As a symbol of resistance to the Trump administration, Chelsea-based contemporary art gallery BravinLee created a Kickstarter to raise $10,000 for an inflatable, 15-foot rat sporting a comb-over and an ill-fitting suit (complete with an inflatable piece of scotch tape to ensure his tie won’t blow in the wind) that will be placed outside Trump Tower. As the A.V. Club learned, artist Jeffrey Beebe was inspired by Scabby the Rat, the inflatable rat that attends union strikes to signal unfair and unsafe practices by management. With the deadline to fund “Trumpy the Rat” set for April 19, the project has raked in just over $5,500.
New York City Architecture firm Oiio has proposed a conceptual skyscraper that would curve at the top and then return to the ground, becoming what the firm believes to be the “longest” building to ever be created. As reported by dezeen, their “Big Bend” proposal challenges Manhattan’s obsession with supertall skyscrapers by substituting extreme height with length—stretching 4,000 feet from end to end. If they are able to design this building, Oiio hopes it could potentially provide a solution to the height limitations imposed by city zoning laws.
Image courtesy Murphy Burnham and Buttrick Architects
Nearly two years ago, St. Patrick’s Cathedral removed the scaffolding that had been shrouding its neo-Gothic facade to reveal a restored landmark. The work was part of a larger four-year $177 million restoration and conservation that’s also included an interior overhaul, renovation of the garden, and a new heating and cooling system. This last component is also now complete, as The Architect’s Newspaper reports that the Cathedral has activated their new, state-of-the-art geothermal plant, just in time to warm things up for St. Patrick’s Day. The system will cut the building’s energy consumption by more than 30 percent and reduce CO2 emissions by roughly 94,000 kilograms.
Although the President has not visited Trump Tower since his inauguration, the NYPD plans on increasing the number of officers who guard the tower after struggling with ways to effectively man the building. As reported by TMZ, the police department will choose between 30 and 40 full-time officers with “solid records” to work 12-hour shifts at the skyscraper.
On Tuesday, the Landmarks Preservation Commission voted unanimously to designate most of the famed Waldorf Astoria’s first three floors an official interior landmark. The decision came just a week after the iconic hotel closed for what’s expected to be a three-year renovation and condo conversion. But for those who missed their chance to get inside before the doors shut, Google Maps has released a virtual 3D tour of the Art Deco interiors, including the Park Avenue lobby with its bronze-and-mahogany clock tower, Peacock Alley restaurant, the grand ballroom and balconies, and Louis Rigal’s “Wheel of Life” mosaic made from 140,000 marble tiles (h/t Crain’s). You can even go inside the Guerlain Spa and some hotel rooms.
In news that will come as a surprise to no one, the Landmarks Preservation Commission voted unanimously this morning to designate the interiors of the famed Waldorf Astoria a New York City landmark. According to Curbed, the decision was made within minutes without hesitation from any of the board members. The announcement also comes hot on the heels of the hotel’s closure just one week ago, as its new owners, Anbang Insurance Group, undertake what’s expected to be a three-year renovation and conversion that will bring forth 840 updated hotel rooms and 321 luxury condos.
Perhaps the most detested Midtown skyscraper by the public, this huge tower has nevertheless always been a popular building with tenants for its prime location over Grand Central Terminal and its many views up and down Park Avenue. It is also one of the world’s finest examples of the Brutalist architecture, commendable for its robust form and excellent public spaces, as well as its excellent integration into the elevated arterial roads around it.
However, there is no argument that it is also immensely bulky with a monstrous height. As shown in the photograph ahead, to its north, the building completely overshadows the Helmsley Building, an iconic product of Warren & Wetmore’s Terminal City complex. The pyramid-topped Helmsley Building once straddled the avenue with remarkable grace, and as one of the city’s very rare, “drive-through” buildings, it was the great centerpiece of Park Avenue. But by shrouding such a masterpiece in its shadows, the Pan Am Building (today the MetLife building) desecrated a major icon that will unfortunately never recover from such a contemptible slight on a prominent site.
