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November 2015
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Archive for November, 2015

Highlights from Global Cities at the Crossroads

Last week, MAS had the pleasure of honoring Brookfield as the recipient of the 2015 MAS Livable City Award and hosting a roster of international experts for a symposium on creative placemaking. Today we’re delighted to share with you videos, photos, and reflections on this thought-provoking event! Continue Reading>>

Eyes on the City: The Palace Theatre

MAS Testimony to the Landmarks Preservation Commission regarding the Certificate of Appropriateness for the Palace Theatre, located at 1564 Broadway, Block 999, Lot 63. Zoned C6-5.5, C6-7T Community District 5, Manhattan The Palace Theatre was designated in 1987, a year before the famous slate of 28 Broadway theatres were designated by the Landmarks Preservation Commission. If that alone did not indicate the importance of the Palace, the designation report is positively exuberant in its statement of significance:
If one theater in New York’s Broadway theater district were to be named the most famous, the privilege would fall virtually uncontested to the Palace. It is one of the oldest theatres to survive on Broadway, designed not as a legitimate stage theater but as a vaudeville house… The Palace’s reputation has not faltered since its conversion in 1966 to the legitimate stage, offering one box office sensation after another amid the splendor of its baroque, Beaux-Arts interior. In addition to its configuration, much of its extravagant ornamental plasterwork remains intact, evoking the history of the Palace as one of New York’s great theaters. As a national symbol of vaudeville, currently housing Broadway theater, the Palace continues to help define the Broadway theater district, the largest and most famous concentration of legitimate stage theaters in the world.
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Brookfield Receives 2015 MAS Livable City Award

Real estate firm recognized for creative place-making around the globe (November 19, 2015 | New York, NY) In recognition of the significant contributions Brookfield has provided to the livability and vibrancy of New York City for the past 25 years, the Municipal Art Society of New York (MAS) named Brookfield as the 2015 Livable City Award honoree. The award was presented today at MAS’s “Global Cities at the Crossroads” symposium that explored the impact of investments by the corporate real estate sector toward art and culture. Across ten cities for nearly three decades, Arts Brookfield has created free arts and cultural programming that has improved the lives of millions of people. Brookfield plays an integral role in stimulating the development of the neighborhoods in which their buildings exist by cultivating relationships with artists who then create works and installations that inhabit the company’s public spaces. Continue Reading>>

Watch Live: Global Cities at the Crossroads


Today at 1PM, we kick off a symposium on the future of creative place-making. We invite you to watch online! 

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Eyes on the City: Community Resilience

Resilience is a term that has become pervasive in our culture – including NIST, the National Institute of Standards and Technology. While physical engineering is critical to promoting urban resilience, on November 9th, Mary Rowe, Executive Vice President, Municipal Art Society of New York, described the importance of community-based resilience. As you can see from her presentation, resilience is about people – it’s about networks and the capacity a community has to self-organize during a crisis. See her insights »»

Announcing the new MAS Podcast!

MAS is delighted to announce the launch of our new monthly podcast, available right now to stream on, on SoundCloud, and on iTunes! As many long-time MASers will remember, the Municipal Art Society hosted a weekly radio program on WNYC for several years beginning in the 1970s. This new podcast takes our history of broadcast and lively discussion into the 21st century, and welcomes a new listening audience to join the conversation. Continue Reading>>

Testimony: Intro 737

Accidential_Skyline_coverTestimony of Municipal Art Society New York City Council, Parks Committee November 12, 2015 Intro 737 Media contact: Meaghan Baron, Thank you for the opportunity to testify today. My name is Kate Slevin and I’m the Senior Director of Advocacy and Policy at the Municipal Art Society of New York, a 123-year-old organization that works for a more livable city. We strongly support Intro 737, and applaud Council Member Levine for taking a lead on addressing the impacts of new buildings on our treasured public spaces. MAS’s longstanding concern about protecting our parks has been heightened by the supertall towers rising south of Central Park. Most of them are being constructed as-of-right, without any public or environmental review even though they will be among the tallest structures in the Western Hemisphere and cast shadows deep into Central Park. Beyond Central Park, out-of-scale development can shadow entire playgrounds or pocket parks while providing limited benefits to the nearby residents. We are not anti-development. New York City must grow and change, but we believe new development should positively contribute to surrounding communities. Continue Reading>>

