Featured Story

Features, History, Hotels, Midtown West

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42 West 42nd Street, New York, NY, United States

In a town overrun with fancy hotels, the Algonquin – which turns 112 tomorrow – has true staying power, proving that history and heritage are every bit as important as plush bedding and sweet-smelling bath products.

Designed by Goldwin Starrett in a Renaissance limestone and red brick façade, the 12-story Algonquin Hotel, at 42 West 42nd Street, opened on November 22, 1902, initially operating as an apartment hotel with year-long leases but switching to a hotel after the owner failed to find enough renters. Today, the Algonquin – both a literary landmark and a New York City Historic Landmark – remains one of New York’s most cherished institutions, drawing a mix of artists, tourists and cultural elites.

Read the full history of the storied Algonquin

 

Architecture, Major Developments, South Street Seaport, Urban Design

REVEALED: SHoP’s Scaled-Back South Street Seaport Tower

By Dana Schulz, Today, November 21, 2014

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South Street Seaport, South Street, New York, NY, United States

This week, the Howard Hughes Corporation gave a presentation to the South Street Seaport community about their residential tower planned for the waterfront beside Pier 17. The original design by SHoP Architects was 52 stories and 650 feet, but to satisfy concerns by neighborhood residents and elected officials about the tower’s appropriateness, the firm scaled back the design to 42 stories and agreed to also build a middle school and waterfront esplanade. But even this revised plan was met with much criticism at the community meeting; City Council members Gail Brewer and Margaret Chin both expressed that they would not support the tower and likened it to plopping a high-rise in the middle of Colonial Williamsburg.

The luxury residential tower is part of Howard Hughes’ overall $305 million plan for the Seaport, which if approved would include a restoration of the historic Tin Building and a new home for the Seaport Museum.

More details on the project and revised design

 

Cool Listings, Interiors, Upper East Side

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4 East 62nd Street, New York, NY, United States

The holiday season is fast approaching, which means there are undoubtedly plenty of festivities on your calendar. Well, if you happen to have $60,000 a month in your pocket, perhaps you’ll enjoy this sprawling condo at The Curzon House that is warm enough for the winter months and large enough to spread out when you’ve had enough family time. Internationally renowned architect, Yonkers jail converter, and designer of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Maya Lin spent several years painstakingly renovating this spectacular pad. The end result is a showstopper that has been featured in a number of publications.

Take a look inside, here

 
Featured Story

Features, Historic Homes, History, Queens, Urban Design

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Forest Hills Gardens, Queens, NY, United States

Forest Hills Gardens via Joe Shlabotnik via photopin cc

This unique sheltered enclave might be the perfect spot for residents who can handle the rules; just don’t call it FoHiGa.

Occupying a 175-acre wedge just south of the Forest Hills LIRR station and within the greater Queens neighborhood of Forest Hills, Forest Hills Gardens is one of America’s oldest planned communities. Modeled after England’s “garden cities,” originally intended to create an ideal environment that incorporated shared green space with urban convenience for the working classes, the Gardens (as it’s known) is home to about 4,500 residents. The private community is managed by the Forest Hills Gardens Corporation, an organization made up of property owners.

This unique community consisting of over 800 free-standing and attached houses and 11 apartment buildings as well as churches, parks and storefronts, dates from 1909, when architect Grosvenor Atterbury and landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted Jr.–-son of Frederick Law Olmsted, landscape architect who helped design Central Park–-were commissioned to plan a new town. Though the community lies within the boundaries of one of the world’s most modern and populous cities, it has retained much of its co-operative, idyllic nature.

Find out more about this unique community

 

History, Manhattan, Urban Design, Video

Many of you probably recognize the image above, but what you may not know is that creating it required far more than a bit of Photoshop magic. The work of Wildlife Conservation Society ecologist Eric Sanderson, this incredible photo is a true-to-life depiction of what once grew on the island of Manhattan before it was all paved over. By using an 18th-century map, a GPS and reams of data, Sanderson has recreated, block by block, the ecology of Manhattan in the early 17th century. “We’re trying to discover what Henry Hudson would have seen on the afternoon of September 12, 1609 when he sailed into New York Harbor,” says Sanderson.

Watch his riveting TED talk on the ‘Mannahatta Project‘ ahead and see what used to make up areas like Columbia University, Greenwich Village, and even Times Square at the time of the American Revolution. You’ll certainly look at what remains from our city’s verdant, hilly and marshy past in a whole new way.

