January 2011
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Archive for January, 2011

2011 Fitch Forum: 45 Years of Preservation Law

2011 Fitch Forum: 45 Years of Preservation Law

Preservationists from around the country will examine the progress of preservation law at the 2011 Fitch Forum, to be held on Saturday, February 5. The forum will focus on New York City’s landmarks ordinance, which was enacted in 1965. MAS President Vin Cipolla and other conference speakers and panelists will examine the debates currently shaping preservation advocacy and explore new and innovative ideas to strengthen the protection of our nation’s historic resources. More information is available at the conference website.


Community Rallies to Save 35 Cooper Square

Thumbnail - 35 Cooper Square - Photo by Flick4Jazz

Neighborhood groups are rallying to save 35 Cooper Square from meeting the same fate as its neighbors, which were demolished to make way for the 21-story Cooper Square Hotel. Originally built in the early 19th century as a residence, it is one of the oldest houses on the Bowery. This federal-style structure was altered in the 1870s to include a brownstone storefront, reflecting the change in neighborhood character from prominent residential to commercial.

Throughout the 20th century, 35 Cooper was known to be home to artists such as the painter and photographer J. Forrest Vey and Beat Generation poet Diane DiPrima. The building was part of the 35-39 Cooper Square site that was sold late last year for a reported $8.5 million. The Asian Pub, now located in the building, will soon close its doors to make room for plans community groups fear will most likely include this historic building’s destruction.


New Vice President Joins MAS

MAS President Vin Cipolla today announced that William Taylor has been named Vice President for Finance and Administration. This appointment comes after a nationwide search.

Taylor joins MAS after an extensive career in nonprofit financial and operations management in the performing arts. He served for more than 20 years as the Vice President, COO and CFO of Citi Performing Arts Center in Boston, which has been the home of Boston Ballet, Boston Lyric Opera and Commonwealth Shakespeare Company. As a key member of the Center’s executive leadership team, Taylor guided the growth of the organization from startup, including the historic restoration of the Center’s theaters, and provided the critical financial leadership necessary to sustain the Center’s mission.

More recently, Taylor has been engaged as an arts management consultant at AMS Planning and Research in Fairfield, CT, focused on strategic and business planning, operations benchmarking and organizational performance measurement, including developing metrics demonstrating the contributions of performing arts centers to cultural and community vitality.

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Riverbank State Park Goes Wireless: A Signal for All New Yorkers

Map shows free WiFi hotspots.

The recent announcement that Riverbank State Park will be the first state park in New York with free public wireless internet access, highlights that we have far to go in providing free (or even affordable) wireless (read internet) access to all New Yorkers.

Right now wireless signals blanket New York City in a patchwork of mostly private (and some public) hot spots. Cafes have long been providing internet access to attract business, and libraries are increasingly becoming the sole provider (and trainer) for communities around the city.

These days, what does it mean not to have consistent, reliable access? Is the internet simply a luxury? Or has it become a utility like electricity, or a telephone?

You tell us: how does internet access affect livability for New Yorkers?


MAS to Award 23rd Brendan Gill Prize to Brooklyn Bridge Park Landscape Architect

Brooklyn Bridge Park

Landscape architect Michael Van Valkenburgh will receive this year’s Brendan Gill Prize for his visionary design of Brooklyn Bridge Park in DUMBO. The park, where MAS held last year’s Annual Meeting, opened in March 2010 and has already become a vital urban amenity, providing space for a wide variety of activities and programming for all members of the community. Van Valkenburgh led the reclaiming of the former shipping piers under the Brooklyn Bridge, transforming the once desolate waterfront into a regional park.

The Brendan Gill Prize, dedicated to the renowned New Yorker theater critic and former MAS president, was established in 1986 by MAS board members Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Helen S. Tucker and Margot Wellington. The cash prize is funded by a permanent endowment and is awarded annually to a work of art or design produced in the previous year which best embodies the spirit of New York City and Brendan Gill. Past prize recipients include musician Sufjan Stevens, artists Mike and Doug Starn, actress Sarah Jones, and artists Jeanne-Claude and Christo.

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