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Archive for the year 2004

Underneath the Giant Sign Is a New York City Landmark–Call 311 to See It

signage over ny historical societyThe New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission has approved this sign to hang on the New-York Historical Society until March 2005. This is a landmarked building, and we feel it is inappropriate for the Commission to have given permission for a sign that covers the entire front of the building. Please call 311 to complain about this obnoxious signage.


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Friday Links Roundup: AY Report Edition

atlantic yards aerial 5L brooklyn urban planning new yorkEminent domain was the main issue on our minds this week. Atlantic Yards was back in court, appealing the decision in the case challenging the project’s environmental review. According to Atlantic Yards Report, “While the lawsuit covers an enormous area of ground, including the definition of a ‘civic project,’ whether a ten-year project buildout was realistic, and whether the ESDC properly studied terrorism, among other issues, the final round of appeal papers focused mainly on blight.” AYR gave background on Tuesday, and covered Wednesday’s court proceedings.

AYR was also there at State Senator Perkins’ eminent domain hearing, which we attended on Wednesday, and provided more in-depth coverage. Continue Reading>>


Fresh Kills: Forum on 9/11 Recovery Area and West Mound

fresh kills aerialThe City of New York invites victims’ families and friends, the rescue workers of the World Trade Center attacks, and concerned residents and citizens to participate in a public meeting to discuss the 9/11 recovery area, located on the West Mound, and the planning of Fresh Kills Park on Tuesday, August 10, 7:00 p.m. – 9:30 p.m., at Trinity Church, Broadway at Wall Street. Continue Reading>>


The City Releases West Side/Hudson Yards Environmental Impact Statement

thirty fourth street hudson yardsOn June 21, the City Planning Commission certified the zoning text for the Hudson Yards Development Program, formally beginning the public review period for a proposed 40 million square feet of development west of 8th Avenue. Continue Reading>>


Newsrack Law Facing a Summer Sneak Attack: Let Your Voice Be Heard Against Intro. 363

After many years of citizens’ complaints about newsracks blighting our sidewalks and blocking pedestrian curb cuts, bus stops, access to fire hydrants and more, the New York City Council passed Local Law 23, which regulates the placement and maintenance of newsracks on city sidewalks. Last April, the City’s Department of Transportation started to enforce this law. Now an industry-supported bill (Intro. 363) seeks to undermine the enforcement of Local Law 23.

During the years of struggle to get Local Law 23 passed, the publishing industry first promised it would police itself, then negotiated and renegotiated to reach a bill it finally decided was soft enough to live with. Now the industry finds itself inconvenienced by the City’s efforts to enforce the very law it agreed to. Continue Reading>>


Planning for Manhattan’s West Side

For decades, Manhattan, west of 8th Avenue from 14th to 43rd Streets has been underused and underappreciated. Today, an urban drama is playing out on the Far West Side, in which the City of New York, the US Olympic Committee, and the neighborhoods themselves are among the primary players. A city-sponsored planning project now underway would rezone the area from mostly manufacturing to a high-density mix of residential and commercial uses and extend the 7 train west to 11th Avenue. The NYC 2012’s Olympics proposal would bring a football stadium, a grand park space and an expanded convention center to the area bordering the Hudson River from 30th Street to 41st Streets. Continue Reading>>


Fresh Kills: Community Planning and Design Workshop

On Thursday, June 10, 7:00 – 9:30 p.m., at Intermediate School 24, Staten Island, we are requesting the public’s input to ensure that the master plan for the future re-use of Fresh Kills Landfill reflects the needs and desires of New Yorkers.

The second Community Planning and Design Workshop for Fresh Kills is scheduled for Thursday, June 10. This workshop will focus on the southern portion of the site, near Arden Heights, as well as the berm area along Richmond Avenue. People of all ages are encouraged to attend.

Intermediate School 24 is located in the Great Kills section of Staten Island. Directions are posted on the www.nyc.gov/freshkills website.


