Architecture

Architecture, City Living, Design, Green Design, Staten Island

All images courtesy of The New York Public Library

The New York Public Library on Wednesday opened its 14th branch on Staten Island and the first net-zero energy library in New York City. Located in the Bricktown Commons shopping center on the South Shore in Charleston, the $17 million, 10,000-square-foot building was designed by Ikon 5 Architects to be energy efficient, with solar panels providing nearly 100 percent of the energy the building will use. Managed by the city’s Economic Development Corporation with the Gilbane Building Company, the new branch offers patrons a variety of amenities, including dedicated spaces for adults, teens, and children and flexible multi-purpose rooms for programs and classes.

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Architecture, History, Policy

Photo showing storefront stands on Ninth Ave. looking south from just north of West 40th St., 1936.(Irma and Paul Milstein Division of United States History, Local History and Genealogy, The New York Public Library.

Gov. Kathy Hochul last week announced 21 nominations for possible placement on the State and National Registers of Historic Places. The list of nominations includes a diverse set of locations that are intricate to the history of New York. Nominations include early automobile manufacturing sites in Buffalo and Syracuse, a Mohawk Valley cemetery home to the author of the Pledge of Allegiance, and the only remaining 19-century textile mile in Troy. Of the total nominated places, five are located in New York City, including an abandoned Bronx train station designed by Cass Gilbert and an area in Hell’s Kitchen once home to a famed open-air market.

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Featured Story

Architecture, Features, History, Manhattan

The Cornelius Vanderbilt II Mansion on 57th Street and 5th Avenue, now demolished. Photo via A.D. White Architectural Photographs, Cornell University Library.

New York City’s Fifth Avenue has always been pretty special, although you’d probably never guess that it began with a rather ordinary and functional name: Middle Road. Like the 1811 Commissioner’s Plan for Manhattan, which laid out the city’s future expansion in a rational manner, Middle Road was part of an earlier real estate plan by the City Council. As its name suggests, Middle Road was situated in the middle of a large land parcel that was sold by the council in 1785 to raise municipal funds for the newly established nation. Initially, it was the only road to provide access to this yet-undeveloped portion of Manhattan, but two additional roads were built later (eventually becoming Park Avenue and Sixth Avenue). The steady northwards march of upscale residences, and the retail to match, has its origins where Fifth Avenue literally begins: in the mansions on Washington Square Park. Madison Square was next, but it would take a combination of real-estate clairvoyance and social standing to firmly establish Fifth Avenue as the center of society.

More on how the gilded mansions of 5th Avenue came to be

Architecture, Astoria, New Developments

All images by Synosis, courtesy of BIG

Construction of a massive $600 million movie studio in Queens backed by actor Robert De Niro can officially begin after the city granted the project a building permit earlier this month. Designed by Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), Wildflower Studios will measure roughly 775,000 square feet on a five-acre lot in Astoria, next to the Steinway Pianos manufacturing warehouse. The seven-story building is considered to be the world’s first “vertical commercial film, television, and film studio,” according to the architects.

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Architecture, Upper East Side

Rendering courtesy of Ennead Architects.

The city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission on Tuesday approved plans for the revitalization of Central Park’s Delacorte Theater, the city’s first major post-pandemic outdoor theater investment. The new design’s main goals are to improve accessibility for people with disabilities, protect the building from the ravages of a changing climate, and improve efficiency and comfort.

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Architecture, Midtown East

Rendering of the updated Lever House. Image credit: Brookfield Properties

Park Avenue’s iconic Lever House tower is being redeveloped under the architectural guidance of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM), the building’s original architects, according to an announcement by the building’s owners, WatermanClark and Brookfield Properties. The Midtown architectural landmark was completed in 1952 as soap company Lever Brothers’ U.S. headquarters. SOM will be helming the restoration seven decades after they first designed the building at 390 Park Avenue.

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Architecture, Midtown West

Image courtesy of TSX Broadway

One of the most city’s most iconic Broadway theaters, the Palace Theater, began its rise last week to a spot 30 feet over Times Square. The 105-year-old theater is being lifted three stories as part of a $2.5 billion mixed-use development project, TSX Broadway, set to rise at 1568 Broadway. It will take six to eight weeks for the theater to achieve its final height of 30 feet.

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Celebrities, Recent Sales, Soho, Starchitecture

Photo by Adrian Gaut /Edge Reps

Mary Trump, Donald Trump’s niece and author of the memoir “Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man,” recently bought a 2,250-square-foot three-bedroom unit at the Renzo Piano-designed condominium building at 565 Broome Street for $7 million, as the Wall Street Journal reports. The 2020 book, which delves into the Trump family’s background, has sold more than a million copies.

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Financial District, Landscape Architecture, Policy, South Street Seaport, Urban Design

Image credit: NYCEDC

New York City has taken an important step toward protecting one of the country’s largest central business districts from the costly and destructive effects of climate change. The city’s Economic Development Corporation and the Mayor’s Office of Climate Resiliency recently released the Financial District and Seaport Climate Resilience Master Plan. At a projected cost of up to $7 billion, this environmental blueprint for the Lower Manhattan shoreline imagines a resilient waterfront that can withstand severe storms and rising sea levels.

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Architecture, Major Developments, New Developments, Williamsburg

All renderings: James Corner Field Operations and BIG- Bjarke Ingels Group

Two massive high-rise towers with over 1,000 apartments and a resilient waterfront public park are officially coming to Williamsburg. The New York City Council last week voted to approve River Ring, a development planned for River Street between North 1st and North 3rd Streets on the Brooklyn waterfront. Developed by Two Trees Management, the project includes two mixed-use buildings designed by Bjarke Ingels Group that will hold 1,050 units of housing, with 263 of them priced below market rate, as well as a new YMCA and public park. Construction is expected to begin in 2024.

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