December 2010
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Archive for December, 2010

Highlights for 2010: Year in Review

As 2010 comes to a close, we take a look at some notable planning, preservation and livability developments of the past year that will shape the future of our city. Enjoy!

In late February, the transformation of the James A. Farley Post Office to Moynihan Station took a massive step forward when US Senator Charles Schumer announced the awarding of $83 million in federal government stimulus funds for the first phase of the project. The grant completed funding for initial developments, providing $270 million to expand the passageway below 33rd Street between Penn Station and Farley’s west end concourse, increase capacity and access to subways and the new New Jersey Transit station, and create two additional entrances into the Farley building on Eighth Avenue. Additionally, six new ventilation fan rooms will improve safety underground. Phase One is expected to conclude in 2015.

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Audit Finds MAS Finances Strong

MAS Summit - Vin Cipolla

MAS today released audited financial statements for the fiscal year ending March 30, 2010 that showed significant improvement in annual operating performance and a doubling of invested endowment funds.

The audit found that MAS increased its net assets by 83 percent, from $8.4 million to $15.4 million.

“I am very pleased to report that MAS enjoyed a spectacular year financially,” said MAS President Vin Cipolla. “Our efforts to control expenses and eliminate costly overhead paid huge dividends.

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MAS Calls for Emergency Repairs to Admirals Row

admirals-row-historic-building-b-brooklyn-new-york

The Municipal Art Society and The New York Landmarks Conservancy today called on the U.S. Army National Guard Bureau to take immediate action to stabilize two of the most historically significant buildings at the Admirals Row site of the Brooklyn Navy Yard. The buildings remain endangered despite the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation’s recently released plans to retain and restore them.

Both MAS and the Conservancy have spent years advocating for the preservation of the nineteenth century buildings at the site. The site is in the process of being transferred from the U.S. Army National Guard Bureau to the Brooklyn Navy Yard. Throughout the multi-year process the National Guard has failed to follow through on its promises to undertake work that would prevent further decline or collapse of the two most significant buildings on the site, Building B and the Timber Shed. While the Navy Yard has agreed to restore the two buildings once it has ownership of the site, finalizing the land transfer may take a year or more. It is possible that the buildings could collapse before that time, making their restoration virtually impossible.

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MAS Supports the Borough Hall Skyscraper Historic District

Borough Hall Skyscraper

Lower Manhattan did not have a monopoly on skyscraper construction in New York City in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Across the East River in Brooklyn, another downtown rivaled its Manhattan counterpart. The Landmarks Preservation Commission today took a step towards recognizing the history and architecture of Brooklyn’s downtown when it held a public hearing on the Borough Hall Skyscraper Historic District.

MAS testified in strong support of this district, which we proposed in 2006 in conjunction with our colleagues at the Brooklyn Heights Association and the New York Landmarks Conservancy. Designation of this area of Downtown Brooklyn’s historic core will ensure the protection of this exceptional concentration of commercial architecture within the borough and will recognize Brooklyn’s contribution to New York City’s commercial history and architecture.

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Shore Theater To Be Landmarked Today, December 14, 2010

Shore Theater to be Landmarked October 14, 2010

The Landmarks Preservation Commission plans to make the Shore Theater Coney Island’s newest landmark today.  Built in 1925, the 2,400-seat Shore Theater was both a vaudeville theater and a movie house during Coney Island’s heyday.  The building also contained several stories of office space above the theater.  Vacant for over 30 years, the Shore Theater is one of Coney Island’s unused assets.  Designation as a New York City landmark will ensure that this building remains part of a revitalized Coney Island.

In response to today’s designation, MAS President Vin Cipolla said:

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