All posts by Devin Gannon

Events, Gramercy Park, holidays, More Top Stories

Photo by Andy Rusch on Flickr

It’s a Christmas Eve miracle. The gates to Gramercy Park will open to all for one hour on Dec. 24, the only time of year the public can enjoy the exclusive greenspace. The Gramercy Park Block Association on Friday confirmed to 6sqft that the private park between East 20th and East 21st Street will once again open from 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. for caroling this Christmas Eve. All other times of the year, the park is only accessible to residents with one of the 400 keys, provided to those who live in the 39 buildings surrounding the square.

What you need to know

affordable housing, Policy

Photo by Daryan Shamkhali on Unsplash

The New York City Council and Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration have reached an agreement to provide more housing for homeless New Yorkers. As first reported by Politico, the legislation, expected to pass next week, would require developers of new housing developments that receive city financing to set aside at least 15 percent of units for homeless individuals and families. The new law could create about 1,000 new apartments each year for those experiencing homelessness.

Get the details

History, Landmarks Preservation Commission, maps

Find landmarks of the anti-slavery movement in NYC

By Devin Gannon, Fri, December 13, 2019

landmarks preservation commission, abolitionist history nyc, slavery nyc

Screenshot of the map courtesy of the Landmarks Preservation Commission

For roughly 200 years, between 1626 and 1827, New York City was home to more enslaved Africans than almost every other city in the country. But after abolishing slavery nearly 40 years before the nation, the city became a major player of the national abolitionist movement, housing anti-slavery activists and organizations, as well as many stops on the Underground Railroad. Now 400 years after the first enslaved Africans arrived in the United States, the Landmarks Preservation Commission released this week an interactive story map highlighting designated city landmarks tied to the abolitionist movement.

Explore the map

Bushwick, Landscape Architecture, Major Developments, New Developments, Top Stories, Urban Design, Williamsburg

All renderings © James Corner Field Operations and BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group, courtesy of Two Trees Management

Two new mixed-use towers with 1,000 units of housing and six acres of public space have been proposed for the North Brooklyn waterfront. Two Trees Management on Thursday unveiled plans to bring two Bjarke Ingels Group-designed buildings, one at 650 feet and the other at 600 feet, on River Street between North 1st and North 3rd Street in Williamsburg. The buildings, with Metropolitan Avenue running between them, will serve as an entrance to the new waterfront space, part of a master plan designed in collaboration with BIG and James Corner Field Operations. The park and public beach would close the gap between Grand Ferry Park and North Fifth Park, eventually providing continuous access to the East River between South Williamsburg and Greenpoint.

Check out the whole project

Harlem, New Developments, Policy

Site of 600 West 125th Street; Map data © 2019 Google

Columbia University this week filed plans to build a 34-story residential building in Harlem, as the school continues its campus expansion into the neighborhood. According to documents filed with the city’s Department of Buildings, the project at 600 West 125th Street, formerly home to a McDonald’s, would measure just under 400 feet tall and contain 142 apartments. But as Gothamist reported on Wednesday, local residents argue the plan breaks a longstanding promise from the university to redevelop a public school at the site.

More here

Transportation

A dollar van in Union City, NJ; Photo by Nightscream on Flickr

A new app wants to make it easier for riders and operators of New York City’s unofficial transportation system to get around, the New York Times reported. Since 1980, dollar vans have catered to communities underserved by the city’s subway and bus system, offering commuters in neighborhoods in Brooklyn and Queens an affordable (a trip typically costs $2 compared to the subway’s $2.75) way to travel. Since much of the system operates underground, riders learn of routes and pick-up spots through word-of-mouth. Developers of a new app, Dollaride, hope to make finding a ride easier for the 120,000 daily dollar van commuters, as well as open up the service to more people.

Get the details

Architecture, Design, Green Design

Image by Pexels from Pixabay

The New York City Council approved on Tuesday a bill requiring new buildings to be constructed with bird-friendly materials. Considered the most extensive policy of its kind in the country, the initiative mandates new glass buildings, as well as projects undergoing a major renovation, to be equipped with materials that are easier for birds to see. Each year, between roughly 90,000 and 230,000 birds die each year in New York City from colliding with glass buildings, according to the NYC Audubon.  Learn more

History, Landmarks Preservation Commission, Nomad

Tin Pan Alley buildings; Photo by Eden, Janine and Jim on Flickr

The Landmarks Preservation Commission on Tuesday designated five Nomad buildings linked to the birthplace of American pop music. Tin Pan Alley, a stretch of West 28th Street named to describe the sound of piano music heard from street level, served as an epicenter for musicians, composers, and sheet music publishers between 1893 and 1910. During this nearly two-decade period, some of the most memorable songs of the last century were produced, including “God Bless America” and “Take Me Out to the Ball Game.”

More here

affordable housing, housing lotteries, Murray Hill

Streetview of The Frontier; Map data © 2019 Google

Applications are now being accepted for a 150-person waitlist for a luxury rental building in Murray Hill. Located at 200 East 39th Street, the building, known as Frontier, rises 19 stories and contains just under 100 apartments. Perks include a landscaped rooftop terrace, a fitness center, and a gaming lounge. Qualifying New Yorkers earning 60 percent of the area median income can apply to be placed on the waitlist for affordable units ranging from an $858/month studio to a $1,381/month two-bedroom.

Do you qualify?

Architecture, History

TWA Hotel, TWA, JFK Airport

Photo: TWA Hotel/David Mitchell

The state last week awarded ten projects with historic preservation awards, and nominated a dozen other sites to be nominated for the state and national historic places registers. Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation recognized the TWA Hotel at JFK Airport for its preservation of Eero Saarinen’s Trans World Airlines terminal, which serves as the lobby for a new 512-room hotel.

Learn more

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