Features

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Features, Interviews, Landscape Architecture, New Yorker Spotlight, People, Staten Island, Urban Design

Eloise Hirsch, Freshkills Park

Similar to Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux’s grand ideas for Central Park, there is a vision for the 2,200 acres of reclaimed land at the former Fresh Kills Landfill on Staten Island. Where trash once piled up for as far as the eye could see, the site is now a blossoming park full of wildlife and recreational activities.

The Park Administrator overseeing this incredible transformation is Eloise Hirsh. Eloise is a major force behind the largest landfill-to-park conversion in the world to date. In her role as Freshkills Park Administrator, she makes sure the park progresses towards its completion date in 2035, and regularly engages with New Yorkers to keep them informed and excited.

6sqft recently spoke with Eloise to learn more about Fresh Kills’ history, what it takes to reclaim land, and what New Yorkers can expect at the park today and in the years to come.

Read the full interview here

Featured Story

Architecture, Features, History, Urban Design

ruin porn

In the internet hierarchy of “things the internets like”, we’d argue that ruin porn sits wedged somewhere between Buzzfeed quizzes and cats. Images of decaying architecture conjure up unsettling feelings of tragedy and loss, but somehow manage to grip us with its intangible beauty. Whatever the cause for this may be, the thrill and enjoyment we get from looking ruin porn is palpable.

The term ‘ruin porn’ is said to have been coined by blogger James Griffioen during a 2009 interview with Vice magazine in which he criticized photographers who scouted down-trodden Detroit for provocative photos. While ruin porn is the trend at hand, decades before its arrival there was something called ‘ruin value’.

learn more about ruin value

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Celebrities, Features, Historic Homes, real estate trends, Upper East Side

Timeless Trophy: 740 Park Avenue

By Dana Schulz, Thu, September 25, 2014

740 park avenue

New York City may have an ever-revolving cast of hottest restaurants, hippest clubs, and even most desirable neighborhoods, but some real estate titans never go out of style in this metropolis. Known as the “Tower of Power,” 740 Park Avenue is one such mainstay.

The Upper East Side 19-story, Art Deco building was completed in 1930 to the designs of Rosario Candela, often considered the finest architect of luxury apartment interiors, as the last of the grand dames erected along Manhattan’s Gold Coast. It didn’t reach its peak until the real estate boom of the 1980s, but is today one of the most sought-after addresses with 31 apartments, mostly all duplexes, triplexes, and penthouses. The massively scaled residences feature grand living rooms, formal dining rooms, spiral staircases, high ceilings, expansive foyers, and an abundance of windows.

Plenty more on this timeless trophy residence and its long list of well known inhabitants

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City Living, Features, People

City Kids: Why Parents Pick City Living Over the Suburbs

By Michelle Cohen, Tue, September 23, 2014

city kids, brooklyn kids, nyc neighborhoods,

The ‘American Dream’ may have dominated the last few decades, causing a mass exodus to the suburbs, but today’s families are reversing the trend and turning their attention back to the city. The reasons are many: An appreciation for cultural offerings, the camaraderie and creative cross-pollination of networks of colleagues, friends and family, the convenience of being able to walk or bike to school, work or child care without a long commute—just to name a few. New York City has always been a haven for the forward-thinking, albeit a challenging one. And its newly-”discovered” outer boroughs as well as an unprecedentedly low crime rate have made the city a prime choice for family living.

But what is it about those city kids—the ones with parents who planned from the start to raise their kids in a non-stop urban environment? We interrupted the busy schedules of five families currently raising school-age (or soon-to-be) children in New York City’s many diverse and multifaceted neighborhoods to get some insight about why they wouldn’t have it any other way.

Hear what five parents of city kids have to say

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City Living, Features, Goldilocks Blocks, Landscape Architecture, Neighborhoods

Goldilocks Blocks: (Far) East 7th Street in Alphabet City

By Michelle Cohen, Mon, September 22, 2014

Flowerbox, New Development, Condo, East Village, NYC

Between hyper-developed hotspots, main drags in up-and-comers, big-ticket townhouse enclaves, and those genuinely avoidable areas, there can often be found a city’s “just-right” zones. Free from corner menace, sticker shock and boom-time developer schlock, these special spots often span only a few blocks in each direction and are close enough to the center of their ‘cool destination’ nabes to legitimately bear their names. They aren’t commonly known, and are best found by pounding the pavement, but these micro-neighborhoods often hide within them real estate gems coupled with perfectly offbeat vibes—you just have to be willing to do a little legwork. But when you do find them, don’t sleep on them… Winners like the Columbia Street Waterfront District were once Goldilocks blocks.

