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.
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.
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.
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.
On August 22, 1950, what was then known as the United States Lawn Tennis Association (USLTA) accepted Harlem’s Althea Gibson into their annual championship at Forest Hills, New York (the precursor to the U.S. Open). The spot on the championship roster made Gibson the first African-American athlete to compete in a U.S. national tennis competition, launching a storied career in which she won a whopping 16 Grand Slams, including the 1956 French Open where she became the first person of color to win such a title.
“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.
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.
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.
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.
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.