May 2010
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Archive for May, 2010

Livable Neighborhoods Program Training Helps New Yorkers Become Effective Advocates for their Communities

On Saturday, May 8, nearly 150 New Yorkers attended the fourth annual Livable Neighborhoods Training Program (LNP) at Hunter College. See slideshow below. The LNP was created to provide communities with the knowledge, tools, and training needed to strengthen neighborhood decision-making and transform local vision into effective plans. Since its inception in 2007, it has served more than 600 New Yorkers.

This year’s program was especially exciting as we reached new constituents from communities throughout the five boroughs, with Queens and the Bronx being more strongly represented than in previous years, thanks, in part, to assistance from the offices of Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr., and Queens Borough President Helen M. Marshall. Participants took part in a full day of training in topics including community organizing, affordable housing, and planning for parks and open space.

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MAS Announces 2010 MASterworks Awards Winners

MAS would like to congratulate the winners of the 2010 MASterworks Awards. This year, the award recipients include Thom Mayne’s 41 Cooper Square as Best New Building, the Empire State Building Lobby Restoration as Best Historical Restoration, Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center as Best Redesign, Reef, at Storefront for Art and Architecture as Best Storefront Design, and The High Line, The Concrete Plant Park, and West Harlem Piers Park all as Neighborhood Catalyst.

Organized annually by The Municipal Art Society (MAS) and sponsored by international banking and investment group Helaba, Landesbank Hessen-Thüringen, the MASterworks Awards recognize excellence in architecture and urban design completed within the last year across New York City. The 2010 Awards will be presented at a ceremony this fall.

“The winners this year prove that buildings, parks, and artistic installations are equally masterful in bringing architecture and urban design to new heights,” said MAS President Vin Cipolla. “We are continually impressed and delighted by how our urban environment is enhanced every year by visionary people with extraordinary ideas.”

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As Coney Comes to Life, a Developer Threatens Demolition

bank of coney island

While the City’s Economic Development Corporation is working to create a great summer season in Coney Island by opening a new amusement area and bringing in 23 new rides, one developer announced plans to demolish the oldest historic buildings in the heart of the amusement area this summer. The developer, Thor Equities, plans to replace these historic buildings with temporary shacks for fast food.

On the chopping block are the Grashorn building, built in the 1880s; Henderson’s Music Hall, built c. 1899, where Al Jolson and the Marx Brothers performed; the Shore Hotel, dating from 1903 and Coney Island’s only remaining small-scale hotel; and the Bank of Coney Island, constructed in 1923 in the Classical Revival style and intended to show the strength of the Coney Island business community.

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Kehila Kedosha Janina, A Place That Matters

Kehila Kedosha Janina, at 280 Broome St. in the Lower East Side.

Kehila Kedosha Janina – the Holy Congregation of Janina (Ioannina), Greece – is the only congregation in the western hemisphere to identify itself as Romaniote and to practice this ancient form of Judaism that comes from the Mediterranean. The “Yaniotes” arrived in New York as part of a large emigration of Jews from the Ottoman Empire. They established their congregation here in the early years of the twentieth century. Though now past its heyday, the synagogue has survived, and recently a cultural revival has taken root. You can see the new spirit in the restored and landmarked synagogue, the growing attendance, and the historical exhibits located upstairs, on the women’s floor.

Sunday, May 20th, 1-3 pm, 280 Broome St. (Allen and Eldridge) – Join the congregation as they celebrate their 80th birthday, rededicate the synagogue, and unveil the landmark plaque. Enjoy traditional Greek-Jewish refreshments and a showing of the documentary, “The Last Greeks on Broome Street,” by Ed Askinazi. (Please RSVP to 516-456-9336.)

Made in Midtown: The Future of the Garment District

design trust made midtown logo

New York City’s Midtown Garment District presents a host of planning, economic development and preservation issues as the district has undergone significant change over the last four decades.

To chart a course for the future, the Design Trust for Public Space, with its partner, the Council of Fashion Designers of America, has launched Made in Midtown, a project that will document how New York’s fashion industry works today and how it could be the catalyst for future improvements in the Garment District.

The Design Trust’s findings, including specific research on international fashion centers provided by The Municipal Art Society, will show how New York’s fashion industry functions as an interconnected ecosystem that is integral to our city’s economy, identity, and sense of place. The Design Trust will launch the project website,, with a day-long event open to the public on June 3 at the Port Authority Pop-Up Space, at Eighth Avenue at 41st Street. Following the launch, the Design Trust and MAS have organized public programming throughout June to publicize the findings and to guide this issue into a public discussion.

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