It’s easy to forget that Columbus Day is more than just a day off from work (which we’re not complaining about), but rather a holiday celebrating Christopher Columbus’ arrival in the Americas on October 12, 1942. But if you need reminding, look no further than these memorials scattered around New York City.
Photo courtesy of Beyer Blinder Belle
The TWA Flight Center at what is today John F. Kennedy International airport represents both the ephemeral and the ageless; our vulnerability at the end of the “American century” and the enduring beauty of inspired modern design.
The work of mid-20th century Finnish-American architect Eero Saarinen, the historic terminal is among the city’s most beloved architectural treasures. It first opened in 1962, a year after the architect’s death, and Saarinen posthumously received the AIA Gold Medal award for the design in 1962.
Despite its storied past and widespread reverence, since the demise of TWA and its subsequent purchase by American Airlines in 2001, the terminal’s iconic “head house” has remained eerily vacant, and its future continues to be a point of contention.
The Anshei Meseritz Temple soon to be turned into condos © LuciaM via Panoramio
New Yorkers know it often takes some divine intervention to land a great apartment. Luckily, with dozens of churches and synagogues now being partially or totally converted into luxury residential buildings, high-end apartment hunters can go straight to the source.
As congregations grapple with changing demographics, shrinking memberships, and costly upkeep of historic buildings, many religious institutions are concluding that it makes better financial sense to sell off a portion of their development rights, relocate to a more affordable site, or even close their doors for good.
Photo © Paul Clemence
The Jewish holiday Sukkot, which began on Wednesday evening, has architecture, construction, and design built into the festival. To observe the holiday, Jews around the world build and decorate temporary “booths” known as sukkahs, and spend Sukkot’s eight days eating meals with friends and family inside them. Depending on one’s level of observance, some individuals sleep in them as well.
When it comes to sukkahs in New York, where backyards are few and far between, institutions and individuals take advantage of the space available to them. This includes having sukkahs in parks or courtyards, on roofs and balconies, and even on the sidewalk dining area of a restaurant. We wanted to highlight a few of the city’s sukkahs with particular interest to either their location, design, or both.
The one that didn’t get away.
Our Renovation Diary series follows 6sqft writer Michelle Cohen as she takes on the challenge of transforming her historic Clinton Hill townhouse into a site-sensitive modern home. This week she shares her plans for the storied structure and the first big step she’s taken to make her dream home a reality: assembling the professionals needed to make it happen.
After two years of tireless searching, we finally took the big, scary step of buying an old townhouse on a leafy block in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Clinton Hill. We loved the house at first sight; but to understate matters a bit, it needs some work. It’s a fixer-upper, though far from a wreck.
This renovation diary is an attempt to share what we learn over the next many months as this terrifying adventure unfolds, and let others learn from our mistakes!
Architect Andrew Franz first caught our eye when we spotted his incredible renovation of a West Village townhouse just months ago. Since then, we’ve often found ourselves ogling his site for design inspiration, further falling in love with his ability to blend the old with the new through thoughtful material choices and a unique use of light and space. It goes without saying Andrew is a standout amongst the city’s seemingly inexhaustible supply of homogeneous architects.
We recently caught up with Andrew to find out about some of his latest projects, how collaboration plays into his process, and how he approaches the design of homes and buildings in a dynamic and storied environment such as New York City. Keep reading to find out what he had to share with us.
On a quiet block on the Upper East Side, there are elaborate houses and grandiose rooms. However, these stately dwellings are not townhouses, but instead the kind that live inside them, filled with miniature plates, plants, and pets. If you haven’t guessed, we’re talking about dollhouses, and they can be found at Tiny Doll House, a store devoted to dollhouses and all things miniature.
For almost 25 years, Leslie Edelman has owned and run the store. With a background in interior design for full-scale homes and humans, he has miniaturized his skill set and passion at Tiny Doll House, where New Yorkers of all ages can fulfill their architecture and interior design fantasies for much less than the price of a Park Avenue townhouse.
6sqft recently spoke with Leslie to learn more about his store, and the care and attention to detail New Yorkers bring to their dollhouses.
Built in 2007, The Flowerbox condo building at 259 East Seventh Street, about mid-way between Avenues C and D, is considered by many to be one of the city’s most beautiful new developments–and definitely a neighborhood standout, featuring a vertical garden that waters itself.
The building boom that started with the 21st century and has continued apace since the end of the most recent economic downturn has given Downtown Manhattan an impressive collection of starchitect-designed creations, complete with Sky Garages, Boxwood Mazes and plenty of glass curtain walls. But the Flowerbox Building continues to charm with its design, quality and curb appeal.
Before there were sports bars and college dorms, there were bratwurst and shooting clubs. In 1855, New York had the third largest German-speaking population in the world, outside of Vienna and Berlin, and the majority of these immigrants settled in what is today the heart of the East Village.
Known as “Little Germany” or Kleindeutschland (or Dutchtown by the Irish), the area comprised roughly 400 blocks, with Tompkins Square Park at the center. Avenue B was called German Broadway and was the main commercial artery of the neighborhood. Every building along the avenue followed a similar pattern–workshop in the basement, retail store on the first floor, and markets along the partly roofed sidewalk. Thousands of beer halls, oyster saloons, and grocery stores lined Avenue A, and the Bowery, the western terminus of Little Germany, was filled with theaters.
The bustling neighborhood began to lose its German residents in the late nineteenth century when Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe move in, and a horrific disaster in 1904 sealed the community’s fate.
The Upper East Side isn’t just for your grandparents anymore. Photo by Ed Yourdon cc
There’s been so much talk lately about how the Upper East Side is the next cool ‘hood–this guy even says it’s cooler than Brooklyn–and while that may be true (the neighborhood’s got a Meatball Shop; is there really any use denying it anymore?), we have our sights set slightly farther north.
The high 80’s and 90’s, clustered between Park and 1st Avenues, is a hot spot for young professionals who are looking for little more culture and a little less of the bro-tastic bar scene, as well as for just-starting-out families who want a community feel, but not the sky-high rents of Park Avenue and Museum Mile. A slew of new residential developments are popping up in the area, as are fun, independent restaurants and bars. And this piece of Manhattan offers almost just the same transportation convenience as the Upper East Side proper, but with lower rents and a calmer feel.