October 2002
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Archive for October, 2002

Nine Principles for Rebuilding New York

New York’s core values must form the basis for the rebuilding of our city. In the wake of unimaginable loss, we should celebrate these core values and the diversity of New York, while creating a city that is fairer and more respectful of the environment.

Although much of the damage from the September 11 attacks was felt at ground zero and in Lower Manhattan, other significant impacts have reverberated far beyond the sixteen acres. People throughout the entire region lost loved ones and suffered from the economic effects of the attacks. Therefore, any redevelopment plan must take a citywide and regionwide approach and above all, must be accomplished through an open, inclusive and robust public process.

In the months since September 11, many civic organizations around New York have sprung into action and come together in an extraordinary manner. The following principles emerge from the work of five of these coalitions – Imagine New York, Labor Community Advocacy Network (LCAN), New York City Arts Coalition, New York New Visions, and Rebuild Downtown Our Town (R.Dot). These coalitions have each separately produced reports that have drawn upon the professional expertise of more than 400 organizational partners; public listening sessions; decades of community experience; and an ongoing, open and inclusive dialogue. While each of the coalitions had a substantially different process for arriving at its conclusions, the degree of unanimity in the conclusions of these initiatives is remarkable.

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Imagine New York: Giving Voice to the People’s Visions – How did more than 3,500 people Imagine New York?

At the Imagine New York summit held on June 1 at the New School University, over 300 participants and facilitators reconvened to finalize the vision statements that appear in the report to decision-makers. In his opening remarks, Municipal Art Society President, Kent Barwick, said, “I think the most important thing that will come out of the report is not the ideas but the criteria by which the ideas will be judged. It’s not that the each of these people here today or 4,000 people that participated in the workshop should be the designers or have the design ideas. But that they should be the client.” The MAS will present an Imagine New York summary report to decision-makers and others on June 10. To read the over 18,000 ideas gathered though the Imagine New York project, visit the idea gallery at imaginenewyork.org.

New Penn Station: Building a Landmark for a New Century

penn station

Designed by David Childs of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, in association with Hugh Hardy, the New Penn Station has, at its heart, a gridded glass fan sheltering the main ticketing hall in the mid-section of the building. This signature feature clearly signals the entrance from points east and west. Passengers will descend from the concourse to the platforms below which are crowned by the building’s original skylight. The original Pennsylvania Station’s most cherished quality – the filtering of natural light down to the train tracks – will be recreated here in modern dress. The flagship post office at the top of the grand Eighth Avenue stairs will be carefully refurbished and new retail and passenger services will surround the station’s main rooms.

This is good news for all of the travelers who course through the present Penn Station, the busiest passenger transportation facility in the world. Long Island Railroad and New Jersey Transit service will remain in their present facility and will expand into the space formerly occupied by Amtrak. With more federal funding in the pipeline to meet the $484 million price tag, the project is expected to be completed in 2003.

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UPDATE! Eero Saarinen’s TWA Flight Center: A Jet-Age Icon is Threatened

twa saarinen

“All the curves, all the spaces and elements right down to the shape of the signs, display boards, railings and check-in desks were to be of a matching nature. We wanted passengers passing through the building to experience a fully-designed environment, in which each part arises from another and everything belongs to the same formal world.”

Eero Saarinen, 1959 (from Peter Gossel and Gabriele Leuthauser. Architecture in the Twentieth Century, p.250).

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