Quick Clicks> Greenways Coast to Coast

Daily Clicks, East Coast
Tuesday, February 1, 2011
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Planned pedestrian and bike path under the Hells Gate Bridge (Courtesy NYCEDC)

Planned pedestrian and bike path under the Hells Gate Bridge (Courtesy NYCEDC)

Hell’s Gate. Gothamist reports that the NYC Economic Development Corporation is planning to spruce up a trail beneath the Hell’s Gate Bridge railroad trestle on Randall’s Island. The pedestrian and bike path will eventually connect to the South Bronx Greenway.

Portlandia Greenway. A multi-use path planned since 2004 is finally getting underway in Portland, according to Bike Portland. The South Waterfront Greenway Trail might not feature those great archways from the Hell’s Gate Bridge, but it does offer another innovation: separated pedestrian and bike paths.

Biking JFK. Golden Gate Park could be much more bikable this spring. StreetsBlog says a bright green dedicated, bi-directional bike lane is planned along San Francisco’s John F. Kennedy Drive and will eventually connect western neighborhoods with downtown and park attractions.

Have you’re say. The Brooklyn Greenway Initiative and the Regional Plan Association are hosting a visioning workshop for a planned greenway in Red Hook, Brooklyn. You can voice your suggestions for the Columbia Street Waterfront Park tomorrow, February 2 at 6:30PM.

Bunshaft Deconstructed?

East, East Coast
Monday, January 31, 2011
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Manufacturer’s Trust Company, Fifth Avenue, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, New York, NY, 1954 Gelatin Silver Print © Ezra Stoller, Courtesy Yossi Milo Gallery, New York

The Landmarks Preservation Commission has put the Gordon Bunshaft-designed Manufacturers Hanover Trust Company Building onto its Public Meeting/Public Hearing agenda for tomorrow morning at 9:30AM. Up for discussion will be the building’s first and second floor interiors, including the entrance lobby, escalators, teller counters, and floor and ceiling surfaces.

The iconic vault designed by Henry Dreyfuss, which is visible from Fifth Avenue, and Harry Bertoia’s multifaceted metallic screen both made it on to the agenda. But according to Theodore Grunewald of the Coalition to Save MHT, the Bertoia has already been removed by Chase Bank, the sculpture’s owner.

Read More

Quick Clicks> Trees, Robin Hood, Complete, Urbanism

Daily Clicks
Monday, January 31, 2011
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Aerial view of tree farm (Gerco de Ruijter via BldgBlog)

Aerial view of tree farm (Gerco de Ruijter via BldgBlog)

Synthetic Forests. BldgBlog uncovered a series of aerial photos of Dutch tree farms by artist Gerco de Ruijter. Called Baumschule, the pristine man-made geometry overlaid  upon nature is really quite stunning.

Saving Robin Hood. One of the first brutalist buildings in London by the Smithsons could be saved from demolition and converted into modern family townhomes. BD Online reports that a proposal by Sarah Wigglesworth Architects plans new units on the roof.

Completing Indy. A proposed “complete streets” bill for the Indiana Department of Transportation is currently being considered that would require a multimodal approach to transportation design and could be a be a coup for pedestrians and cyclists. Urban Indy has the details, including a potential loophole.

Urban Playoffs. There’s an ideological battle fermenting between the forces behind New Urbanism and newcomer Landscape Urbanism. The Boston Globe details the differences between the two and the latest on the battle of the urban minds.

Quick Clicks> He′s Back, Pay Up, On Fire, Sale!

Daily Clicks, East Coast
Friday, January 28, 2011
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Rahm Emanuel is on track for election. (Courtesy chicagoforrahm.com)

Rahm Emanuel is on track for election. (Courtesy chicagoforrahm.com)

On Track. The mayor of Chicago holds sway in a big way. That’s why we’re keeping an eye on the ballot, and, as of today, Rahm Emanuel is back in business, reports The Chicago Tribune. Emanuel has stated that one of his first priorities is to expand Chicago Transportation Authority’s Red Line.

Street price. Speaking of getting around town, a new coalition called the Sustainable Transportation Campaign is reviving the idea of congestion pricing for New York City, reports Andrea Bernstein at Transportation Nation.

Change of Hearth. Curling up by a roaring fire sounds idyllic on a snowy day, but do the realities of a fireplace outweigh the romance? We’re still debating the subject following this piece in The New York Times.

Bookmark it. MoMA’s Design Store book sale is in full swing, says Curbed NY. Architecture and design classics and new releases over 50% off! Visit the stores in New York or online.

