Celebrating Coney Island′s Most Curious

East, East Coast
Wednesday, April 6, 2011
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(Courtesy Vivienne Gucwa/Flickr)

(Courtesy Vivienne Gucwa/Flickr)

The Congress of Curious Peoples has touched down in Brooklyn. Part symposium, part festival, and part freak show, the event celebrates Coney Island’s rich history as a vacation and amusement destination. Starting on April 8th, the 10 days of freaky fun begins with Coney Island USA’s annual Sideshow Hall of Fame Inductions and ends on the 17th with Alumni Weekend, where you can catch legendary sideshow performers from the Coney Island Circus Sideshow as well as a scholarly conference on the past, present, and future of this unique and historic part of NYC.

Check out a gallery after the jump.

Quick Clicks> Boardwalk, High-Speed, Archives 2.0, the Street

Daily Clicks, East Coast
Wednesday, April 6, 2011
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Wood is good, say residents of Coney Island of their historic boardwalk (Courtesy Intiaz/Flickr).

Boardwalk Empire. The Brooklyn Paper reports that Coney Island will not be getting a concrete boardwalk, at least not if Community Board 13 has a say in the matter. The board members recently voted down a proposal from the Parks Department that would cement over parts of the historic Riegelmann Boardwalk while covering some of the famed seaside path with recycled plastic lumber.

Express Train. The Van Alen Institute wants to know what you think of the future of high-speed rail in the United States. Check out its call for design ideas here.

Digital Architectural History. The Chicago Tribune’s Blair Kamen brings news that the good folks at the Ryerson and Burnham Archives at the Art Institute of Chicago have digitized 5,000 images from Archpaper’s late 19th century predecessor, the Inland Architect and News Record, offering up photos and drawings from a pivotal period in US architectural history.

Sharing is Caring. New York’s Municipal Art Society kicked off its second annual “Streets Month” with a program about the city’s new and innovative place-making efforts, including a presentation by DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan. Check out a recap and analysis from MAS over here.

 

Quick Clicks> Frank′s Party, Little Cooper, Gaudi′s Church, and Carnegie Saved

Daily Clicks, East Coast
Monday, March 21, 2011
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Frank Gehry with his birthday cake.

Frank Gehry with his birthday cake.

Happy Birthday, Frank! Over the weekend, Frank Gehry celebrated his 82nd birthday on top of New York. New York by Gehry, that is. The penthouse unit on the 76th floor of 8 Spruce Street, Gehry’s first skyscraper, was filled with celebrities (think Bono) and starchitects (Robert A.M. Stern and more). Check out a gallery after the jump.

Little House on the Bowery. Fred Bernstein writes for Design Observer about a little brick house at the center of a giant preservation fight along New York’s Bowery. The demolition has been stopped for now, but Bernstein argues that the building’s real value is in the present, not in its history.

All in the Familia. Oscar Tusquets Blanca writes for Domus about Antoni Gaudí’s under construction Segrada Família in Barcelona. Blanca recalls, interspersed with some amazing photography, when he once advocated abandoning the project decades ago but points out how is opinion has changed today.

Carnegie Wrecking Ball. Ephemeral New York reminds us of a one-time plan to raze the famed Carnegie Hall for a bright red skyscraper set behind a sunken plaza. The March 31, 1960 wrecking date was averted at the last minute by the efforts of the Committee to Save Carnegie Hall.

Check out Gehry’s birthday party after the jump.

Quick Clicks> Cooper, Dharavi, Evolution, Charts

Daily Clicks
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
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35 Cooper Square in 1917 (Courtesy Bowery Alliance)

35 Cooper Square in 1917 (Courtesy Bowery Alliance)

Keeping Cooper. There’s a fight brewing over the demolition of the 186-year-old 35 Cooper Square. A demolition permit had been issued and subsequent stop work orders and candlelight vigils. The small federal style structure was once home to descendants of Peter Stuyvesant and beatnik Diane DiPrima. Keep tabs on the little building at EV Grieve and the Bowery Alliance (And in other Cooper Square preservation news, what’s going to happen to the Astor Place mosaics under the planned pedestrian plaza upgrades?)

Read More

Quick Clicks> Safe, Cuts, Drawing, Rage

Daily Clicks, East Coast
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
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Manufacturer’s Trust Company, Fifth Avenue, NY (Courtesy Landmarks Preservation Commission via DNAinfo)

Manufacturer’s Trust Company, Fifth Avenue, NY (Courtesy Landmarks Preservation Commission via DNAinfo)

Safe. DNAinfo has a story on the newly landmarked interior of Gordon Bunshaft’s Manufacturer’s Trust Company building in New York including a 30-ton circular vault visible from the street. The exterior has been a landmark since 2007. Previous AN coverage here and here.

