, 2012
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BIG's W57 tower. (Courtesy Durst Organization)

BIG’s W57 tower. (Courtesy Durst Organization)

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.

Continue reading after the jump.

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