Beefing Up the Market: The Drive to Save A Unique Historic Place

For over a year, MAS has been working with the Greenwich Village community on achieving designated historic district status for the Gansevoort Market area of the far West Village. The area (roughly bounded by 15th Street on the north, Horatio Street on the south, Ninth Avenue on the east and the Hudson River on the west) has for over a century been the home of meat wholesale and other food service related businesses and is currently zoned for manufacturing and commercial uses only. The recent migration to the neighborhood of art galleries, designer boutiques, and trendy clubs – all of which are compatible with market activities and are legal uses in a manufacturing zone – has inspired a great deal of speculation that residential uses will soon follow. Indeed, some property owners have hinted their desire to develop out-of-scale high-rise apartment buildings on Gansevoort’s gritty streetscapes. A proposal for a 32-story luxury condominium was heard this month by the City’s Board of Standards and Appeals, which is empowered to override zoning if it deems it appropriate. Development of this type will significantly and irrevocably alter the Gansevoort Market. Continue Reading>>


Fresh Kills: From Landfill to Landscape Briefing Session

fresh kills aerialJoin MAS on Wednesday, May 26, 6:00 p.m. as the City of New York, led by the Department of City Planning, is undertaking a master plan for the Fresh Kills site.

Following a design competition co-sponsored with the Municipal Art Society, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg announced the selection of a consultant team led by Field Operations, a landscape architecture firm, to draft the plan for the 2,200 acre site. The goal is to guide Fresh Kills’ transformation into a magnificent new park that will be a great asset for the citizens of Staten Island, the City of New York, and the metropolitan region.

To ensure that the master plan reflects the needs and desires of New Yorkers, we need your input! Please join the Department of City Planning, MAS and the American Society of Landscape Architects for a briefing on the progress of this plan on Wednesday, May 26, at 6:00 p.m. at the Urban Center.

RSVP: Maia Mordana, 212.935.3960


Imagine New York Wins Two Honors

imagine new york logoOn March 28, 2004, Micaéla Birmingham and Peter Putka won the most prestigious local television award — a New York Emmy — for their work on the public service announcement for Imagine New York, a project of the Municipal Art Society in response to 9/11. Congratulations to them and to everyone who worked on the PSA! Adding to its plaudits, Imagine New York was also recently named by the American Planning Association as one of the 25 top planning stories of the last 25 years, a list that includes such events as the fall of the Iron Curtain. See a version of the PSA below:


Imagine New York Releases Report on WTC Memorial Designs

imagine new york logoAfter gathering thousands of comments from the public on the eight World Trade Center site memorial design finalists, Imagine New York has released its summary report. As the LMDC’s memorial jury’s deliberations continue, this report offers unique insight into the public’s responses to the finalists’ designs, released November 19. The summary report has been delivered to key decision-makers and is now available online. For information on the WTC memorial competition, visit the official website.


Making it in New York: The Manufacturing Land Use and Zoning Initiative

For a copy of this report, please contact MAS at 212-935-3960


A Planning Policy Program for the Far West Side

The public and private sectors are currently embroiled in an intense debate on the future of what is currently the primarily industrial Far West Side of Manhattan. Changes in the real estate market for land in this area are placing increasing development pressure on neighborhoods from Clinton to the Meatpacking District. While the Department of City Planning is in the process of preparing a comprehensive redevelopment strategy for this area to amend zoning, create a new urban design framework, and improve transportation, among other objectives, NYC 2012 is promoting an Olympics stadium, broadcast facilities and a new eight-acre open space. Continue Reading>>


TWA Terminal Named as One of the Nation’s Most Endangered Places

The effort to save Eero Saarinen’s iconic TWA Terminal from encroaching development got a big boost last week when the building was included on the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s list of America’s “Most Endangered Places”. The MAS nominated the Terminal to the list in hopes that it would help raise awareness of the current threat to the landmark building and to aid fundraising and advocacy for its protection. While this listing does not ensure protection against the Port Authority’s insensitive development plans, it just may help persuade the Federal Aviation Administration to disapprove of them. Stay tuned.