, Fri, September 11, 2020
1885 map showing 13th Avenue, via the New York Public Library
You may be scratching your head at the mention of the 13th Avenue in Manhattan, but it does exist–and it’s the shortest avenue in the whole city with a fascinating history behind it. The minuscule stretch covers prime Meatpacking District real estate, just west of 11th Avenue and between Little West 12th Street and Gansevoort Street. The single block across the West Side Highway is unmarked, but officially known as Gansevoort Peninsula. The avenue was created by the city in 1837, and in no way was intended to be so short. In fact, by the mid-1800s 13th Avenue encompassed nearly 15 blocks and was planned to stretch all the way up to 135th Street. But the block never left Chelsea and was mostly destroyed by the city at the turn of the century.
Read all about the life and death of the Avenue
Little Island in May 2020 © CityRealty
The much-anticipated offshore public park in the Hudson River is coming together, with its concrete tulip-shaped pots in place and the first trees planted. New photos of “Little Island” at Pier 55 show construction progressing ahead of its scheduled spring 2021 opening. The two-acre park, designed by Heatherwick Studio and MNLA, is meant to resemble a leaf floating on water, with its concrete base sitting above the river.
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Rendering courtesy of Little Island
The offshore park currently under construction in the Hudson River has been officially christened “Little Island,” the Diller-von Furstenberg Family Foundation announced Wednesday. The Pier 55 project, which is being funded by billionaire Barry Diller and overseen by the Hudson River Park Trust, includes over two acres of public green space across a wave-shaped structure near West 13th Street in the Meatpacking District. First proposed in 2014 for $35 million, Little Island is expected to cost $250 million and open in the spring of 2021.
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All photos © Jonathan Flaum. Photo above: High Line Color 1. June 2005.
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Photographer Jonathan Flaum started going up on the abandoned High line in the ’80s, when it was full of overgrown wildlife, to see some of his friends’ graffiti work and find a quiet escape from the city. In the late ’90s, he heard about plans to demolish the former elevated train tracks and decided to start photographing the structure. Soon thereafter, Joshua David and Robert Hammond started Friends of the High Line, then a small, grassroots organization advocating for its preservation and adaptive reuse into a park. When they built their website, they incorporated Jonathan’s photos to provide a behind-the-scenes look for those who weren’t as adventurous to venture up there.
The park’s first phase officially opened in 2009 and to celebrate its 10-year anniversary, Jonathan has shared with us his collection of photos. Ahead, hear from him on his experiences with the High Line and see how far this NYC icon has come.
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Photo © Timothy Schenck
The Meatpacking District gained a new architectural landmark this week. Construction of Studio Gang’s 40 Tenth Avenue is officially complete, making it Jeanne Gang and her firm’s first New York City building. Nicknamed the Solar Carve Tower because the way its facade seems to have been “sculpted by the angles of the sun,” the 10-story, High Line-facing office tower is designed to allow for lots of sunlight without casting shadows on the neighboring green space.
Details this way
Credit: James Corner Field Operations, courtesy of the Hudson River Park Trust
The Hudson River Park Trust unveiled on Wednesday a preliminary concept for its plan to bring a public beach to Manhattan. The Meatpacking District site, known as the Gansevoort Peninsula, measures about 5.5 acres on the waterfront and formerly served as a parking lot for the city’s sanitation department. The new park will feature a beach area with kayak access, a sports field, a salt marsh, and areas to picnic and lounge.
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Photo by Timothy Schenck, courtesy of the High Line.
The High Line’s newest section, the Spur, opened to the public last week following a ribbon-cutting celebration on Tuesday. Elected officials, artists, advocates, supporters, community members, and architects involved in the project were on hand for a speaking program that welcomed visitors to the new space. The Spur–the last section of the original elevated rail to be converted into public space–extends east along West 30th Street and ends above 10th Avenue; it’s also home to the High Line Plinth, the first site on the High Line dedicated to a rotating series of contemporary art commissions. Simone Leigh’s “Brick House” is the first Plinth commission.
Photos and more, this way
Images by Julian Faulhaber; drawings courtesy of Buro Ole Scheeren
Dean & DeLuca has unveiled a new concept—separate from the renowned gourmet market—which seeks to slow down fast food consumption and highlight the artistry that goes into preparing food. STAGE, which opened yesterday at 29 Ninth Avenue in the Meatpacking District, was designed by the German architecture firm Büro Ole Scheeren. It transforms the typical buffet counter into a theatrical space that allows customers to interact with staff and watch their food being prepared.
Image by Max Guliani, courtesy of the Hudson River Park Trust
The Hudson River Park Trust has unanimously approved a proposal by James Corner Field Operations—the same firm that brought us the High Line and Brooklyn’s Domino Park—to design a 5.5-acre public park on the Gansevoort Peninsula, located at the western end of Little West 12th Street and the only remnant of 13th Avenue. It will be the largest single green space in the four-mile-long Hudson River Park. The design will incorporate recreational areas and provide direct waterfront access for the public with a beachfront on the southern edge that will double as a protective barrier to combat flooding and storm surge. The beach might be best for sunbathers, though, as swimming in Manhattan’s murky west side waters is unlikely to be viable.
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Rendering by Pier55 Inc/Heatherwick Studio
Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s State of the State speech Tuesday included a $23 million pledge to go toward the completion of Hudson River Park. That nearly-hidden line item in the state budget represents the governor’s mediation efforts in a billionaire-vs.-billionaire feud involving Barry Diller’s 2.7-acre park at Pier 55 on the water near West 14th street (often referred to as Diller Park), Crains reports.
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