Known mostly through the images like those prominently on display at the Museum of the City of New York’s (MCNY) exhibition “Palaces for the People: Guastavino and the Art of Structural Tile,” the secret hideaway of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles has been glimpsed by a few curious New Yorkers looping around on the #6 train at Brooklyn Bridge Station and explored by a lucky handful of (mostly) New York Transit Museum members. On 06.05.14, presidents and members of AIA’s local New York chapters boarded an empty #6 train and toured the abandoned City Hall Station. Led by the MTA’s affable Frank Klimasz, the tour proved the aphorism “not all subway stations are created equal” correct.
When City Hall Station opened in 1904, the southern terminus of the Interborough Rapid Transit Company (IRT) was the crown jewel of the nascent system. The nontraditional curved platform is bedecked in tiled green and white archways, once-sparkling chandeliers, and intricate glass skylights that dramatically light the underground space. The plaques that commemorate the construction of the underground train system honor architects Heins & LaFarge of St. John the Divine fame, but omit Rafael Guastavino, MCNY’s unsung hero and the true mastermind behind the station’s design (and, coincidentally, the cathedral’s 12-story vaults). Walking through the station, the collective feeling was one of nostalgia: “Why don’t we have spaces like this anymore?” Continue reading “Behold City Hall Station”
AIA New York State 2014 Albany Lobby Day took place on 04.29.14. With a series of important issues to press, an enthusiastic delegation from AIANY took to the Capitol.
All of our meetings were informative and productive, but our meeting with Assemblymember Deborah Glick was particularly significant because she is chair of the Assembly Higher Education Committee, the committee currently considering passage of the Good Samaritan Act. This legislation would provide protections for architects who volunteer necessary services to the public during disasters and emergencies, as determined by the governor. Following Superstorm Sandy, the need for this legislation was made very apparent when willing architects hesitated to respond without proper protections. This bill needs a final push to get it through the Assembly Higher Education Committee. Continue reading “Lobby from Albany; Learning from Piers”
Many friends were startled to learn that Sarelle Weisberg, FAIA, passed away on 03.29.14. Her levels of energy and enthusiasm, and her very positive outlook on life and its possibilities, were legendary to all who knew her.
I met her in 1960, when we both entered architecture school at Columbia, in the evening program (which no longer exists). Sarelle was taking care of her family, husband Daniel and sons Andrew and Joel, of elementary school age. But that was not enough of a challenge for her.
She became a very stimulating classmate, encouraging others as well as persevering enthusiastically and thoughtfully in her own design work. She produced some excellent projects, and won a William Kinne Fellowship in 1965. Sarelle graduated in 1966 with a B.Arch. degree, which was later converted to an M.Arch. degree when Columbia reorganized its curriculum. Continue reading “In Memoriam: Sarelle Weisberg, FAIA”
The line of people that stretched down LaGuardia Place to attend “Cities by Water: Solutions from Copenhagen and New York” on 04.08.14 was a testament to the fact that in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, New Yorkers have become acutely aware of the threat that climate change poses to their city. The program, related to the “Copenhagen Solutions” exhibition currently on view at the Center for Architecture, compared and contrasted approaches to the water-related challenges facing New York and Copenhagen.
Bjarke Ingels, founder of the Copenhagen- and New York-based architectural firm Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), and Tina Saaby, City Architect of Copenhagen, fielded the first questions posed by AIANY Executive Director Rick Bell, FAIA, who guided the evening’s discussion. Bell asked Ingels and Saaby to comment on the extent to which political leadership, policy, and the relationship between the public and private sectors determines what is possible in Copenhagen. Saaby explained that in Copenhagen there is both a top-down and bottom-up approach implemented simultaneously, resulting in long-term visions for city planning coupled with short-term actions. Continue reading “Cities by Water: Solutions from Copenhagen and New York”
The AIA has been selected as a nominee for the 18th Annual Webby Awards in recognition of the Voice of the Architect app, on which AIANY and AIA National collaborated. Voting for the People’s Voice Award is open to the public through 04.24.14!… Continue reading “Names in the News”
2014 OCULUS Editorial Calendar
The Oculus 2014 Editorial Calendar has been set. If you are an architect by training, or see yourself as an astute observer of New York’s architectural and planning scene, Oculus wants to hear from you! Projects/topics may be anywhere, but architects must be New York-based. Please submit story ideas by the deadlines indicated below to Kristen Richards, Hon. AIA, Hon. ASLA: kristen@ArchNewsNow.com.
Submit story ideas by April 30, 2014
Emerging Skyline / Evolving Street
Submit story ideas by July 14, 2014 Continue reading “New Deadlines”