Search results for "Bronx"

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Peerless Review

Mayor Bill de Blasio appoints architect Laurie Hawkinson to the Public Design Commission
Earlier this week, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the appointment of Laurie Hawkinson, a partner at Smith-Miller + Hawkinson Architects to the Public Design Commission, New York City’s design review agency. “For this city to lead in the 21st century, this city must be designed for the 21st century,” said Mayor de Blasio in a statement. “Laurie’s years of work designing projects for a wide range of clientele, both domestically and internationally, as well as both privately and publically, demonstrate her expertise in the field. I look forward to working with Laurie on projects that will benefit this city for years to come.” Hawkinson is also a professor of architecture at Columbia’s GSAPP and serves on the Columbia University Professional Schools’ Diversity Council. With Smith-Miller + Hawkinson Architects, she has worked extensively in New York on projects such as the Corning Museum of Glass, the Wall Street and Battery Park ferry terminals, the Dillon residential complex, an Emergency Medical Services Station in the Bronx, and numerous private projects. What type of decisions might Hawkinson make in the commission? In an interview Hawkinson did with Arcade in 2014 she said she is happy to work with developers—especially those who are interested in design—but that “it’s important for architects to remember that development work is still about the bottom line.” As for determining good growth in Manhattan, she said: “Luxury condos are being built everywhere in Manhattan, which is very different from housing; in neighborhoods like Soho, it’s second and third homes for owners who don’t live in New York. We need more density in Manhattan, more housing. New York has made some good decisions with the 2030 zoning changes under the direction of the former Mayor Bloomberg and Amanda Burden, but now we need the policy to back it up.” We hope she considers this "Challenge Accepted" as she steps into her new role.
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Hunts Point

Former Bronx juvenile prison to become 740-unit affordable housing development
The New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) and the Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) have unveiled renderings for plans to redevelop a former Bronx juvenile prison into a mixed-use development centered on affordable housing. WXY architecture + urban design (WXY) are collaborating with Body Lawson Associates (BLA) to transform the notorious Spofford Juvenile Detention Center into The Peninsula, a $300 million project that will create 740 units of "100 percent" affordable housing. Along with typical deliverables—retail, community, and green space—for a project this size, the Peninsula will bring 49,000 square feet of light industrial space to the Hunts Point neighborhood. The project is one of many mixed-use complexes cropping up in the borough: In May, Mastermind Development broke ground on a $117.7 million project in East Tremont and FXFOWLE's La Central in Melrose is moving forward. The development team—Gilbane Development Company, Hudson Companies, and Mutual Housing Association of New York (MHANY)—was chosen through a 2015 request for expressions of interest (RFEI). The team is working with longtime neighborhood stakeholders like the Point CDC, BronxWorks, Casita Maria Center for Arts and Education, Urban Health Plan, Sustainable South Bronx, and others. In 2014 Majora Carter, the urban revitalization activist and founder/former executive director of Sustainable South Bronx, partnered with AutoDesk to imagine alternatives to the Spofford site, which operated as the Bridges Juvenile Center when it was shuttered by the city in 2011 over appalling conditions and inmate abuse. DNAinfo reports that a development team spearheaded by Carter was rejected in favor of the winning proposal. "The lack of diversity on the team chosen by NYCEDC to develop Spofford is not indicative of Mayor de Blasio’s much-publicized commitment to including minority businesses in the city’s contracting," Carter told DNAinfo. "Instead EDC selected a typical team composed exclusively of white men 'partnered' with uncompensated minority nonprofits to whom no transformative capital benefits will accrue." The five-building development is nevertheless coming online in three planned phases: Phase one is expected to be complete in 2021, with phase two coming online the year after, and the third and final phase set to open in 2024. In addition to providing housing, those facilities will host a business incubator, job training facilities, school space for pre-K (an on-site Head Start will be incorporated into the project) and higher ed, 52,000 square feet of open space, and an 18,000-square-foot health and wellness center operated by Urban Health Plan. Food is key to the Peninsula: According to the NYCEDC, in addition to a 15,000-square-foot supermarket, local favorites like Il Forno Bakery, Soul Snacks, Bascom Catering, and Hunts Point Brewing Company will be setting up shop in the development.
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Bronx Buildup

