November 2013
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Archive for November, 2013

Jane Jacobs Forum 2013: Women as City Builders

Author and activist Jane Jacobs (1916-2006) believed in the future of cities and in common sense solutions to urban challenges. This year, in conjunction with the presentation of The Rockefeller Foundation’s Jane Jacobs Medal, the Municipal Art Society’s annual Jane Jacobs Forum features leading women in the fields of architecture and planning, landscape architecture, development, community development, business and the arts. Click here for event details.

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Looking Forward on East Midtown

By Eugenie L. Birch, Chair and Vin Cipolla, President, MAS

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Last week, in a rare joint statement, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and Council member Daniel Garodnick rejected the Mayor’s plan to rezone East Midtown. The Bloomberg administration subsequently withdrew the proposal.  So now what does the future of Midtown hold?  The answer remains to be seen – but as has become clear over the course of the last year there is work to be done to ensure that East Midtown continues to be an economic engine for New York City.

To their credit, the Bloomberg administration and the various participants in the months-long debate about the rezoning have raised very important questions. Collectively, they have highlighted East Midtown’s shortcomings: new modern building stock is needed; its public realm needs to be reimagined; key landmarks are unprotected; and plans for accommodating an anticipated influx of commuters with the opening of East Side Access are inadequate.

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The 2013 Brendan Gill Prize Call for Nominations


We invite MAS members and friends to submit nominations for the 26th annual Brendan Gill Prize. The 2013 Gill Prize, endowed to permit a cash award, is given each year to the creator of a specific work, a book, essay, musical composition, play, painting, sculpture, architectural design, film or choreographic piece that best captures the spirit and energy of New York City. Whether the nominated individual or group is well known or just emerging, the goal of the Gill Prize is to draw attention to the varieties of artistic experience that enrich our contemporary life.

All submissions must have been completed and produced between January 1, and December 31, 2013.  The award is not for a life’s work.  The winner of the Gill Prize will be honored at a ceremony and reception at the MAS Annual Meeting in 2014.

The selection of the winner is made by the Brendan Gill jury, an esteemed group of nine people all intimately involved in the arts and literature of the city.

Please submit entries to MAS by January 6, 2014, through email to If preferred, hard copies with background material can be mailed to MAS, 111 West 57th Street, 16th Floor, New York, NY, 10019, attention Phyllis Cohen. The nomination form can be found here.

Thank you very much for sharing your suggestions with us. For more information, please check our website here or call 212.935.3960, ext. 1224.

Awards for Environmentally Minded NYC High School Students Announced

Wangari Muta Maathai

Applications are now being accepted for the 2013 Dr. Wangari Maathai Award for Civic Participation in Sustainability. The award was inaugurated last year by The Rockefeller Foundation, the Bette Midler Family Trust, New York Restoration Project and the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation. MAS administers the award.

This $10,000 prize is given annually to two environmentally-minded New York City high school seniors. The winners demonstrate academic and extracurricular commitment to environmental stewardship and execution of sustainability-themed projects that also promote the spirit of civic engagement in fellow students and the community at large. The award is intended for use by the student for their first year of college. Apply now.

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2013 MASterworks Awards Recognize Excellence in Architecture and Urban Design


Four innovative architecture and urban design projects have been chosen as winners of The Municipal Art Society of New York’s 2013 MASterworks Awards. Campbell Sports Center (Steven Holl Architects) has won the top honor, “Best New Building,” while “Best Restoration” goes to McCarren Pool and Bathhouse (Rogers Marvel). “Best Neighborhood Catalyst” award will be given to the Barclays Center (SHoP Architects) and “Best New Urban Amenity,” will  go to Weiss/Manfredi’s Brooklyn Botanic Garden Visitor Center in Brooklyn.

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