Screenshot of the listing before it was taken down, via NYT
Not even a $500,000 a day security bill or threat of frequent evacuations could stop Airbnb from infiltrating Trump Tower. The Times found a listing on the rental site for an apartment in the Midtown fortress that had been available since at least September until they last week contacted Airbnb, at which time it was taken down. The $300-$450 a night rental didn’t explicitly state the address but was described as “the most secure and unique building” and asked that potential renters be “politically neutral” and not engage in political displays within the building. Despite these strange stipulations and the added nuisance of protestors and having to go through a Secret Service screening, the apartment is booked for most of the next few months, reviews are surprisingly positive, and it has a five-star rating.
The market for ultra-luxury condos may be cooling down, but developers appear to be much more optimistic about posh senior housing. Last year, 6sqft reported that Welltower Inc., the country’s largest senior housing owner by market value, had teamed up with Hines to develop the “One57 of Assisted Living,” an upscale facility at 56th Street and Lexington Avenue boasting $20,000/month rents. Now, it appears that the project is moving forward as Curbed tells us plans have been filed with the DOB to start construction.
Come March 1st the Waldorf Astoria will close its doors to the public in preparation for what’s likely to be a lengthy conversion, as the New York icon transforms from luxury hotel to a hybrid of opulent condos and hotel rooms. While we can all rest assured that the Waldorf’s stunning interiors will remain intact—from the historic ballrooms to exhibition space, dining rooms and banquet rooms—what will likely disappear for good (at least in their current form) are the lavish brunches held at Peacock Alley. As Metro NY reports, this Sunday, February 26th, will be your last opportunity to indulge in the hotel’s utterly decadent weekend offering.
If you’ve been as curious as we have to know what the inside of 432 Park looks like IRL, look no further than unit #52C, now for sale by owner. LLNYC spotted the listing today which boldly ditches professionally staged photos for somewhat sloppy phone snapshots of the interiors. As the mag points out, 432’s developers have been keen on putting the luxury tower’s best foot forward, revealing only sleek renderings or retouched images of impeccably outfitted model units to press and onlookers.
The Chick and The Duck would surely approve of those river views.
LLNYC reports that actor Matthew Perry, a.k.a. Chandler Bing from the long-running sitcom “Friends,” is on the hunt for some NYC digs. Perry’s rep was recently spotted scoping out a $25,000/month apartment at the luxurious Atelier on 42nd Street. The sleek spread includes three bedrooms, three bathrooms, unobstructed river views and a location just a short subway ride from the MCC Theater where the actor will star in play he wrote called “The End of Longing” this summer.
The line separating Trump’s personal business interests and his role as President of the United States continues to blur, as the Washington Post reports today that the Pentagon may lease “a limited amount of space” in Trump Tower. In doing so, the U.S. Defense Department says it will be able to better protect Trump’s family, as Melania and Barron have decided to remain in the couple’s gilded Trump Tower penthouse, and Donald himself when he is town. The move, however, has one major and obvious sticking point: rent on the space would need to be paid to the Trump Organization—and taxpayer dollars would be used to foot the bill.
Yesterday, workers removed the iconic neon sign outside Carnegie Deli, but the final nail in the coffin comes from the news that mega-developer Extell is buying the pastrami mecca’s former home on a block where they already own two other sites. The Post got word that Gary Barnett’s firm will close on a deal as soon as today for the six-story building at 854 Seventh Avenue. The 79-year-old deli closed on December 31st, but in 2015, Extell paid $9.1 million to owner Marian Harper Levine for their air rights.
It appears the Secret Service and NYPD are indeed taking measures to minimize the disruption caused by Melania and Barron staying put in NYC. TMZ writes that instead of implementing full street closures any time the young Trump moves to and from school, streets will be blocked off in a rolling pattern to accommodate the boy’s armed motorcade.
President-elect Donald Trump’s decision to remain in his Manhattan HQ is causing concern among businesses in the area. Business leaders and local officials spoke out Tuesday at a City Council hearing on the threat that blocked sidewalks and traffic snarls are posing to jobs, tax revenues, tourist appeal and “global reputation,” reports Crain’s. Local merchants claim they’ve taken a significant hit, and that many are considering not renewing their leases or moving elsewhere. Fifth Avenue Business Improvement District president Tom Cusack estimated that local businesses have lost $40 million in revenue since Election Day due to the security maze that the area surrounding Trump Tower has become.