Lambert Houses in the Bronx to be demolished, replaced with larger affordable development
Phipps Houses, a non-profit developer and owner of the Lambert Houses in the Bronx, is moving ahead with its plans to demolish 14 buildings at the Lambert Houses complex. Originally opened in the mid-1970s, the houses will be replaced with taller towers that will offer twice as many affordable housing units. Adam Weinstein, president and chief executive of Phipps Houses, cited the need for improved safety as a core reason for redevelopment, according to a report by The New York Times. At present, the Lambert Houses complex contains five groups of six-story buildings, with 731 affordable housing units and approximately 40,000 square feet of retail space. After redevelopment, there will be 1,665 new units, 61,100 square feet of retail space, and a possible elementary school for 500 students, according to DNAinfo. Should the School Construction Authority decide not to build the school, another residential complex with 55 units will take its place, according to the developer’s proposal. With papers filed in May of this year, the overhaul is set to cost $600 million and will take place over course of 14 years. Phipps Houses plans to shuffle residents around the complex as each building is demolished and built anew, at which point they will be returned to a new apartment unit, but the plan has left some residents skeptical. Longtime resident Anita Molina, 66, described the news as bittersweet to DNAinfo, saying "the only thing I hear around the neighborhood that people are worried about" is being forced out.
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Stanford White

Building of the Day: Gould Memorial Library
This is the twenty-third in a series of guests posts that feature Archtober Building of the Day tours! Standing on the highest natural point in all of the Bronx, Bronx Community College boasts the building known as architect Stanford White’s shining achievement—the Gould Memorial Library. Inspired by Thomas Jefferson’s University of Virginia Library, the library forms the centerpiece of White’s late-19th-century master plan for the campus, originally the “country” campus of New York University. Preservation architect Lisa Easton, who has worked with Stanford White buildings since 2004, explained that around the turn of the 20th century a campus master plan manifested the vision of higher education’s purpose in a “grand manner.” Listed as a National Historic Landmark, Easton pointed out that the interior of the building is landmarked as well. Tiffany Studios created the library interior. “It’s a jewel in there,” Easton said. In the library’s grand central rotunda, which formed the reading room of the non-circulating library, Connemara marble pillars support the domed roof. The library fell into disuse in 1969 when anti-Vietnam War demonstrators set a fire in the building. Today the stacks surrounding the rotunda are empty of books. In the right light, a look upward just above the glass-floored ambulatory that encircles the rotunda can reveal the Tiffany windows that masked the stacks from view. More than a just a library, the building also houses a downstairs auditorium that can hold upwards of 700 people. Outside and around the back of the building, overlooking the Harlem River, a colonnaded Hall of Fame, the first such built in the United States, contains busts of notable statesmen, scientists, authors, inventors, and other men and women deemed people of “great citizenry.” Today the Gould Memorial Library is a gem of a building without a use. Built with only one means of ingress and egress, current laws limit occupancy of the building to 74 people at one time. “But it’s restorable,” Easton noted, “and that’s important in an age when it’s easier to build something new rather than restore.” She added that grants have been secured from the Getty Foundation Campus Heritage Grants program to fund repairs to the building and bring it up to current code so that new uses can be discovered for this Stanford White masterpiece. About the author: Carol Bartold received the MFA in Writing from Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, New York and a BA with Honors in Music from Mary Washington College in Fredericksburg, Virginia. An accountant by trade, she is the bookkeeper at AIANY|Center for Architecture. As Senior Reporter for, a local news website, she covers municipal government, education, business, and land use. She has sung professionally at Sarah Lawrence College with the Women’s Vocal Ensemble and Chamber Choir, and with the Concordia College Camerata. Her essay “At Full Thrust” was published by Prairie Schooner blog.
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Design and Construction Excellence 2.0

