The Urban Reviewer is an interactive map of NYC ”master plans” (aka, urban renewal plans), where tenants were re-located in order to clear the way for urban development plans. The city has been funding urban development projects in neighborhoods they deemed “blighted” since 1949, but the maps starts in ’52. The map is by the 596 Acres group, which is dedicated to mapping publicly owned land so neighborhoods could access and utilize community owned spaces.
It is difficult to imagine a desolate Central Park West without neighboring skyscrapers, bustling taxi cabs, and lots of New Yorkers, but back in the 1890s, it was just that. In fact, the Dakota, located at 1 West 72nd Street and Central Park West, is rumored to have gotten its name because Manhattan’s Upper West Side appeared as empty as the Dakota Territory. Another theory suggests that Edward Clark, former president of the Singer Sewing Machine Company and building developer, chose the name Dakota because of his affection for the western states. A statue of a Dakota Indian standing above the 72nd Street entrance lends support to this idea.
No matter how it got its name, Clark and architect Henry Janeway Hardenbergh, who would go on to design the Plaza Hotel, still had to find a way to attract New Yorkers to move to the remote area. With its unique layout and blend of architectural styles, the resulting building unreservedly accomplished this mission and today remains one of the most sought-after addresses in the city.
You see tile everywhere around you — from the walls of your subway station to the floor of your bathroom. But do you ever really consider just how old tile is (dates back to ancient Egypt), or the incredible fact that the there are still limitless architectural possibilities for the material? Join the Museum of the City of New York and the American Institute for Architecture on July 7th at 6:30 p.m. to hear a panel discussion moderated by Suzanne Stephens, deputy editor of Architectural Record, about the use, design, and manufacture of modern tiles. Panelists include Carla Swickerath, CEO and Principal at Studio Daniel Libeskind, Franz Prinsloo, architectural designer at Kohn Pedersen Fox, and Matthew Karlin, the third-generation president of the Nemo Tile Company. (more…)
The Central Park Arsenal, at 64th Street and Fifth Avenue, is one of the two buildings (the other being the Blockhouse) left in the park that predate the park’s formation. Although its medieval architecture doesn’t quite match the park’s aesthetic, the 167-year-old Arsenal has survived multiple demolition attempts by providing a diverse array of functions, from its original usage as a state munitions facility, to the site of the Museum of Natural History, to its current role as home to the Department of Parks and Recreation and headquarters of the Central Park Zoo.