11/12/13 2:00pm

Bill de Blasio-NYC Mayor-2013Image via Flickr  by Kevdiaphoto

Bill de Blasio already has a parody Twitter account (@BilldeBleezy) in his honor. The mayor elect, who will assume office in January as the 109th chief public official of the City of New York, represents a major paradigm shift in the political drumbeat in the most visited city in United States. His predecessor, three-term serving billionaire Michael Bloomberg, has a Twitter parody, too, but de Blasio’s will no doubt be of a decidedly different tone. For starters, his Spanish is markedly better.

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08/28/13 8:00am

Macy's-wooden-escalator-34th-street-herald-square_1

The Macy’s at 34th Street in Herald Square is still undergoing renovation but one question on many a vintage-fan’s mind is: Will they replace the historic wooden escalators? The original commercial escalators were manufactured by Otis Elevator Company in 1902. A 2012 New York Times article reports that plans include “preserving 42 of the store’s 43 wooden escalators. (The 43rd is being dismantled and cannibalized for parts to keep the others going).”

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08/09/13 9:00am

Staple Street Skybridge

In New York City, skybridges are largely a thing from the past. As we mentioned in our last skybridge roundup, they exemplify the city’s push to tempt the creative boundaries of architecture. But aside from aesthetics, skybridges may come in handy as a temperature-controlled method of movement or as a means to decrease walker congestion on the ground. Cities that are heavily populated or suffer from extreme weather already have extensive skybridge systems, like the Minneapolis Skyway System and Mumbai’s Skywalk Project.

Here are a few more skybridges that we came across in Manhattan:

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08/08/12 9:00am

Untapped New York has previously explored art along the 1/2/3, 4/5/6, N/Q/R, and A/C/E subway lines. This week, I tackled the B/D/F/M lines–the only group that travels through the four continguous boroughs, and Arts for Transit has provided compelling art in all of them!

On the mezzanine at Woodhaven Boulevard station in Queens, Pablo Tauler crafted nine metal columns called In Memory of the Lost Battalion (1996). The title references World War I soldiers who died in the bloody Battle of the Argonne Forest, and the beams have a natural, art nouveau style to them that recalls the sylvan landscape. The use of glass and metal both captures and reflects light, and as the harried commuter passes through she is temporarily transported to a natural glen, beautiful yet tragic.

Pablo Tauler, In Memory of the Lost Battalion, 1996.  (more…)

07/05/12 2:12pm

I spent a lot of the walk under the shadow of the Empire State Building, but had it not been there I may have had trouble remembering I was in New York City…

Picking up from where I left off in Union Square last week on Don’t Forget to Look Up, I walked up to Times Square past the Flatiron District, Madison Square Gardens and Macy’s leaving behind the Classical inspired buildings (save for a few!) and discovering new architectural treasures as I continue to climb up Manhattan:

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12/16/11 4:51pm

In October, I had the great honor of hosting and attending a conference with the Rockefeller Foundation at their villa in Bellagio, Italy. The conference, entitled Jane Jacobs Revisited, marked the 50th Anniversary of Jacobs’ seminal book, The Death and Life of Great American Cities. The small gathering included some of the elite of city building across the globe, including  Helle Soholt of Gehl Architects, Edward Glaeser, Jonathan Rose, Kate Ascher, author of  The Works  and The Heights, Nicky Gavron, first deputy mayor of London, architect Bing Thom, Nabeel Hamdi, and Carrie Lam, Hong Kong’s Secretary of Development.

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