All posts by Penelope Bareau

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Far Rockaway, Features, History, Queens

Before JFK, there was Idlewild Airport

By Penelope Bareau, Mon, May 15, 2017

Changes are afoot at JFK International Airport; construction has already begun on the transformation of Eero Saarinen’s masterful TWA terminal, out of commission since TWA folded in 2001, into a 505-room first class hotel, and just a few months ago, Governor Cuomo announced a massive $10 billion overhaul of the whole airport, which will involve interconnecting the terminals, redesigning roads, and improving parking, amenities and security. When finished, the airport will bear little resemblance to what it once was, which has a much more interesting history than one might think. Ahead, 6sqft delves into how JFK changed from a playground for the rich to a major international airport, with some interesting debacles in between.

The whole history ahead

Featured Story

Features, History

Past Prisons: Inside the new lives of 7 former NYC jails

By Penelope Bareau, Mon, April 10, 2017

The past week has been full of news about Rikers Island and Mayor de Blasio’s announcement that the notorious prison will be closed and replaced with smaller facilities throughout the boroughs. Ideas for re-use of its 413 acres have included commercial, residential and mixed-use properties; academic centers; sports and recreation facilities; a convention center; or an expansion of nearby LaGuardia airport. And while anything final is estimated to be a decade away, this isn’t the first prison in NYC to be adaptively reused. From a health spa to a production studio to a housing development, 6sqft explores the new lives of seven past prisons.

Read more

Featured Story

Features, History

Charles Lewis Tiffany (left) in his Union Square store, with Charles T. Cook, in 1887

The recent shake-up at Tiffany, involving the replacement of CEO Frederic Cumenal and the departure of its design director, is said to be predicated on disappointing sales and a resultant decline in share prices. Since last fall, many upscale shops in the area have complained about a negative impact they felt was caused by the hullabaloo around Trump Tower—both rubber-necking and security barricades. A change in marketing emphasis toward a younger consumer—witness the hiring of Lady Gaga for advertising—and designs reflecting that shift are reportedly in the offing to reverse disappointing balance-sheet figures. Not everyone is worried, though. Tiffany & Co. has weathered many a storm in its 180 years, and the ambiance on the floor is still serene, the merchandise still beautiful. For a sense of perspective, and just in time for Valentine’s Day, 6sqft looks at Tiffany’s history.

The full story, right this way

Featured Story

CityRealty, Features, Policy, stuff you should know

Stuff You Should Know: How Eminent Domain Works

By Penelope Bareau, Wed, May 4, 2016

atlantic yards before and after

The Atlantic Yards (now known as Pacific Park) in Brooklyn where eminent domain was used to take property. Image via Atlantic Yards Report

It has been called the most coercive public policy after the draft. It has also been said that without it, construction in major cities would come to a shuddering stop. What is this powerful, controversial tool? Can both statements be true?

Eminent domain is the policy by which a governmental agency can acquire or “take” property from an owner unwilling to sell in order to build something else there, and it has been around for centuries. Some say it derives from the medieval concept of the divine right of kings, empowered by God the Almighty to be sovereign over all. And by inference, that includes the land, which individual owners occupy and trade at the king’s sufferance. When he wants it back, it is his right to take it. So under eminent domain, all land theoretically belongs to the state, which can assume control at any time.

more on eminent domain here

Featured Story

Architecture, Chinatown, Features, History

On Leong Tong Building, Merchants' Association building, Poy Gum Lee

If you’re planning to head down to Chinatown for the celebration of the Lunar New Year, you’ll likely amble past the corner of Mott and Canal Streets, where there is a remarkable building like no other in New York. It’s called On Leong Tong, or, in English, the Merchants’ Association building. Built in 1950, it combines modernism (though you wouldn’t know it to look at it) with familiar Chinese architectural features—the pagoda roof, balconies, colorful columns and so on. Once you’ve seen it, you won’t forget it.

Read the full history of this building

Featured Story

Features, History, NY in the '60s

Photo by Garry Winogrand via Worcester Art Museum

New York in the ’60s” is a memoir series by a longtime New Yorker who moved to the city after college in 1960. From $90/month apartments to working in the real “Mad Men” world, each installment explores the city through the eyes of a spunky, driven female.

In the first two pieces we saw how different and similar house hunting was 50 years ago and visited her first apartment on the Upper East Side. Then, we learned about her career at an advertising magazine and accompanied her to Fire Island in the summer. Our character next decided to make the big move downtown, but it wasn’t quite what she expected. She then took us through how the media world reacted to JFK’s assassination, as well as the rise and fall of the tobacco industry, the changing face of print media, and how women were treated in the workplace. She also brought us from the March on Washington to her encounter with a now-famous political tragedy that happened right in the Village–the explosion at the Weather Underground house. Now, in the last installment of the series, the girl takes a look at just why New York in the ’60s was such a special place to her.

Her thoughts this way

Featured Story

Features, History, NY in the '60s

New York in the ’60s” is a memoir series by a longtime New Yorker who moved to the city after college in 1960. From $90/month apartments to working in the real “Mad Men” world, each installment explores the city through the eyes of a spunky, driven female.