Eyes on the City: Honoring our Veterans

On Veteran’s Day, as we pay tribute to millions of brave American soldiers who fought, and are fighting on behalf of the United States across the world, we stop to ponder the over 270 monuments, plaques and triumphal arches in New York City, honoring our military heroes. These symbols in bronze and stone are silent companions in our parks and plazas, holding a reservoir of public memory, grief, sorrow and victory. Through our Adopt-A-Monument program, MAS is proud to conserve and maintain a dozen memorials commemorating our country’s veterans. [huge_it_slider id=”4″]

Eyes on the City: Two Events for AMNH/Teddy Roosevelt Park

MAS continues to follow the issue of the American Museum of Natural History’s expansion, which is the subject of two events this week. On Tuesday, October 10, from 10:00am-3:00pm, Defenders of Teddy Roosevelt Park will host a “Breath-In to Save Our Park” Organizers invite you to, “Bring your kids, your signs, your voices . . . and your lungs! Let the American Museum of Natural History know how important Teddy Roosevelt Park is to our community. Parkland and stately shade trees are too important to lose to the museum’s proposed expansion.” Meet at the park entrance at 79th Street off Columbus Avenue. View the flyer for more information. On Thursday, November 12, at 6:30pm, the Museum will host an informational meeting on the project On November 5, the AMNH released drawings and renderings of the proposed expansion. The Museum will host an information session on these new details and the overall proposal for interested members of the community. Enter 77th Street entrance. As we wrote in our October 9 statement: MAS urges decision-makers at AMNH to:
  • Demonstrate the rationale for expansion: The Museum has presented a programmatic need for an expansion. But will the project produce any additional benefits to the community? Are the benefits worth the potential diminishment of other public amenities, including reduced green space and tree cover?

  • Explore alternative proposals: Has the Museum explored alternatives to the current expansion? This might include creative ways of using the existing museum space, or a possible satellite location. An outer borough location would have the added benefit of acting as a social and economic neighborhood catalyst. Are there potential institutional partnerships that would provide AMNH with the added capacity it requires?

  • Ensure an open community process: The Museum should continue to be forthcoming and open about the details of the process going forward. They should actively engage with stakeholders from the nearby neighborhood to solicit their input on ways to meet the needs of both the Museum and the local community.

Global Cities at the Crossroads: Commerce, Art & the Captivating Power of Place

On November 19, the Municipal Art Society of New York (MAS) and Columbia University’s Paul Milstein Center for Real Estate will host a thought-provoking and lively series of discussions on the value of creative place-making featuring leading minds in the urban planning, real estate, and arts industries. Continue Reading>>

Eyes on the City: MAS’s Partners in Paris

Earlier this year, MAS celebrated the launch of a new international collaboration with our friends in Paris, the Arts Arena, titled “The Arts Arena/Municipal Art Society Paris-New York Series on Cities.” Today we invite you to learn a bit more about this wonderful peer organization. The Arts Arena is a non-profit initiative for the creative and performing arts, and issues of culture and society. Since its founding in 2007, the Arts Arena has presented more than 130 exhibitions, performances, debates, colloquia, lectures, and festivals that are free and open to the public. Continue Reading>>

Eyes on the City: MAS at the Past Forward Conference

feature-1200x774This week, MAS led three discussions at the Past Forward conference in Washington, DC presented by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Mary Rowe, Executive Vice President at MAS, moderated a panel on urban entrepreneurship, highlighting the work of Hatch Detroit, Galapagos Art Space and the Brooklyn Navy Yard in incubating creative small businesses through the adaptive re-use of older buildings. Specific to New York, David Ehrenberg discussed the challenges of altering these buildings, while simultaneously emphasizing the importance of history and authenticity to his tenants in Brooklyn. He also reinforced the success of on-site, non-profit management, explaining that zoning alone would not ensure the retention of industrial and manufacturing businesses at the Navy Yard. Continue Reading>>