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Metal Flower Blossoms In Downtown LA

West
Friday, January 28, 2011
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From our friends at Culver City Patch we’ve found a video about David and Brian Hurley, a father-son welding team called Aero Welding that helped put together LA design firm Electroland’s new Metallotus. It’s a 30-foot-long, 1,400 pound stainless steel lotus flower  suspended 30 feet above the courtyard of the Medallion project in Downtown LA. The lotus (a symbol of downtown’s rebirth), supported by several steel cables, changes color and intensity at night thanks to programmed LED lights in the corners of the courtyard. It’s nice to see the sweat equity that goes into this kind of work. It took the Hurleys a number of weeks to complete the project—a combination of stainless steel tubes and stainless steel mesh— achieving details, curvatures, and joints that Electroland principal Cameron McNall describes as “beautiful.”  Read More

Condo Cluster at the Cloisters?

East, East Coast
Thursday, January 27, 2011
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Four proposed residential towers near The Cloisters in Northern Manhattan could transform the uptown skyline. (Courtesy Quadriad)

Four proposed residential towers near The Cloisters in Northern Manhattan could transform the uptown skyline. (Courtesy Quadriad)

Quadriad Reality is in negotiations to acquire land at Broadway and 190th Street in order to build four towers ranging from 22 to 44 stories. If the proposals go forward they could represent the one of the largest residential developments above 155th Street in more than a generation.

Read more after the jump.

World Trade Weekly: White Out Edition

East, East Coast
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
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[ As the World Trade Center continues its ascent, AN stops by the massive construction site for a weekly update, nevermind the weather! ]

This week, through a haze of snow, we got a glimpse of the last bits of the former Deutsche Bank building. Shrouded behind a fence covered in blue nylon, the once 41-story tower is the last remaining physical remnant of 9/11 to be cleared away piece by piece.

With visibility low, the sounds of the site take over.  From this vantage, the groaning sound of metal being bent and twisted distinguishes itself from sounds of construction, the swirl of cement inside mixers, the hum of truck engines, and the rhythmic clang of metal banging on metal.

More construction photos after the jump.

For SCI-Arc, There Is No Place Like Home

West
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
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After years of trying, it looks like SCI-Arc is finally going to own its building in Downtown LA’s Arts District. According to the school the project should close escrow before this May. According to blogdowntown, the school will pay $23.1 million for the 100,000-square-foot building and its surrounding 4.75 acre lot. The deal had been held up because of property owner Meruelo Maddux’s continuing bankruptcy, but the company just settled with its debtor, Legendary Investors Group, which has pledged to honor the deal. “We don’t want to be renters anymore. SCI-Arc is absolutely committed to downtown,” SCI-Arc director Eric Owen Moss told AN when recently discussing the project. Interesting facts about the building: The quarter-mile-long Santa Fe Train Depot was converted into the school’s campus in 2000. Built in 1907, the depot was designed by Harrison Albright. At 1,250 feet long, if it were upended, it would be as tall as the Empire State Building.

Hyperbolic Paraboloids Can Save Animals

Other
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
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Winning entry by MVVA with HNTB of New York (Courtesy ARC Project)

Winning entry by MVVA with HNTB of New York (Courtesy ARC Project)

How do you solve the problem of wildlife crossing a major highway? Build a bridge! On Sunday, the NY Times reported that Michael Van Valkenburgh and Associates (MVVA) was named winner of an innovative competition to build a wildlife crossing over a Colorado highway. Together with construction company HNTB, the team’s design calls for a lightweight precast span that will improve animal and driver safety as well as help reduce habitat fragmentation.

Click through for more on MVVA’s winning design.

Quick Clicks> Zigzag, Walking, Movies, Retro, Rail

Daily Clicks, East Coast
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
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VDOT's zigzag road striping (Mike Salmon/VDOT via Washington Post)

VDOT's zigzag road striping (Mike Salmon/VDOT via Washington Post)

[ Quick Clicks> AN's guided tour of links from across the web. And beyond. ]

Zigzag. In April 2009, the Virginia Department of Transportation installed a painted zigzag stripe where a road and a bike trail intersect. Wash Cycle reports that VDOT has since studied the effects of the experimental installation and determined the lines have improved safety and reduced speeds at the trail crossing. These zigzags common overseas, but could they be coming to a street corner near you?

More quick clicks just after the jump.

Seward Park Redevelopment Clears Major Hurdle

East
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
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Residents took to the floor before the CB3 Land Use Committee approved the SPURA guidelines.

Last night, the Seward Park Urban Renewal Area (SPURA) took a giant step forward after 44 years of contentious debate. Community Board 3’s Land Use, Zoning, Public and Private Housing Committee approved guidelines for development of the city-owned land at the foot of the Williamsburg Bridge.

Continue reading after the jump.

Kappe House Like You′ve Never Seen It

West
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
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Could this be the future of architectural photography? The LA Times this weekend published a wonderful virtual tour of Ray Kappe’s own house on a heavily wooded lot in the Palisades. Thanks to huge glass walls, skylights, clerestories, floating interior planes and cantilevered wooden decks, trellises and platforms, the house appears to float over its sloping site.

It’s truly one of the most spectacular houses ever built. And the tours of its facade, main room, kitchen, and deck do it more justice than any two dimensional pictures could. Now if only Kappe could get more props himself. When is he gonna win a Pritzker already?

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