People

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Architecture, Features, Interviews, People

beverly willis, interviews, beverly willis architecture foundation

Photo of Beverly Willis courtesy of BWAF; photo of the San Francisco Ballet Building courtesy of Wikimedia

Throughout her more than 70-year-career, Beverly Willis has made an impact on nearly every aspect of the architecture industry. Willis, who began her professional career as a fresco painter, is credited with pioneering the adaptive reuse construction of historic buildings. She also introduced computerized programming into large-scale land planning and created a permanent prototype for buildings designed exclusively for ballet, with the San Francisco Ballet Building, one of her most iconic and enduring projects. As a woman in the building industry during the middle of the 20th century, and without any formal architectural training, Willis faced barriers that her male co-workers did not.

After decades of success, instead of retiring Willis, founded the Beverly Willis Architecture Foundation (BWAF), aimed at shining a light on women architects who were left out of the history books. In 2017, BWAF launched a website, “Pioneering Women of American Architecture,” that profiles 50 women who made significant contributions to the field. Ahead, architect Beverly Willis talks with 6sqft about how she became a pioneer in the field, the goals of her foundation and her continued push for gender equity in architecture, and beyond, through education and research.

More this way

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Art, Features, People, Soho, Where I Work

David Mandel (L) and Serge Strosberg (R) in their studio, photo by James and Karla Murray

6sqft’s series “Where I Work” takes us into the studios, offices, and off-beat workspaces of New Yorkers across the city. In this installment, we’re touring artistic duo Strosberg Mandel‘s Soho studio.Want to see your business featured here? Get in touch!

Last year, Belgian-American figurative painter Serge Strosberg had an exhibit about feminism in the East Village. The show’s curator introduced him to David Mandela theatrical stylist, jewelry designer, and former drag queen. Though the two came from very different artistic backgrounds, they immediately hit it off on both a personal and professional level. Fast forward to today, and they’ve formed the NYC-based artistic duo Strosberg Mandel, creating large-scale assemblage portraits–mostly of rock n’ roll icons such as Prince, David Bowie, Elvis, and Cher–using found materials and glamorous add-ons like Swarovski diamonds and luxury fabrics.

In anticipation of their upcoming debut solo exhibition “Troubadours of Eternity” at Lichtundfire from January 24th to February 4th, in which they’ll unveil the full portrait series as “a celebration of authentic musicianship and timeless spirits,” Serge and David invited us into their Soho studio to get an advanced preview of the pieces and learn about their unique work and partnership.

Tour the studio and hear from David and Serge

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Features, Interviews, People, Policy

Michael Hiller is a zoning and land-use attorney who has represented community groups in seemingly impossible quests for about 20 years. His high-profile cases have often been against the Landmarks Preservation Commission, notably Tribeca’s iconic Clock Tower Building and new construction along historic Gansevoort Street, both of which are pending appeal by the defendants.

As one legal observer commented, “He has become an expert in the nuances of the Landmarks Law from a legal perspective. In court, he is very talented on his feet before a very hot bench, before judges who ask a lot of tough questions.” His successes have won him designation as a Super Lawyer every year since 2009 as well as the 2017 Grassroots Award from the Historic Districts Council. 6sqft recently visited Michael at his office to learn more about his work.

Ahead, hear from Michael and learn more about his current cases

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Features, People, Upper East Side, Where I Work, yorkville

All photographs © James and Karla Murray for 6sqft

6sqft’s series “Where I Work” takes us into the studios, offices, and off-beat workspaces of New Yorkers across the city. In this installment, we’re touring Glaser’s Bake Shop, a 115-year-old German bakery in Yorkville.Want to see your business featured here? Get in touch!

In the early 20th century, New York’s German immigrants relocated from the East Village to the Upper East Side neighborhood of Yorkville, which soon became known as Germantown. The community was so culturally rich, that German was spoken more than English in this area. 86th Street was dubbed “Sauerkraut Boulevard” and was lined with German butchers, restaurants, and bakeries. After the dismantling of the Second and Third Avenue elevatrated trains in the 1940s and ’50s, most of the German community moved out, but several of these old-time businesses still remain, one of which is Glaser’s Bake Shop.

When German immigrant John Glaser opened his bakery in 1902, there were half a dozen nearby competitors. 115 years later, the perfectly preserved storefront on First Avenue and 87th Street is the last of its kind in Yorkville, but it’s still filled everyday with new neighbors and long-time residents alike, eager to satisfy their sweet tooths with the extra chocolately brownies, jelly donuts, Bavarian pastries, and their famous black-and-white cookies. Glaser’s is now owned by John’s grandsons Herbert and John, who are committed to keeping their family’s traditions alive. 6sqft recently stopped by to watch Herb work on massive gingerbread village and chat with him more about the baker’s history and how he’s seen Yorkville change over the years.

Get a behind-the-scenes look and hear from Herb

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Celebrities, Features, Greenwich Village, GVSHP, History, People, photography, The urban lens

The Urban Lens: From Bob Dylan to Jack Kerouac, see rare photos of the Village’s Beat Generation

By Andrew Berman of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, Thu, December 7, 2017

© Estate of Fred W. McDarrah

Perhaps no single photographer could be said to have captured the energy, the cultural ferment, the reverberating social change emanating from New York City in the second half of the 20th century as vividly as Fred W. McDarrah. McDarrah got his start covering the downtown beat of the Village Voice in the 1950s and ’60s, as that publication was defining a newly-emerged breed of independent journalism. McDarrah penetrated the lofts and coffeehouses of Lower Manhattan to shed light upon a new movement known as “The Beats” and went on to capture on film the New York artists, activists, politicians, and poets who changed the way everyone else thought and lived.

