January 2012
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Archive for January, 2012

Verdict In: Borough Hall District Upheld

downtown brooklyn

On Tuesday, the City Council Subcommittee on Landmarks, Public Siting And Maritime Uses affirmed the Landmarks Preservation Commission’s designation of the Borough Hall Skyscraper District. MAS testified in December in support of upholding the Downtown Brooklyn historic district, which we originally proposed in conjunction with the Brooklyn Heights Association and the New York Landmarks Conservancy in 2006. MAS congratulates all of our colleagues who were involved in this important decision, and offers special thanks to Councilmember Stephen Levin for being our advocate throughout this process, to the Historic Districts Council and to Brad Lander, who chairs the Landmarks Committee. The district still needs final approval by the full Council and preservation champion, Speaker Christine Quinn, but we are one step closer to victory.

Read our testimony from December’s hearing. Read the New York Times article about this decision.

Cook+Fox and Terrapin Selected to Prepare Green Manual

There’s a strong perception that greening historic buildings is made arduous by Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) regulations. To help counter that notion, MAS and the LPC are producing a manual, “Greening New York City’s Landmarks: A Guide for Property Owners.” MAS has selected Cook+Fox and Terrapin Bright Green to develop the guide, which will provide straightforward action steps on how to improve the energy efficiency and sustainability of the city’s landmark buildings while meeting preservation standards. The manual should be completed by the fall of 2012, and will be published digitally and available free of cost on the MAS and the LPC websites.

Terrapin and Cook+Fox have extensive experience in greening historic buildings, from greening the White House under the Clinton administration, working with the National Trust on their first LEED certified project at President Lincoln’s summer cottage and the Historic Front Street project at the South Street Seaport. Chris Garvin, a Partner at Terrapin and Senior Associate at Cook+Fox said, “The partners and staff of Terrapin Bright Green and Cook+Fox Architects are pleased to have been selected to develop this important Guide to greening NYC landmarks. It is a project that marries two guiding principles of our firms – environmental sustainability and cultural preservation – and we are looking forward to working with the MAS and LPC to produce a insightful and useful guide for all New Yorkers.”

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MAS President on Governor Cuomo’s State of the State

Javits convention center new york urban design

In response to Governor Cuomo’s 2012 State of the State address last week, in which he announced a proposal to replace the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center with a complex in Queens, MAS President Vin Cipolla urges “What’s good for Manhattan must be good for Queens.” Vin’s op-ed on the State of the State for Metropolis follows below in its entirety.

What’s good for Manhattan must be good for Queens

For almost two decades, The Municipal Art Society of New York (MAS) has advocated for the transformation of the Farley Post Office into a new Penn Station to be called Moynihan Station. Governor Cuomo’s recent State of the State address suggests that 2012 could be the station’s moment.

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NYU’s “Core” Project Enters Public Review

nyu core campus redevelopment new york urban planning

MAS joined several hundred community residents last night for Community Board Two’s first official public review of NYU’s application to redevelop significant portions of their core campus in Greenwich Village. Huge attendance caused the meeting to relocate to a larger venue several blocks away; for nearly three hours, residents spoke about how the years of construction impacts, loss of public amenities and increased density will affect their neighborhood’s historic character and livability.

The Department of City Planning officially certified NYU’s plan as complete on Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012. This certification marked the beginning of the City’s seven-month public review and approval process known as the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP). The Greenwich Village expansion is one part of NYU 2031: NYU in NYC, the University’s strategic plan to add 6 million square feet of campus space throughout the city over the next twenty years. If approved, NYU’s proposal would add approximately 2.5 million square feet of academic space to two residential superblocks: Silver Towers and Washington Square Village.

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