"[S]tock jobbers[,]... confidence men,... an impecunious transportation entity", politicos, judges, scoundrels and Jackie O.: the near-death of Grand Central Terminal, and how it foretold the 2008 financial crisis
. [sl Harper's]
The Museum of Modern Art’s announcement on January 8 that it will indeed tear down Tod Williams and Billie Tsien’s American Folk Art Museum building of 1997–2001 felt like hearing that a relative or close friend had finally succumbed to an incurable disease. Even though the outcome had been expected, it was a shock nonetheless. "MoMA Loses Face": Martin Filler decries the museum's expansion plan in the NYRB. [more inside]
"My name is Chris Murray, and I'm an artist
and I'm very talented... And I’m a dairy stocker at the Edge of the Woods organic grocery store in New Haven, Connecticut." [more inside]
No one expected the force of the tempest that hit the New York Public Library in late 2011—not its new president, Anthony Marx, and maybe not even the literary lions up in arms over plans for an ambitious, $300 million renovation. Will the “palace of culture” on Fifth Avenue become a glorified Starbucks, as some fear? Interviewing all sides, Paul Goldberger walks the controversy back to its flash point: the nature of the library’s 21st-century mission and the values at the center of the Norman Foster–designed project.
- Paul Goldberger, Firestorm on Fifth Avenue
Freedman Home For The Elderly
in the Bronx had an unusual purpose at its outset in the 1920s: to house retirees who used to be wealthy but had lost their money. Now it is mostly empty. ScoutingNY.com went inside
and took pictures. The abandoned upper floors are especially creepy. [found via curbed]
Known as The Sundrome
, I.M. Pei's Terminal 6 at JFK Airport (b. 1970) has been slated for demolition
The Willard Memorial Chapel
is all that remains of the original Auburn Theological Seminary. [more inside]
The Freegan Establishment.
Squatters in Buffalo get a mansion for free.
Why Yankee Stadium sucks
: "Its design is profoundly un-American. Baseball has traditionally played a unifying role. The ballpark is where people of different classes and races and religions actually mingled. The box seats, where the swells sat, weren't physically separated from the proles. The new stadium is like an architectural system of class apartheid."
The first stage of New York City's High Line
redesign was opened to the public
yesterday, and reviews
are generally favorable
. The city's newest park (whose concept is similar to Paris’s Promenade Plantée
,) transforms an abandoned, above-ground, elevated freight train track into a nine block "lofty expanse of walking and green spaces
that stretches 60 feet wide in some spots". It also provides visitors with a unique look at some of the city's architecture and layout. (Previously on MeFi) [more inside]
Hugh Ferriss: Delineator of Gotham.
Through his charcoal renderings of dramatic, imaginary skyscrapers
in early 1900s New York City, Ferriss influenced the aesthetics of numerous architects
with his bold compositions.
The Buffalo State Hospital
is a vast complex of moldering Victorian buildings
, sitting right in the middle of a residential neighborhood
of Buffalo. It is also an architectural gem, not only by Buffalo standards, but for the nation as a whole. It is one of the largest and most complex commissions of New England architect H. H. Richardson
, who is known for promulgating his unique, heavy looking stone Romanesque variant of the then dominant Queen Anne style. The Buffalo asylum’s grounds were planned by landscape architect (and designer of Central Park) Fredrick Law Olmsted
. [more inside]
"First we kill the architects..."
Photographer Danny Lyon [1, 2, 3, 4]
offers ten suggestions for New York City. Suggestion #6: "Leave the World Trade Center excavation exactly as it is and use the space as a freshwater pond planted with pink, white, and yellow lilies..." His essay is only one of many from names you'll recognize
in a book called Block by Block: Jane Jacobs and the Future of New York
. An associated exhibition opened yesterday [museum, NYT review]
. Is New York City moving in the right direction?
Is your city?
[via] [more inside]
Randall's Lost New York City Collection
"documents the destruction of many of New York City's 19th century tenement and other buildings, so that we can mourn the lost [and] appreciate the endangered." Gallery 1
. [more inside]
The Fifty-Nine-Story Crisis.