Through the generosity of the Estate of Fred W. McDarrah and the McDarrah family, the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation was fortunate enough to add to its digital archive a dozen of the most epochal of Fred McDarrah’s images of downtown icons, including Andy Warhol, Bob Dylan, Jane Jacobs, and Allen Ginsberg. And just in time for the holidays, you can purchase your own copy (with all proceeds benefitting GVSHP!).

Learn the story behind all the photos

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Design, Features, Interviews, People

Background: “Christmas Dinner” by Kim Radovich Interiors and Bernhardt, photo by Alan Barry. Photo of Iris Dankner by Richard Lewin.

Step into the Upper East Side’s Academy Mansion until December 6th and you’ll find a festive wonderland of interior design known as Holiday House NYC. The interior design show house is an undeniable display of top design talent, but what’s perhaps less obvious is that the word “holiday” here has a much deeper meaning.

Interior designer and Holiday House founder Iris Dankner is a 20-year breast cancer survivor. After her experience, she feels that every day is a holiday and a chance to celebrate life. With that outlook and the realization that there were no initiatives in the design industry to benefit breast cancer–a disease that impacts more than 250,000 women and 2,000 men in the U.S. each year–Iris started Holiday House a decade ago, asking each designer to draw inspiration for their room from a “holiday” or special moment in life. Now in its 10th year, Holiday House has launched its inaugural London outpost and released a coffee table book, and it’s continuing its partnership with The Breast Cancer Research Foundation, to which it’s already donated more than $1 million.

6sqft recently visited Holiday House and talked with Iris about 10 years of Holiday House, her personal inspirations, and why “women supporting women is such a powerful tool.”

Hear from Iris ahead

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Architecture, Features, Interviews, People

In architect Morris Adjmi’s new book, “A Grid and a Conversation,” he describes his ongoing conversation between context and design. On any project, Adjmi balances three dichotomies: standing out while fitting in, respecting history while not being frozen in time, and creating “ambient” architecture while gaining popularity. 6sqft sat down with Adjmi to find out more about his work philosophy, art exhibits, love of Shaker design, and awesome opening night parties with custom-made drinks.

Hear from Morris Adjmi himself

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Features, Greenwich Village, GVSHP, History, People

Lorraine Hansberry’s Greenwich Village: From ‘A Raisin in the Sun’ to civil rights

By Andrew Berman of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, Thu, October 12, 2017

Lorraine Hansberry at her typewriter in her Greenwich Village apartment in 1960. Photo by David Attie courtesy of the National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institute.

Lorraine Hansberry, the trailblazing playwright, activist, and Nina Simone song inspiration was perhaps most closely associated with Chicago. But in fact she lived, went to school, and spent much of her life in Greenwich Village, even writing her best known play “A Raisin in the Sun” while living on Bleecker Street. And shortly a historic plaque will mark the site of her home on Waverly Place.

Learn the full history here

Featured Story

Art, Features, Midtown West, People, Video

Adrian Untermyer plaing the piano, via Sing for Hope

Smack in the middle of the busiest bus terminal in the world is a funky, rainbow piano. Located on a platform that was once the terminal’s operations control center but is now the Port Authority Bus Terminal Performing Arts Stage, the piano arrived last year via a collaboration with the nonprofit Sing for Hope. But the idea for this public performance opportunity is thanks to pianist and preservationist Adrian Untermyer, who originally saw pianos in train stations in Paris and thought it would be a great way to bring “light and joy and music to a space that we all know but may not particularly love.” In the video ahead, Adrian tells us how his proposal became a reality and why Port Authority deserved a piano.

Watch 6sqft’s video here

Featured Story

Features, Midtown, People, photography, The urban lens

Fifth Avenuers, NYC street photography, Nei Valente, Fifth Avenue NYC

Photos © Nei Valente

6sqft’s series The Urban Lens invites photographers to share work exploring a theme or a place within New York City. In this installment Brazilian designer and street photographer Nei Valente presents his series “Fifth Avenuers.” Are you a photographer who’d like to see your work featured on The Urban Lens? Get in touch with us at [email protected].

Fifth Avenue: the street that divides Manhattan east to west; home to many of the world’s most prestigious museums and famous buildings; high-end shopping destination; the road to Central Park; office district. There’s no one way to describe the thoroughfare, nor is there one type of person associated with it. It’s this vibrancy that branding designer and street photographer Nei Valente set out to capture in his new series “Fifth Avenuers.” Over several months, Nei used his lunch breaks to capture “the unusual mix of tourists, blue- and white-collar professionals, and shoppers,” creating “a visual registry of people and moments from one of the most iconic avenues in the world.” His editorial style and candid technique is not dissimilar from that in “Newsstands,” in which he documented the changing face of newsstands around the city. Ahead, Nei shares all his photos from “Fifth Avenuers” and fills us in on what went on behind the scenes.

Get it all right here

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