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Archive for June, 2006

Funding the Landmarks Commission: You Can Help

prospect heights street housesYou can help make one of the most important improvements to historic preservation in New York City today. How? By telling your City Council member and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn to increase the Landmarks Preservation Commission’s budget. Continue Reading>>

Spring Heralds Cleaning of Adopted Monuments

farragut statue monument restorationFollowing the tragedy of 9/11, the relevance of saving public statues seemed almost inconsequential in light of the impossibility of saving people’s lives. Then a photograph in The New York Times of a makeshift shrine at the statue of George Washington in Union Square revealed how much monuments function as a civic religion. An American flag had been placed in the mounted general’s hand, and antiwar slogans decorated the granite pedestal. Such monuments hold a reservoir of public memory, reminding us of the heroism and sacrifice of another era. Continue Reading>>

Adopt-A-Mural: The Program

Barry Faulkner mural, Early History of Manhattan New YorkFollowing the success of the Monument program, MAS conceived of the Adopt-A-Mural program in 1991 in partnership with the Art Commission. Seventeen threatened public artworks out of the city’s 430 murals in libraries, schools and hospitals, were selected to be saved. Fifteen have found public sponsors and been restored through this project. Continue Reading>>

Adopt-A-Monument: The Program

richard morris hunt memorialIn response to the deterioration of many of New York City’s outdoor statues and the limited resources to preserve them, the Municipal Art Society initiated the Adopt-A-Monument program in 1987. The program was born as a plea to corporate and private donors to support the conservation of 20 of the city’s most neglected public statues. Over $2 million has been raised for this project and 38 monuments have been restored. The Society not only oversees the conservation treatments on these projects, but also continues to be a model for Save-Our-Sculpture efforts in cities across the country and Canada. Continue Reading>>

After Outcry, Illegal Ad Comes off 2 Columbus Circle

ad da vinci codeThe enormous advertisement that covered 2 Columbus Circle was removed on April 14. It was precisely, as Vanessa Gruen, the MAS director of special projects, told The New York Times, too high, too big, not allowed in that zone, and totally illegal. Continue Reading>>

Atlantic Yards: Brooklyn Deserves A Better Plan

atlantic avenue brooklyn streetOn a slender, 22-acre strip of land between Prospect Heights and Fort Greene, the developer Forest City Ratner is proposing one of the largest building projects in Brooklyn’s history. Known as Atlantic Yards, it proposes 16 new skyscrapers and an 18,000-seat sports arena — more than eight and a half million square feet of new development. (This article is followed by much more news and information about the Atlantic Yards proposal, including a link to a new website called BrooklynSpeaks.net.) Continue Reading>>

At Public Meeting, MAS Puts Forth Urban Planning Principles for Atlantic Yards

audience mas forum programInvited by several local politicians and community groups to the Hanson Place Central United Methodist Church, in Brooklyn, on June 15, the MAS laid out urban planning principles to which development on the Atlantic Yards site should adhere. MAS President Kent Barwick introduced the presentation, which was made by MAS Atlantic Yards Committee members Stuart Pertz and John West. City Council Member Letitia James, one of the evening’s hosts, and Eric McClure, representing community groups, opened the meeting. Continue Reading>>