February 2012
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Archive for February, 2012

Community Board 2 Denies NYU Plans for Core Campus

community board 2 new york city town hall meeting nyu expansion

After weeks of well attended, at times raucous public meetings, on February 23rd Manhattan’s Community Board Two voted resoundingly to recommend the denial of NYU’s proposal to add approximately 2.5 million square feet to their core campus in Greenwich Village. The Board’s resolution denounced the amount of density proposed by the addition of four new buildings to two area superblocks, besieging the community with 20 plus years of constant construction. The Board’s 20 page resolution also criticized NYU’s lack of public engagement in the design of the proposed opens spaces, many of which have been cared for by local community groups for a number of years, and emphasized the need to preserve affordable housing among several other issues.

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The Garment District: Still Seeking Solutions

Garment District - Mannequin Thumnail - Photo by Giles Ashford

Ahead of 2012’s Fall Fashion Week, the City announced new initiatives to help strengthen New York City’s fashion industry.  In October of 2011 MAS released a report on the Garment District which documented the critical assets of the district and outlined a number of recommendations to strengthen the industry. Our report: Fashioning the Future: NYC’s Garment District can be found here.

In recent days, the Bloomberg administration has floated a new proposal to retain some of the existing manufacturing in the district. The details are still emerging but the proposal seeks to raise approximately $3 million a year in revenue through an additional assessment levied on buildings with the Fashion Center BID boundaries to help subsidize property owners willing to preserve approximately 500,000 square feet of space for manufacturing within the district.  The City is hoping to test this idea by releasing an RFP in the coming weeks.  If successful a re-zoning of the neighborhood to allow other uses aside from manufacturing may be the next step.

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Moynihan Station, Penn Station and the Future of Infrastructure in New York City

farley post office moynihan station front

This past week, there has been a sharp spike in the media attention given to the Moynihan Station development project.  It began with an article written by Michael Kimmelman, architecture critic at The New York Times, arguing that the planned redevelopment of the Javits Convention Center provided an opportunity for Madison Square Garden to be relocated to the southern end of that site, near 34th Street and 11th Avenue.

Moving MSG, which sits on top of Penn Station, would then free up the necessary room to rebuild Penn Station into a world class train station.  From Kimmelman’s perspective, improving Penn Station – which serves NJ Transit, LIRR, Amtrak and New York City Transit – would have a greater impact for commuters and visitors to New York City than would the transformation of the Farley Post Office into a new Moynihan Station – a station which is designed to primarily serve Amtrak.

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MAS Now Accepting Submissions for the 2012 MASterworks Awards

hypar pavilion diller scofidio renfro masterworks building 2011 winner

MAS is now accepting nominations for our annual MASterworks Awards. Each year, MAS honors the major players behind the year’s top building projects in New York City. The awards are presented to projects that exemplify excellence in architecture and urban design, and that make a significant contribution to New York’s built environment.

Last year’s winners included a tie for Best New Building between Hypar Pavilion by Diller Scofidio + Renfro and Sperone Westwater by Foster + Partners; Queens Theatre in the Park by Caples Jefferson Architects for Best Restoration; and Myrtle Hall at Pratt Institute by WASA/Studio A for Neighborhood Catalyst, along with an honorable mention to Whitlock Avenue Station by MTA Architects. The jury awarded Best Green Design Initiative to the High Performance Landscape Guidelines authored by the Design Trust for Public Space with NYC Department of Parks and Recreation.

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Joan Ganz Cooney and Peter G. Peterson To Receive 2012 JKO Medal

peter peterson joan ganz cooney 2012 jko medalists blog

Join MAS as we celebrate Joan Ganz Cooney and Peter G. Peterson at our annual gala on April 19, at The New York Public Library. Married since 1980, Mrs. Cooney and Mr. Peterson will be awarded the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Medal for their enormous contributions to the quality of arts and culture in New York City, to the celebration of urban life and to making New York a global capital of finance and education.

Mrs. Cooney, co-founder of Sesame Workshop, is the originator of the beloved television program Sesame Street—a whimsical, yet hugely impactful, reflection of the New York City experience: an urban environment where a diverse array of people (and Muppets!) could interact and learn together.  Her philanthropic work in the arts, education, healthcare and other sectors is extensive.

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