Art Deco buildings in New York City stand out against the curtains of glass and pillars of steel that have dominated the skyline in recent years. The Fred French Building stands 38 stories tall in Midtown.
The architectural firm of H. Douglas Ives designed the first Art Deco skyscraper for the real estate developer Fred French. French, who also developed Tudor City and Knickerbocker Village, originally intended his name-sake building to be housing for “junior Wall Street executives”. (more…)
Court Street and Montague Street in Downtown Brooklyn. Image via Google Street View
Any New Yorker who has braved a winter here has experienced those quintessential gusts of wind that spiral down our broad avenues and streets. A few years ago, The Daily Intelligencer ran a poll asking New Yorkers for the windiest spot in the city, the response varied from Claremont Avenue and 116th Street near Columbia, to the block by Chelsea Market, to the area around Tudor City.
However, in January of this year, The New York Times set out with a team of ”self-proclaimed weather enthusiasts” to collect wind data from what they thought was the windiest intersection in all the boroughs: Court Street and Montague Street in Downtown Brooklyn.
Inside an unassuming storefront on Chambers street in Tribeca, a whole world of posters awaits. According to owner Philip Williams, his namesake shop boasts the largest collection of vintage posters in the world. It’s not hard to believe, judging by the piles of posters stacked on tables throughout the store, which takes up the entire block between Chambers Street and Warren Street. Posters decorate every inch of the walls and are rolled up on shelves too. (more…)
In the earlier part of the twentieth century as Manhattan surged into the sky, planners dug deep as they envisioned the core of future mass transit to be an underground subway system with new routes at almost every North- South avenue in Manhattan. Among these plans lay an ambitious project; a massive train line under Second Avenue consisting of six tracks that branched into Queens, Brooklyn and the Bronx. So why did this famed project never materialize?
To find out the answer and get to know more about this project, Untapped Cities visited the Second Avenue Subway Community Information Center (SAS CIC) located between 85th and 86th street on Second Avenue.
Located along Dekalb Avenue, an area that once had a theater presence comparable to Times Square, the Beaux-Arts Albee Theater opened in 1925. It was established by Edward Albee and Benjamin Franklin Keith, who both sought to promote a more highbrow form of vaudeville. Along with the Metropolitan and Paramount Theaters, The Albee was a part of the Subway Circuit–a group of theaters easily accessible by subway, which played shows passing out from Broadway. In the first years after its opening, the Albee exclusively played vaudeville, but the program was eventually dropped around 1935, when the Depression forced it to discontinue the tradition. (more…)
Scandinavian folklore holds that trolls once lurked under bridges, demanding payment from all who crossed and attacking those who refused. In New York, we have the Port Authority to collect our tolls, and New Yorkers stay away from bridge underpasses for altogether different reasons. There are almost 700 miles of elevated road and rail lines snaking through the city, and in many cases the space underneath them is dark, litter-strewn, or just plain scary.
So in the last few months, the nonprofit Design Trust for Public Space has been soliciting ideas from residents across the city for ways to reprogram the forgotten space. The project, called Under the Elevated, will culminate in a publication outlining design and policy recommendations for enlivening some of the city’s trickiest real estate. (more…)