December 2013
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Archive for December, 2013

MAS Releases Accidental Skyline Report


Today MAS released The Accidental Skyline, a report addressing the issues surrounding tall buildings and their influence on the scarce open spaces in New York – particularly West 57th Street and Central Park.

The Accidental Skyline, addresses the size and scale of the mostly as-of-right buildings going up on and around 57th Street which are of particular note due to their proximity to Central Park. It also suggests potential approaches to address the issue including changes to zoning rules, public review and greater transparency as developers assemble these sites.

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Developing a Framework for Creating a Livable and Resilient New York


Over a year ago, Superstorm Sandy struck the Northeast coast, knocking out power, flooding our homes and businesses, and dramatically changing our coastal communities. Since then, individuals and organizations from around the region have mobilized to assist their neighbors, aid impacted communities in their rebuilding efforts, and begin to consider new ways to protect New York and the surrounding region from the next disruptive event. With an active influx of volunteers, a dramatic reshaping of organizational programs and political agendas, and new opportunities for philanthropic and federal funding, professionals and volunteers across sectors are working towards creating plans for a livable and resilient New York. As we begin to transition into the next administration, the Municipal Art Society of New York believes it is necessary that this momentum not only continues, but strengthens as we enter a period of intense planning, critical decision making and implementation of new resilience strategies.

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Margaret Newman to Join Municipal Art Society as Executive Director

Photo Credit: Alex Engel, DOT

The Municipal Art Society is proud to welcome Margaret Newman as our new Executive Director in 2014.  Presently the Chief of Staff at the New York City Department of Transportation, Newman will assume the position which is being reinstated at MAS, on February 3, 2014.

A long-time MAS member and urban champion, Margaret Newman has practiced architecture in New York City for over 15 years.  Since 2007, she has served as Chief of Staff at the NYC Department of Transportation under Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan.   Ms. Newman has provided coordination for major agency projects, design overview and project direction for DOT’s Urban Design and Art Division, with a focus on sustainable design.  As a certified LEED professional, Ms. Newman’s work on developing and implementing the City’s Green Infrastructure initiatives included new standards for the use of sustainable materials and LED lighting across the five boroughs. Prior to joining DOT, Newman was a partner in Marren and Newman Architects, a multidisciplinary architecture and design firm located in New York City.  A Fellow of the American Institute of Architects, she received a B.A. in Visual Arts from Bennington College and a Masters of Architecture from Princeton University.

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MAS Supports Designation of Park Avenue Christian Church Complex

park ave church

On October 28, 2013, MAS wrote a letter to Robert Tierney, Chairman of the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission, in support of the designation of the Park Avenue Christian Church complex, located at 1010 Park Avenue. Supporting the designation represents an important legacy issue for MAS. The French Gothic church designed by Cram, Goodhue & Ferguson is one of the few extant buildings listed as a “structure of importance” in New York Landmarks: An Index of Architecturally Notable Structures in New York City compiled by MAS’s Committee on Historic Architecture along with the Society for Architectural Historians in 1957.