Reserving three of 5th Avenue’s five traffic lanes for pedestrians will ease the traffic paralysis that President-elect Donald Trump‘s continued residence in his 56th Street tower has caused, former NYC Department of Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan argues. In an op-ed for the New York Times yesterday Sadik-Khan, a principal with Bloomberg Associates and a key player in the introduction of the Times Square Pedestrian Plaza, angled 5th Avenue’s traffic problem as a bipartisan issue that requires change to get better. With the President-elect saying he plans on visiting his Manhattan home frequently even once he has moved to the White House, it is clear New York will need to adapt or risk forever needing to budget an extra three hours to get through Midtown.
Every year as the clock nears midnight on December 31st, anticipation runs high as the world holds its breath waiting for the sparkling New Year’s Eve Ball to descend from its flagpole atop One Times Square. We all know that the countdown starts at 10, but there are a handful of other fun facts to muse over when it comes to the city’s most lauded tradition. From the wattage of the ball to the weight of trash produced to how long it takes to get it all cleaned up, see what we’ve rounded up, in numbers, ahead!
Yesterday afternoon, after a suspicious package was found in the building atrium, Trump Tower was evacuated along with the entire area between 50th and 59th Streets and Madison and 6th Avenues. Ultimately, it was found to be a bag of children’s toys left behind, but in a tweet after the incident, de Blasio spokesman Eric Phillips said such evacuations at the Tower “will be a common occurrence.” According to the Daily News, Trump spokesman Dan Scavino sent out a thank you tweet, to which Phillips replied, “No problem. We’ll send you the bill.”
Image Wiki Commons
There are countless relics from the subway’s past hidden beneath NYC, but one of the most intriguing will reveal itself again in just 9 days when the Second Avenue Subway (SAS) invites straphangers to swipe their Metro cards for the first time. As Quartz noticed this past summer, a peculiar loop cutting through Central Park appeared when the MTA released their new subway map touting the addition of the SAS. Reporter Mike Murphy immediately questioned the mysterious addition that would move the Q train further north without issue (“I felt like people would have noticed if the MTA had been ripping up Central Park to build a tunnel,” he wrote). After a bit of digging, he found out the half-mile stretch was built over 40 years ago and, at least according to archival maps, it’s only been used twice since then.
Just over a week ago, Mayor de Blasio asked the federal government for $35 million to cover Donald Trump‘s increased security for the 73 days from the November 8th election to the January 20th inauguration. Two days later, congress came back with a low-ball offer of only $7 million, to which the Mayor responded that “NYC taxpayers shouldn’t be on the hook for 80 percent of the national bill to protect Trump Tower.” Backing him up, the NYPD conducted its own analysis, which, as the Daily News shares, confirms the city’s $500,000 a day security bill and concludes that nearly 200 cops are needed each day to secure the area around Trump Tower.
6sqft’s ongoing series The Urban Lens invites photographers to share work exploring a theme or a place within New York City. In this installment Brooklyn resident Harlan Erskine highlights the Midtown lobbies and streets past midnight, during the Great Recession. Are you a photographer who’d like to see your work featured on The Urban Lens? Get in touch with us at [email protected].
Though Midtown is now booming with larger-than-life skyscrapers and blockbuster condos along the likes of Billionaires’ Row, 9 years ago at the peak of the Great Recession, it was a much different story. In 2008, Brooklyn photographer Harlan Erskine took to the city after dark and documented the ghost town that was Midtown. While New Yorkers are today used to seeing bustling crowds spilling into the streets at all hours, Harlan’s photographs depict the polar opposite: empty office lobbies, streets and sidewalks.
Just two days after Mayor de Blasio formally requested $35 million in federal funding to cover security at Trump Tower for the 73 days from the November 8th election to inauguration day on January 20th, republicans in Congress decided to earmark a mere $7 million towards protecting the President Elect while he’s in the Big Apple. Of the pending decision, the Mayor said, “NYC taxpayers shouldn’t be on the hook for 80 percent of the national bill to protect Trump Tower. DC must step up to pay us back what we’re owed,” reports the Post.
