“Where did lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) history happen in New York City? In what buildings did influential LGBT activists and artists live and work, and on what streets did groups demonstrate for their equal rights?” These are the questions that the NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project is answering through a first-of-its-kind initiative to document historic and cultural sites associated with the LGBT community in the five boroughs. Through a map-based online archive, based on 25 years of research of advocacy, the group hopes to make “invisible history visible” by exploring sites related to everything from theater and art to social activism and health.
To mark Pride Month, 6sqft recently talked with the Historic Sites Project’s directors–architectural historian and preservation professor at Columbia Andrew S. Dolkart; historic preservation consultant Ken Lustbader; and former senior historian at the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission Jay Shockley–along with their project manager, preservationist Amanda Davis, about the roots of the initiative, LGBT history in NYC, and the future of gay advocacy.
Read the interview here
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, we share a set of vintage photos documenting Rockaway Beach in the 1940s. Are you a photographer who’d like to see your work featured on The Urban Lens? Get in touch with us at [email protected].
These days, beachgoers give nary a thought when stripping down to their skimpy bikinis and short-shorts, but 70 years ago wearing much more modest swimsuits was enough to get you a ticket from the NYPD. Noted LIFE magazine photographer Sam Shere (who’s best known for his iconic photo of the Hindenburg disaster) documented this “indecent exposure” phenomenon at Rockaway Beach in 1946. Starting with a sign that reads “wear robes to and from the beach,” Shere’s series shows women sunbathing in high-wasted two-pieces, men walking the boardwalk in just their shorts, and the way in which these beach bums seem unphased by the cops writing them summonses.
See all the photos here
To help our fellow New Yorkers on their hunt for a good roommate, we present “Be My Roommate.” If you have an empty room you’d like to see featured here, get in touch with us at [email protected]!
Meet Marie, a laid-back bookworm searching for a roommate for her Cobble Hill two-bedroom. Marie, a Florida native, moved to the neighborhood just over four years ago after a spending several years in Chicago and more than a year living out of a backpack in Central America. Up until a week ago, she shared her Brooklyn apartment with a friend who has since flown the coop to teach in Paris. This has left Marie with an extra bedroom, and for anyone looking for new digs, a great opportunity to live in one of the city’s best neighborhoods.
Find out more here, plus pics!
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, creative and conceptual photographer Kalliope Amorphous shares her series “Upper West Side Story.” Are you a photographer who’d like to see your work featured on The Urban Lens? Get in touch with us at [email protected].
“I’m always chasing after something nostalgic and timeless,” says Kalliope Amorphous, which is why her long-time home on the Upper West Side was the perfect setting for a portrait study. “There’s a strong sense of community here and it feels more like a neighborhood in the classic and old-fashioned sense,” the self-taught photographer explains. In this black-and-white series, Kalliope captures the many faces of one of the city’s most historic areas, exploring its long-standing energy and evolving residents, as well as her favorite themes of identity, mortality, time, and consciousness.
See the series here
Considering today would have been Frank Lloyd Wright‘s 150th birthday, you’d think we all know everything there is to know about the prolific architect. But the wildly creative, often stubborn, and always meticulous Wright was also quite mysterious, leaving behind a legacy full of oddities and little-known stories. In honor of the big day, 6sqft has rounded up the top 10 things you likely never knew about him, including the mere three hours it took him to design one of his most famous buildings, the world-famous toy that his son designed, his secondary career, and a couple present-day ways his work lives on.
Everything you never knew about FLW
Ben Shaoul founded Magnum Real Estate Group in 1999, focused on renovating small, rundown rental apartments. After growing its portfolio extensively over the past five years to includeretail properties, condos, and even a dormitory, the firm is now one of the city’s leading ground-up development companies. Their impressive portfolio includes 389 East 89th Street on the Upper East Side, 100 Avenue A in the East Village, and 100 Barclay in Tribeca, as well as their latest development that’s on the rise at 196 Orchard Street on the Lower East Side. Adjacent to the famed Katz’s Delicatessen, the building will ultimately top out at 11 stories tall and host 94 condos when it’s completed next year. CityRealty recently caught up with Shaoul to discuss the project, its design, and the ever-evolving Lower East Side.
