Category Archives: New York

As Heroes Disappear, the City Needs More

James Barron/The New York Times

The death of Charles Gwathmey early this month has provoked a lot of nostalgic reminiscence in the New York architecture world: not just about Mr. Gwathmey himself, but also about the New York Five, a group of influential architects of which he was part.

As Heroes Disappear, the City Needs More Nicolai Ouroussoff NYT 8/23/09


9/11 Memorial update

Details on a Monumental Scale at the 9/11 Memorial David W. Dunlap New York Times “City Room” 6/10/2009

The overwhelming first impression would be walls filled with a 12-foot-high frieze showing portraits of the 2,982 victims whose memory is to be perpetuated. (They include those who died in the 1993 and 2001 attacks on the trade center, those who died at the Pentagon on 9/11 and those who died in the four hijacked airliners that day.)

“You will literally and physically be surrounded by the victims,” said Alice Greenwald, director of the museum.


After the Bubble

Vincent Laforet

New York City is no stranger to the effects of economic downturns. The Empire State Building, once known as “the Empty State Building”, didn’t become profitable till almost 20 years after it was completed. But Jonathan Mahler suggests that, as in the past, the current downturn will give the city a much needed chance to contemplate the consequences of its recent architectural boom.

Since November, some $5 billion worth of development has been delayed or canceled. New York is again a city of abandoned lots, half-finished buildings and free-floating anxiety. “At this particular moment, I think that everyone who is honest with themselves can’t but help think about 1929, which came at the end of an extraordinarily fertile period for architecture,” says Robert A. M. Stern, dean of the Yale School of Architecture

After the Bubble Jonathan Mahler NYT 3/12/09


From the Streets to the Libraries

Ruth Fremson/The New York Times

Urban fiction’s journey from street vendors to library shelves and six-figure book deals is a case of culture bubbling from the bottom up. That is especially true in New York, where the genre, like hip-hop music, was developed by, for and about people in southeast Queens and other mostly black neighborhoods that have struggled with drugs, crime and economic stagnation.

From the Streets to the Libraries Anne Barnard NYT 10/22/08

Posted by Chris

Balmori and Sander’s Rooftop Classroom

Laurie Lambrecht for The New York Times

When Matthew Blesso, 35, a real estate developer, bought his 3,100-square-foot apartment in Lower Manhattan two years ago, he turned it over to two Yale professors, the architect Joel Sanders and the landscape architect Diana Balmori. Together, they teach a course called Interface, about integrating architecture and landscape design. And so, with Mr. Blesso’s blessing, they turned his $4 million apartment into an extended classroom.

In the Penthouse, A True Garden Apartment Fred A. Bernstein NYT 9/24/08

Slideshow here.

Posted by Chris

The Glass Stampede: A building-by-building survey

In the past fifteen fat years, more than 76,000 new buildings have gone up, more than 44,000 were razed, another 83,000 were radically renovated—a rate of change that evokes those time-lapse nature films in which flowers spring up and wither in a matter of seconds. For more than a decade, we have awakened to jackhammers and threaded our way around orange plastic netting, calculating that, since our last haircut, workers have added six more stories to that high-rise down the block. Now that metamorphosis is slowing as the economy drags. Buildings are still going up, but the boom is winding down. Before the next one begins is a good time to ask, has this ferment improved New York or eaten away at the city’s soul?

The Glass Stampede Justin Davidson NYMagazine 9/7/08

Posted by Chris