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

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

Architecture, History, Midtown East

Citigroup center nyc

When it comes to skyscrapers, we put a lot of trust in architects. We have to trust that they know what they’re doing, and these seemingly impossible buildings are safe to be in and around. It’s even harder to trust what used to be known as the Citicorp or Citigroup Center, now 601 Lexington Avenue, whose bottom floors are like four stilts, holding 50 stories of building above them. It looks like a strong wind would blow the whole structure over. And when the building was constructed in 1977, before some emergency repairs, that was true.

The dangerous details after the break

Architecture, Getting Away, History

great gatsby mansions, gold coast mansions, long island mansions, leonnardo dicaprio, leonardo dicaprio great gatsby

F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby is an immortal novel about Long Island millionaires in the Roaring Twenties, inspired by actual parties Fitzgerald attended at the time. The Jazz Age mansions of Long Island’s “Gold Coast” certainly represent a bygone era, but you can still visit several of these Gatsby-esque architectural relics today.

Plan your architecture day trip here

Design, Manhattan, Queens

noahs ark, austin mergold architects, socrates sculpture park, giant noah's ark, nyc sculptures

The NYC parks system gives artists a public canvas for their sculpture and design work, and there are so many great artworks on display this summer. From abstract sculptures to innovative park design, here are just a few of the interesting sculptures and design exhibits you can see in New York City parks this last month of summer.

Find the best public sculptures here

Architecture, Brooklyn, Design, History, Manhattan

Banking made this town, and the bank buildings of the 19th and early 20th centuries continue to house some of New York’s most classic architecture and design. Greek, Roman, and even Byzantine Revival architectures were the style of choice for bank buildings, and those great stone pillars are still worth visiting today. Ahead are some of the most beautiful former bank buildings in New York City.

See these beautiful bank buildings here

Featured Story

Architecture, Features, History, Manhattan

architecture day trip nyc

New York has a long history of great architecture. From the very beginnings in the colonial period to today, there are more great buildings to see in New York than anywhere else on the planet. Thankfully, with this guide, you can see them all in one simple south-north trip across Manhattan. Many great buildings are too tall or difficult to see up close, so we’ve chosen an example of each style of New York architecture that can also be appreciated from the ground level, rather than forcing you to gawk straight up at a skyscraper. Check out our New York architecture day trip.

Get your itinerary here

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