DDC picks 26 firms to design New York's new public buildings
Today the New York City Department of Design and Construction (DDC) announced the latest round of local firms pre-qualified to design public projects in the five boroughs. Through the Design and Construction Excellence 2.0 Program, the 26 firms will have exclusive access to respond to Requests for Proposals (RFPs) through 2019 for projects with an estimated cost of $50 million or less. The program, founded in 2005, is designed to reduce the time it takes for the agency to procure design services: Once selected, firms can submit "mini-proposals" for public buildings, additions and renovations, parks, and plazas that are then evaluated and selected by committee for construction.  The program's recent projects include Snøhetta's Times Square pedestrian plaza, Dattner and WXY's Spring Street Salt Shed, Studio Gang's Brooklyn firehouse and training facility, and BIG's police station in the Bronx. Firms from the last round of the program (2013-2016) worked on 53 DDC projects and billed more than $26 million in design fees. “By promoting quality design, we can improve our city’s long-term resilience and sustainability, enhance access, mobility and public services, and contribute to the unique character and rich culture that make New York special,” said Public Design Commission executive director Justin Garrett Moore, in a statement. “For over a decade, the DDC's Design and Construction Excellence Program has been one of the City's best tools to deliver quality public projects. This new round of DCE 2.0 firms builds on that legacy and reflects the diversity, creativity, and expertise that we need to help build our City and improve the quality of life in neighborhoods throughout our five boroughs.” Nine of the firms selected for this round are owned by women or people of color. In fiscal year 2015, the DDC gave one-third of its contracts—valued at $242 million—to Minority- or Women-owned Business Enterprises (MWBEs), part of the mayor's goal to award 30 percent of all city contracts (in dollars) to MWBEs. This year's list, below, is divided into four categories based on company size, and includes 12 prior participating firms:   Micro firms (1 to 5 professional staff, eligible for projects projected to cost up to $5 million) Small firms (6 to 20 professional staff, eligible for projects projected to cost $2 to $15 million) Medium firms (21 to 50 professional staff, eligible for projects projected to cost $10 to $35 million) Large firms (Over 50 professional staff, eligible for projects projected to cost $25 to $50 million)
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The River Delivers

$40 million expansion of Bronx River Greenway breaks ground
The City of New York is closing a critical gap in the Bronx's longest greenway. The multiphase initiative to extend the Bronx River Greenway, an eight-mile network of parks and trails that runs through the borough and into Westchester County, will target missing links in the park's South Bronx section. At a groundbreaking for the next phases of the greenway last week, city officials detailed plans to restore the Bronx River shoreline, lengthen Starlight Park, and close a large gap in the greenway. The project's first phase will attempt to increase the Bronx's resilience to storms and flooding by naturalizing shorelines now fortified with artificial barriers and restoring wetlands. Phase two will knit existing but unconnected park parcels together, and connect Starlight and Concrete Plant Park with walking paths and bridges: One bridge will cross Amtrak lines at East 172nd Street, and the other will sit over the Bronx River, a southern extension of Starlight Park to Westchester Avenue. “The Bronx River Greenway provides the unique opportunity to walk, jog, run or ride a bike along the only freshwater river in New York City,” said NYC Parks commissioner Mitchell J. Silver in a statement. “Through the collaboration of our partners at the Bronx River Alliance, our elected officials, and community stakeholders, we’ve made a tremendous investment in restoring theBronx River and creating new opportunities for residents in the surrounding neighborhoods. This project will only serve to push forward the goals of our continued efforts.” The project is the result of partnerships between myriad local, state and federal agencies, including the Urban Waters Federal Partnership. Locally, the NYC Department of Design and Construction (DDC) is managing the project for the Parks Department, while New York–based NV5 (formerly the RBA Group) is the design consultant. The project has considerable financial backing. Mayor Bill de Blasio has put $12 million towards phase one, with an additional $4.4 million from the Hurricane Sandy Coastal Resiliency Competitive Grant Program, a federally funded program administered by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. In addition to several under-a-million contributions from local representatives, phase two will be funded by a $10 million TIGER grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation and congressman José E. Serrano's $4 million allocation.
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Well Marbled

