January 2009
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Archive for January, 2009

A Very Special Behind-the-Scenes Look at Radio City

radio city hall stage view toward audience

When Diane Lloyd arrived at Radio City Music Hall at 6:00 p.m. two nights ago, the theater was “dark”, but the lights were on for the MAS Patrons. She, and 53 others who had braved the nasty weather that night, were in for a truly rare treat. Hugh Hardy — the architect and mastermind of the building’s 1998 award-winning restoration — gave an insider’s behind-the-scenes tour of this world-famous concert hall. From the stunning art-deco lobby with its 60-foot ceilings, to the iconic auditorium, from the stage, to the smoking rooms (where no-one is allowed to smoke anymore), to the complex system hydraulic lifts underneath the stage, it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience for all.

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Foreclosed: How Will New York’s Neighborhoods Recover?

Pressure is mounting to halt the national tide of foreclosures. New York’s housing advocates are working at the frontlines to keep people in their homes and to ensure that solutions currently being generated at the city and state level respond to New York’s unique housing and neighborhood needs.

A MAS Planning Center panel discussion moderated by Eva Hanhardt of the Pratt Graduate Center for Planning and the Environment late last year, tapped the insights of Audrey Waysee, Center for New York City Neighborhoods; Josh Zinner, Neighborhood Economic Development Advocacy Project; Mark Winston-Griffith, Drum Major Institute; Patricia Kerr, Neighborhood Housing Services, Jamaica;and Ingrid Gould Ellen, Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy, to confront the question: how do we stabilize neighborhoods experiencing high rates of foreclosure?

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Community-Based Plan of the Month: Sunset Park Waterfront

sunset park view toward manhattan at sunset

As the recent economic slowdown gives us the opportunity to take a step back and reevaluate New York City’s planning processes, community-based plans can provide a framework for a future that works for all New Yorkers. The plans featured in this monthly column will provide examples of how inclusive planning processes work on the ground, and ideally will help inspire future community planning efforts.

Sunset Park 197-a Plan – Sunset Park encompasses a large stretch of Brooklyn’s East River waterfront, bordered by the Prospect Expressway to the north, Bay Ridge to the south, and the Gowanus Expressway to the east. The area has served as a maritime hub for over 100 years. The Bush Terminal was established there in 1895, and eventually grew to over 200 acres. During World War II, the Brooklyn Army Terminal handled nearly 80% of the country’s supplies and troops, and employed nearly 10,000 civilians. After the war, however, as the region’s shipping hub shifted from the ports of New York to those of New Jersey, many jobs disappeared and the neighborhood fell into disinvestment.

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Beyond Tenements with Francis Morrone This Wednesday

tenement buildings nyc angle

Join architectural historian Francis Morrone this Wednesday, January 28, for the second in his four lecture series Architecture and Changing Lifestyles. New Yorkers’ lifestyles have changed continually over the years, constantly reinventing our notions of what it means to be a New Yorker. This lecture will take attendees beyond tenements to the many apartment houses the middle & upper classes constructed for themselves in New York City during the 1870s and 1880s.

In four illustrated lectures, Francis Morrone examines four episodes of lifestyle change in New York history. Each of these episodes demonstrated remarkable innovation and adaptation to changing social and economic conditions, and causes us to imagine what lifestyle revolutions await us in the future. The third and final lectures in the series will be held at MAS on Wednesday, February 4, and Monday, February 9, respectively.

Beyond Tenements: Apartment Houses for the Middle & Upper Classes, 1870s & 1880s
Wednesday, January 28, 7:00 – 8:00 p.m.
Reserve your place online or call 212-935-2075.

Complete Works of I.M. Pei in Focus at MAS Tomorrow Night

im pei architect

When I. M. Pei — one of the world’s most celebrated architects and a master of light, space, and geometry — was awarded the Pritzker Prize in 1983, the jury said he had “given this century some of its most beautiful interior spaces and exterior forms.” Janet Adams Strong’s new book, I. M. PEI: Complete Works attests to this statement by showcasing Pei’s transcendent, sculptural forms from more than 50 years of work.

Join the author and I.M. Pei scholar, Carter Wiseman, for a presentation hosted by the Municipal Art Society’s bookstore Urban Center Books tomorrow night, Tuesday, January 27, 6:30 – 8:00 p.m., about this new book that honors the tremendous influence of this master architect.

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