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June 2012
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Archive for June, 2012

Preserving the Character of New York City’s Neighborhoods

New York is a city of neighborhoods. Our local grocery stores, coffee shops, dry cleaners, neighborhood restaurants define where we live and give our communities their singular identities.  In recent years, however, with the wave of big box development and new construction, there has been a palpable change in the character of many communities across the city. Continue Reading>>

Heating and Cooling the Henry Street Settlement

henry street heating cooling systemRecently we conducted a walkthrough at the Henry Street Settlement with Phil Steiner of AltieriSeborWieber consulting engineers to develop a game plan for the eventual replacement of the heating, ventilation and cooling systems. Our energy audits determined that the Settlement’s mechanical systems were inefficient and many of the offices were overheated, resulting in uncomfortable conditions for the staff. (video below). Continue Reading>>

Two MAS Projects Awarded Partners in Preservation Grants

The conservation of the “Rocket Thrower” sculpture and the energy retrofit at the Henry Street Settlement, both MAS partner projects, were awarded Partners in Preservation grants last week.  The projects were two of the 40 finalists of American Express and the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Partners in Preservation in New York City initiative. Partners in Preservation is a competition Continue Reading>>

MAS Announces 2012 MASterworks Winners

8 spruceMAS is pleased to announce the winners of the 2012 MASterworks Awards. New York by Gehry at 8 Spruce Street (Gehry & Partners for Forest City Ratner) has won the top honor, “Best New Building,” while “Best Restoration” goes to New York City Center (Ennead Architects). “Best Neighborhood Catalyst” awards were given to the Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College (Cooper, Robertson & Partners) and the Queens Central Library Continue Reading>>

NYU Plan Moves to City Council

nyu expansion plan debateLast week, the City Planning Commission approved, with modifications, NYU’s plans to expand its campus in Greenwich Village. MAS has carefully monitored the University’s expansion plans as they’ve evolved over the past several years. We believe the Commission’s modifications are appropriate and in line with MAS’s recommendations but more changes to the plan are still necessary to ensure NYU expands in a responsible and responsive manner. Continue Reading>>

Save the Date for MAS Summit for New York City

summit 2011 wide audienceOn October 18 and 19 at Frederick P. Rose Hall, Home of Jazz at Lincoln Center, innovative city shapers and thought leaders will gather as the Municipal Art Society presents the third annual MAS Summit for New York City. This forum of ideas surrounding planning, design and infrastructure; preservation and sustainability; arts and cultural development, and community engagement will feature more than 75 speakers over the two days and highlight trailblazing initiatives in New York and other cities across the globe. Continue Reading>>

East Midtown Waterfront Project Moves Forward

east river waterfront skylineFor years, MAS has been advocating for the development of a vibrant and active waterfront that attracts both local residents and visitors to one of New York City’s greatest and most abundant resources. Recently, our efforts have focused on the East Midtown Waterfront, a stretch along the East River that spans from 38th Street to 60th Street. The transformation of this portion of the waterfront into a publicly accessible open space will close a significant gap Continue Reading>>

The Pruitt–Igoe Myth: Movie Screening and Discussion

On June 11, MAS presented a standing room only, free screening of the acclaimed documentary, The Pruitt-Igoe Myth, generously hosted by BAM, in partnership with the Brooklyn Borough President and the Brownsville Partnership. The film depicts the transformation of the American city in the decades after World War II through the lens of the infamous Pruitt-Igoe housing development and the St. Louis residents who called it home. Comprised of 33 buildings, Pruitt-Igoe was one of the country’s most storied public housing communities before it fell into chronic disrepair and was eventually dramatically demolished.  Continue Reading>>

Coalition Forms to Challenge Landmarks Law

Construction, union and real estate groups have formed a coalition to challenge the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission’s ability to regulate landmarks. The organizations, including the Real Estate Board of New York, New York Building Congress, Community Housing Improvement Program and the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce, among others have created a website that proposes that the landmark designation process is “broken” by  juxtaposing photos of the city’s most beloved landmarks such as the Chrysler Building and the Dakota Continue Reading>>

Lessons from Henry Street: Historic Windows — Repair or Replace?

henry street windowThe MAS demonstration project at the Henry Street Settlement has led us to the conclusion that repairing, versus replacing historic windows may help reduce air drafts in a more cost effective and historically sensitive way. While the Settlement still has many historic, single-pane windows, some of the original windows across the rear façade have been replaced. Our team discovered Continue Reading>>