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September 2006
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Archive for September, 2006

Significant Historic Resources in the Greenpoint / Williamsburg Rezoning Area

greenpoint williamsburgGreenpoint and Williamsburg have a long and venerable past, and there remains a wealth of buildings related to their history. Williamsburg, which in the 1850s was the third-largest city in the region, is filled with 19th-century rowhouses and manufacturing buildings interspersed with historic banks, schools, churches and synagogues. In Greenpoint, 90 percent of the existing housing stock was built before World War II, much of it constructed by the 19th-century shipbuilders who worked on the nearby docks. Amid this rich housing stock are some of Brooklyn’s oldest churches — and significant collections of manufacturing buildings that are reminders of the neighborhood’s industrial past. These buildings, which bear witness to the neighborhoods’ rich history, also play a significant role in shaping the character and sense of place of these communities. When the city brought forward a proposal to rezone large sections of Greenpoint and Williamsburg, we became concerned that the historic buildings would be negatively impacted if steps were not taken to protect them. Continue Reading>>

The Kissena Velodrome, A Place That Matters

kissena park velodrome bicycle racing queensThe Kissena Velodrome, nominated by John Campo, is a 400-meter outdoor track in Queens’ Kissena Park, gives bicycle riders a place to race and ride without cars. It is, in fact, the only velodrome in New York City. Continue Reading>>

Harbor Camp Sails Again

harbor camp nycAlmost 2,000 students experienced Harbor Camp this past summer, a waterfront-themed summer program of educational, recreational and cultural activities. Organized by the Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance, activities included sailing, visits to historic boats, waterfront parks and museums during July and August. Continue Reading>>

Adopt-A-Mural: The Program

Barry Faulkner mural, Early History of Manhattan New YorkIn response to the deterioration of many of New York City’s outdoor statues and public murals in hospitals, schools and libraries, and the limited resources to preserve them, the Municipal Art Society initiated the Adopt-A-Monument program in 1987 and the Adopt-A-Mural program in 1991. Both programs were born as a plea to corporate and private donors to support the conservation the city’s most neglected public statues and threatened murals. Continue Reading>>

CBGB, A Place that Matters

CBGB the Ramones rock punk venue new york music historyWe asked you to tell us what makes CBGBs important to you. Your pictures and words are displayed below, and may be used for other public education efforts. New York City is the music capital of the U.S., if not the world, and its formative role in 20th century music — from Tin Pan Alley to Broadway to the Brill Building — is unparalleled. The city is home to some of the most famous venues anywhere, including Carnegie Hall, the Apollo Theater, Town Hall, Madison Square Garden, Lincoln Center, and many more. Among the most renowned is CBGB, the birthplace of punk music and an internationally recognized cultural icon. Continue Reading>>

Kurdish Museum, Prospect Heights, Brooklyn, A Place that Matters

kurdish library prospect heights brooklyn new york cityWho’d think that one of the — if not the — most extensive collections in the Western Hemisphere of Kurdish texts and manuscripts would be tucked away in a brownstone in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn? Vera Beaudin Saedpour founded and collected the material for the Kurdish Library and Museum, at 144 Underhill Ave. The space overflows with Kurdish rugs and textiles, artwork and artifacts, texts and manuscripts. It’s house as museum — but, unlike typical “house museums,” it’s dedicated to people from a region some 6,000 miles away. Continue Reading>>

Sweet Future for an East River Icon?

domino sugar factoryThe Domino Sugar Refinery buildings in Williamsburg, Brooklyn — one of the most prominent industrial heritage sites on the East River — is endangered by a major residential development proposal, but help may be on the way.  The MAS has requested that the Landmarks Preservation Commission designate the 13-building complex as a city landmark so that it can be preserved and reused, and to ensure that any buildings added to the site will fit with the site’s historic character. Continue Reading>>

Let There Be Light – The Fifth Anniversary of Tribute in Light

ro blechman artist tribute in light posterOn Monday, September 11, the beams of Tribute in Light were visible once again over the skies of Lower Manhattan. To mark this, the fifth anniversary of 9/11, and help ensure that Tribute in Light can shine in coming years, the Municipal Art Society has printed 2,000 special edition R.O. Blechman posters (see right) which are available for purchase at $250 for signed copies and $50 for those unsigned. Net proceeds go to the Tribute in Light Fund. Click here to purchase a poster. Continue Reading>>

Build Brooklyn’s Green Crescent Now

green crescent brooklyn waterfornt park plan mapIf you’re from Brooklyn and want your waterfront back, the time to speak up is now. Read on to learn how you can make your voice heard. Last year, the city rezoned 180 blocks in the Brooklyn neighborhoods of Greenpoint and Williamsburg. Much of the rezoning was along the borough’s East River waterfront — a distance equivalent to that from Canal Street to 34th Street in Manhattan. The city’s vision is already transforming a historically industrial area with new high-rise housing and the beginnings of a 1.6 mile waterfront esplanade. Continue Reading>>

The Battery, A Place That Matters

the battery new york cityFew places in New York remind you just how closely the city is connected to the water. High among them is the Battery, the historic birthplace of and gate to the city. Today an oasis of green bordered by towering office buildings and the gleaming harbor, the Battery has been a civic space in New York continuously since 1626, making it the oldest such space in the city. While it has served as home to a fort, space for celebration, entry point for immigrants, the Battery now mixes events and performances between the many monuments and memorials that lie in it. Continue Reading>>

Gaelic Park, A Place that Matters

gaelic park soccer gameGaelic Park has brought Irish sports like hurling and Irish football to New York for over 75 years and, in doing so, it’s become a potent link between Irish Americans and their heritage. Located at 240th St. and Broadway in the Kingsbridge section of the Bronx, the park has a stadium done in traditional Irish fashion and is the home for the Gaelic Athletic Association of Greater New York. It has hosted dances, weddings and concerts, all with an Irish twist. While the GAA started the park in the 1920s, nearby Manhattan College took it over 15 years ago, and it now also serves as home field for some of the school’s teams. Continue Reading>>

Moynihan Station: Second Chances

moynihan station current frontPat Moynihan believed that America is the land of second chances. He saw the idea to build a new Penn Station in the landmark Farley Post Office across Eighth Avenue from the current “stygian chamber” (hell hole) of a station as New York’s golden opportunity to redeem itself for tearing down the original Pennsylvania Station. He persuaded Congress to allocate the funding so that New York would regain a grand gateway with room to grow. Continue Reading>>