October 2007
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Archive for October, 2007

DUMBO, Eberhard Faber Among Industrial Sites on LPC Agenda This Week

dumbo brooklyn street view bridgeBrooklyn’s Industrial Waterfront is the focus of a major designation day at the Landmarks Preservation Commission next week. On Tuesday, October 30, the Commission will hold a public hearing on the proposed DUMBO Historic District and vote on the designation of the Eberhard Pencil Factory Historic District. Both sites were highlighted in the MAS’s successful nomination of the Brooklyn industrial waterfront heritage to the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s 11 Most Endangered Places for 2007. The Commission’s action on DUMBO and Eberhard Faber follows the designation of the Domino Sugar Factory in September. DUMBO is significant for its association with the rise of the city of Brooklyn as a major American industrial center and is unique to New York City for its nineteenth and early twentieth century industrial buildings, Belgian block streets, and its location on the East River by the imposing anchorage of the Manhattan Bridge. Continue Reading>>

The Brendan Gill Prize 2007

Monday, December 3, 6:00 – 8:00 p.m., at the National Museum of the American Indian, One Bowling Green, New York MAP The Board of Directors of the Municipal Art Society will award the 2007 Brendan Gill Prize to actor, playwright and poet Sarah Jones for “Bridge & Tunnel” her off-Broadway 2004 – Broadway 2006 one-woman show, vividly portaying the diverse and wonderful characters who populate and enrich our city. This event is by invitation only. To learn more about the Brendan Gill Prize and previous winners, click here.

Press Coverage of Release of Penn Station Draft Scope Document

October 24: From the New York Times: Release of Penn Station Plans, Charles Bagli From the New York Sun:Preliminary Penn Station Plans Released; a Test for Spitzer, Eliot Brown From the Daily News:New Plan for Penn Station and Madison Square Garden, Jonathan Lemire From Gothamist: Latest Details on Moynihan/Penn Station Project and Map of the Day: Moynihan Station Redevelopment Plan, Dave Hogarty From amNY: Agency Unveils Redrawn Plan for the Garden Station, David Freedlander From the New York Post: Penn On Track, Tom Topousis From NY1: Public Review Process of Moynihan Station Begins From Curbed: Moynihan Station Draft Scope is Fun for the Whole Family! October 23: From Crain’s New York Business: Officials Unveil Penn Station Plans, Anne Michaud From Commercial Property News: Moynihan Station Competing Plans Released by Empire State Development Corp., Tom Dworetzky From Reuters: NY Unveils Competing Moynihan Station Plans, Joan Gralla From the New York Observer: State Unveils Moynihan Station Plans, Tom Acitelli

What’s in the Draft Scope of Moynihan Station?

Yesterday, the ESDC released their draft scope document for Moynihan Station. A scope document is a technical document that identifies the issues to be addressed in a draft Environmental Impact Statement. It is generally released with conceptual plans or images of the proposal, which, unfortunately for the public, is not the case for Moynihan Station (click here to read MAS’ reaction to the release of the scope). The 93-page picture-less document outlines the basic details about the extent of the project. Read below for some of the key points.

In the Historic Farley Post Office Building

  • The creation of Moynihan Station West: inside the Farley Post Office Building there will be a new train hall, transit-related retail, and vertical circulation points (to the platforms below the building), but not the intermodal hall that was once planned.
  • A New Madison Square Garden – Madison Square Garden will be moved from it’s current location (above Penn Station) to the rear of the Farley building (the Western Annex).
  • Moving all Post Office functions out of Farley – The scope will study moving all of the post office functions out of the building. MAS believes the beautiful lobby of New York’s premier post office should continue to be used as a post office.
Moynihan Scope Map

At the Existing Penn Station / Madison Square Garden Block

  • Moynihan Station East – Demolition of Madison Square Garden and construction of a new train station above Penn Station’s existing rails and platforms.
  • Construction of 7.5 million square feet of new commercial or mixed-use development – While some of the development rights (anywhere from 125,000-1 million square feet) would be used across the street from the station at Penn West and Penn East, 4.5 million square feet of development rights would be transferred throughout the area. A Moynihan Station Subdistrict would be created, which would allow up to approximately 4.3 million zoning square feet of mixed-use development to be built on multiple receiving sites in a zoning Subdistrict (click on map to see detail).
  • The Penn East and West Sites. These two sites are located on the east and west ends of the One Penn Plaza block. One Penn Plaza would remain and two new structures are proposed for the block. As currently proposed, a commercial building of up to approximately 2 million square-feet would be developed on the eastern end of the block (fronting Seventh Avenue), and a 1 million square foot building on the West.

In the Neighborhood Proposed Zoning changes:

Moynihan Station Special Zoning District
  • Create a new zoning subdistrict, The Moynihan Station Subdistrict (see above).
  • Rezone certain manufacturing and commercial districts in the vicinity of Penn Station According to the scope document, the rezoning “may result in additional development in the area including new development on underutilized properties.”
The Penn Station Service Building. Amtrak and possibly New Jersey Transit (NJT) would have their back-of-house operations in the building located at 236-248 West 31st Street. An appropriately functional connection between the Service Building and Moynihan Station East will be analyzed. Expansion of the USPS Morgan Annex. The Morgan Annex would be enlarged to accommodate most of the postal operations relocated from the Farley Complex.

MAS Issues Press Release Following Moynihan Station Scope Document Release

MAS CALLS FOR GREATER PUBLIC VOICE IN MOYNIHAN STATION DEVELOPMENT $1 Billion-Plus Public Investment Requires Public Oversight, Participation New York, NY, October 23, 2007 — The Municipal Art Society today called for greater public oversight and a transparent public review process for the development of the new Moynihan Station following the release of a “scoping document” on the project by the Empire State Development Corp. The MAS strongly supports the concept of the project, including the relocation of Madison Square Garden into the rear of the Farley building. However, the MAS also released guiding principles for the development to ensure the protection of the character of the historic Farley Post Office while ensuring that the new station is an efficient transportation portal, and a great new work of contemporary civic architecture. Continue Reading>>