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In honor of Memorial Day, today we’re looking back at the history of the white marble Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument, located at 89th Street and Riverside Drive, a majestic memorial to those who fought in the Civil War. Unfortunately, few have had the chance to marvel at its serene mosaic interior. The monument has been open to the public sporadically throughout the years, most recently as part of Open House New York (though one year the key was unable to open the rusted lock and access was canceled).

The New York Times was recently given rare access to what lies hidden behind the monument’s locked door.
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Green Roof-Barclays Center-NYC

The 135,000 square foot green roof atop Brooklyn’s Barclays Center is taking shape (despite an extensive delay) and we recently got a nice note from our friends at Architects Newspaper that they got an exclusive look at the construction. In the video, Linda Chiarelli, Deputy Director of Construction for Forest City Ratner, explains that the roof trusses were not designed to hold the green roof so a “whole new roof structure was installed.”

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Second Av Subway_NYC_Untapped Cities_bhushan mondkar_04

Rome was not built in a day, they say. And neither was New York City or its 24/7 subway system. All good things take time, and more so, when it cuts through some of the densest neighborhoods in America. On our fifth annual pilgrimage through the monumental construction site of the Second Avenue Subway, Dr. Michael Horodniceanu, president of the Capital Construction at MTA, led us through three new stations and 23 blocks of tunnels–from 63rd street to 86th street some 115 feet below Second Avenue.

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Using a pulley system, the 10,000 pound bell about to be lowered into a crate

Earlier this year we watched as the scaffolding went up on the only surviving watchtower in Manhattan.  The Harlem Fire Watchtower, built between 1855 and 1857, is located in Marcus Garvey Park at the end of Fifth Avenue on 120th Street in Harlem. Over the course of the last few month, the tower, including the 10,000 pound bell, was taken down.  The following are photos we took over the past few months, during the dismantling.

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Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance-2015-Horatio Hownblower-Hudson River-NYC-9Hell Gate Bridge, Photo by Mai Armstrong/Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance

In October 2012, Hurricane Sandy forced us to reconsider how we view the many billions of gallons of water that surround us in this city of islands. While we are still rebuilding from the destruction it wreaked on our habitat, it also reminded us that we maybe haven’t been addressing it so intelligently over the last couple decades. The ocean is right in our backyard (and front and side yards), and while sometimes threatening, it can also be quite useful, and we need to learn how to live with it and treat it better.

That was the general sentiment espoused at the 2015 Metropolitan Waterfront Conference earlier this month, an annual convention of over 700 scientists, planners, academics, builders, seamen, and various others interested in the relationship between surf and turf in the New York City area. Aboard the Hornblower Infinity, panelists argued, elected officials orated, and young professionals imbibed, against a backdrop of Lady Liberty, Governors Island, the East River bridges, and Roosevelt Island sailing by.

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Another entrance pic

Originally built in 1898 for The Germania Bank, the building was Landmarked in 2005

After the brouhaha over the opening that never was of FIRST SHOW / LAST SHOW at 190 Bowery, we snagged entry into the much anticipated gallery exhibition with permission to take photographs. In addition to the art itself, we were anxious to document the details of the 72-room “mansion” that was once Germania Bank. The grand entrance with its chamfered corner, Tuscan columns and arched entry, sits on the corner of the Bowery and Spring Street–with a side entrance at street-level on the Bowery.

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