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Features, Lower East Side, photography, The urban lens

  • By Devin Gannon
  • , June 13, 2019

Ramon, Streit’s Mazo; © Joseph O. Holmes

6sqft’s series The Urban Lens invites photographers to share work exploring a theme or a place within New York City. In this installment, Joseph O. Holmes shares his photo series of Streit’s Matzo Factory, the now-shuttered LES institution. Are you a photographer who’d like to see your work featured on The Urban Lens? Get in touch with us at [email protected].

In 2015, after nearly 90 years in operation, Streit’s Matzo Factory on the Lower East Side closed its doors. But before the property’s new owners demolished the site to make way for luxury condos, the Streit family let photographer Joseph O. Holmes tour the space. Through photos of the four-building factory, its old-school machinery, and its workers, Joseph captured the final days of this neighborhood icon. “If I hadn’t shot it, most of it would be forgotten,” Joseph told 6sqft.

Although Streit’s closed more than four years ago and condo building 150 Rivington has since risen in its place, Joseph’s poignant photos were given new life this month. The developer purchased some of the photos to hang permanently in the lobby of 150 Rivington as an ode to the building’s industrial roots. Ahead, hear from Joseph about what it was like to photograph the maze-like factory and why he finds old machines so beautiful.

See inside and meet Joseph

Landscape Architecture, Lower East Side, New Developments

  • By Alexandra Alexa
  • , June 13, 2019

Images by QuallsBenson

A 15,000-square-foot park—the latest component of Essex Crossing to open to the public—is now complete on the Lower East Side, right in time for summer. Designed by landscape architecture firm West 8 (best known for designing the Hills at Governors Island), the park is a welcome addition to the neighborhood, where the ambitious Essex Crossing project is still in full swing, with seven of its nine sites now open or under construction.

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Design, Furniture

  • By Michelle Cohen
  • , June 12, 2019

The way people live in their homes is constantly evolving, and IKEA manages to keep evolving to address our changing needs; case in point: a new collaboration between the Swedish furniture giant and Ori, an American startup that has been developing robotic furniture ideal for modern living, has resulted in a new IKEA line called ROGNAN. The new “robotic furniture solution for small space living,” will help modern urbanites combine comfort and convenience in small spaces, without sacrificing style.

See robotic furniture in action, this way

Midtown, New Developments, Restaurants

  • By Devin Gannon
  • , June 12, 2019

Rendering courtesy of Nordstrom

Six unique restaurants and bars will set up shop at Nordstrom’s flagship store in New York City when it opens in October. Located in the base of the supertall at 225 West 57th Street, known as the Central Park Tower, the 285,000-square-foot Nordstrom takes up seven floors of the building. As Eater NY first reported, the restaurants will be run by two chefs from Seattle: Ethan Stowell and Tom Douglas.

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More Top Stories, Museums, New Developments, Starchitecture, Upper West Side 

  • By Alexandra Alexa
  • , June 12, 2019

A rendering of the front façade of the Gilder Center (L) by Studio Gang, 2019; Center interior (R) by MIR and Studio Gang, 2019.

Following delays caused by a lawsuit aimed at protecting the adjacent, city-owned Theodore Roosevelt Park, a groundbreaking ceremony on June 12 officially kicked off construction of the American Museum of Natural History’s new Richard Gilder Center for Science, Education, and Innovation. Designed by architect Jeanne Gang—who was initially brought on board the project seven years ago—the $383 million Center will add new galleries, classrooms, a theatre, and an expanded library while linking 10 museum buildings for better circulation throughout the campus. Originally slated to open in 2020, the construction process is expected to last three years.

All the details

Featured Story

Events, Features, History

  • By Cait Etherington
  • , June 12, 2019

“GAA and Vito Russo marching in 1st Christopher St Liberation Day Parade,” The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1970.

Decades ago, New York City’s Pride Parade was controversial because it focused on LGBTQ rights. And while there’s always more work to be done, five decades later, the LGBTQ community has gained legal recognition and acceptance. And in sharp contrast to the first Pride March, the annual event now seems to attract as many politicians and corporate sponsors as it does activists. But one controversy persists—the Pride Parade route itself.

Route this way

Design, Getting Away

  • By Michelle Cohen
  • , June 12, 2019

A well-rounded urban camping experience is a new summer option on Governors Island. Campers can choose an activity-packed agenda complete with private boats, dining, kids’ activities and wellness programs, and a chance to sleep under the stars surrounded by New York skyline views and 1,500 thread count sheets, private en-suite bathrooms and decks, electricity, and WiFi within. For modern design lovers, the island’s cozy Summit and Journey tents from Collective Retreats will be joined by new Outlook shelters. These modular hotel rooms resemble tiny modern cabins with 225 square feet–plus 175 square feet of deck space–of  indoor architecture that “seamlessly compliments outdoor grandeur with fully sheltered structures.”

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Clinton Hill, Cool Listings, Historic Homes

  • By Alexandra Alexa
  • , June 12, 2019

Listing images by Elizabeth Dooley

Here’s a rare chance to own one of the city’s most historic homes, the Lefferts-Laidlaw House at 136 Clinton Avenue in Clinton Hill (and part of the Wallabout Historic District). Built around 1836, the home “typified the villas that were erected in Brooklyn’s early suburbs in the early-to-mid nineteenth century” and might be the “only remaining temple-fronted Greek Revival style residence in Kings County,” according to the 2001 designation report. It’s become known as one of the most haunted houses in the city, thanks to stories of “doorbells rung, doors rattled” on a nightly basis in the late 19th century—but the tongue-in-cheek tone of the original New York Times reports is hard to miss. Perhaps the scariest thing left about it is the asking price. The home has been on and off the market for years, last seeking $4.5 million in 2016. Now, the property is back for a significantly reduced $3.6 million.

Take the tour

affordable housing, Policy

  • By Michelle Cohen
  • , June 12, 2019

Image via Creative Commons

Democratic leaders in Albany announced Tuesday that an agreement has been reached on a package of bills that will significantly strengthen New York’s rent laws and tenant protections. As the New York Times reports, contained in the legislative package headed to both chambers for a vote this week are landmark changes to current rent regulations, which expire on June 15. The new legislation is meant to address concerns about the high cost of housing and the sweeping inequality that has resulted from it. To that end, as the Times explains, “the changes would abolish rules that let building owners deregulate apartments, close a series of loopholes that permit them to raise rents and allow some tenant protections to expand statewide.” These changes have long been opposed by the real estate industry, which lost some of its influence in Albany when its Republican allies became outnumbered in the State Senate in the November elections.

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Landmarks Preservation Commission, Upper East Side, yorkville

  • By Nicole Mondrus
  • , June 11, 2019

Photos courtesy of the LPC

Members of the Landmarks Preservation Commission voted Tuesday in favor of landmarking two historic sites in Yorkville–the First Hungarian Reformed Church of New York at 344 East 69th Street and the National Society of Colonial Dames in the State of New York at 215 East 71st Street. As 6sqft previously reported, the Hungarian Reformed Church was designed in 1916 by esteemed architect Emery Roth as one of his few religious buildings and his only Christian structure. The Colonial Dames headquarters is housed in an intact Georgian Revival-style mansion built in 1929.

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