Department Of Design And Construction

March 29, 2024

$24M revamp of Lower East Side’s Nuyorican Poets Café is underway

The Nuyorican Poets Café, a beloved performance space on the Lower East Side for half a century, is undergoing a $24.1 million transformation. The city's Department of Cultural Affairs and the Department of Design and Construction on Thursday kicked off the project, which will renovate and expand the cultural institution's lobby, add new performance spaces and offices, improve accessibility, and perform extensive repairs on the building's exterior. Designed by Rice+Lipka Architects, the reconstruction project is slated for completion in spring 2026.
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October 17, 2023

Work begins on Studio Gang-designed Shirley Chisholm Rec Center in Brooklyn

A new recreation center that will serve as a hub for learning, fitness, and recreation is coming to East Flatbush. City officials on Monday broke ground on the $141 million Shirley Chisholm Recreation Center, a new facility named after the late congresswoman and Brooklyn native who was the first Black woman ever elected to Congress. Located in Nostrand Playground, the roughly 62,000-square-foot center will feature a public plaza, indoor swimming pool, gymnasium, walking track, commercial teaching kitchen, and a media lab.
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December 29, 2022

Snøhetta-designed Bronx library features a green glass facade inspired by trees

World-renowned architecture firm Snøhetta last week unveiled its design for a new library in the Bronx. The 12,000-square-foot Westchester Square Library, which will sit next to the historic Huntington Free Library on Glebe Avenue, will feature a striking green glass facade with abstract views of the neighborhood's trees, a way to pay homage to the Bronx's status as the city's "greenest borough," according to the firm. The library is being developed with the city's Department of Design and Construction and the New York Public Library.
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July 15, 2019

City presents new design for its East Side Coastal Resiliency Project following community feedback

The city unveiled last week an updated design for its plan to protect an area stretching from the Lower East Side to East 25th Street from flooding. The Department of Design and Construction (DDC) presented on Thursday its preliminary design for the East Side Coastal Resiliency Project (ESCR) to Community Board 3, as Curbed NY reported. In response to concerns from residents about the closure of East River Park during the construction period, the city's updated design incorporates community suggestions, including a new amphitheater and an outdoor fitness area.
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March 2, 2016

POLL: Should the City Spend Money and Time Hiring Starchitects for Public Projects?

Yesterday, 6sqft took a closer look at the Department of Design and Construction’s Design Excellence program, a city initiative where high-profile architects design public facilities, and the fact that many of these projects are long delayed and way over budget. The Rafael Vinoly-designed NYPD station house on Staten Island known as “The Stapler” is perhaps […]

March 1, 2016

Starchitect-Designed Public Projects Are Often Long Delayed and Way Over Budget

The big news last week was the Port Authority's decision not to hold an opening ceremony for Santiago Calatrava's World Trade Center Transportation Hub (followed by their sudden flip flop), citing the fact that it was six years delayed and that final construction costs came in around $4 billion in taxpayer dollars, twice what was projected. Though the Hub has become notorious for these reasons, it's hardly the only public project to face delays and skyrocketing costs. In fact, it's not even close to being the worst of the lot that are draining tax payer dollars. DNAinfo took a look at the Department of Design and Construction’s Design Excellence program, a city initiative where high-profile architects design public facilities. Take for example the NYPD station house on Staten Island known as "The Stapler." Its original cost was projected as $3 million, but when it opened in 2013 this rose to a whopping $73 million. DDC, ironically, blames the emphasis on design for the problems, as well as a faulty budgeting  process (cost estimates are calculated before actual designs are selected).
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November 6, 2015

Yet Another Burial Vault Uncovered Near Washington Square Park, Comes Filled With Coffins

Employees of the Department of Design and Construction are definitely being kept on their toes this week. After uncovering a hidden vault containing the skeletal remains of at least a dozen people believed to be approximately 200 years old, workers have uncovered a second burial vault, this one filled with wood coffins. Workers tasked with upgrading 19th-century water mains under the park stumbled upon the latest burial ground Wednesday night, a day after their first finding at the corner of Waverly Place and Washington Square Park East.
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November 5, 2015

Hidden Burial Vault and the Skeletal Remains of 12 Found Under Washington Square Park

It's pretty well known that Washington Square Park started out as a potters field, a burial ground for the poor, and later as a resting place for those who died from yellow fever. But this has always been something out of the history books. Until now. Recently, a group of city workers in the process of upgrading water mains under the park came upon a hidden vault containing the skeletal remains of at least a dozen people believed to be approximately 200 years old. According to officials from the Department of Design and Construction, the vault is eight feet deep, 15 feet wide, and 20 feet long. While the exact details are unknown right now, a team of anthropologists and and archaeologists will be requested to evaluate and determine the age of both the remains and the vault.
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November 5, 2014

$3.58M Forsyth Revitalization Project Will Bring an Elevated Park Off the Manhattan Bridge

If you've ever walked or biked across the Manhattan Bridge, or simply tried to make your way past the off-ramp on foot, you know that it can be a heart-thumping jaunt that often requires expert maneuvering to avoid collision. A new design proposed for a triangular section of land beside the Manhattan Bridge along Forsyth Street could bring some much-needed calm to the frenetic energy of this area. Tomorrow, the Department of Design and Construction will present their plan to transform this elevated space into a public green space that's being likened to the High Line Park.
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