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Queensway-Phase One Design-Metropolitan Avenue-Metropolitan Hub-Forest Park-Rockaway Beach Branch Line-LIRR-Abandoned-Queens-NYC-017On the QueensWay, a visionary rendering done prior to start of latest design phase

We recently took a trip to explore the potential QueensWay Park site with Andy Stone, director of the New York City program of the Trust for Public Land. While we have documented this former Rockaway Beach Branch line of the Long Island Railroad on numerous occasions previously, this visit showed the unique urban access challenges of the surrounding landscape and what the QueensWay Park hopes to address through the creation of the city’s next linear park.

Yesterday, the design process for the first half-mile of the Queensway Park was announced by the Friends of the Queensway, the Trust for Public Land, and elected officials that support the project.

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Other Islands_OHNY_North Brother Island_East River_Untapped Cities-3

On an Open House New York boat tour, Stuart Miller and Sharon Seitz, authors of the book The Other Islands of New York talked guests through the history of New York City’s other islands, of which there are many.

Miller describes on the tour how the islands reflect the story of the city as its priorities have shifted over time. Some were originally purposed as military protection from the British during the War of 1812, named later for the families that owned them, and transformed over time into places of leisure, of isolation, of residence, and often of heterotopia. We’ve compiled here other islands of New York City. (more…)

Grashorn Building-Coney Island Oldest Building-Jones Walk-Brooklyn-Abandoned-Thor Equities-NYC_1

It looks like an abandoned building today, but at the corner of Surf Avenue and Jones Walk, a boarded up wooden clapboard house is all that remains of the oldest building on Coney Island. Built sometime in the early to mid 1880s by Henry Grashorn, the Grashorn Building is a Victorian style building with a mansard roof that was allegedly built originally as a hotel. Grashorn quickly transformed it into a hardware store around 1898 and was responsible for furnishing the nuts and bolts for the major amusement parks on Coney Island–Luna Park, Steeplechase and Dreamland. There was once a porch that wrapped around the building and its neighbors, under which household wares and candy were sold.

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Alvar Aalto-Maison Louis Carre-Paris-Architecture

Continuing on our exploration of the must-visit Modernist architectural masterpieces to visit in and around Paris, today we’ll look at the Maison Louis Carré about forty minutes south west of Paris. Louis Carré was an art collector with a gallery in Paris. In 1956 he commissioned the Finnish architect and designer Alvar Aalto to build a villa for him, and what you can visit today is an incredible combination of architecture and design, Aalto’s only remaining work in France.

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Super Slender Residential Towers-Top 10-NYC-2016All images via the Skyscraper Museum

Expanding on its 2013/14 exhibition Sky High & the Logic of Luxury, the Skyscraper Museum has continued its exploration of supertall skyscrapers with a new web tool highlighting New York City’s super-slender, ultra-luxury residential tower. The museum has used a minimum 1:10 ratio of of width to height to categorize buildings as super-slender, and the range goes all the way to 1:23 in the case of 111 W. 57th Street, a building by SHoP Architects that is estimated to complete in 2019.

As the Skyscraper Museum notes, these super-slender skyscrapers are driven by demand for views, are possible through a combination of technological advancement in engineering and zoning. The most notable of these super-slender skyscrapers so far include One57 and 432 Park Avenue, which have already been finished, but towers like Sky House (2008) and One Madison (2010) certainly heralded this change earlier. The vast majority will be completed in the next few years.

Here are the top 10 tallest super-slender skyscrapers constructed and en route in New York City

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Gowanus Porte Road-American Revolution-Map-Atlas of NYC-Historic-Park SlopeLocation of former Gowanus Road from From the Atlas of NYC, 1880. Via NYPL.

In the Park Slope and Gowanus area, the history of the Revolutionary War is well-known – from the recreated Stone House where a decisive part of the Battle of Brooklyn/Long Island took place to the bravery of the Maryland 400, whose final burial grounds are still unconfirmed. In the August 1776 retreat from Brooklyn ,the American soldiers fled West from Prospect Park on the Porte Road downhill towards what was then the Gowanus swamp. Crossing the Gowanus Creek (now the Canal), more casualties were taken.

Today, a portion of these roads where the soldiers traversed is now visible, thanks to construction at 269-271 Fourth Avenue, last reported to be a 12-story condo as revealed by New York Yimby in early 2015. The lot is next to the ODA-designed building 251 1st Avenue that is currently under construction.

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