July 2010
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Archive for July, 2010

Sunset Tour of New York Harbor

sunset water guard tower

The 19th Annual MAS Summer Boat Tour – Toward a Sustainable Upper Bay – Wednesday, July 28, 6:00-9:00 p.m.

Come along as the sun goes down for a boat tour of the Harbor Islands, the Buttermilk Channel and Gowanus Bay—the scenic and the hidden parts of New York’s Upper Bay. We’ll hear about successes and challenges on the way to a sustainable future—from imaginative and dedicated individuals who are helping to lead the way.

Our Host:

Vin Cipolla, president, Municipal Art Society. Devoted to preservation, conservation and the arts, Mr. Cipolla has consistently provided civic leadership in these areas throughout his adult life. He was appointed president of the MAS in early 2009.

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2010 Jane Jacobs Medal Recipients Announced

2009 masterworks winners

(Left) Joshua David and Robert Hammond. (Right) Elizabeth Barlow Rogers.

The Rockefeller Foundation and MAS proudly congratulate the recipients of the 2010 Jane Jacobs Medal—Joshua David and Robert Hammond, co-founders of Friends of the High Line and Elizabeth Barlow Rogers, longtime and founding President of the Central Park Conservancy and current president of the Foundation for Landscape Studies. The medal, which is administered by MAS, was created in 2007 to honor the author and activist who died in April 2006. It is awarded annually to New Yorkers whose work creates new ways of seeing and understanding the city.

“MAS is delighted the Rockefeller Foundation has chosen Joshua David, Robert Hammond and Elizabeth Barlow Rogers as Jane Jacobs Medalists,” said MAS President Vin Cipolla. “All three recipients embody Jane Jacobs’ tenets and demonstrate true dedication to New York City. With their innovative stewardship and activism, these medalists have created a more livable city for all to enjoy.”

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MAS President: Preservation Is Key to Sustainability


In an article that was posted today on Huffington Post, MAS President Vin Cipolla took aim at critics who believe that New York City is taking landmark preservation too far. He argued that preservation is a key ingredient in maintaining sustainable cities. “There is no reason why we have to choose between protecting our historic resources and developing New York City,“ he writes. “With comprehensive planning, we can balance the city’s growth while preserving the places that give New York City its identity and soul.”

To view the full article, click here.

Rand School, A Place That Matters

The former Rand School of Social Science, at 7 E. 15th St., Union Square, Manhattan, nominated by Israel Kugler.

One’s choice of politics in NYC hasn’t been limited to Democrats and Republicans. In 1906, the American Socialist Society founded the Rand School to promote the understanding and practice of socialism. The school’s offerings in the social sciences, humanities, and the trades sought to attract working New Yorkers and provide them with a broad education from a Left perspective.

During its peak years in the early 1920s, the school counted over 5,000 enrolled students and held frequent lectures by notables such as August Claessens, Helen Keller, W.E.B Dubois, Bertrand Russell, Diego Rivera, Upton Sinclair, and Jack London. From 1917 until 1956, the school operated from a distinguished-looking former YWCA building on E. 15th St. Dubbed the “people’s house,” it resembled a socialist Y with its classrooms, library, bookstore, auditorium, and gymnasium. Read more on the PlaceExplorer.

To find archival records and photographs from the Rand School and its Camp Tamiment in the Poconos, go to the Tamiment Library/Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives, on the 10th Floor of Bobst Library at NYU. Everybody is welcome.

Quick, Where is the Nearest National Park?

bout tour maria burks

(left) Governors Island. (right) Maria Burks, Commissioner, National Parks of New York Harbor

When you think of National Parks, it’s unlikely that New York Harbor is the first thing that pops into your head but several of the nation’s most significant parks are located in our maritime backyard. Think Liberty Island, Ellis Island, Governors Island National Monument, Gateway National Recreation Area and more. Come along on the MAS boat tour on July 28 in the knowledgeable company of Maria Burks, Commissioner of the National Parks of New York Harbor, to look and learn about the key role the National Parks play in our local economy, the ways their carbon footprint is being reduced and the sociological and cultural challenges to their long term sustainability.

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