Lead Us Not Into Penn Station…

There may be only one proposition that every sentient being in the tri-state region would agree on: Penn Station, as we know, it has to go. As Margaret Newman, FAIA, noted at the “Transportation as Cultural Identifier: Penn 2023” on 04.19.14, the station was built under the twin erroneous assumptions that New York City and rail travel were both in conditions of irreversible decline. Penn Station is slightly smaller than Bryant Park – about 8½ acres, or 368,000 vs. 418,000 square feet – yet the number of people passing through it daily, reported Newman, is roughly equivalent to the population of Denver, some half a million. And pass through it is all most of them do: it is no place to linger, the opposite of a welcoming space, disliked as widely as its lamented predecessor was admired. As Chris Sharples, AIA, hardly needed to remind this audience, it is a place where “we use the word ‘flee’; Vincent Scully probably would use the word ‘scurry.’” “If you think it’s bad now,” added Thomas Wright of the Regional Plan Association (RPA), “you ain’t seen nothing yet,” considering the rising numbers of users at this confluence of multiple transit systems. (Some 80% of Manhattan’s entering commuters now come from west of the Hudson, feeding New Jersey Transit’s growth over the past two decades, with the Long Island Rail Road holding steady, and true high-speed rail for the Northeast Corridor a possibility.) Endure it though we all do, the situation is critical. Continue reading “Lead Us Not Into Penn Station…”

New Deadlines

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.

Fall 2014
Culture
Submit story ideas by April 30, 2014

Winter 2014
Emerging Skyline / Evolving Street
Submit story ideas by July 14, 2014 Continue reading “New Deadlines”

Names in the News

Robert B. Tierney, Hon. AIA, Chair of the Landmarks Preservation Commission, is one of 10 recipients of 2014 AIA Honorary Membership…The Municipal Art Society will present The New York Times architecture critic Michael Kimmelman with the 2014 Brendan Gill Prize at the organization’s Annual Meeting on 03.25.14…The New York School of Interior Design will honor interior designer Mariette Himes Gomez with the Albert Hadley Lifetime Achievement Award, and landscape architect and co-founder of Maggie’s Centres Charles Jencks with the Thomas N. Armstrong III Award in Landscape Design.. Continue reading “Names in the News”