Today we’ll look at a unique 7th Street stretch hidden in Alphabet City.

Find out what makes this Alphabet City block so special.

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Chelsea, Features, Hell's Kitchen, Landscape Architecture, Meatpacking District, Starchitecture

edward norton, high line park, the high line at the railyards, Diller Scofidio + Renfro, Piet Oudolf , James Corner, James Corner Field Operations, hudson yards, high line section 3

The third and final section of the High Line will officially open to the public today at 11 A.M., marking the final chapter of a 15-year journey to transform a once abandoned rail road track into an elevated park for the city. The new section has been christened ‘High Line at the Railyards‘ and follows the original train tracks from 30th to 34th Streets to the north and south, and from 10th to 12th Avenues east and west, exposing High Line-goers to expansive and unobstructed views of the Hudson River and New Jersey. Unlike the two sections that preceded it, the path that makes up The Railyards is far less manicured. With its organized but “wild” greenery, the design of this final leg instead asks visitors to contemplate the railway’s past and the surrounding landscape as it stands and as it will change with the introduction of Hudson Yards.

More of the new section and the ribbon cutting here

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Architecture, Features, Interviews, People, Technology, Upstate

Adam Kushner, KUSHNER Studios, 3D-Printed estate

3D printing has been making the design and tech rounds lately, from ceramics and construction bricks to cars and mini castles. But there’s one project in the works that’s looking to blow the rest out of the water. New York City-based architect and contractor Adam Kushner of KUSHNER Studios plans to build the world’s first 3D-printed estate in Gardiner, New York, which will include a pool, pool house, and 2,400-square-foot main house–all of which will be constructed using this new technology.

Kushner has teamed up with Italian inventor and engineer Enrico Dini, who will ship a modified version of his D-Shape printer to New York in January. Dini’s printer uses his patented magnesium-based binding process combined with a material like sand to render stone-like objects. Kushner also teamed up with Enrico’s local contact James Wolff, co-founder of Deep Space Industries, which works with NASA on asteroid prospecting, mining, and processing. The three men, along with Nigel Woods, founded D-Shape Enterprises New York. Adam’s construction company In House Group, Inc. will hire D-Shape Enterprises to build the estate.

Read our interview with Adam Kushner and get an inside take on the project

Featured Story

Features, History, Lower East Side

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Image courtesy of MNCY

Long considered the capital of Jewish America, this overpoweringly cramped neighborhood was considered by many to be the greatest concentration of Jewish life in nearly 2,000 years.

Between 1880 and 1924, 2.5 million mostly-impoverished Ashkenazi Jews came to the US and nearly 75 percent took up residence on the Lower East Side. According to the Library of Congress, by 1900, more than 700 people per acre were settling in a neighborhood lined with tenements and factories. And as quickly as they descended on the streets, all sharing a common language (mostly Yiddish) and most certainly, similar backgrounds, they quickly established synagogues as early as 1865 (the landmarked Bialystoker Synagogue, whose congregants were mostly Polish immigrants from Bailystok), small shops, pushcarts teeming with goods, social clubs and even financial-aid societies.

By 1910, the Lower East Side’s population was well over the five million mark, but sadly, such congestion habitually caused havoc.

Learn more about the history of the LES here

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Architecture, Features, real estate trends, Starchitecture

Glass vs. Stone: An Epic Architecture Battle

By Dana Schulz, Thu, September 18, 2014

glas and stone nyc buildings, stone nyc buildings, glas nyc buildings

Decisions, decisions…sometimes there’s just far too many in New York City. Thai or Chinese takeout? Subway or bus? Central Park or the High Line? The list goes on. And one of the most grueling decisions we make as New Yorkers is where to live. From choosing a borough and neighborhood to deciding on a price point, it’s quite the undertaking. But what about the most elementary component of the building in which we decide to live–it’s material. To be more exact, glass or stone.

Glass tower dwellers are often drawn to the floor-to-ceiling windows, panoramic views, and clean lines, whereas buyers of apartments in stone buildings prefer a more traditional feel, with pre-war-style layouts that provide great separation of spaces. And some of the city’s most prominent architects have become synonymous with one style or the other. Think Richard Meier for glass and Robert A.M. Stern for stone. CityRealty decided to take a closer look at this epic battle and see how pairs of glass and stone developments fared across the city.

See how these buildings battle it out

Featured Story

Features, History, Starchitecture

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

By Jason Carpenter, Thu, September 18, 2014

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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

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