All posts in East
The Appellate Division ruled unanimously in May in favor of the use of eminent domain because of the public benefits associated with Atlantic Yards. We’re confident that the Court of Appeals will come to the same conclusion. We are moving forward aggressively following last week’s approval by the MTA and authorization by the Empire State Development Corporation. We intend to be in construction before the end of the year.What he failed to mention but what the Observer astutely, uh, observed was that the decision to hear the case in October was in contravention of a request from the state's attorneys to hear the case no later than September 9. This could be seen as yet another attempt by the state to accomodate the developer's very tight timeline for financing and construction, something that has been an acute complaint for opponents. Whether or not it means greater sympathy from the court, who knows, though it is also a welcome sign of judicial independence. As we noted above, litigation, while often unsuccessful, has been at the heart of opponents' efforts to stall, and thereby derail, Ratner's project. In fact, the deals reached last week will tentatively be rescinded if Ratner cannot secure financing by March 31, 2010, be it tax-exempt or otherwise. Depending on whom you ask, DDDB and company were given a decisive rebuff by the state appellate court's unanimous dismissal of the eminent domain case back on May 15 or a more apologetic there's-nothin'-we-can-do rejection. This may still be the case, but again it may not matter. As the dogged Norman Oder put it a thorough post on his Atlantic Yards Report: "At the very least, the appeal delays Forest City Ratner's announced plans to begin construction by October and severely narrows--but does not close--the window of opportunity to have crucial tax-exempt bonds issued by the end of the year." He also recounts the constitutional issues raised by the lower court's decisions that could lead to a different outcome at the Court of Appeals, which he had previously expounded upon when the state first asked the court to allow its "slum clearance" program to go forward earlier this month.
- Staten Island
In 1901, White, a famous playboy, began liaisons with actress and model Evelyn Nesbit, who was 16 at the time. White was a partner at the prestigious firm McKim, Meade [sic] and White, where he designed iconic New York City structures such as the Washington Square Arch and the New York Herald Building. White and Nesbit would rendezvous at the four-story building at 22 West 24th Street. They carried on the affair for years, fueling the rage of Nesbit's husband, millionaire Harry Thaw, who fatally shot White during a musical in the architect's own creation, Madison Square Garden, in 1906.And to think all these years we'd assumed he was famous simply for being part of that incomprable Beaux Arts trio. And mustache. Funny how history has a way of coming around, though. We guess some buildings are just cursed. (via Curbed)
Sponsored by The Object Design League and curated by The Mighty Bearcats, a design collective started in 2006 by Bryan Metzdorf, Steve Haulenbeek, and Jason Chernak, the show takes its cue, according to Chernak, from their intrigue with reports of the “lipstick effect,” the recession phenomenon of people buying small things that offer a sense of luxury under financial constraint.
As the show’s subtitle suggests, there’s a departure here from the material interpretation of “the everyday”—where common materials are recontextualized, as has been popular both in a post-Droog era and amid conversations about sustainability—and an attention to objects that bring levity to rote, quotidian activities.Greg Bethel designed a soft rubber water-bottle cap in the shape of a faucet handle, evoking both the humorous connotation of water bottles as portable spigot, and the historical collision of current habits with archetypical models. The Teton Blanket, by Mighty Bearcat member Metzdorf, turns an unmade bed into a sculptural statement: Fabric reinforced with Pelon, typically used for shirt cuffs and collars, creates a composed topography no matter how casually the blanket is cast aside. And with Materious’ oversized ceiling-mounted tassel, the MASTER SWITCH, pulling the tassel sends radio signals to nearby power outlets, turning on whatever appliances are plugged in, lending theatrical flair to one’s sense of household command. The piece that most directly touches on the show’s economic underpinnings is Garrett Smith’s Trickle Down, a basic vacuum-formed plastic container meant to filter out the change from the other detritus left in your pocket at the end of the day. While many of the show’s inclusions intervene in domestic space, one of its standout pieces is also the only nod to the presence object designers could have in territory more typically defined by architects and urban planners: Michael Savona’s Goose Cones playfully reconfigures orange construction cones as a line of crossing geese. The Promise of This Moment, a phrase taken from President Obama’s first speech on the economy, clearly aligns with the curators’ vision for the exhibition, but also suggests something about the overarching mood of the Chicago designers involved. Coproduced by the Object Design League (ODL), an initiative launched this spring by Caroline Linder and Lisa Smith, two recent graduates of the Design Objects masters program at the School of the Art Institute, this show is ODL’s first foray into exhibition programming. According to Smith, ODL aims to “become a resource for independent designers,” and if the response in membership and event attendance they’ve seen in just a few short months is any indication, this show will be the first of more to come.
Both the ODL and a number of the designers included in The Promise of This Moment made an appearance in another satellite event Tuesday night called the Guerrilla Furniture and Art Truck Show. It was the biggest turnout in the event’s five-year history, with 28 designers showing their work from the back of U-Haul trucks parked for a few hours near Morlen Sinoway’s design shop in the Fulton Market. Despite periodic sheets of rain, intrepid design connoisseurs came out in good numbers to see what Sinoway, the event’s founder, described as “something formed out of the necessity for young designers to have the opportunity to show.”
The Object Design League, perhaps because it functions more as a platform for designers than a venue for production, decided to forego a truck altogether, and find a way, as Smith described, “to be a spatial presence.” Using their logo as a base, ODL members Thom Moran, Eric Rosenbaum, and Mingli Chang built an inflatable, inhabitable, spherical polygon, nearly 10 feet in diameter, from little more than Tyvek and duct tape. Inside, the atmosphere was something like teepee meets geodesic dome on a construction site. As for the origin of the logo? “We wanted something generic that could come to mean something through community and history,” said Moran.
There’s a resonance between these two events that hints at how that community and history is poised to take shape: through curiosity, humor, and commitment to design.
Check out The Promise of This Moment through June 22, by appointment at 312-560-1532.
Just two years ago, developer Forest City Ratner was insisting Gehry would design each and every one of the 16 towers that surrounded the arena. Gehry had dubbed one of them Miss Brooklyn. But two sources close to the project say now the developer is not planning to use Gehry any more, citing costs, the architect's lack of interest and the complications of meshing different architectural styles in a small space. A spokesman for Forest City Ratner said Gehry is still "involved" in the project but did not answer specific questions. The developer says it plans to break ground on the arena this fall, and the first residential building six months later.While this is unsurprising news, it highlights just how challenging the project will be going forward, from the prospective of design, and also reaffirms a frequent criticism of Ratner's project, that the developer has no interest in building anything but the arena. Sure, it could be done, but at what (additional) cost?