Archtober Building of the Day: the Bronx Post Office
This is the eighth in a series of guests posts that feature Archtober Building of the Day tours! Today’s very wet Building of the Day tour brought us up to the Bronx where Jay Valgora, AIA, of Studio V Architecture, described the ongoing construction and design of the Bronx Post Office. The post office was originally constructed in 1937 on the Grand Concourse, a thoroughfare that helped to develop the Bronx into the dense urban area it is today. The post office is, as Valgora told us, classical, yet also modern in its style. The structure occupies an entire city block, its symmetrical entrances are framed with white marble that features very fine, precise edges. Despite its enormous size, only the front lobby was accessible to the public, as the rest of the post office was used for postal functions. When the post office was sold in 2014 and Studio V brought in to give the building new life, Valgora found himself facing numerous challenges from various fronts. Firstly, the building and the interior of the lobby are both New York City landmarks and on the National Register of Historic Places. This meant that he had to work closely with the Landmarks Commission to have every change approved. Additionally, local leaders wanted to ensure that the new building served the needs of the community, which meant keeping a portion of the building as a working post office. Studio V has totally restored the landmarked lobby, with the goal of making it completely accessible to the public once again. Murals painted by Ben Shahn during the Works Progress Administration-era are being restored to their original 1930s brilliance. Studio V plans to build a supermarket in the basement and turn the ground floor into a marketplace for different foodstuffs. Valgora explained that this was important for the area as the post office is in one of New York City’s “food deserts” and the addition of a grocery store will greatly help the local population. The second floor will be classroom spaces for Hostos Community College, located right down the street. The third floor will be turned into small, leasable commercial spaces for small businesses. The local community board and Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr. hope that this space will help in the ongoing resurgence of the Bronx. Studio V plans to add another space on the roof of the post office, which will serve as a restaurant space and open garden. The firm decided to use polycarbonate for this new floor because Valgora did not want the new space to completely imitate the original brick and marble. To that extent, Valgora believes the polycarbonate will serve to complement the original building materials. The restaurant will have glass walls, giving patrons a full view of the Bronx’s skyline. Behind the building, the post office’s original loading dock will serve as the new main entrance to the marketplace on the ground floor. This area is very industrial in character and Studio V decided to use a mesh ceiling in this area as a complement to the original look of this part of the structure. Overall, the Bronx Post Office will integrate itself seamlessly into the area while offering new services crucial for a 21st-century neighborhood. Tomorrow, we venture to the original World Trade Center of New York City: Schermerhorn Row at the South Street Seaport! About the author: Jacob Fredi is the Public Programs and Exhibitions Coordinator at the Center for Architecture. When he’s not on Building of the Day tours, you can find him playing board games (Carcassonne!) and brewing his own beer.
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Caples Jefferson

Archtober Building of the Day: Weeksville Heritage Center
This is the seventh in a series of guests posts that feature Archtober Building of the Day tours! Today’s Building of the Day brought us to the Weeksville Heritage Center for our first Brooklyn building. There, Anita Warren, the director of operations and administration at Weeksville, led us on a tour of the site. From the beginning, Warren made it clear that the design process for Weeksville was a balancing act between old and new, between past and present. James Weeks, a former slave, founded Weeksville in 1831 as a refuge for recently freed slaves living in New York City. The self-sustaining community flourished and eventually grew to 525 families occupying a roughly 30-block area in today’s Crown Heights and Bed-Stuy neighborhoods. The modern structure is LEED Gold certified and was designed by Caples Jefferson Architects to complement the three intact houses that were once a part of Weeksville. To that effect, the building is L-shaped and the inside wall is glass, which allows visitors to see the houses without actually leaving the building. The structure is designed such that the entrance of the building acts as a continuation of Hunterfly Road, the original main street of Weeksville. The height of the building is also quite low so as to not overwhelm the original houses. Caples Jefferson’s design of the modern structure includes many West African design elements, including the fritting pattern on the glass and the cut wood panels in the performance space. The bamboo floors in the performance space are designed to accommodate any events the Center may have, from dance performances to lectures. Warren explained that natural light was very important in the design process, which is why the building is so open and airy. That made designing the main art gallery space a little tricky, but Caples Jefferson accommodated that by installing movable panels in the ceiling that can allow more natural light in or block it, depending on the needs of the exhibition on view. Outside, the landscape, designed by Elizabeth Kennedy Landscape Architect, also compliments the houses and the original purpose of Weeksville. The meadow harkens back to Weeksville’s past—it is neither flowery nor perfectly manicured. Instead, it looks how it might have looked in the 19th century. A bridge connects the modern building to the houses and serves, as Warren mentioned, as a metaphorical and literal bridge between past and present. The houses themselves are curated to show different time periods of Weeksville. In Warren’s own words, they depict “average people doing average things.” Walking through the modern building, the grounds, and the houses, one can’t help but think about the people who originally inhabited Weeksville and how they really truly made it their own. Join us tomorrow as we venture up to the Bronx to visit the Bronx Post Office! About the author: Jacob Fredi is the Public Programs and Exhibitions Coordinator at the Center for Architecture. When he’s not on Building of the Day tours, you can find him playing board games (Five Tribes!) and brewing his own beer.
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Tee Time