Police presence around Trump Tower, via latecapitalism/Instagram
White House North, Dump Tower–call it what you will, but Trump Tower has been causing a major headache for the city ever since the President Elect announced that he hopes to spend weekends in his penthouse at the Midtown tower and that wife Melania and son Barron will continue to reside there during his presidency. Initial estimates put the cost of protecting the building at $1 million a day, but after City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and Council Member Dan Garodnick launched a petition last week demanding that the federal government cover these costs, Mayor de Blasio has officially asked for a total of “$35 million to cover the 73 days stretching from the election on Nov. 8 to Jan. 20, inauguration day,” reports the Post, a lesser amount of roughly $480,000 a day.
City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and Council Member Dan Garodnick won’t have New York City shafted with the bill for “White House North.” The pair have launched a petition demanding that the federal government pony up whatever cash is needed to keep Trump Tower secure during the president-elect’s term of office. As 6sqft previously reported, Trump hopes to spend weekends and even some weeknights at the Midtown tower over the next four years, particularly as wife Melania will stay put until son Barron finishes school—and more simply because Trump likes waking up in his own bed. It has been estimated that turning Trump Tower into a 24/7 armed fortress will cost New York City taxpayers $1 million a day, and the total bill over the president-elect’s four-year term could swell beyond $1 billion.
The 1931 tree.
The official website of the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree describes the holiday tree as a “world-wide symbol of Christmas,” a statement we really can’t argue with, especially since 125 million people visit the attraction each year. And as you’ve probably heard, Wednesday, November 30th is the 84th Rockefeller Center Tree Lighting, an annual celebration that attracts tens of thousands in person, and hundreds of millions more on television. In anticipation of the big event, we decided to take a look back at how this tradition got started and how it has evolved over the years.
Between swarms of protestors outside the building and Donald Trump‘s claims that he’ll spend weekends at his penthouse, the NYPD has spent the last week mulling a shutdown of Fifth Avenue in and around Trump Tower. And even though Melania and ten-year-old Barron will remain in the 24-karat gold-covered triplex instead of moving to the White House, Mayor de Blasio announced that the stretch of the Avenue in front of the building will remain open to vehicular traffic, adding that, “We have never had a situation where the president of the United States would be here on such a regular basis. But the N.Y.P.D. is up to the challenge, and the City of New York is up to the challenge.”
Image: Mecanoo with Beyer Blinder Belle
Hot on the heels of wrapping a major renovation and hosting an epic reopening for the Rose Reading Room at their flagship Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, the NYPL is now moving forward with another mammoth revamp on its Mid-Manhattan Library. Last September, the library revealed that Dutch architecture firm Mecanoo had been tasked with the $300 million overhaul of both the flagship and the Mid-Manhattan branch at Fifth Avenue and 40th Street. And now, the NYPL is offering us our first look at the latter, a project they are calling a “state-of-the-art library that will serve as both a model and catalyst for a rejuvenated library system.”
Donald Trump has already made it clear that he hopes to ditch convention and spend weekends in his Trump Tower penthouse during his presidency (despite the unprecedented traffic snarls and security issues it’ll cause). In addition to sleeping in his own bed, this will allow him to work out of his personal office. The 26th floor space is covered in awards, sports memorabilia, family photos, and an unsurprisingly narcissistic collection of magazines with yours truly on the cover. Business Insider uncovered two videos from last year–one from the Washington Post, one from the Wall Street Journal–where Trump provided tours of the office, and it looks like our next president may be working on international politics with one of Shaquille O’Neal’s sneakers sitting next to him.
If you thought it was inconvenient whenever President Obama came to town, under a Trump presidency, things are going to get much worse. The Daily News reports that law enforcement officials are mulling a shutdown of 5th Avenue whenever the president-elect decides to stay in his penthouse in Trump Tower. As many know, the area is one of the busiest commercial hubs in the Manhattan, a mix of mid- and high-end retailers, paying top rents and pulling in millions of tourists annually. Moreover, it is also home to thousands of New Yorkers, a handful of which who live in Trump Tower and are already fed up with the disturbances that have emerged as of late. Immediately after the 2016 election results were announced, Trump Tower was swarmed by protestors—and guards wielding heavy ammunition.