Watch the video here

Celebrities, Chelsea, Cool Listings, Interiors

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200 11th Avenue, New York, NY, United States

Perhaps the low-key lifestyle of an historic townhouse in Vinegar Hill didn’t agree with Twilight Star Robert Pattinson. Because he’s now reportedly been spotted checking out a much more high-profile pad in West Chelsea, according to the Post. In fact, the $20 million penthouse in the famous Sky Garage building is so impressive that it has its own private drive-in elevator. Yup, that’s right, the Selldorf Architects-designed tower at 200 Eleventh Avenue is considered “paparazzi proof,” since celeb residents including Nicole Kidman can drive right into their personal car elevators that take them directly to their contemporary apartments.

Pattison toured the $20 million, three-bedroom, 3,598-square-foot penthouse of this unprecedented building, which has other jaw-dropping features like a glass floor that opens up with the press of a button to reveal a stairway that leads to the bedroom wing below.

Check out the rest of this Sky Garage penthouse

 

Real Estate Wire

  • Disgruntled Staten Island residents can now report problems directly to borough hall with a new app called BP Assist. [DNA Info]
  • NYC real estate is still the safest bet for foreign investors. [CO]
  • The de Blasio administration will sell a 25,204-square-foot plot on the southern side of West 53rd Street between 10th and 11th Avenues and its development rights for $1. The purchase would clear the way for Clinton Housing’s 103-unit affordable development. [CO]
  • A triangular pocket park on Church Street could be on its way. [Tribeca Citizen]

Technology

Does your roommate insist on slamming the doors at all hours of the night? Do you have an upstairs neighbor who decides to practice tap dancing at 3am? Whatever your noisy apartment horror story may be, there’s a common conundrum we encounter when trying to block out the racket: how to wear earplugs but not miss the alarm.

A group of engineers must have heard about our sleep-deprived woes because they’ve created Hush, earplugs that connect wirelessly to a smartphone, so users can hear the sounds they need to while blocking out the rest. Plus, they can play white noise, ocean waves, or a crackling fire if you need some soothing sounds to get you to sleep. And the charging dock doubles as a carrying case and phone charger (what can’t these earplugs do?).

Read more

Cool Listings, Interiors, Upper West Side 

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329 West 108th Street, New York, NY, United States

Easy breezy is the perfect description for this duplex penthouse that recently popped up on the market for $3,850,000. Located at 329 West 108th street on the Upper West Side, this beautiful three-bedroom home includes a dramatic corner living room and ample outdoor space–both perfect for entertaining. The living room also features an elegant angular skylight, so whether you’re inside or out,  you and your guests will be able to enjoy beautiful views of the New York City skyline.

Read more

 

Cool Listings, Noho

Photo: Susan Sermoneta via flickr.
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190 Bowery, New York, NY, United States

After all the hoopla around RFR Realty’s purchase of Jay Maisel’s graffiti-covered home along the Bowery, word has now surfaced that its new owners are already looking to turn a profit on the six-story building—even before they’ve officially closed on it. The Commercial Observer reports that the building at 190 Bowery, which went into contract in September, is being listed by Massey Knakal Realty Services and marketing materials (dated November 19th) have already gone out.

Maisel previously owned the 1898 building, paying just $102,000 for it back in 1966 when it was abandoned. RFR’s co-founder and principal, Aby Rosen, is said to have spent six months persuading the photographer—who had been living in it for the last 45 years with his family—to sell the building on the basis that it was in “terrible shape” with “no heat”. Until Rosen’s offer, Maisel shot down all other proposals to buy him out. It’s estimated that RFR paid $50 million for the building. Condos were rumored to be on the way to the 37,000 square feet of space.

[Via CO]

 

Daily Link Fix

  • The Whitney Museum of American Art’s new Renzo Piano-designed building along the High Line will open in May. [NY Times]
  • Historic photos of the New York garbage strike of 1911. [The Bowery Boys]
  • SantaCon’s not going to Bushwick after all. The organizers said the neighborhood “does not have the capacity to be an appropriate destination for this year’s celebration.” [am NY]
  • The Street Museum of Art is taking over boring billboards with unique street art. [Bowery Boogie]
  • A round up of 3D-printed holiday gifts. [Mashable]

Images: New Whitney via Timothy Schenck (L); Street art billboard via Street Museum of Art (R)

Architecture, Art, Green Design

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Governors Island, New York, NY, United States

Governors Island is one of those magical NYC places that comes to life in the spring after a long winter hibernation. And part of its reawakening will be the revealing of the City of Dreams Pavilion, a futuristic-looking art installation where visitors can gather.