Exploring the American Golfscape: Some notable courses across the nation

Golf is historically epicentered at the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews, Fife, Scotland, where the Old Course there dates back to the 15th century. When the sport crossed the pond in the 1700s, some early clubs were formed in New York and Charleston, South Carolina, but it developed more quickly in eastern Canada, where the Royal Montreal Golf Club, founded in 1873, is said to be the oldest surviving golf club in North America. By the 1880s, golf was becoming established by the establishment in the USA, especially at country clubs around New York City and Chicago. National trade associations and tournament organizations formed and set standards for courses and rules for the game. Chief among them is the United States Golf Association, whose membership today includes more than 10,000 of the 17,000 active courses in the country. What follows is a sampling of some of the more historic and otherwise notable golf courses in the USA.

See an online map of the American Golfscape at

Coeur dAlene Resort Golf Course, Coeur dAlene, ID

This course opened in 1991, on the shore of Idaho’s Lake Coeur d’Alene, and is unusual for having one of its greens, the 14th hole, on a floating island, entirely separated from the shore. To finish the hole, golfers get in a wooden boat that shuttles back and forth between a slotted dock on the shore, and on the island. There are a few other resorts on this scenic lake in Northern Idaho, including the Gozzer Ranch Golf and Lake Club, with a course designed by Tom Fazio.

Pacific Dunes, Bandon, OR

The Bandon Dunes Golf Resort is on the southern Oregon coast, a landscape similar to the Scottish coast, where the sport originated. The first course opened in 1999, but it was the second course, Pacific Dunes, designed by Tom Doak, which opened two years later, that really put this place on the golf map. There are now five courses at the resort, which is known for a rustic simplicity, compared to most golf resorts. Though remote, it is a modern classic links-type course destination resort for golfers.

Old Works Golf Course, Anaconda, MT

Some golf courses, especially municipal ones, are built on landfills or other unstable, undevelopable land. The Old Works course, in Anaconda, was built on the site of a copper smelter, the Upper Works plant, which processed ore from the mine at Butte, Montana. After a new smelter opened in town, this old one was idled, abandoned, and ultimately became a superfund waste site. In 1994, after years of planning, ground was broken on a Jack Nicklaus-designed course, themed around the old industrial site. The sand in the bunkers is black slag and old machinery is peppered about.

Sand Hills Golf Club, Mullen, NE

This course opened in 1994 in the rolling sand hills of western Nebraska, a classic links style course, like the shores of Scotland, though landlocked in the middle of the country, and in the middle of “nowhere.” Sited in a bevy of natural grass and sand bunkers, this course was not so much built, as discovered, they say. The course was certainly built though, but at a cost much less than most. The greens here were formed on existing ground, costing just a few hundred dollars each to construct, instead of the elaborately engineered pads, with layers of specialty bedding and drainage, which typically cost around $40,000 to make. This course has become a destination for many golfers, and other courses in the region have been developed since, despite, and because of, its remoteness.

Butler National Country Club, Oak Brook, IL

This course, one of many in the office park suburbs west of Chicago, is notable for being the location where three golfers, including the champion Lee Trevino, were struck by lightning during a public tournament in 1975. Though they all lived, lighting remains a problem for golfers, as well as spectators. The course here is also notable as it surrounds a campus of the McDonalds restaurant company, including its training center known as Hamburger University. The corporate headquarters is across the highway.

Oakland Hills Country Club, Bloomfield Hills, MI

This country club’s southern course is one of the classics in the nation. It opened in 1918, and was redesigned in the late ‘40s by Robert Trent Jones. The club is north of Detroit, and was established by two Ford Motor Company executives. Michigan has more than a thousand golf courses, ranking third, after Florida and California. This is likely due to several factors, including the timing of the growth of the auto industry in the region with the rise in popularity of golf among the executive class.

