History

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Architecture, Features, History, Stuyvesant Town

Towers in the Park: Le Corbusier’s Influence in NYC

By Dana Schulz, Wed, November 19, 2014

le corbusier nyc

Stuyvesant Town Oval via Marianne O’Leary via photopin cc

Any architecture history student or design nerd knows about Le Corbusier (1887-1965), one of the founders of modern architecture and a truly one-of-a-kind urban planner. For those of you who aren’t as familiar with Charles-Édouard Jeanneret-Gris (his given name; he was French-Swiss), one of his most noteworthy urban ideas was concept of “towers in the park.” Part of his Contemporary City plan (and later Radiant City plan) to house three million inhabitants as a way to deal with overcrowding and slums, towers in the park were skyscrapers set in large, rectangular tracts of lands with open space between the buildings.

Whether they were consciously influenced by Le Corbusier or not, many projects in New York City mimic his vision of towers in the park, and we’ve decided to take a look at the most well known of this architectural crop, as well as some other ways the famous architect left his mark on NYC.

Take a look at NYC’s towers in the park

Architecture, Events, History, Landscape Architecture

the lowline park, the lowline historic

Ever since architects James Ramsey and Dan Barasch announced their plan to turn a forgotten trolley terminal below Delancey Street into an underground park, design enthusiasts, urban planners, locals, celebs, and, well, just about everyone who’s caught wind of it has been waiting in anticipation for what’s to come. The push to make this cool concept a reality continues on strong, even four years after the first unveiling (not that long when you consider that the High Line Park was a 15-year-long project!), and next Wednesday, November 12th at 6:30PM, the Lowline creators will be hosting a brand new event that will give New Yorkers the chance to discover the history of the former subterranean streetcar station built in 1908 and abandoned in 1948. The park’s creators have partnered with historic preservation researchers at Higgins Quasebarth to present their latest research, findings and the science behind the Lowline at a FREE public talk at the Tenement Museum at 103 Orchard Street.

Space is limited and is first-come, first-served, so get there early! And if you can’t swing by the museum you can also watch or listen to the talk remotely.

History, Union Square

tammany hall update, bksk architects

The landmarked Tammany Hall at 44 Union Square East could be getting a modern makeover in the form of a restored facade, brand new storefront, 27,000 square feet of office space, and, most notably, a two-story glass dome topper that would bring the height of the building up to 85 feet. BKSK Architects presented their plans to gut and revamp the historic building this week to the Community Board 5’s Landmarks Committee. And though no one could argue with the design’s glassy allure, board members were otherwise not all that thrilled.

Find out more here

Featured Story

Features, History

Peter Stuyvesant, Stuyvesant Square

Monument to Peter Stuyvesant in Stuyvesant Square via edenpictures via photopin

A few quick facts from New York City history 101: The island of Manhattan was originally settled by the Dutch, and therefore officially named New Amsterdam in 1625. It was part of the larger settlement of New Netherland. Pieter, or Petrus, Stuyvesant (we know him today as Peter) was the last Dutch Director-General of the colony of New Netherland from 1647 until it was ceded to the English in 1664. His work greatly influenced the city’s expansion northward from the southern tip, and he was responsible for many major historic events, such as the erection of a protective wall on what is today Wall Street and the creation of a canal on today’s Broad Street and Broadway.

Now that it’s November–the month when the city celebrates its Dutch heritage through 5 Dutch Days–we decided to take a look at the old stomping ground of General Stuyvesant, as well as his lasting legacy in the city today.

Read about Peter Stuyvesant’s NYC

History, Midtown East, New Developments, Recent Sales

249-253 East 50th Street, lutece

These three townhouses may not look like much to you, but they’ve for decades been making appearances in pop culture, from the penned to motion pictures, including The Prince of Tides, Wall Street, Crossing Delancey, and most recently, Mad Men. Located at 249-253 East 50th Street, this site once housed the world-renowned Lutèce restaurant.

Though today the structures can be described as dilapidated at best, that hasn’t stopped a group of Chinatown investors from scooping up the properties for $17 million from East 50th Development LLC. Now in new hands, what’s up next for this famed locale?

