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March 2011
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Archive for March, 2011

MAS Urban Fellow Mary Rowe on Jane Jacobs’ Legacy

Mary RoweFifty years ago, then New Yorker Jane Jacobs published The Death and Life of Great American Cities. That controversial, seminal volume has underpinned much of the work of the Municipal Arts Society over the years as well as stimulating much debate about how to approach city planning, and how we should each think about our role in the urban eco-system. Following her relocation to Toronto in 1968 with her draft-age sons, daughter and hospital architect husband, Jacobs wrote several books after Death and Life. Continue Reading>>

Reconsidering Jane Jacobs, March 31

Reconsidering Jane Jacobs: A Panel Discussion When: March 31 6:30 pm Where: The Museum of the City of New York 1220 Fifth Avenue, NY, NY 10029 Register online or call 212.534.1672 On Thursday, March 31, The Museum of the City of New York will hold a panel designed to “go beyond the usual discussion of Jacobs and take an unsentimental look at her continuing relevance—or lack thereof—to planning in New York today”.   Continue Reading>>

Wireless City: Can All New Yorkers Get Connected? Panel Video

Greg Goldman: former Executive Director of Wireless PhiladelphiaEarlier this month, MAS hosted a provocative panel on bringing equitable WiFi to all New Yorkers. NYC’s Chief Digital Officer, Rachel Sterne, delivered an informative keynote about the city’s plans to offer more services online, as well as the recent advances in providing access to 311 reporting data online. Continue Reading>>

Watch List Highlights, Friday, March 25, 2011

Disaster Planning: New York City’s “All Hazards Plan” After the recent earthquake and tsunami in Japan, The New York Times took a look at how New York City would respond in a disaster and how it could best distribute protocols and information to other agencies and the public. Changing Streets: Happy Birthday, NYC Grid! Tuesday marked the 200th anniversary of the creation of the Manhattan street grid. Also known as Continue Reading>>

MAS President: New York Needs a New Look at Zoning

New York City Zoning Map - Union SquareWith 2011 marking the 50th anniversary of New York’s zoning resolution, MAS President Vin Cipolla urges the City to stop working within an antequated zoning framework and start fresh. His March 21 op-ed in Crain’s New York follows in its entirety. Revamp rezoning for city’s new age The zoning resolution of the City of New York turns 50 this year. The resolution, more than any other plan or vision, defines how the city looks. Continue Reading>>

Diane von Furstenberg to Receive Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Medal

Diane von Furstenberg Join MAS as we celebrate the remarkable dedication and work of Diane von Furstenberg at our annual gala on April 28, at the magnificent beaux-arts New York Public Library. Ms. von Furstenberg will be awarded the prestigious Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Medal for her tireless work as an urban pioneer, civic activist and preservationist. Continue Reading>>

Triangle Fire 100th Anniversary: The Catalyst for A New Architecture in Midtown

Aftermath of the Triangle Shirtwaist Company Fire This March 25th marks the 100th anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist factory fire tragedy. The fire, which broke out in the factory space on the eighth floor of the building located on the corner of Greene Street and Washington Place in Manhattan, spread to the floors above, claiming the lives of 146 garment workers, most of whom were young immigrant women. The tragedy was one of the worst industrial disasters in American history but it also prompted new legislation designed to ensure the health and safety of workers. While these new regulations improved working conditions for garment employees, they also influenced the development of large parts of the City.  Continue Reading>>

Call for 2011 MASterworks Nominations!

MASterworks 2010 Recipient 41 Cooper Square - Photo Courtesy of Morphosis Architects MAS is now accepting nominations for our annual MASterworks design awards. Each year, MAS honors the major players behind the year’s top building projects in New York City. The awards are presented to people and projects that exemplify excellence in architecture and urban design, and that make a significant contribution to New York’s built environment. The winners are chosen annually by a jury of the most respected professionals in the fields of architecture, design, planning and real estate development. Continue Reading>>

DOT Commissioner Headlines Monday’s Streets Month Program

New York City Streets - Photo by Nadia ChaudhuryThe dispute over New York City streets has unfolded dramatically in the news during recent months and has reached a crescendo with a lawsuit filed against the New York City Department of Transportation (and the department’s commissioner, Janette Sadik-Khan). In her four years as commissioner, Sadik-Khan has been lauded by many, making Esquire magazine’s 2010 “The Brightest: 16 Geniuses Who Give Us Hope” and scorned by her detractors. On Monday April 4, Commissioner Sadik-Khan will deliver a keynote address at our first Streets Month program. Her address will be followed by a panel discussion with other noted leaders on transportation policy and street design. Continue Reading>>

Watch List Highlights, Friday, March 18, 2011

Watch List Highlights - Rowing in New York Waterfront: New York’s Sixth Borough The Bloomberg Administration has released the Vision 2020: New York City’s Comprehensive Waterfront Plan, which seeks to create and enhance waterfront access, improve sewage systems and water treatment facilities, and add more natural waterfront features. The proposed East River ferry service for the summer is integrated as well. Vision 2020 also includes the “blue network” which will connect the city’s waterways for small boaters and swimmers. Continue Reading>>

Shore Theater Designation Needs Council Approval

Shore Theater MAS testified before the City Council’s Landmarks, Public Siting and Maritime Uses Subcommittee on Tuesday, to urge the Council to uphold the Landmark Preservation Commission’s designation of Coney Island’s Shore Theater. Opened in 1925, this neo-Renaissance Revival theater and office building has been vacant for 30 years, but the building remains remarkably intact. Located across the street from the major subway station, this building has the potential to become a great performance space for theater and live shows Continue Reading>>

More News on 510 Fifth Avenue

Manufacturers Trust Company Building MAS testified on Tuesday at the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) regarding proposed changes to the recently designated Manufacturers Trust Company Building at 510 Fifth Avenue. The proposal before the LPC was for restorative work and alterations to allow for the ground floor to be divided to accommodate new retail uses. MAS praised the project’s significant amount of restoration work, but raised concerns about some of the alterations. Continue Reading>>