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June 2007
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Archive for June, 2007

OUTRAGE! A Municipal Art Society Photo Competition

The streets of New York City are littered with filthy, poorly maintained and decrepit newsracks that are both eyesores and potentially hazardous to New Yorkers. Paris, London, Berlin and Amsterdam don’t tolerate this scourge on their streets, and Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami Beach, Houston and San Francisco have cracked down on the newsrack blight too. But New York City continues to tolerate it, and we think this is outrageous! Continue Reading>>

MAS Celebrates 114th Anniversary; Annual Report Released

MAS_Annual_Report_2006-07_coverWith award presentations, project updates and friendly libations, the Municipal Art Society observed its 114th birthday on Tuesday evening, June 26. More than 500 members and friends attended the annual meeting, held this year on the 52nd floor of 7 World Trade Center. The Greenmarkets program, Take the Field partnership, Strand Book Store and Carlton Brown, CEO of Full Spectrum Development, were recognized with awards for helping to define the character of New York City. The annual report is now available online.

Once Again, City Increases Funding for Landmarks Commission

Responding to a sustained MAS advocacy campaign, the City Council has increased the budget of the Landmarks Preservation Commission for the second year in a row. Funding will grow by $300,000 for the new fiscal year. Last year, the council boosted funding by an additional $250,000. The increase will allow the commission to add staff, and increase both the rate of designations and the efficiency with which permits are processed. Mayor Bloomberg, the City Council and especially Council Member Jessica Lappin deserve our thanks.

Brooklyn’s Industrial Waterfront Buildings Listed Among Most Endangered Places

save industrial brooklynResponding to the destruction of some of Brooklyn’s most important historic industrial buildings and sites, and the threats others face, the National Trust for Historic Preservation has named the industrial heritage of the Brooklyn waterfront to its annual list of the 11 Most Endangered Historic Places. The announcement was made at the National Press Club in Washington, DC, and in DUMBO, Brooklyn, in mid-June. Since 1988, the National Trust has identified nearly 200 threatened historic sites and buildings in this way to promote action to save America’s most important treasures. Continue Reading>>

East River Day: An East River Agenda for Manhattan, The Bronx, Queens and Brooklyn

sailship boat river new yorkOn East River Day, Thursday, June 21, a coalition of more than 50 organizations led by the Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance and the Municipal Art Society will launch the East River Agenda. Responding to the mayor’s bold plan to reclaim 90 percent of the city’s waterways by 2030, the agenda is a roadmap to creating a cleaner, more accessible and sustainable future for the East River and its shoreline. More details. Continue Reading>>

The Iron Triangle: Magnet for New Development

The MAS submitted comments on the Economic Development Corporation’s draft scope of work for Willets Point in Queens on May 14. The draft scope is the first step in the city’s environmental review process. The comments urged the city to be more specific about the costs and benefits of the EDC proposal, analyze the number of existing jobs and the impact of their loss on surrounding communities, consider the impact of the decentralization of automotive uses, and to consider alternative development scenarios that would result in the city’s first business incubator for sustainable automotive care and alternative fuel development. The EDC anticipates that the ULURP process will begin sometime in December 2007.

A Vision for the East Side Waterfront is Unveiled

east river waterfront park original - frontA group of six leading landscape architects united for a day of brainstorming and collaborative synergy in early June to develop a bold vision for Midtown’s inaccessible East River waterfront, and three days later they presented the resulting concepts and images to a crowd of more than 200 interested New Yorkers. The intensive day-long design workshop, known as a charrette, was organized by the MAS, City Council member Dan Garodnick and Manhattan’s Community Board 6. Continue Reading>>

Charrette Presentation: Midtown’s East River Waterfront

Sunday, June 10, 2:00 p.m. at the Rotunda, Hunter College, Brookdale Campus, 425 East 25th St., between First Ave. and FDR Drive. The city has a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to open up access to Midtown’s East River waterfront. The midtown section of FDR Drive is being rebuilt, the former Con Ed power plant site is being redeveloped and the city is planning to facilitate the expansion of the U.N. campus and create an adjacent waterfront esplanade. If planned together, these projects could be designed to create a new park, provide access to the waterfront and complete a greenway connecting the Battery to Harlem. Learn more. Continue Reading>>

Midtown’s East River Waterfront

The development of Hudson River Park, and Stuyvesant Cove Park along the East River, has moved Manhattan tantalizingly close to being surrounded by an accessible green waterfront. A major missing link, however, remains along the segment of the East River shoreline that includes the campus of the United Nations and a large new development planned for the parcels once occupied by the Con Edison power plant that spanned from 38th Street to 41st Street, along First Avenue. Continue Reading>>