For the fifth consecutive year, FIGMENT has teamed with the Emerging New York Architects Committee (ENYA) of the American Institute of Architects NY Chapter (AIANY) and the Structural Engineers Association of New York (SEAoNY) to host a competition for the pavilion. Entrants were asked to design a temporary architectural structure to hold 50+ people, provide shade and rain cover, using sustainable materials. And just this week the five finalists were announced.

Take a look at the final five designs here

 

Cool Listings, East Village, Interiors

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102 East 10th Street, New York, NY, United States

Renters looking to enjoy a peaceful haven in the middle of the vitality of the East Village are certain to be drawn to this two-bedroom duplex at 102 East 10th Street, asking $7,500 per month. The parlor duplex with an English basement is located in a historic townhome designed by Peter Stuyvesant and is situated less than a block from the Renwick Triangle. Original details and a private terrace make the charming home much more of a pleasant retreat than you’d imagine would be found in such a convenient location.

More photos inside

 
Featured Story

Architecture, Features, History, Stuyvesant Town

Towers in the Park: Le Corbusier’s Influence in NYC

By Dana Schulz, Wed, November 19, 2014

Stuyvesant Town Oval via Marianne O’Leary via photopin cc

Any architecture history student or design nerd knows about Le Corbusier (1887-1965), one of the founders of modern architecture and a truly one-of-a-kind urban planner. For those of you who aren’t as familiar with Charles-Édouard Jeanneret-Gris (his given name; he was French-Swiss), one of his most noteworthy urban ideas was concept of “towers in the park.” Part of his Contemporary City plan (and later Radiant City plan) to house three million inhabitants as a way to deal with overcrowding and slums, towers in the park were skyscrapers set in large, rectangular tracts of lands with open space between the buildings.

Whether they were consciously influenced by Le Corbusier or not, many projects in New York City mimic his vision of towers in the park, and we’ve decided to take a look at the most well known of this architectural crop, as well as some other ways the famous architect left his mark on NYC.

Take a look at NYC’s towers in the park

Construction Update, Major Developments, Midtown West, Policy, Urban Design

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Hudson Yards, New York, NY, United States

Hudson Yards rendering

Just yesterday, the city hailed the completion of the platform built over the west side rail yards that will support the Brookfield West development, a major component of Hudson Yards, the 26-acre development rising on the far west side. And while Brookfield will boast a two-acre park plaza, two 60-plus-story high rises and other public commercial space, it’s important to note that $7 million was spent just on designing and producing a special machine called “The Launcher” to lift the 56,000-ton concrete slabs to build the platform.

This is just one of many substantial costs in the mammoth Hudson Yards project, for which the city will have paid nearly $650 million in subsides by the end of this fiscal year, money that, over the past ten years, has come straight from the pockets of taxpayers. And that’s not all; according to a review by the city’s Independent Budget Office, even more will be needed through 2019 to complete the “next great commercial district.”

More on the subsidies and Hudson Yards

 

Cool Listings, Interiors, Park Slope

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917 President Street, Brooklyn, NY, United States

There are few things New York buyers love more than prewar detail, modern updates, and a great location. Well, this parlor-floor apartment of the brownstone at 917 President Street has all that wrapped up with nice wooden bow. The two-bedroom 1,350-square-foot co-op was lovingly renovated to preserve its origins while catering to the needs of the modern day homeowner, all while offering a relaxing haven on a tree-lined street in Park Slope. If wood isn’t your thing, consider yourself warned, but if you have an appreciation for exquisite millwork you’ll love the charm of this $1.495 million unit.