Cutting History. Preservation magazine reports that President Obama’s proposed 2012 budget sends the wrecking ball after two federal grant programs supporting historic preservation across the country: Save America’s Treasures and Preserve America. Needless to say, the National Trust president was “profoundly disappointed.”

Pin Up. Architect Roger K. Lewis penned a piece for the Washington Post lamenting the downfall of hand drawing in architectural production. He warns that we should avoid the seductive “I can, therefore I shall” approach that computers can sometimes produce.

Sidewalk Rage. Researchers at the University of Hawaii have identified key traits of Pedestrian Aggressiveness Syndrome. Richard Layman has the list of behaviors on Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space, which is readily on display on the sidewalks of major cities everywhere.

The Other Side of Ellis Island

East
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
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photo by Alyssa Nordhauser

Most visitors to Ellis Island only get to see the Ellis Island Immigration Museum. I was fortunate enough to go on a hard hat tour of the island’s south side, which is not open to the public, and explore newly stabilized structures including the new (‘new’ as of 1934) ferry building and part of the old South Side Hospital Complex.

Read More

Rose Window is Lower East Side’s Newest Star

East
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
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It’s official. The multi-decade restoration of the historic Eldridge Street Synagogue is now truly complete with the recent installation of the new rose window that we told you about last February.

Read More

Rudolph’s New York Home Passes Landmark Test

East, East Coast
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
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23 Beekman Place (Courtesy Paul Rudolph Foundation)

23 Beekman Place (Courtesy Paul Rudolph Foundation)

The latest Upper East Side landmark isn’t another of its signature rowhouses, but rather what’s atop one of those brownstones.  Yesterday, the New York Landmarks Preservation Commission unanimously approved landmark status for mid-century architect Paul Rudolph‘s less-than-context-sensitive home at 23 Beekman Place.

And that’s great news for New York’s modern architectural heritage. Read More.

Hypothetical Buildings Coming to New Orleans

National
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
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Every building tells a story of its past. But sometimes, with a little prompting, a building can also tell the story of its future. At least that’s what the Hypothetical Development Organization hopes. The group, created in 2010 by author and New York Times Magazine columnist Rob Walker, examines what the future might hold for some of the hidden, and underused, architectural gems in New Orleans by creating renderings of what the buildings could be, you know, hypothetically. Read More

Wilf Hall Not Bad By NYU Standards

East
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
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Wilf Hall (Courtesy Archidose)

Yesterday, John Hill, arguably the city’s most prolific architecture critic, finished up one of his latest projects, entitled “31 in 31.” In addition to his usual flood of posts, Hill is chronicling one building every day in August, in preparation for a new guide book. The buildings are scattershot, ranging from the new Crocs super store in the West Village to One Bryant Park, but most of them are new and, in a way Hill always seems to manage, representative of precisely what has been going on in the city recently—not comprehensive, but authoritative. It’s a rundown worth running down, but one building in particular caught our eye: the rather unassuming Wilf Hall at NYU. Read More

A New Beginning for West End Avenue

East, East Coast
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
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The Landmarks Preservation Commission is preparing to preserve a large swath of West End Avenue and the surrounding buildings. (Ed Yourdon/Flickr)

The West End Preservation Society could only save two of the buildings it had hoped for, but an entire neighborhood has been preserved in the process.

Back in 2007, a clutch of concerned citizens living on West End Avenue were dismayed to learn that two pairs of brownstones were bound for the wrecking ball, to be replaced by the sliver buildings much in vogue in Manhattan’s narrow upper reaches over the past decade. The houses at 732 and 734 West End Avenue are currently being demolished, but 508 and 510 West End Avenue survive, and likely will for some time thanks to the efforts of the society. The LPC is now preparing to finalize plans for a new, expansive historic district—lobbied for by the preservation group—running the length of West End Avenue from 70th Street to 109th Street. The result will be two-miles of almost uniterrupted pre-war grandeur. Read More

Allah Architecture Causes Controversies Worldwide

East Coast, International
Thursday, July 8, 2010
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It looks like New York isn’t the only city with a controversial mosque on the horizon—and in the case of Marseilles, that’s quite literally where it’s going. Archinect points us to a BBC report about the Grand Mosque, a huge new complex atop one of the city’s northern hills. As the video above shows, the complaints are akin to those surrounding the proposed mosque around the corner from the World Trade Center site—concerns about culture, paternalism, terrorism, and community, though in France the concerns are obviously less direct. In a favorable sign for the NYC mosque, the local community board voted against landmarking the former Burlington Coat Factory ahead of a binding review at the commission next Tuesday. The vote is non-binding but tends to carry some wait, though we’re curious to see what actually happens, as this should be one of the more interesting commission meetings in recent memory. Do check back for a full report.

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