All posts by Jason Carpenter

Jason is a New York writer who has contributed to many design, renovation, and real estate publications including This Old House, Home, and Habitat magazine. He was a founding editor of The Franklin Report, a home design guide in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles. He’s also a ghost writer of numerous business and health books, as well as a producer of web documentaries and how-to videos. Jason’s work has appeared in a wide range of publications ranging from Consumer Reports to Maxim to Businessweek. Follow him on Twitter @carpyeditor.

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Featured Story

Design, Features, Interiors

Steven Holl Architects stairs NYU department of philosophy rainbow porous white stairs stairway staircase

Images courtesy of Steven Holl Architects

Stairs let interior designers show off their best combination of form and function. The flagship stores, public works, and designer condos of New York make for the perfect opportunities to test the boundaries of practicality and beauty in design. Here are seven of the most beautiful and interesting staircase designs to be found in New York City.

See our staircase gallery here

Featured Story

Architecture, Features, History

Where to Find the NYC Haunts and Houses of Famous Writers

By Jason Carpenter, Tue, July 28, 2015

edith wharton, edith wharton nyc home, famous writer's homes

New York City has always been a hub for writers. Whether they were living in luxury or getting their start as starving artists, famous writers have lived and worked all across New York, and you can still see many of these writerly abodes today. Whether you’re a fan of the Beat Generation, Sci-Fi, or even Southern Gothic, you might be interested in tracking down a famous writer’s home.

See where writers lived and worked here

Featured Story

Architecture, Design, Features, History, Midtown West, Products

The famous smoking billboard in Times Square.

Everyone has an opinion on the ways Times Square has changed over the decades, but the basic look has been a different variation on the same theme since the late 19th century: Classic architecture covered in gigantic advertisements. Take a trip back in time with us through some pictures ahead—you might be surprised by what kinds of things used to be displayed in this Midtown hub.

See the ads of Old Times Square this way

Featured Story

Architecture, Features, History

City Hall Post Office

The Federal government has dabbled in several architectural styles over the years when designing New York City post offices. From outdated baroque in the late 1800’s to New Deal-era Art Moderne, all of these historic buildings seem to share two characteristics: grandiose and massive. We’ve rounded up here some of the greatest architectural stunners, which also showcase the evolution of historic post office architecture in the city (and almost make waiting an hour in line to mail one letter bearable).

See more of NYC’s historic post offices here

Architecture, Coney Island, Design

Coney Island signs

Image © Javier Ignacio Acuña Ditzel

Coney Island is an entertainment destination in New York, with its beach and amusement park rides, but it is also a city center for weirdo culture and kitsch. The neighborhood’s aesthetic has developed into something like an early 20th century carnival surrounded by ’60s and ’70s storefronts which may or may not be conscious of their dated designs. So the question is, how do you design a new building in a neighborhood which is so identified with an attractively shabby, authentically dated look? Buildings like the Coney Island Museum face that difficulty with each passing year.

See the retro Americana design of Coney Island here

Architecture, Brooklyn, Design, Events, History, Manhattan

Our Top 10 Event Picks for Archtober 2014

By Jason Carpenter, Wed, September 24, 2014

archtober 2014, archotber

New York City’s architecture and design month is almost here. “Archtober” is 31 days of architecture and design events, including talks, tours, receptions, and festivals. There are dozens of events for you to check out, but we’ve hand-picked ten that will give you a well-rounded and memorable Archtober.

Find out here what events to check out

Featured Story

Features, History, Starchitecture

A La Sagrada Familia in Manhattan? See the Unbuilt NYC Gaudí

By Jason Carpenter, Thu, September 18, 2014

antoni gaudi nyc, the unbuilt gaudi, unbuilt gaudi in nyc,lost gaudi design,, Hotel Attraction gaudi, Hotel Attraction gaudi nyc, Hotel Attraction new york, hotel atraccion gaudi

Gaudi’s proposed building in the New York skyline, as imagined by the TV show “Fringe.” Image © FringeTelevision.com

Atoni Gaudí was a brilliant and polarizing architect. Whereas most architects will see their works compared and contrasted against others in their field, even the most knowledgeable architectural critics will look at Gaudí’s work and throw up their hands and say it must be something alien. The organic curves and mounds of Gaudí’s designs look hundreds of years ahead of their time. But Gaudí worked mostly around his home region of Catalonia, and the businesslike skyscrapers of Manhattan have never looked anything like the the architect’s designs. However, there was a time when a Gaudí NYC skyscraper almost came to be.

See the proposed Gaudí building here

Featured Story

Architecture, Features, History, Starchitecture

Frank Lloyd Wright Designs Destined for NYC But Never Built

By Jason Carpenter, Tue, September 2, 2014

frank lloyd wright skyscraper oklahoma, frank lloyd wright skyscraper, frank lloyd wright oklahoma, price tower, frank lloyd wright price tower, St. Mark's-in-the-Bouwerie Towers Aerial

Many wonder why such a prolific and famous architect as Frank Lloyd Wright didn’t have more buildings in New York City. It’s safe to say he wasn’t a huge fan of urban density, but how could one possibly create something as iconic as the Guggenheim’s spirals without getting any other work in the city? As we showed in a previous post, two Wright designs have actually been demolished. Now, we will look at the two buildings Wright intended for the New York area which were never fully realized—at least, not in Manhattan.

See the Frank Lloyd Wright designs here

Featured Story

Architecture, Brooklyn, Features, Manhattan

Empire Diner chelsea nyc, Empire Diner 2010, chelsea nyc diners

American diners are neon-lit time capsules of architecture and design. They are the ’57 Ford Thunderbird of restaurants, shaping post-war optimism and far too much metal into something beautiful and quintessentially American. Best of all, you can still find plenty of little diners doing what they have always done, among the rising skylines and property values of New York City.

See our diner photos here

Design, Interiors, Manhattan

Weiden+Kennedy headqurters by workac, Weiden+Kennedy headqurters, workac, work ac

Workplace designers are always trying to find new ways to make offices a more inspiring and productive place, especially for professional creatives. A beautiful work space can keep employees excited when they clock in every day, and make sure that the water cooler talk is about new ideas, not the shoddy carpet. These new NYC offices are pretty to look at and to work in.

See our gallery of amazing workplaces here

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