See more, here

 

Real Estate Wire

  • William Randolph Hearst’s penthouse apartment at 91 Central Park West is back on the market for $27.5 million after Giorgio Armani’s deal fell through. [Curbed]
  • An abandoned industrial lot on the Bronx waterfront could become the next mega residential development for $30 million. [NYDN]
  • Fifth Avenue is the world’s most expensive retail address, overtaking Hong Kong’s Causeway Bay as the frontrunner. [Bloomberg]
  • Williamsburg factory to become hedge fund CEO’s mansion. [Brownstoner]
  • Million Dollar Listing star Frederik Eklund announced that his team had more closings this year than any other in Douglas Elliman’s history. [TRD]
  • Upper East Side mansion full of art and artifacts once listed for $27 million is set to come back as a $65,000/month rental. [NYDN]

Images: Rendering of what could come to the Bronx waterfront via Greenberg Farrow (L); Fifth Avenue via Scorpions and Centaurs via photopin cc (R)

Architecture, Brooklyn, Design, Interiors

There’s plenty to be said about Brooklyn becoming a brand and the second most expensive place in the country to live. But every once in a while, we stumble across something that still has a bit of the borough’s old school glory.

Take this Brooklyn Artist Loft designed by BWArchitects. The firm’s dramatic conversion of a light manufacturing warehouse to a work/live artist studio juxtaposes the building’s gritty, industrial exterior with warm, light-filled interior spaces.

Take a look at the space

Cool Listings, East Village, Interiors

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211 East 2nd Street, New York, NY, United States

From beats like Allen Ginsberg to ’80s artists like Keith Haring, the East Village was once home to the city’s hippest New York icons (and, some may argue, still is). But since its heyday, the neighborhood has become an extremely sought after part of the city, and this East Village pad that was recently put on the market is fully stacked in the hipness department. The four-bedroom unit is located at 211 East 2nd Street and is currently listed for $2,695,000. From the Carriage House condominium’s unique exterior to the edgy, rustic interior, this home is sure to make you the coolest kid on the block.

Tour this East Village beauty here

 

Design, Furniture

The design of outdoor fireplaces isn’t a field much explored by designers, but if you have one in your garden, patio or deck you’ve probably enjoyed having friends and family gather together to take in the warming glow. One designer that’s made fireplaces look especially cool is Frederik Roijé who recently unveiled a tall and lean fire pit with a gorgeous rusty skin. Inspired by the archetypal factory chimney, his ‘Smokestack’ has a stunning modern design for cozying up in style.

Learn more about this sculptural rusty fireplace

Daily Link Fix

  • Did you know the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree has its own Twitter? Comedian Matt Haze talks about being the voice behind the account. [WSJ]
  • Pop Candy author Whitney Matheson is moving out of her Brooklyn Heights apartment. But before she goes, she’s saying goodbye with a list of 33 things she’ll miss about the ‘hood. [BK Heights Blog]
  • A new documentary seeks to capture the spirit and struggle of ’90s-era Lower East Side squatters. [Animal]
  • Why do proposals for offshore parks like Pier 55 keep popping up all over the world? [CityLab]
  • This colorful end table is covered with crocheted plastic bags. [Design Milk]

Images: Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree (L); Brooklyn Heights (R)

Landscape Architecture, Meatpacking District, Polls, Urban Design

POLL: Will the Pier 55 Floating Park Get Built?

By Dana Schulz, Wed, November 19, 2014

The city was abuzz on Monday when news broke of media mogul Barry Diller’s $130 million pledge to build a $170 million, 2.7-acre floating park off the shore of 14th Street in the Hudson River. The planning and design process had been kept under wraps for over two years, and though the undulating, amoeba-shaped public space seems like a pretty out-there idea, the fact that a prominent billionaire (the single largest private donor to the High Line and husband of Diane von Furstenberg, no less) has committed so much money to the project makes it much more realistic. The media seems divided on whether or not the park, known as Pier 55, will come to fruition, so tell us what you think.

Rendering via Pier55 Inc. and Heatherwick Studio

Policy, real estate trends

When completed, 520 Park Avenue will have a $130 million penthouse, the most expensive apartment ever in NYC

As the city continues to explore new avenues for the creation of affordable housing, the WSJ reports the latest idea being floated is a new “mansion tax” that would increase the amount collected on the most expensive apartment sales. Currently, homes that change hands for more than a million dollars are subject to a 1% tax, but the city wants to up this to take advantage of the red hot luxury housing market. The proposal, unsurprisingly, has met with much criticism.

