Bring Them as Eagles

Mayor Bill de Blasio came to the Great Hall of Cooper Union’s landmark Foundation Building on Thursday, 04.10.14, to deliver a speech that catalogued some of the specific initiatives of his first 100 days in office, and which anticipated the path that his administration will pursue. Particular areas of focus of his speech were education, affordable housing, pedestrian safety, and equal opportunity. The broader theme was a description of the attributes of a progressive city. New York, the mayor asserted, has been a model for other cities across the nation and can be so again. What follows are excerpts transcribed in place that may be of particular interest to architects and others in the design community. In the superb setting of the Great Hall, with its history and volumetric quality, it was hard not to be impressed, as well, by the speechwriting skill and oratory of our new mayor. Quoting Abraham Lincoln, Robert Kennedy, and James Russell Lowell (“fate loves the fearless”), Mayor de Blasio’s central theme – “the Progressive City” – in many ways resonated with Lowell’s new world Voyage to Vinland, from which the famous line was taken:

Strong from self-helping;
Eyes for the present
Bring them as eagles’,
Blind to the Past.
They shall make over
Creed, law, and custom…
Fate loves the fearless;
Fools, when their roof-tree
Falls think it doomsday;
Firm stands the sky.
Over the ruin
See I the promise.

(from Voyage to Vinland; started 1851, completed 1869)

Mayor de Blasio’s remarks:

“I would like to thank all of the friends who are with us today as we mark this special occasion. We have a lot to celebrate, a lot to be thankful for. I want to thank everyone here at Cooper Union, this extraordinary treasure. This stage is renowned for over a century and a half as a place where people come together to think and to dream. An extraordinary education is offered here. Curious minds have come here over the generations, people seeking truth. It is the perfect setting to discuss all that our city is capable of. Abraham Lincoln said right here on this stage, ‘Let us have faith that right makes might.’ Continue reading “Bring Them as Eagles”

A Sustainable and Resilient Plan for de Blasio’s Next 100 Days + Iowa Passes Good Samaritan Bill

On Thursday, 04.10.14, the New York League of Conservation Voters (NYLCV) held a demonstration on the steps of City Hall calling on Mayor Bill de Blasio, on his 100th day in office, to focus on sustainability and resiliency efforts in his next 100 days. The press conference announced three suggested steps that, if implemented, will better prepare New York City for future climate change and weather-related events. NYLCV President Marcia Bystryn gave the opening remarks and outlined the three milestones that emphasize long-term planning in a post-Sandy New York City:

  • The de Blasio Administration has set 05.01.14 as the deadline to announce its plan to add and preserve 200,000 affordable housing units. These units should be built sustainably and resiliently. They should also include access to transit and parks.
  • The official start of the next hurricane season is 06.01.14. The mayor should initiate a comprehensive plan to ensure that New York is prepared for the next storm and the changing climate.
  • The deadline for a finalized city budget is 06.30.14. Sustainability and resiliency planning must be included in the capital plan, in addition to vital infrastructure repairs. Continue reading “A Sustainable and Resilient Plan for de Blasio’s Next 100 Days + Iowa Passes Good Samaritan Bill”

Names in the News

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”

Names in the News

The finalists of the Passive House 2014 award include Artist Studio by Ryall Porter Sheridan Architects (Office and Special Use Buildings), and Tighthouse by Fabrica718 with Studio Cicetti Architecture (Retrofits)…  Autodesk has named Microsol Resources 2014 Americas Partner of the Year…NYC-based Daniel Markiewicz and Mark Talbot received second place for their design “Car and Shell: or Marinetti’s Monster” in the 2014 eVolo Skyscraper competition… Continue reading “Names in the News”

Top of the Morning

Mayor Bill de Blasio welcomed Irish Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Enda Kenny to Gracie Mansion for an early breakfast on Monday, March 17. With two hundred other daughters and sons of Ireland in the room, among them labor leaders and cultural figures, the Mayor was effusive in his praise, saying “the presence of the Irish in New York City over the centuries is to be celebrated today in the peoples’ house.”

Recalling his youth in Massachusetts, growing up in the district represented by legendary House Speaker Tip O’Neill, Mayor de Blasio said that he saw the benefit of Irish political leadership at close hand and was raised in an atmosphere very much benefiting from Irish culture. Continue reading “Top of the Morning”