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February 2011
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Archive for February, 2011

Wifi and Livability

Internet Sign Internet access, once a luxury, is quickly becoming a key livability issue for New York and other cities. With many government agencies providing services online and communities becoming increasingly dependent on high-speed Internet access, it is critical that we integrate access into future city planning initiatives. Continue Reading>>

Watch List Highlights, Friday, February 25, 2011

Gowanus Canal - Photo by Giles AshfordGowanus: Architects Launch Design Competition This infamous Superfund site may have been abandoned by developers, but a group of Brooklyn architects are hoping to renew interest in connecting the canal to neighboring communities. The competition, sponsored by the Gowanus Canal Community Development Corporation, requires participants to come up with ways to creatively transform the neighborhood into a more livable area. Continue Reading>>

There’s More Than One Reason This Sign is Controversial

Controversial Sign Highlights NYC Signage Laws This large commercial sign is controversial, not just because of its offensive message. Located on the northeast corner of Watts Street and Avenue of the Americas – a busy intersection at the gateway to SoHo – this oversized billboard distracts drivers and assaults the senses of pedestrians. Perhaps for this reason, the City outlawed signs of this size in 2001. Unfortunately, this one was permitted in 2000 and is still considered legal. Advertising signs that pre-dated the 2001 law were given “non-conforming” status, Continue Reading>>

11 To Watch: Our 2011 Livability Watch List

11 For 2011 WatchlistThe Municipal Art Society released a list of 11 initiatives and places that will have the most significant effect on livability in New York City in 2011. “Each item on our Livability Watch List has the potential to profoundly change the way New Yorkers experience their communities and their city,” said Vin Cipolla, MAS president. “How they progress in 2011 will affect livability in New York and cities everywhere.” Continue Reading>>

MAS March Newsletter/Calendar Now Available

Old St. Patrick's The MAS March newsletter and calendar is hitting mailboxes across the city right now. This month features our March 8 program—Wireless City: Can All New Yorkers Get Connected?—where panelists will discuss the benefits and challenges in making wireless Internet available in New York. The Municipal Art Society will present a panel of experts who will explore some of the models employed, as well as the challenges in making WiFi access a priority. Continue Reading>>

Watch List Highlights, Friday, February 18, 2011

Garment District: Sewing Machine Repair Important to Haute CoutureThe Bronx: Debates Continue Over Sheridan Expressway This week, the Southern Bronx River Watershed Alliance presented two very different plans for the Sheridan Expressway developed by the New York State Department of Transportation. During the meeting, community members discussed the merits of each plan. Read coverage from the New York Post and StreetsBlog. Continue Reading>>

LPC Designates Interiors of Modernist Bank Building

Manufacturers Trust Company Building MAS is pleased to report that the interior of the Manufacturers Trust Company Building was designated a landmark yesterday. The transparent glass cube building, erected between 1953 and 1954, is a showcase for its interior and a departure from the more traditional, ornamental bank structures of its time. The exterior of the building was designated a landmark in 1997. Continue Reading>>

Watch List Highlights, Friday, February 11, 2011

Garment District - Fashion Avenue - 7 Avenue Garment District In the midst of Fashion Week, the Garment District is in the spotlight. The New York Daily News talks to MAS Board Member Yeohlee Teng, who points out that budding designers rely on local artisans for production. “When you are in school, you can’t, from a collection of 10 pieces, leap into creating 1,000 pieces overseas.” Continue Reading>>

MAS & Fashion Center BID Map the Garment District

Garment District - Mannequin Thumnail - Photo by Giles AshfordJust in time for Fashion Week, the Municipal Art Society (MAS) and the Fashion Center Business Improvement District (BID) have partnered to publish a set of maps documenting the most up-to-date directory of fashion related services in the Garment District. By mapping the directory, MAS and the Fashion Center BID believe that this information will be easier to access and clearer to use. “These maps will help emerging and established designers, buyers and international visitors navigate the wealth of fashion resources housed in the district,” said MAS President Vin Cipolla. Continue Reading>>

Brooklyn Bridge Park Landscape Designer Receives 23rd Brendan Gill Prize

Brendan Gill 2010 MAS proudly presented the 23rd Brendan Gill Prize to Michael Van Valkenburgh for his landscape design of Brooklyn Bridge Park. The private ceremony was held at the Park Avenue Armory last Monday. “Landscape is a lively and challenging medium, and Michael showed mastery of vision in reconnecting thousands of city dwellers and visitors alike to the majesty of New York Harbor,” said MAS President Vin Cipolla at the ceremony. Continue Reading>>

This Week’s Highlights: Friday, February 4

Water TaxiPlaNYC 2.0: Streetsblog reported that David Bragdon, NYC Sustainability chief, talked about a possible new Hudson River crossing as part of PlaNYC 2.0. Waterfront: New York City is planning to start year-round ferry service in the East River beginning in June. The ferries would make stops in Midtown Manhattan, Long Island City, Greenpoint, Williamsburg, Lower Manhattan, and Brooklyn Bridge Park. Continue Reading>>

MAS Supports Interior Designation of Modernist Masterpiece


Manufacturers Hannover Trust Company

This morning the Landmarks Preservation Commission held a hearing on the designation of the interior of the Manufacturers Trust Company Building. The Municipal Art Society testified in support of the designation (Read the testimony). A number of preservation organizations were on hand to support the designation, along with the building’s owner, Vornado and a representative of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill. Continue Reading>>