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Archive for 'Gowanus'

A Moveable Landmark

One of New York City’s most unusual landmarks is the Carroll Street Bridge, which spans Brooklyn’s Gowanus Canal. Built in 1888-89 (Robert Van Buren, chief engineer; George Ingram, engineer in charge), it is one of the oldest remaining bridges in New York City, and one of only four known “retractile” bridges in the United States. We were lucky enough to be in the neighborhood when the bridge was opening, offering a special opportunity to see how this rare bridge operates. As you can see in the photographs, the bridge rolls horizontally on a track in order to open to allow barges to pass.

As an official New York City landmark, the bridge is protected from inappropriate changes or demolition. However, MAS is concerned that plans for a major residential development, by Toll Brothers, adjacent to the bridge could bring increased auto traffic challenging the limits of the bridge’s structural capacity.

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Former Eyesores, New Life Comes to Columbus Circle, the Highline, and Fresh Kills

Metropolis published two articles today on several successful major redevelopment projects that MAS encouraged, such as Columbus Circle, the High Line, and Fresh Kills in Staten Island.  All at various stages of completion, these areas, former notorious eyesores on New York City landscape, are being reimaged in ways that increase open space and activate their surrounding neighborhoods.

In other news, the Landmarks Preservation Commission rejected the current General Growth proposal for the South Street Seaport while there was no vote at the hearing, the Commission objected primarily to the inappropriate scale, massing and height of buildings in a historic district and the relocation of the historic Tin building. Continue Reading>>

Updates on Ground Zero; Museum of Arts and Design Opens

wtc memorial rendering oldPort Authority officials have developed a simplified plan for the transit hub at Ground Zero, allowing the 9/11 Memorial to be complete in time for the tenth anniversary of the attacks, says the  New York Times; the plan must still be approved by the Authority commissioners.  The proposed alterations to the transit hub are underneath the memorial and would retain architect Santiago Calatrava’s bird-like design for the street level building.  MAS is still searching for funding to continue the “Tribute in Light” memorial to the 9/11 attacks as well as a permanent location for the installation.

Meanwhile, the New York Sun reports that the Port Authority may miss a deadline to hand over Tower 2 of the World Trade Center to the developer Silverstein Properties, incurring even more penalties.

In other news, Nicolai Ouroussoff, architecture critic for the New York Times, considers the redesign of 2 Columbus Circle, which opens this weekend. Continue Reading>>

Accountable Development Working Group Meeting: Sept. 24

The Accountable Development Working Group is a project of Task Force member organization the Fifth Avenue Committee that focuses on projects in Brooklyn. They meet tonight at from 6-8pm at FAC’s offices, 621 DeGraw Street (near Fourth Avenue), Brooklyn.

On the agenda for tonight:

· Update on proposed rezoning of Sunset Park

· Update the proposed rezoning on Gowanus, including Public Place and the “Toll Brothers” project

· Mailing and outreach for the “Demystifying Zoning”, “Demystifying Affordable Housing” workshops, in October

· Gowanus residential unit survey – volunteers needed!

· Future direction and activities for ADWG

· your item here.

For more information, contact Dave Powell at (718) 237-2017 ext 148.

Coney Island USA, Astroland & City Discuss Future of Coney Island Tonight at MAS; Five New Landmarks Designated

coney island historic boardwalk aerialMAS will host “Coney Island at the Crossroads” tonight, a panel discussion featuring MAS president Kent Barwick, the NYC Department of City Planning, the Coney Island Development Corporation; Carol Hill Albert,  owner of Astroland; Dick Zigun, director of Coney Island USA, and Sheryl Robertson, director of South Brooklyn Youth Consortium.  Jonathan Bowles, director of the Center for an Urban Future will moderate. Check out details of the program on Gownus Lounge.  Read more about MAS’ Coney Island Advocacy here

The Landmarks Preservation Commission designated five new landmarks yesterday, says the New York Times; MAS testified before the Commission in support of the proposed Alice and Agate Courts Historic District in Bedford-Stuyvesant

In other news, Develop Don’t Destroy Brooklyn is bringing their last appeal to stop the Atlantic Yards project Continue Reading>>

Admiral’s Row and Manufacturing Land Threatened

Admirals Row MAS Option C IIDescribing MAS as a “civic group” advocating for the preservation of Admiral’s Row in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, NY1 covers the ongoing debate over the future of the area on its website today, but does not mention the mid-August visioning session MAS convened with community representatives, architects, preservations, and other experts to explore alternatives to demolition of the historic buildings.

MAS officially presented the outcomes of this visioning in the form of initial plans to the owners National Guard and future owners City of New York/Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation at a Section 106 meeting last week. This fall, MAS and local groups will continue to expand and enrich these alternative plans by presenting them to the public for feedback and input. For more news, Continue Reading>>

Accountable Development Working Group Meeting: Aug. 27

This Wednesday is the third meeting of the Accountable Development Working Group, hosted by Task Force member organization The Fifth Avenue Committee. The meeting takes place from 6 – 8pm here at the Fifth Avenue Committee’s offices at 621 DeGraw Street (near Fourth Avenue, in Brooklyn). On this month’s agenda:

· A brief presentation about the proposed rezoning of Sunset Park

· A brief presentation about the proposed rezoning in Gowanus

· Plotting upcoming activities for the fall

· Revival of the “Demystifying Zoning”, “Demystifying Affordable Housing” workshops, coming soon!

· Your item here

Reforms to get More Bidders on City Projects and Microorganisms in Gowanus Canal

cyclone coney island brooklyn

Credit: Jasper Goldman

MAS Issues in the Press:

– Roland Lewis, President of the Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance, is answering questions this week about the waterfront on the New York Times‘ City Blog. Coney Island USA has teamed up with the Shmaltz Brewing Company to advertise their Sideshow image to a wider audience (Brooklyn Daily Paper).

– Special Board meetings of the Port Authority will be held monthly to discuss the agency’s progress at Ground Zero (New York Times). Mayor Bloomberg supports putting a Costco on the Upper West Side of Manhattan citing the economic downturn, and the need for jobs and low prices for consumers (New York Sun).

– The refurbished plazas and Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center are on track for completion in 2009 (New York Sun). Curbed has photographs of the rapid demolition of the historic Kent Avenue power plant. Continue Reading>>

St. Vincent’s Future Unclear and Protests of the Lower East Side Rezoning

prospect heights brooklyn new york historic districtMAS in the Press:
MAS Director of Advocacy and Policy Lisa Kersavage speaks about the likely designation of Prospect Heights as an historic district, a long time project of MAS and the Prospect Heights Neighborhood Development Corp (Brooklyn Daily Eagle). MAS Urbanists celebrated sustainability in preservation last night at a fundraiser at the new LEED certified Galapagos Art Space in DUMBO, Brooklyn (DUMBONYC, Gothamist).

MAS Issues in the Press:
– Celebrity neighbors of St. Vincent’s Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins spoke out against the proposed redevelopment at the Landmarks Preservation Commission (NY Times) however City Council speaker Christine Quinn, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, state Senator Thomas Duane, and Rep. Jerrold Nadler spoke out in support (Crain’s NY Business). Continue Reading>>