Park Avenue Armory, image © PBDW Architects
Constructed between the 18th and 20th centuries to resemble massive European fortresses and serve as headquarters, housing, and arms storage for state volunteer militia, most of America’s armories that stand today had shed their military affiliations by the later part of the 20th century. Though a number of them did not survive, many of New York City’s historic armories still stand. While some remain in a state of limbo–a recent setback in the redevelopment plans of Brooklyn’s controversial Bedford-Union Armory in Crown Heights raises a familiar battle cry–the ways in which they’ve adapted to the city’s rollercoaster of change are as diverse as the neighborhoods that surround them.
Find out how the city’s armories have fared
Continuing his 2017 State of the State proposals, Governor Cuomo made an announcement this morning that the state would invest in six regional projects “to move New York City’s outer boroughs forward.” In addition to healthcare-related initiatives, these include: up to 3,000 new units of affordable housing in Brooklyn with wellness-focused amenities; permanent toll reductions on the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge for Staten Island residents; $10 million towards the Orchard Beach pavilion redevelopment; and $108 million in financing for the Kingsbridge Armory in the Bronx to be transformed to an ice center.
Get all the details ahead
- Tour the Lent-Riker-Smith homestead, the oldest “inhabited private dwelling” in the city, and possibly the country. [Curbed]
- Watch an intricate pen-and-ink illustration of New York City get completed in just three minutes. [BK Mag]
- These “depressingly hilarious” cartoons show why life in your 20s and 30s isn’t that different. [WP]
- How two Vice Media employees live as roommates in the company’s home base of Williamsburg. [NYT]
- Big furniture, tiny spaces — the struggle of moving in NYC. [DNAinfo]
- Go inside the Bronx’s Kingsbridge Armory, the largest armory in the world. [Scouting NY]
Images: Lent-Riker-Smith homestead via Marion Duckworth Smith (L); The Couch Doctor (R)
Image: View Grand Concourse via photopin (license)
“Ladies and gentlemen, the Bronx is burning.” The infamous phrase, uttered in a 1977 broadcast of a Bronx fire, has stuck in the mind of many New Yorkers even today. Indeed, the Bronx saw a sharp decline in population and quality of life in the late 1960s and 1970s, which culminated in a wave of arson. By the early 1980s, the South Bronx was considered one of the most blighted neighborhoods in the country, with a 60 percent decline in population and 40 percent decline of housing units.
Although revitalization picked up by the ’90s, the Bronx never quite took off like its outer-borough counterparts Brooklyn and Queens. While media hype, quickly rising prices and a rush of development has come to characterize those two boroughs, the Bronx has flourished more quietly. The borough, nevertheless, has become home to growth and development distinct from the rest of New York City. Innovative affordable housing, adaptive reuse projects, green development and strong community involvement are redefining the area. As Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. said during this Municipal Arts Society discussion in 2014, this is “The New Bronx.”
Keep Reading About What’s Going on in the Bronx