READ THE INTERVIEW WITH BEN ON CITYREALTY…
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, fine art and portrait photographer James Maher exposes the changing face of NYC post 9/11. Are you a photographer who’d like to see your work featured on The Urban Lens? Get in touch with us at [email protected].
It all started at the University of Madison in Wisconsin with a surprisingly successful fake ID “business,” which was James Maher’s first introduction to portraiture and Photoshop. After moving back to his hometown of New York post-graduation, Maher studied at the International Center for Photography, assisted commercial photographers, and became a certified tour guide, exploring the architecture and streetscapes of the city. In 2006, he opened his own photography business, combining his varied interests, which also come through in his black-and-white series “Luxury for Lease,” where New Yorkers are captured candidly against the background of New York. In it, Maher exposes how quickly things changed in the years after 9/11; instead of coming for “acceptance and freedom” and “a culture of creativity,” wealthy persons from the suburbs and elsewhere began to move back “with an insatiable appetite.” By snapping photos of distracted New Yorkers, many of whom are zombie-fied staring at their phones, Maher examines the “disconnection, hyper-gentrification, conformity, and consumerism” that’s infiltrated our streets.
See the series here
Paula Scher is one of the most recognizable names in the design world, considered legendary in the industry for creating the identities of major New York institutions. Scher moved to New York in the 1970s to begin her design career and got her start in the music industry. As art director for CBS, she designed around 150 albums a year and produced numerous ads and posters. Her record covers include everything from the Rolling Stones’ Still Life to Leonard Bernstein’s Stravinky, four of which were recognized with Grammy nominations. As a record designer, Scher was credited with reviving historical typefaces and design styles—and typefaces still play heavily in her work today.
Scher left Atlantic Records to begin her own design firm in 1982, and in 1991 she joined her current firm, Pentagram, as the company’s first female principal. Although Pentagram is an international design company, its New York office is behind the identities of some of the city’s most beloved establishments. It was at Pentagram Scher established her reputation as a New York designer who created unique, lasting identities.
more with Paula Scher here
In our series 6sqft Studio Visits, we take you behind the scenes of the city’s up-and-coming and top designers, artists, and entrepreneurs to give you a peek into the minds, and spaces, of NYC’s creative force. In this installment we take a tour of the Bed-Stuy urban farm Square Roots. Want to see your studio featured here, or want to nominate a friend? Get in touch!
In a Bed-Stuy parking lot, across from the Marcy Houses (you’ll know this as Jay-Z’s childhood home) and behind the hulking Pfizer Building, is an urban farming accelerator that’s collectively producing the equivalent of a 20-acre farm. An assuming eye may see merely a collection of 10 shipping containers, but inside each of these is a hydroponic, climate-controlled farm growing GMO-free, spray-free, greens–“real food,” as Square Roots calls it. The incubator opened just this past November, a response by co-founders Kimbal Musk (Yes, Elon‘s brother) and Tobias Peggs against the industrial food system as a way to bring local food to urban settings. Each vertical farm is run by its own entrepreneur who runs his or her own sustainable business, selling directly to consumers. 6sqft recently visited Square Roots, went inside entrepreneur Paul Philpott‘s farm, and chatted with Tobias about the evolution of the company, its larger goals, and how food culture is changing.
Take a tour of Square Roots and get the full story from Tobias
When you couple recent uncertain times with the gray February weather and frigid temperatures, it can be easy to get bogged down in feeling a bit melancholy. But today is the day of love, and in honor of that, 6sqft asked 20 New Yorkers–from fellow reporters and bloggers to architects and urbanists–what they love most about NYC. From big-picture things like the skyline and street energy to smaller fortunes like having tea with friends and spotting an old ad on the side of the building, there’s plenty here to lift your spirits and make you fall in love with this great city all over again.
All the responses right this way