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July 21st, 2016, 10:10 am
Summary of the Position
MAS, a 123-year-old organization advocating on behalf of New York City, is seeking an energetic and skilled web and digital platforms manager to lead its online activities during an upcoming redesign and rebranding process.
The Webmaster & Digital Outreach Manager is responsible for maintaining and updating MAS’s existing website and serving as lead manager of the organization’s 2016-2017 website redesign. This position will also be responsible for distribution of e-newsletters and other electronic communications through our existing eblast platform, and guiding the organization through the transition to a new platform to be debuted upon website relaunch next year. S/he is responsible for overall audience development strategy and continual assessment of the effectiveness of the website and eblast efforts. This position also serves as point of contact and relationship manager for external vendor contracts totaling several hundred thousand dollars.
July 19th, 2016, 2:04 pm
MAS Statement regarding the Landmarks Preservation Commission’s Greater East Midtown Initiative.
July 19, 2016
The Municipal Art Society of New York is a non-profit committed to advocating for intelligent urban planning, design, and preservation policy. MAS has a particularly long and celebrated history in East Midtown, successfully leading the fight to preserve Grand Central Terminal.
When the Department of City Planning first released their plans to rezone a large portion of East Midtown Manhattan in 2012, MAS worked with area stakeholders and a variety of planning experts to help ensure the future vitality of this important neighborhood. Much of this effort culminated in a report, East Midtown: A Bold Vision for the Future, which laid out recommendations for an improved planning framework for the City.
July 15th, 2016, 10:59 am
MAS Comments on Notice of Filing by the New York City School Construction Authority for the Proposed Site Selection for the Construction of a Primary School Facility in Community School District No. 15, Brooklyn
July 15, 2016
The Municipal Art Society of New York (MAS) herein provides comments on the Notice of Filing (NOF) for the proposed site selection of Block 728, Lots 34 and 36, and any other property in the immediate vicinity which may be necessary for the proposed project, for the construction of a new, approximately 300-seat primary school facility in Community School District No. 15, in Brooklyn.
With regard to the overall project, MAS opposes any plan that would involve the demolition of the 18th Police Precinct Station House and Stable. Designed by architect George Ingram between 1890 and 1892, both structures are listed on the State and National Registers of Historic Places and are individual New York City landmarks. As such, these structures warrant protection and rehabilitation. We urge the School Construction Authority (SCA) to either select an alternate site for the construction of the school, or sensitively preserve the two buildings by incorporating them into any new design.
July 14th, 2016, 10:46 am
MAS Comments Regarding the Draft Scope of Work for the Bay Street Corridor Rezoning and Related Actions, Borough of Staten Island Environmental Impact Statement CEQR No. 16DCP156R, Staten Island, NY
July 14, 2016
The Municipal Art Society of New York (MAS) commends the level of city engagement and community involvement in the Bay Street Corridor @ Downtown Staten Island Initiative. We support the goals of the City to rezone this area from manufacturing to residential and commercial zoning districts to create opportunities for affordable housing, increase economic development, and improve open space and infrastructure. MAS also recognizes that the Bay Street Corridor is one of 15 neighborhoods in which the City seeks to encourage density and apply the requirements of Mandatory Inclusionary Housing (MIH).
The proposed project is expected to result in an incremental increase of approximately 2,557 new dwelling units, approximately 260,000 square feet (sf) of new commercial uses and approximately 49,000 sf of community facility space throughout the 20 block project area. We understand that the project could facilitate a maximum of approximately 700 affordable dwelling units.
MAS requests the following items be included in the Scope of Work to be evaluated in the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS):
Zoning, Land Use, Public Policy
The Mandatory Inclusionary Housing (MIH) option has not been chosen at this time and the potential impacts on overall development will vary. The EIS should evaluate an option that would result in the highest number of dwelling units in order to assess the highest possible impact scenario.
July 12th, 2016, 10:41 am
MAS Testimony to NYC Council Subcommittee on Zoning and Franchises regarding Land Use Application No.: C 150438 ZMM, the Sherman Plaza Project, 4650 Broadway, New York, NY
July 12, 2016
The Municipal Art Society of New York (MAS) asserts that this project, as currently proposed, would set a harmful precedent for inappropriate, out-of-scale development in the Inwood neighborhood. We urge the subcommittee to reject the proposed zoning map amendment and request an alternate design.
While we are pleased with the proposed changes regarding the affordable housing component, MAS remains concerned that the project would set a precedent for rezonings that facilitate the construction of similar out-of-scale developments in the Inwood area. With a height of 155 feet and approximately 431,725 gross square feet, the project would adversely affect urban design, visual resources, and the neighborhood character in the area.
