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Staten Islanders might finally have an easier commute into Manhattan if plans for an aerial gondola move forward. Photo via Leitner-Poma of America

In January, The Staten Island Economic Development Corporation (SIEDC) launched a conceptual design competition which asked participants to develop an aerial tramway to connect the borough to the surrounding areas of New York Harbor. The winning proposal, created by a Colorado-based cable systems developer, Leitner-Poma of America’s (LPOA), features a line that runs parallel to the Bayonne Bridge, over the Kill van Kull strait from Elm Park to the Eighth Street station of the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail (HBLR) line in New Jersey, whereupon passengers would take the train to Manhattan.

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New York Wheel-Staten Island-St. George Waterfront-S9 Architecture-Perkins Eastman-NYC-5Rendering of New York Wheel on Staten Island. Renderings by S9 Architecture/Perkins Eastman.

There’s one word that describes the development projects underway on the St. George Waterfront in Staten Island: ambitious. Last week, we took a tour of the construction site for the New York Wheel and Empire Outlets with the architects and developers in charge of the project. The two projects alone constitute $1.2 billion in investment, and are joined by additional projects underway at Lighthouse Point, Flagship Brewery, Snug Harbor Cultural Center, and other institutional organizations along Staten Island’s north shore.

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Peking-Ship-South Street Seaport-Return-Square Rigger-NYC-005The Peking. Photo via Flickr by David Yu.

Last November, I read a long New York Times piece about the return of the Peking to its country of origin, Germany. The square-rigged sailing ship at South Street Seaport was slated to leave sometime in 2016. Cash-strapped South Street Seaport Museum staff feared that their ship, which had stood tall at Pier 16 for four decades, had to be scrapped after she weathered damage from Hurricane Sandy, but the German government saved the day, allocating 30 million euros for a journey to return the Peking to their protection.

Last week, the Seaport Museum posted on social media that these were the final days to step aboard one of the last great merchant windjammers. No way was I going to miss this farewell, even if I took a familiar friend for granted: I remembered from some fold in my brain that in her heyday she had an acre of canvas, with 32 sails.

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sea-view-bulletin-nyc-untapped-citiesPhoto courtesy of NYCEDC

The New York City Economic Development Corp (NYCEDC) and Borough President James Oddo recently announced the city’s first planned Wellness Community in Staten Island. The Old Sea View Hospital was once the largest and most renown tuberculosis sanatoriums in the country, which later included facilities for the mentally ill and cholera patients. Upon completion, this Health Community will be the first publicly planned and funded mixed-use health development of its kind in the country. Parts of the old Sea View Hospital and the neighboring Farm Colony have stood in a state of semi-abandonment for decades. Now, with help from the City, Staten Island will become a much healthier place it deserves to be.  (more…)

Landsape in Motion-Freshkills Park-Staten Island Arts Culture Lounge-St. George Ferry Terminal-Staten Island-NYC-3

Starting September 22nd, the next time you take the Staten Island Ferry (even if you got on just for the view), make a stop inside St. George Ferry Terminal at the Staten Island Culture Lounge. There’s a photography exhibit, “Freshkills: Landscape in Motion” that examines the changing topography of Freshkills as it evolves from a landfill into the largest park developed by New York City since the 19th century.

The photographs are the results of a competition sponsored by Freshkills Park and the Staten Island Advance and the exhibition shows twelve winning photographs side by side with historical images. The three first place winners are shown below:

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Untapped Cities and the NYCEDC will host a special tour of the normally off-limits Seaview Hospital on Staten Island on August 13th at 11 am, a landmarked property that that still functions as a city-run long term care facility, as part of our Behind the Scenes NYC Tour Series.

Sea View Hospital was once the pride of the city’s health care system, built at great cost to combat tuberculosis. In fact, it was the most expensive city-owned health care facility. On this walking tour led by Munro Johnson, Vice President of Development at NYCEDC, see how abandoned buildings and active ones sit side by side at this historic hospital. Climb to the top of the abandoned Children’s Hospital, frequently featured in television shows like Gotham and Boardwalk Empire, step inside the network of tunnels that connect the buildings at Sea View and inside some of the abandoned spaces within the buildings. Learn the development plans for this unique site, the preservation efforts that have already been undertaken and are underway, and how the site connects to the Staten Island Greenbelt.

Here are some additional images of what you will see on this tour:

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