January 2013
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Archive for January, 2013

Grand Central Terminal: 100 Years of a New York Landmark

GUEST POST: Anthony W. Robins is an historian, writer and lecturer who has led MAS tours for several decades. He teaches the research skills used in writing his new book in an annual MAS seminar, being offered this year in April.

To anybody who’s worked in or cared about the historic preservation movement in New York, the very name “Grand Central Terminal” has enormous significance, because it conjures the 1978 Supreme Court decision that put preservation on a solid legal footing. By chance, I started working at the New York Landmarks Commission in January of 1979, just a few months after the Court had handed down the decision.  Kent Barwick, who had guided the effort at the Municipal Art Society, had just moved over to be the LPC’s new chairman. The general feeling was that historic preservation had passed a critical test – now it was legitimate, accepted, constitutional.  The name “Grand Central” became a kind of shorthand for not just a major victory, but an entirely changed environment.

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Join us February 26 for Building a Resilient and Livable New York


Please join The Municipal Art Society of New York on Tuesday, February 26, 2013 at the CUNY Graduate Center, located at 365 Fifth Avenue at East 34th Street in Manhattan, for a half-day convening on Building a Resilient and Livable New York.The day will begin at 4:00 PM and go until 8:00 pm. We hope you will join us for all or part of the event.

4:00 PM – The Future of East Midtown

The City of New York is proposing an ambitious plan to redevelop East Midtown. Join international and local thought-leaders to discuss MAS’s report on the future of a diverse and vibrant East Midtown featuring presentations, a panel discussion and Q & A with the audience.

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MAS Comments on Proposed Changes to New York Public Library Schwarzman Building

The New York Public Library Schwarzman Building on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street is one of the most important and beloved landmarks in the city. Designed by architects Carrere & Hastings and opened to the public in 1911, the Library was designated an individual New York City Landmark in 1967. Any changes to the exterior of the building must be approved by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC).

The NYPL has been an excellent steward of this monument from architectural, historic, programmatic and civic perspectives. Over the years NYPL has conducted sensitive restorations and interventions, as seen in the Rose Reading Room and new South Court project, and more recently in the 2005 restoration of the Map Division and 2011 restoration of the Schwarzman Building facades.

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A Plan for the Urban Resilience of New York City and Its Neighborhoods

Road to Resilience

Since the prescient events of Superstorm Sandy, which swept across the northeast coast of the United States in late October, 2012, the Municipal Art Society of New York has pulled together a number of convenings with coastal experts, local community leaders, and diverse stakeholders to discuss the lessons from this recent experience and to develop some key resilience principles going forward. For the third event in the series, MAS hosted Charting the Road to Resilience: From the Ground Up on Saturday, January 12. Joining the wide array of New Yorkers were a handful of recovery-hardened New Orleanians, who arrived to offer their support and recovery experience from seven years post-Katrina.

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Agenda Announced for Charting the Road to Resilience

Sandy Street

On Saturday, January 12, MAS is convening, with more than eighty partners, a free, day-long, community-rich program to look at the challenges – and opportunities – of building a more resilient New York City from the ground up.

Hosted at The New School, the day includes plenary discussions to give us the hard facts about the impacts of the storm commonly known as Superstorm Sandy, and then twenty working sessions pulled together by our partners will cover every aspect of the recovery picture. What worked well, what were the challenges, are there particular lessons to be learned, and what are the principles to guide us in the recovery and rebuilding process?

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