MAS also questions why the revised Environmental Assessment Statement (EAS) submitted June 20, 2016 includes a substantially shorter (14 stories, 150 feet vs. 10 stories, 110 feet) No-Action development than what was used as a basis for the evaluation in the original January 19, 2016 EAS. We question why this fundamental change was made at such a late stage in the project environmental review process.
June 29th, 2016, 1:35 pm
MAS Testimony to the Committee on Land Use Regarding Reporting on the Compliance Statuses of Privately Owned Public Spaces by the Department of City Planning and Department of Buildings. INT 1219-2016
June 29, 2016
The Municipal Art Society of New York (MAS) supports Intro 1219, but proposes a series of modifications to strengthen the City’s oversight powers for New York’s privately-owned public spaces (POPS).
In our city-wide review of POPS conducted in 2000, MAS and partner Professor Jerold S. Kayden gave 41% of POPS a “marginal” rating and found that over 50% were in some way out of compliance. Despite our findings, City government and community stakeholders still lack a comprehensive and transparent set of mechanisms and oversight processes to ensure that POPS are kept open to the public, in good condition, and in alignment with the needs of the community.
The recent debate about the future of the Water Street POPS underscores the need for better oversight of these cherished public spaces. When POPS are allowed to fall into disrepair or disuse, as happened along the Water Street corridor, the public risks losing these spaces altogether to retail or other private uses without fair compensation to the public benefit. The passage of Water Street Upgrades Text Amendment N 160166 ZRM earlier this month demonstrates that New York City can no longer settle for a hands-off approach to POPS.
June 28th, 2016, 4:11 pm
We’re back with another update on the Landmarks Preservation Commission’s (LPC) Backlog95 Initiative. Today, LPC designated seven new properties from the backlog:
George William and Anna Curtis House (234 Bard Avenue)*
St. John’s Protestant Episcopal Church Rectory (1331 Bay Street)*
92 Harrison Street House*
Prince’s Bay Lighthouse Complex (6204 Hylan Boulevard)*
315 Broadway Building*
St. Joseph of the Holy Family Roman Catholic Church (401-403 West 125th Street)*
St. Paul Roman Catholic Church (121 East 117th Street)
Together with the items designated on April 12th (read our blog post on those properties as well), we now have 15 new landmarks as a result of action taken on the Backlog. There are another 15 items that await a vote from LPC. Stay tuned!
*MAS delivered testimony in support.
June 27th, 2016, 1:05 pm
MAS was delighted by the news on June 24, 2016, that President Obama would designate the first-ever national monument to the LGBT civil rights movement in New York’s Greenwich Village.
“I’m designating the Stonewall National Monument as the newest addition to America’s National Park System. Stonewall will be our first national monument to tell the story of the struggle for LGBT rights. I believe our national parks should reflect the full story of our country, the richness and diversity and uniquely American spirit that has always defined us. That we are stronger together. That out of many, we are one.”
Barack Hussein Obama
44th President of the United States
The Stonewall Inn became ingrained in American history on June 28, 1969, when a police raid ignited days of disturbance and demonstration. In previous interactions with police, bar patrons had been cooperative, even in the face of routine, government-sanctioned persecution; but on this night they rose up in defiance. The rebellion is credited with sparking the formation of LGBT civil rights organizations across the country. It also resulted in the annual Pride March, now part of Pride Month, which is celebrated by millions worldwide.
The Municipal Art Society of New York (MAS) was proud to advocate for the designation of the Stonewall Inn as an individual New York City landmark in 2015. Conferring this status upon Stonewall last year was a step forward for our local Landmarks Preservation Commission and our field as a whole—it was the first landmark designated in New York City exclusively to recognize the LGBT rights movement.
Now we celebrate our first national monument dedicated to this struggle. We hope you have a chance to stop by the Stonewall Inn and Christopher Park soon in honor of this legacy of change within our City.
June 22nd, 2016, 11:30 am
MAS is partnering with ArtBridge and the Brownsville Community Justice Center on an upcoming exhibition: Brownsville Matters, featuring works by local artists that emphasize East Brooklyn’s cultural and creative identity. Selected artists will receive an honorarium, and their works will be reproduced on billboard-sized vinyl mesh that will adorn the metal fencing on Thatford Ave at the Langston Hughes Houses in Brownsville, Brooklyn. Special consideration will be given to Langston Hughes residents.
For more information please visit: http://art-bridge.org/project/brownsville/.
June 22nd, 2016, 10:41 am
MAS Testimony to NYC Planning Commission regarding ULURP Application No. C 160082, Adorama, 38-42 West 18th Street
June 21, 2016
The Municipal Art Society of New York (MAS) welcomes the chance to comment on the application by 42 West 18th Street Realty Corp. for a special permit to facilitate a mixed-use development at 38-42 West 18th Street. MAS has carefully reviewed this application and opposes this project unless the requirements of the Mandatory Inclusionary Housing Program (MIH) are applied.
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