More on the mansion tax here

Featured Story

Architecture, CityLiving, Features, Places to See

Lots of clout is given to the grand scheme design of buildings and parks, and for good reason; but every so often a singular design element or function can unexpectedly emerge from a work to create something even more extraordinary. Destinations in their own right, these “accidental placemakers” turn run-of-the-mill architectural features into dynamic public spaces that create memorable connections to their immediate sites and improve the quality of everyday life. Here we take a look at six examples found in New York City showing how great architecture, in the details, can give way to something more impactful than just a pretty building.

See some of the city’s unexpected placemakers

Cool Listings, Greenwich Village, Interiors, Noho

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704 Broadway, New York, NY, United States

Apartment hunters looking to stretch their legs will love the massive third floor loft at The Dandy which has just popped up on the market asking $9.9 million. The 4,800-square-foot triple mint condition unit has all The Dandy’s signature characteristics—namely exposed barrel-vaulted ceilings, dark hardwood plank floors, and exposed brick walls—but there’s a little extra for the wine lovers. Let’s just say this loft’s cup runneth over.

See more, inside

 

Technology, Urban Design

Remember the good old days of frantically running around looking for a pay phone and then realizing you were out of change and had to make a collect call? Well, that’s soon to be nothing more than a distant memory, as New York City is turning its remaining pay phone booths into forward-looking tech hubs that include free 24-hour WiFi, free domestic calls, charging stations, and touch screens with access to city services and directions. Officially dubbed LinkNYC, they’ll also be able to connect people with emergency responders and broadcast city alerts during emergencies like Hurricane Sandy.

More on the pay phones of the future here

Real Estate Wire

  • This eerie $2.1M home on Staten Island has been the backdrop for murder, madmen and fashion models. [NYT]
  • Forest City Ratner may soon restart construction on the B2 Tower at the Atlantic Yards. The developer has agreed to buy out builder Skanska’s interest for an undisclosed amount. [NYDN]
  • A 66th Street mansion that sold in July for $17M now wants $35M. [Curbed]
  • Blackstone Group has reached a deal to sell its midtown office tower at 1095 Sixth Avenue for about $2.25 billion to a Canadian property investor. [Crain's]

(left) Inside the Staten Island mansion. Image © NYT (left) ; B2 Tower. Image © Field Condition (right)

Architecture, Astoria, New Developments, Queens, Rentals

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34-32 35 Street, Queens, NY, United States

An aptly located residential building called the Marx is getting underway in Astoria. The seven-story building at 34-32 35th Street is a “stone’s throw away” from the Museum of the Moving Image and directly across from Kaufman Astoria Studios (think Sesame Street and Saturday Night Live). The building will replace two small houses and a parking lot and sits adjacent to a stalled construction site slated to give way to its own seven-story residential building.

The Marx is designed by Fogarty Finger Architects, who also designed One Murray Park, and will contain 33 units, likely rentals. It will feature a dark grey brick façade of large, evenly gridded square windows (the latest rage in NYC architecture) whose angled metal panels and glazing variations will create an interesting play of light and shadow.

More on the project here

 

Brooklyn, CityLiving

“What’s next? Describing Manaus as the Williamsburg of the Amazon? Katmandu as the Cobble Hill of Nepal?” These are the questions posed by New York Times Standards editor Philip B. Corbett to his writers, who can’t seem to stop comparing everything in the world to Brooklyn. He references The Atlantic‘s article “All the Places The New York Times Has Compared to Brooklyn,” which points out that the paper has dubbed everywhere from the Hamptons and Maplewood to Stockholm and Beijing as Brooklyn. Two recent Times examples are the story declaring that Ridgewood is bringing Brooklyn to Queens and another story about Cape Town, South Africa comparing it to the borough on the other side of the world because of its “chic organic farms.”

While we’re not going to be too sad to see this trend go, we will miss the creative monikers that come with such comparisons. (Remember Quooklyn?)

[Via NY Times]

Image by Brandon King cc

Cool Listings, Interiors, Upper West Side 

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139 West 87th Street, New York, NY, United States

Nothing says the Upper West Side quite like images of quaint townhouses above sidewalks of tree-lined streets, and this beautiful brownstone up for sale fits right in. Located at 139 West 87th Street, the grand, recently restored property is in perfect move-in condition. The home includes approximately 4,000 square feet, 4-6 bedrooms and an abundance of luxurious and historic details. The current asking price for this classic piece of New York architecture is $8.75 million.

Read more

 

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