6sqft’s series “Where I Work” takes us into the studios, offices, and businesses of New Yorkers across the city. In this installment, we’re going inside the landmarked building of the Art Students League of New York in Midtown. Want to see your business featured here? Get in touch!
In 1875, a group of young students broke away from the National Academy of Design and founded the Art Students League of New York to pursue a new and more modern method of art education. What started as a small group of rebellious artists in a 20-foot by 30-foot space, turned into an internationally-recognized, landmarked institution, which continues to set the standard for art training today. In its 144th year, the Art Students League’s mission has remained unchanged since its founding: to spread the language of art to anyone interested in learning.
The nonprofit has been located in the American Fine Arts Society Building at 215 West 57th Street since 1892. A designated New York City landmark, the French Renaissance-style building was designed by Henry J. Hardenbergh, the architect behind the Plaza Hotel and the Dakota. Ken Park, the director of marketing and communication for the League, recently gave 6sqft a behind-the-scenes tour of the historic building and shared some insight into this storied establishment.
Via Creative Commons
New York City’s iconic Chrysler Building is on the market. The owners of the 1930 Art Deco landmark, Tishman Speyer Properties and the Abu Dhabi Investment Council, have hired real estate firm CBRE Group to sell the property, the Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday. The Abu Dhabi government purchased its majority stake in the Chrysler for $800 million in 2008, but real estate experts told the WSJ it would be difficult to recover.
, Fri, September 21, 2018
In June, a petition was filed in New York Supreme Court to prevent the construction of an eight-story hotel next door to the historic Merchant’s House Museum in the East Village. Now, Curbed reports, the proposal to build the hotel was unanimously rejected Thursday by the City Council’s subcommittee on zoning and franchises. The 186-year-old townhouse belonged to hardware merchant Seabury Tredwell, who bought the 10,000-square-foot residence for $18,000 in 1832.
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The museum via Google street view
The Merchant’s House Museum and its supporters filed a petition on Monday in New York Supreme Court against the construction of an eight-story hotel planned next door. The 186-year-old East Village home at 29 East Fourth Street belonged to hardware merchant Seabury Tredwell, who bought the 10,000-square-foot residence for $18,000 in 1832. The museum, which has been remarkably preserved since then, became the first property in Manhattan to be designated a New York City landmark in 1965. But landmark status does not guarantee protection from any adjacent construction projects. The museum is now taking legal action against the hotel project because, as its executive director, Margaret “Pi” Halsey Gardiner, told the WSJ: “It’s not going to be able to survive construction next door, I guarantee you.”
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Did you know there are 23 house museums across the five boroughs? All of which are supported by the Historic House Trust, a nonprofit that works in conjunction with the Department of Parks & Recreation to preserve these sites of cultural and architectural significance. From farmer’s cottages to gilded mansions, these public museums span 350 years of city history and offer fun additions such as art collections, historic holiday-themed events, and specialized tours. Ahead, 6sqft has put together a list of 10 house museums that represent some of NYC’s most storied history.
Check out our favorite house museums
In New York City, where buying and selling real estate is a high-stakes endeavor, the topic of historic and landmark designation is frequently raised. There are heated discussions on the subject of listing neighborhoods or buildings on the State and National Register of Historic Places or having them designated by the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission. It’s important to know what those organizations do and the distinctions between them. You could even be eligible for significant financial aid for your renovations if you own property in an historic district.
Find out what these designations mean, how you could benefit from them and why they’re sometimes controversial.
This year is full of celebrations for the 50th anniversary of the New York City Landmarks Law, and in marking this milestone we tend to look at all of the historic buildings that have been perfectly preserved in their appearance and function. But what about those that retain their original character, yet have a new use? The folks over at CityRealty have taken a look at this group, focusing on city landmarks that have been converted from commercial spaces into condominiums. Zoning in on the five largest landmarks (by number of units), they found that owning a piece of history will cost you. In fact, the average unit price in these Manhattan landmarks was 45 percent higher than other condos; in Brooklyn, 26 percent.
Check out the full infographic here
Yesterday we rounded up some of the most heinous crimes committed against architecture in New York City, but today we’re taking a look at the sunnier side of things. Our list of architectural saviors includes sites saved from the wrecking ball, as well as those that have remained intact and been adaptively reused. And with city-wide preservationists celebrating this year’s 50th anniversary of the landmarks law, what better time to take a look back?
View our list of architectural saviors
The exhibit’s title image © Iwan Baan for the Museum of the City of New York
Last night we attended the Museum of the City of New York‘s symposium, “Redefining Preservation for the 21st Century,” which explored the challenges and the opportunities of the preservation movement today and in the future. The event included such distinguished speakers as New York Times architecture critic Michael Kimmelman, starchitect Robert A.M. Stern, preservation guru Roberta Gratz, and president of the Real Estate Board of New York Steven Spinola (needless to say, it was quite the lively discussion), and it kicked off the opening of the museum’s exciting new exhibit “Saving Place: Fifty Years of New York City Landmarks,” which marks the 50th anniversary of the landmarks law in NYC. As part of the symposium we got a first look at the exhibit, which opens to the public today.
Check out Saving Place here
St. Patrick’s Cathedral, via Wiki Commons
With declining memberships, it has become a common issue among New York City religious institutions that they’re land-rich but cash-poor. To solve the problem, religious leaders are turning to the sale of air rights, allowing developers to build on unused land or above the existing structure or altogether transferring the rights to an adjacent property. It’s the latter trend that’s become the center of debate with St. Patrick’s Cathedral, along with other landmarked institutions, as they’re looking to change the air rights rules to allow transfers to properties that are not directly adjacent. The Wall Street Journal takes a close look at this trend and a city plan that would allow East Midtown landmarks to sell their air rights to sites that are several blocks away.
More details ahead