In the first two pieces we saw how different and similar house hunting was 50 years ago and visited her first apartment on the Upper East Side. Then, we learned about her career at an advertising magazine and accompanied her to Fire Island in the summer. Our character next decided to make the big move downtown, but it wasn’t quite what she expected. She then took us through how the media world reacted to JFK’s assassination, as well as the rise and fall of the tobacco industry, the changing face of print media, and how women were treated in the workplace. Now, she takes us from the March on Washington to her encounter with a now-famous political tragedy that happened right in the Village–the explosion at the Weather Underground house.

Read all about it

Featured Story

Features, History, NY in the '60s

Image via wackystuff/Flickr

New York in the ’60s” is a memoir series by a longtime New Yorker who moved to the city after college in 1960. From $90/month apartments to working in the real “Mad Men” world, each installment explores the city through the eyes of a spunky, driven female.

In the first two pieces we saw how different and similar house hunting was 50 years ago and visited her first apartment on the Upper East Side. Then, we learned about her career at an advertising magazine and accompanied her to Fire Island in the summer. Our character next decided to make the big move downtown, but it wasn’t quite what she expected. She then took us through how the media world reacted to JFK’s assassination, as well as the rise and fall of the tobacco industry, and now she sheds some light into how women were treated in the workplace at this time.

Read the first-hand account here

Featured Story

Features, History, NY in the '60s

New York in the ’60s” is a memoir series by a longtime New Yorker who moved to the city after college in 1960. From $90/month apartments to working in the real “Mad Men” world, each installment explores the city through the eyes of a spunky, driven female. In the first two pieces we saw how different and similar house hunting was 50 years ago and visited her first apartment on the Upper East Side. Then, we learned about her career at an advertising magazine and accompanied her to Fire Island during the warm summer months. Our character next decided to make the big move downtown, but it wasn’t quite what she expected. Now she’ll take us through how the media world reacted to JFK’s assassination, as well as the rise and fall of the tobacco industry. 

Read it all right here

Featured Story

Features, History, NY in the '60s

Photo via NY Through the Lens

Our series “New York in the ’60s” is a memoir by a longtime New Yorker who moved to the city after college in 1960. Each installment will take us through her journey during a pivotal decade. From $90/month apartments to working in the real “Mad Men” world, we’ll explore the city through the eyes of a spunky, driven female. In our first two installments we saw how different and similar house hunting was 50 years ago and visited her first apartment on the Upper East Side. Then, we learned about her career at an advertising magazine…looking in on the Donald Drapers of the time. In our fourth installment, we accompanied her to Fire Island during the warm summer months. Last time, our main character decided to make the big move downtown, but it wasn’t quite what she expected. Now she’ll take us through what it was like to live below 23rd street in the ’60s.

Read all about it

Featured Story

Features, History, NY in the '60s

Our series “New York in the ’60s” is a memoir by a longtime New Yorker who moved to the city after college in 1960. Each installment will take us through her journey during a pivotal decade. From $90/month apartments to working in the real “Mad Men” world, we’ll explore the city through the eyes of a spunky, driven female. In our first two installments we visited her first apartment on the Upper East Side and saw how different and similar house hunting was 50 years ago. Then, we learned about her career at an advertising magazine… looking in on the Donald Drapers of the time. In our fourth installment, we accompanied her to Fire Island during the warm summer months. Now, our main character decides to make the big move downtown, but it’s not quite what she expected.

Find out about her very eventful move downtown

Featured Story

Features, History, NY in the '60s

Our series “New York in the ’60s” is a memoir by a longtime New Yorker who moved to the city after college in 1960. Each installment will take us through her journey during a pivotal decade. From $90/month apartments to working in the real “Mad Men” world, we’ll explore the city through the eyes of a spunky, driven female. In our first two installments we visited her first apartment on the Upper East Side and saw how different and similar house hunting was 50 years ago. Then, we learned about her career at an advertising magazine… looking in on the Donald Drapers of the time. Now, in our fourth installment, we accompany her to Fire Island during the warm summer months.

Read about summer on Fire Island in the ’60s

Featured Story

Features, History, NY in the '60s

NY in the 60s

Our series “New York in the ’60s” is a memoir by a longtime New Yorker who moved to the city after college in 1960. Each installment will take us through her journey during a pivotal decade. From $90/month apartments to working in the real “Mad Men” world, we’ll explore the city through the eyes of a spunky, driven female. In our first installment, we went house hunting with the girl on the Upper East Side, and in the second, we visited her first apartment and met her bartender boyfriend. Now, we hear about her career at an advertising magazine… looking in on the Donald Drapers of the time.

Find out more about her job here

Featured Story

Features, History, NY in the '60s

Our series “New York in the ’60s” is a memoir by a longtime New Yorker who moved to the city after college in 1960. Each installment will take us through her journey during a pivotal decade. From $90/month apartments to working in the real “Mad Men” world, we’ll explore the city through the eyes of a spunky, driven female. In our first installment, we went apartment hunting with the girl, and now that she’s moved in on the Upper East Side, we learn how she went about decorating her first NYC apartment, her favorite haunts of early 1960s Yorkville, and her bartender boyfriend.

Read the rest of the story here

Featured Story

Features, History, NY in the '60s

Our new series “New York in the ’60s” is a memoir by a longtime New Yorker who moved to the city after college in 1960. Each installment will take us through her journey during a pivotal decade. From $90/month apartments to working in the real “Mad Men” world, we’ll explore the city through the eyes of a spunky, driven female. In this opening installment, we go on her first apartment and job hunting adventures.

Read on to learn about the girl’s apartment hunt and first job in the city

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