In 1978, renowned structural engineer William LeMessurier discovered a mistake in his design for the Citicorp (now Citigroup) Center
. With hurricane season approaching, the skyscraper was in imminent danger of collapse. His handling of the situation has been praised as a "stunning example of good ethics in action" – but some disagree
A growing crop of towers pushing 2,000 feet: though just shy itself, the much-redesigned Freedom Tower
is finally under construction for completion in 2011; but there is also the stunning Fordham Spire
, approved in Chicago
, that will rise to 2,000 feet by 2010. Moscow is planning the tallest tower in Europe
, while there are a number of sightseeing
towers under construction in Asia. In Dubai, two towers under construction (despite worker protests
) are racing
to be the world's tallest, both are keeping their final heights secret, but will likely be over half a mile in height -- the Burj Dubai
and the Al Burj
. As previously discussed
, there are great illustrations comparing buildings both built
and under construction
. Bring on Frank Lloyd Wright's The Illinois
Thomas Shine, a former Yale student, is suing David Childs for copyright infringement
Mr. Childs of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill
for copyright infringement over the design of the Freedom Tower
located at Ground Zero. Shine alleges in his lawsuit that the proposed Freedom Tower was "strikingly similar
" to his "Olympic Tower" design for the proposed 2012 Olympic Games in New York
reveals Gotham's secrets as uncovered by a guerrilla historian. [via Anil Dash]
The Vertically Inclined Photographer:
Shooting Paris, Rome, the French Riviera and the Loire Valley from a low-flying plane is Patrick Durand's
photographic obsession. It's an interesting flat
alternative to Horst Hamann's
[click on "Gallery" and go to "New Verticals"
] tall vertical New York
. There's something very exciting about looking at familiar sights from an unfamiliar point of view. [Both sites very, perhaps too Flash.
A Love of Monsters: Gargoyles & Architectural Details in NYC.
'They crouch in the corners and lurk under windows. They curl around drainpipes and blend into doorways. They're so clever at hiding most folks won't see them at all. '
'But I know where the monsters live. I see them all the time. If your heart is understanding and your eyes remember wonder, then take a quiet stroll with me and see what you can find.'
A complex of angular buildings and a 1,776-foot spire
designed by architect Daniel Libeskind was chosen as the plan for the World Trade Center site on Wednesday, The Associated Press has learned. (via Salon)
Today at 1pm EST, the 7 proposed new plans
for redevelopment of the former World Trade Center site will be revealed. Currently, they're carrying the announcements of the new proposals (with architect descriptions of their projects) live on wnyc.org on the Brian Lehrer Show
The New Yorker
wonders whether the new Westin
hotel at Times Square is the ugliest building
in NYC. What do New Yorkers think? Is ugly architecture anything more than just poor business? What is the state of architecture in this country? (more)
Thinking Big - A Plan for Ground Zero and Beyond
- from this past Sundays NY Times Magazine. Some months ago, when the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation made public their plans
, Metafilterians were, for the most part, underwhelmed
. This new plan, from an impressive set of architects
, goes far beyond the LMDC plans and really redevelops much of the surrounding region as well. There's certainly no lack of bold or controversial designs. I for one, think this is the best set of suggestions that I've seen so far. Delightfully bold.
A Tale of Two Cities: Chicago and New York This exhibition of more than 150 black-and-white photographs represents a cross-section of the thousands of significant buildings that are protected by local landmark designation in Chicago and New York City. The story of how this came to pass is both as similar and as different as the cities themselves.
Things Fall Apart.
Particularly in urban environments. Individually, the moments of entropy-in-action caught here may not mean much; collectively, they recite a visual poem about decay. A slightly melancholy site for you insomniacs out there. (By the way, you have to scroll right
to get to the thumbnails.)
The New York City I first saw in 1985 has partially disappeared, and vanishes more everyday. The New York of 50 years ago, the veneer of daily life in the city, is but a memory. The city of 100 years ago is a shadow, remembered by no one. But the past remains
, if not in direct human memory, in "lampposts, advertisements, bridges, buildings, signs, and things you pass every day in the street that bear silent witness to the NYC that once was.
" What lies forgotten below the streets
? The decaying splendor of an bygone age
, as well as the deep roots
that have sprouted and nourished the present, living city...