The Country Club, Brookline, MA

Known simply as The Country Club, this golf course in Boston’s early suburbs is a short streetcar ride from the financial district and downtown. Members of this golf club were influential in establishing the United States Golf Association. The course here started forming in 1893, the same year Frederick Law Olmstead moved his landscape architecture firm into an old farmstead, a few meandering blocks away. Though his influence on golf course architecture is tremendous, he is not known for designing any courses himself.

Muirfield Village Country Club, Dublin, OH

Legendary golfer Jack Nicklaus became an even more legendary golf course designer, developer, and brander. Though he is often, but not always, directly involved in the design, his firm has produced hundreds of courses all over the world, and more than 200 in the USA. Most are part of private housing developments, like this one, north of Columbus, Ohio, Nicklaus’s hometown. He was the original developer of this property, and has worked and reworked this course many times since opening it in 1974.

Van Cortlandt Park Golf Course, New York City, NY

This is generally considered to be the first public golf course in the USA, opening in 1895, in the North Bronx, near Yonkers. You can still take the Number One train from Times Square and play 18 holes for around $35.

National Golf Links of America, Southampton, NY

This is a links-type course designed by C.B MacDonald in 1911, following the early Scottish courses built more simply on sandy bluffs. Compared to more standard courses, this style is a bit more uneven, rustic, and open, generally without trees, and built near the shore. This club is next to the Sebonak Golf Club, and the Shinnecock Hills Golf Club, another links course, and is one of more than a dozen private golf clubs in the Hamptons. 

Pine Valley Golf Club, Clementon, NJ

One of the best loved and toughest courses in the country, Pine Valley was laid out in 1918, and catered to the city of Philadelphia. Early golf courses tended to be constructed where there was sand, such as coastal bluffs, evoking its origins in Scotland, or in this case, in the Pine Barrens of New Jersey. Golf Magazine has called it the best golf course in the world on several recent annual rankings.

Oakmont Country Club, Oakmont, PA

The course at Oakmont, in a suburb east of Pittsburgh, was built in 1903, and is considered a classic in “penal” design, where the course’s 200 bunkers (sand traps) are hard to miss. The Pennsylvania Turnpike also divides the course in half, though no holes span the highway, and high walls keep most stray balls from leaving the course. Two golf cart bridges over the turnpike connect holes two through eight with the rest of the course.

Greenbrier Resort, White Sulphur Springs, WV

Golf courses are typically part of country clubs, municipal parks, housing developments, or resorts. The legendary Greenbrier Hotel in West Virginia is one of the progenitors of resort-style golf, where people come and stay, and play. There are five courses now around the Greenbrier, including Oakhurst Links, which opened in 1892, one of the oldest in the land. It is being integrated into a new housing development owned by the Greenbrier, with a new course designed by three golf legends, Jack Nicklaus, Lee Trevino, and Arnold Palmer. The hotel is also famous for its secret continuity of government bunker, outed in the 1990s, as the place for members of Congress to head to in the event of a nuclear attack on Washington, from which they might emerge presumably, eventually, and play golf.

Seminole Golf Club, North Palm Beach, FL

Considered one of the country’s most exclusive golf clubs, the course at Seminole is on the beach, and was designed by Donald Ross in 1929, but has been severely altered by others since then. Florida has around 1,500 golf courses, more than any other state.

Augusta National Golf Club, Augusta, GA

The home of the annual Masters Tournament, one of the most important events in the sport, this course is considered by some to be the best in the world. Originally constructed in 1933 by Alister MacKenzie and Bobby Jones, the landscaping and features have been tweaked many times since by designers such as Perry Maxwell, Trent Jones, Jack Nicklaus and Tom Fazio. Despite its stature in the sport, and with a membership that includes business leaders such as Warren Buffett, Bill Gates, and Jack Welch, the club did not have any African American members until 1990, and no women until 2012, when former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice became a member.

Pinehurst Resort, Pinehurst, NC

Pinehurst is an old health resort with eight golf courses around it now, including some of the most innovative and highly praised ones. The resort was developed in 1895 by James Walker Tufts of Boston, who hired Frederick Law Olmstead’s firm to lay out the village. The first golf course was built in 1898, but it was the second one, which opened in 1907, that is hailed as one of the finest. It was designed by the Scottish course architect Donald Ross, who was the resident golf pro at Pinehurst, and whose firm designed around 400 courses in the USA in the first half of the 20th century. Pinehurst was also the location of the first miniature golf course in the country, which opened in 1916.

