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Events, Midtown

macys flower show

Photo: Diane Bondareff/AP Images for Macy’s

On Sunday, March 24th, Macy’s Herald Square launched its 45th annual Flower Show. This year’s theme for the two-week long floral festival is “Journey To Paradisios,” celebrating the arrival of spring by transporting visitors into a multi-dimensional world of space and adventure on the mythical planet Paradisios, traveling through eccentrically landscaped gardens and spectacular floral designs made up of more than 5,000 types of plants, trees, and flowers. The theme tells the cosmic tale of Space Flight Director Lucy Ryder and her discovery of the planet Paradisios–a pristine exoplanet, untouched by human technology and filled with resplendent plant life, as Ryder and R.H. Macy IV–pilot-turned-cosmonaut and the great-great-great grandson of Macy’s founder–set out on the adventure of a lifetime.

More resplendent plant life, this way

Midtown, real estate trends

Via Creative Commons

Update 3/14/19: A few days after Aby Rosen bought the Chrysler Building for the bargain price of $150 million, the real estate mogul told Bloomberg this week that he would consider converting the tower into a hotel. 

Real estate mogul Aby Rosen has picked up another New York City landmark. Rosen’s RFR Holding LLC, which controls the Seagram Building and Lever House, bought the Chrysler Building for $151 million, according to the Wall Street Journal. The sale represents a major loss for majority owner Abu Dhabi Investment Council, who paid $800 million in 2008 for a 90 percent stake in the 77-story Art Deco tower.

Details here

History, Midtown

Did you know Grand Central’s clock is worth $20M?

By Lucie Levine, Fri, March 8, 2019

Grand Central’s Main Concourse Clock, via Wikimedia Commons

For more than a century, millions of New Yorkers have been meeting “under the clock,” that great rendezvous point – and focal point – of Grand Central Terminal. The clock, which has presided over Grand Central’s Main Concourse since the Terminal opened in 1913, has stood out amidst the swirl of commuters and the flow of time, witnessing reunions of friends and lovers, beginning countless adventures, and playing a priceless role in the life of the city. Or, nearly-priceless. It turns out that appraisers from Sotheby’s and Christie’s have valued the four-sided brass masterpiece at between $10 and 20 million!

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Architecture, Landmarks Preservation Commission, Midtown

NYPL, LPC, Marshall Rose Plaza

Rendering of the Marshall Rose Plaza by Mecanoo with Beyer Blinder Belle

The city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission on Tuesday approved the New York Public Library’s plan to add a new public entrance and plaza to its Stephen A. Schwarzman Building in Midtown. The changes fall under the library’s larger master renovation plan, a $317 million project first unveiled in 2017. The LPC approved the changes to the exterior of the building–subject to the city’s landmark rules–after design modifications suggested at a presentation in February were made by the library, Curbed NY reported.

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Events, History, photography

Stonewall, NYPL,

Photo by Diana Davies, Gay Liberation Front marches on Times Square, New York, 1970. Courtesy of New York Public Library, Manuscripts and Archives Division

Beginning in the season so many associate with love, the New York Public Library is commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots through a major exhibition, a series of programs, book recommendations, and more. “Love & Resistance: Stonewall 50” chronicles the emergence of LGBTQ activism with over 150 photographs and ephemera. An opening celebration will kick off both the exhibition and the Library After Hours series on Friday, February 15 from 7-10 P.M.

‘Tis the season

Architecture, Landmarks Preservation Commission, Midtown, Starchitecture

550 Madison Avenue, AT&T BUILDING, LANDMARKS PRESERVATION COMMISION, OLAYAN, PHILLIP JOHNSON, SNØHETTA, LPC

In December, 6sqft reported that architecture firm Snøhetta had unveiled a preservationist-friendly revision to a controversial design for an updated AT&T building at 550 Madison Avenue; last month brought more details from the firm’s proposal that was submitted to the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC). The most recent design is one of several revisions, each followed by controversy over being seen by preservationists as diverting too much from the building’s original design by Philip Johnson and John Burgee. Yesterday LPC approved the new preservation-friendly designs–with some modifications. The office tower is now on track to reopen in 2020.

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Featured Story

Art, Features, Midtown, Where I Work

Art Students League, Where I Work, 215 West 57th Street

6sqft’s series “Where I Work” takes us into the studios, offices, and businesses of New Yorkers across the city. In this installment, we’re going inside the landmarked building of the Art Students League of New York in Midtown. Want to see your business featured here? Get in touch!

In 1875, a group of young students broke away from the National Academy of Design and founded the Art Students League of New York to pursue a new and more modern method of art education. What started as a small group of rebellious artists in a 20-foot by 30-foot space, turned into an internationally-recognized, landmarked institution, which continues to set the standard for art training today. In its 144th year, the Art Students League’s mission has remained unchanged since its founding: to spread the language of art to anyone interested in learning.

The nonprofit has been located in the American Fine Arts Society Building at 215 West 57th Street since 1892. A designated New York City landmark, the French Renaissance-style building was designed by Henry J. Hardenbergh, the architect behind the Plaza Hotel and the Dakota. Ken Park, the director of marketing and communication for the League, recently gave 6sqft a behind-the-scenes tour of the historic building and shared some insight into this storied establishment.

See inside

Architecture, Midtown East, New Developments

Tower Fifth, Gensler, Macklowe Properties

Tower Fifth rendering by TMRW courtesy Gensler

The developers behind the distinct supertall at 432 Park Avenue want to take a second shot at altering New York City’s skyline. Harry Macklowe submitted a preliminary application to the city’s planning department for a 1,551-foot-tall skyscraper between 51st and 52nd Streets in Midtown across from St. Patrick’s Cathedral, the New York Times reported. If the city approves the project, Tower Fifth, the name given to the proposed tower by Macklowe Properties, would become the second-tallest building in the Western Hemisphere.

See inside the proposed supertall

condos, Midtown, New Developments, real estate trends

Rendering courtesy of Wordsearch

“Some people wonder if Mr. Barnett will become a victim of the condo explosion he helped create,” wrote the Wall Street Journal today in a rare expose of Extell’s Gary Barnett, referring to the success he had with One57, considered the catalyst for the supertall, ultra-luxury condo boom, and the more challenging climate he’s facing with the Central Park Tower. The latter, which will be the world’s tallest residential building at 1,550 feet, launched sales in October, but in a soft luxury market, it’s not a sure bet that the mega-developer will be able to achieve his projected $4 billion sellout and the title of the nation’s most expensive condominium ever. In a likely noncoincidental move timed with the Journal story, Extell today launched the tower’s new website (h/t Curbed), and it gives us mere mortals some of the first views inside the billionaire bunker.

See inside and hear from Barnett himself

Midtown, real estate trends

Amazon could be the Chrysler Building’s new tenant

By Devin Gannon, Mon, January 14, 2019

Via Creative Commons

Amazon is close to reaching a deal to lease 10,000 square feet at the Chrysler Building, the New York Post reported on Sunday. News of the impending lease comes less than a week after it was reported that the Art Deco landmark is up for sale. Amazon announced in November plans to open a massive office complex in Long Island City to serve as their “HQ2.” The company will start moving to the neighborhood this year, temporarily leasing space at One Court Square, a 50-story building with incredible views of the Manhattan skyline. More here

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