More details here

Featured Story

Architecture, Features, History

And About That Grecian Temple on the Henry Hudson Parkway…

By Stephanie Hoina, Sun, November 2, 2014

1927 image of grecian temple henry hudson, grecian temple nyc, henry hudson parkway, inspiration point nyc

New York City is filled with an abundance of structural treasures that are hard to miss. From the Brooklyn Bridge to the Chrysler Building to the soon-to-be-opened Freedom Tower, there is no shortage of architectural eye candy vying for your attention.

Which means some pretty spectacular little gems get lost in the shuffle. Like the curious white, Doric-columned structure located off the Henry Hudson Parkway near West 190th Street. Part of Fort Washington Park, this scenic overlook perched over 100 feet above the Henry Hudson River is known as Inspiration Point – a perfect moniker given its breathtaking vistas of the river, George Washington Bridge, and the majestic Palisades in neighboring New Jersey.

Learn more here

Featured Story

Brooklyn, Features, Historic Homes, History, Manhattan

211 Central Park West #3J

You can live here!

Every day at 6sqft we pretty much find ourselves in awe saying “We can’t believe people live like this!” But every so often we come across a home that has us muttering “People live like this??” In celebration of All Hallow’s Eve, we’ve rounded up six spooky and scary Manhattan and Brooklyn residences. One is filled to the brim with dead animals, another hides a secret underground portal, and another harbors an incredible tale of murder and deceit. Jump ahead to see all six them all—and if you’d ever dare live in one of these petrifying pads, you’re in luck because several of these homes are for sale. Lucky you?

For these homes, it’s Halloween year-round

Events, Historic Homes, History, Queens

Lent-Riker-Smith Homestead, East Elmhurst Queens, NYC historic houses

In a world where you can virtually tour real estate listings, it’s nice to know that the good, old-fashioned house tour hasn’t gone out of style. And this Saturday, one of the oldest homes in Queens is opening its doors for a tour of its refurbished interior, exceptional gardens, and historic cemetery.

The Lent-Riker-Smith Homestead in East Elmhurst was built circa 1656 by Abraham Riker, an early settler of New Amsterdam. Its current owner Marion Duckworth Smith still lives in the home, which makes the property the oldest private residence in the borough. She and her late husband Michael Smith began restoring the home in 1980, and since then Smith has offered the occasional tour, giving guests a glimpse into the Riker burial ground, which holds the remains of 132 descendants, the interior living areas, and the picturesque gardens, which include a gazebo and workshop designed to look like a gingerbread house.

More on the house’s history and the upcoming tour

Featured Story

Battery Park City, Features, Financial District, History

Happy Birthday Lady Liberty! She Turns 128 Today

By Rebecca Paul, Tue, October 28, 2014

statue of liberty

Every day Lady Liberty stands tall holding high her torch in celebration of our nation’s freedom. Since today is Miss Liberty’s 128th birthday, we thought it would only be appropriate to take some time out of our busy schedules to return the favor. Join us for a brief look back at some of Miss Liberty’s most notable moments throughout history. Happy birthday Lady Liberty, and here we go!

Fun facts on Miss Liberty here

Featured Story

Architecture, Features, History

potter building

Image © NewYorkitecture

Glazed terra cotta (a clay-based ceramic) became a popular architectural material in the United States between the late 1800’s and 1930’s thanks to being sturdy, relatively inexpensive, fireproof, and easily molded into ornamented detail. Plus, it was easy to make it look like granite or limestone, much more expensive materials.

Terra cotta really took off when some of Chicago and New York’s great architects, Cass Gilbert, Louis Sullivan, and Daniel H. Burnham, incorporated the material in to their most famous works such as the Woolworth Building, Bayard-Condict Building, and Flatiron Building, respectively. Additionally, Rafael Guastavino adorned many of the great Beaux-Arts masterpieces with his famous terra cotta tiled vaults.

There are countless buildings in New York City that owe their elegance to glazed terra cotta, and we’ve put together a list of some of our favorites.

Explore terra cotta in NYC

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