Desert Highlands Golf Club, Scottsdale, AZ

Most of the 420 golf courses in Arizona are private clubs, embedded in desert housing developments in cities in the Phoenix metro region, not unlike this one. Built in 1984, and designed by Jack Nicklaus, Desert Highlands is an example of a target golf-type course, which uses less land and landscaping, thus saving on water and groundskeeping outlays. This course meanders through the housing development with only 80 acres of irrigated landscaping, versus the usual 120 acres or more.

PGA West, La Quinta, CA

The PGA West facility in La Quinta is a stadium course, like the PGA’s Tournament Players Course at Sawgrass, near Jacksonville, Florida. Courses of this type are built to host tournaments, and have stands and contoured slopes on the edge of the course to accommodate more spectators than other types of courses. This is also considered a very difficult course, which limited its tournament use, initially. It is one of a few courses at the La Quinta Resort, an old desert hotel and hacienda getaway that opened in 1926. It is located in the Coachella Valley, a resort belt that extends from Palm Springs to La Quinta, and exceeds even Las Vegas and Phoenix for the most golf-intensive desert landscape in the country, with around 120 golf courses, all within one of the hottest and driest places on the continent.

Torrey Pines, La Jolla, CA

One of the greatest public, municipal courses in the country, Torrey Pines is built on a pine tree studded bluff above the Pacific, in La Jolla, north of San Diego. It opened in 1957 and has two 18 hole courses. There are steep cliffs along its western edge, and behind it some of the most specialized high-tech and biological research facilities in the country, including the Salk Institute, Scripps, and General Atomics.

Shadow Creek Golf Club, Las Vegas, NV

This course in the northern Las Vegas desert was built by the resort magnate Steve Wynn, and designed by Tom Fazio, one of the contemporary leaders in golf course design. Earth was bermed up around the 350-acre site to hide it from view, and a landscape of ponds, waterfalls, fountains, and gardens, including more than 20,000 trees, was created from bare desert ground, costing a reported $60 million to construct. It opened in 1990, and was very exclusive. Two large private homes were also built into the site, surrounded by the course, including one that was owned by Steve Wynn himself. The development has since changed hands and is now owned by MGM. There are close to 100 golf courses now in the Las Vegas region.

Pebble Beach Golf Links, Pebble Beach, CA

This may be one of the best golf courses in the country for scenic beauty and adventure, with nine of its holes on rocky bluffs on the ocean. Also notable because unlike most of the exotic courses in the country, it is not a private club, but is open to the public, albeit at a cost–around $500 for a round. It is not a municipal course, but owned by a private company, the Pebble Beach Company, which owns three other courses on the peninsula (the Links at Spanish Bay, Spyglass Hill, and Del Monte), and three hotels too. Five U.S. Opens have been played here.

Note: This was adapted from the Winter 2016 Center For Land Use Interpretation Newsletter.

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NYC to expand ferry service and bring new landing to Long Island City in 2017
With the Citywide Ferry Service on track to launch next summer, city officials announced last week that a new ferry landing will arrive in Long Island City as part of the first phase of expansion seeking to better connect outer borough residents to Manhattan. Metal Shark and Horizon shipyards have been contracted to build the ferries in Louisiana and Alabama, and they will be operated by Hornblower Inc., a California-based water transit company that’s been operating in New York harbor for nearly 10 years. The initiative was announced early in 2015, spearheaded by New York Economic Development Corporation (NYEDC) and the city government.  Next summer’s expansion will include three new routes, known as the Astoria route, the Rockaway route, and the South Brooklyn route. The Astoria route will connect to Astoria, Roosevelt Island, Long Island City, East 34th Street and Wall Street; the Rockaway route will connect to the Brooklyn Army Terminal and Wall Street; the South Brooklyn route will connect Bay Ridge, Brooklyn Army Terminal, Red Hook, Brooklyn Bridge’s Pier 1 and Pier 6, and Wall Street, with an optional connection to Governor’s Island. In the following year, ferry service will be expanded into the Bronx, with additional landings to be offered on the Lower East Side. The Citywide Ferry Service will carry an estimated 4.6 million passenger trips per year when it is fully operational in 2018. Additional upgrades for Staten Island are currently part of a third, yet-to-be-funded phase of expansion, connecting Coney Island, Stapleton, and lower Manhattan. Each of the new boats will be 85-feet-long, offer free wi-fi, heated decks, and the capacity to carry 150 passengers, with additional room for bicycles, strollers, and wheelchairs. Although Hornblower will charge $2.75 for a one-way ride—the same cost of a subway ride—integration with subway payment systems will be delayed several years, given that the MTA is in the early stages of replacing the MetroCard with new payment technologies, as reported in AM New York. Hornblower has been in New York City since 2007 as the only mode of transportation to Ellis Island and Liberty Island, but the Citywide Ferry Service will be its first commuter operation. It will compete directly with New York Water Taxi, which boasts a fleet of 12 vessels, and has operated for 15 years. “The City is creating a government-subsidized monopoly that will force us out of business, stifle competition, and have tremendous leverage against the City in any future negotiations,” New York Water Taxi executive vice president Peter Ebright told Gothamist back in March. New York Economic Development Corporation (NYEDC) president Maria Torres-Springer responded to the threats by proposing that the city would work to help displaced workers find new jobs in the expanded Citywide Ferry Service network in the event that NYWT goes out of business.
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Madison Square

Rogers Partners unveils design for new Boys & Girls Club in Manhattan
ROGERS PARTNERS Architects+Urban Designers has revealed the design for a new clubhouse for New York's Madison Square Boys & Girls Club. The four-story, 45,000-square-foot clubhouse is designed to appeal to teens, who typically drop out of the program as they age. Located on 155th Street in central Harlem, the club offers after-school activities for youth ages 6 to 18; they can flex their creative muscles with dance, music, visual arts programming, as well as production studios and digital media labs. “We are honored and delighted to create a vibrant new flagship for the Madison Square Boys & Girls Club and the community,” said Rob Rogers, founding principal of Rogers Partners, in a statement. “Our design is conceived to create a place of opportunity, education, and excitement that fosters participation, social interaction, and long-lasting relationships for Madison members of all ages.” Rogers Partners' recent projects include Buckhead Park Over GA400; the revamped Constitution Gardens on the National Mall; and a mixed-use pier in St. Petersburg, Florida. This is the first Boys & Girls Club built in the city since 1970 and is designed as the flagship for the group's five other clubhouses in the Bronx and Brooklyn, which serve more than 5,000 youth annually. In addition to airy dining spaces and quiet rooms for tutoring and reading, the firm designed a 500-square-foot, teens-only "skybox" overlooking the gym for socializing and age-specific activities.
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Community Parks Initiative

Nine more NYC parks slated to be fully rebuilt
It's not just New York City's Anchor Parks that are receiving renewed attention: Earlier this week, the city announced that nine additional parks would be fully renovated as part of the ongoing Community Parks Initiative (CPI). The CPI is $285 million project that was launched in 2014 and aims to improve "historically under-funded parks in densely populated and growing neighborhoods with higher-than-average concentrations of poverty," according to a press release. 60 parks will be rebuilt and 100 more sites will receive "targeted improvements and enhanced programming," such as "new pavements for basketball courts, new plantings, and aesthetic improvements." The CPI—which also features an annual $2.5 million budget for ongoing park maintenance—is also part of the Mayor de Blasio's oneNYC plan, which broadly aims to encourage economic growth, ecological sustainability, and resiliency, all while reducing inequality. “For health, for relaxation, and for happiness, great neighborhoods need the great neighborhood spaces the Community Parks Initiative creates,” said Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver, in a press release. “This is why CPI is not only an investment in parks—it’s an investment in the well-being of millions of New Yorkers for generations to come.” The nine parks to be renovated are: Bronx · Garrison Playground · Playground 174 · Playground 134 · Plimpton Playground Brooklyn · La Guardia Playground · Weeksville Playground Manhattan · Abraham Lincoln Playground · Audubon Playground Queens · Almeda Playground According to the press release, 35 of the inaugural CPI parks have already broken ground on construction. 12 other parks are in the design phase and more sites will be added to the initiative next year.