Posts tagged with "Staten Island":

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Rebuild By Design> SCAPE’s Living Breakwaters Transform Staten Island’s South Shore

In early April, the ten finalists in the Rebuild By Design competition unveiled their proposals to protect the Tri-state region from the next Sandy. And in the near future, a jury will select a winner—or winners—to receive federal funding to pursue their plans. But before that final announcement is made, AN is taking a closer look at each of the final ten proposals. Here’s SCAPE's plan for Staten Island's South Shore. Team SCAPE proposes a series of living breakwaters to protect Staten Island's South Shore, which was absolutely pummeled during Hurricane Sandy. The breakwaters—made partially from oysters—can clean water, reduce storm-surge, provide new habitats, and protect against coastal erosion. The use of oysters would not only protect the South Shore, it would pay homage to the region's history. As Kate Orff of SCAPE noted, the town of Tottenville, which is located in Phase One of her team's project, was once known as "the town the oyster built." This plan would also create a "learning hub" in Tottenville to teach local communities about the benefits of oysters. "This new, layered infrastructure will clean and slow the water, catalyze the regrowth of protected ecosystems, and create an amazing textured environment for marine life, as well as shore-based communities to thrive in," said Orff. The team includes SCAPE/Landscape Architecture with Parsons Brinckerhoff, Dr. Philip Orton / Stevens Institute of Technology, Ocean & Coastal Consultants, SeArc Ecological Consulting, LOT-EK, MTWTF, The Harbor School and Paul Greenberg.
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City Council Gives Staten Island’s New York Wheel the Green Light

It is official. The world's tallest Ferris wheel will rise on Staten Island's waterfront. Today, New York City Council approved the New York Wheel, a mixed-use development project, designed by Perkins Eastman. The project will include a 100,000-square foot Terminal building in addition to retail, restaurants, open space, entertainment, and a 950-parking garage. The structure will implement green design strategies and  feature wind turbines and solar panels. Construction will commence in 2014 and be completed by 2016.

 
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Karlis Rekevic’s Sculpture Celebrates Staten Island’s Architectural History

The more we are accustomed to seeing something the less likely we are to appreciate its beauty. But not Karlis Rekevics, an emerging New York-based artist who creates complex white plaster sculptures that engage with the built environment and capture an often-overlooked urban landscape. Rekevics was selected as this year’s winner of the annual Clare Weiss Emerging Artist Award. Clare Weiss, the former Public Art Curator for Parks, curated over 100 outdoor public art installations throughout the city. After her death in 2010 the Clare Weiss Emerging Artist Award was established to honor her memory. The $10,000 award is granted annually to one emerging artist who practices in a neighborhood typically underserved by public art.   Rekevics was recognized for his All-Too-Familiar-Tangle, a sculpture that was built specifically for Tappen Park and honors the architectural history of  Stapleton, Staten Island, an underdeveloped suburban neighborhood that is a mere twenty five minute ferry ride from Lower Manhattan. In creating the sculpture Rekevics was inspired by the local architectural elements surrounding Tappen Park that people rarely pay attention to. After carefully studying the different architectural forms, or the bones, that make up the suburban borough, like bridge supports, store facades, guardrails, signs, and scaffolding, he built a series of plywood molds and filled them with cast hydrocal (white gypsum cement) on site. Rekevics commented in a statement, “While the sculptures take their starting point from real places, they are more about the way that memory and my improvisational process transforms them into a new place with a physical and metaphorical language.” Rather than take identical cast molds of the forms Rekevics constructs them from memory; the outcome is a fragmented, subjective perception of the original form. Rekevics then "tangles" the imperfect pieces together to form a single sculpture. Park visitors might see All-Too-Familiar Tangle and be reminded of things that they know they've seen but can't quite put their finger on, like the wooden bollards lining the coast near the Staten Island Ferry, the neo-classical limestone columns and rounded portico entryway of the Staten Island Savings Bank on Water Street, and the dormer window details from the park’s historic Village Hall. Rekevic's inventive sculpture is a rare celebration of Staten Island's architectural history. The sculpture will be on view in Tappen Park until June 2014.
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MTA Gears Up to Consider Bike Lanes Across Verazzano Bridge

With the launch of the Citi Bike share program around the corner, New York City's bike advocates are focusing their efforts on the next cycling obstacle: the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge. Harbor Ring, an advocacy project of the Regional Plan Association, is calling for a 50-mile cycling and pedestrian route encircling New York harbor. The group has published a new petition with over 1,000 signatures at press time pushing for the construction of a bike and pedestrian lane across the double-decked suspension bridge, which turns 50 next year. The Brooklyn Daily reported that bike advocates are hoping Governor Cuomo will support the proposal for the new bike path, which would not only connect Brooklyn and Staten Island, but also provide a critical connection for the Harbor Ring. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) has said it will “consider conducting a feasibility study,” but not until 2014 or later. MTA spokesperson Judie Glave told the Daily, "MTA Bridges and Tunnels is considering this issue as part of a future Belt Parkway ramp reconstruction project." This proposal to add a bike path isn't new: A  feasibility study conducted in 1997 by the Department of City Planning revealed that it would be possible to build a bicycle lane without removing any vehicle lanes, but could cost around $26.5 million.
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To Rebuild or Relocate? Cuomo Offers Options

Houses damaged by Hurricane Sandy (Courtesy of David Sundberg) Over the last few months, there's been much talk about rebuilding smarter after Hurricane Sandy to prepare for the next super storm. But one alternative has gone under the radar until today’s State of the State Address when New York Governor Cuomo proposed the Recreate NY-Home Buyout Program that would provide funds to buy out homeowners who wish to sell their properties and relocate elsewhere. Capital New York reported that a resident estimated that 60 percent of his Fox Beach community in Staten Island wants a buyout, and through FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Grant Program, that just might be possible. But for a buyout to happen, it requires a several-step process that would need the “Bloomberg administration to petition the state for grant money.” If Cuomo follows through on his proposal, residents of Fox Beach and other waterfront communities who want to relocate might get their wish. (Photo: David Sundberg/ESTO)
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Sandy Snuffs Out Century Old Lighthouse near Staten Island

Staten Island's Old Orchard Shoals Lighthouse stood as a protective beacon in Sandy Hook Bat for 119 years, but has now been reduced to rubble atop its rocky outcropping after being slammed by Hurricane Sandy. Built in 1893, the cast-iron lighthouse once stood 51 feet tall and had been listed on the National Park Service's Maritime Heritage Program, but had been declared obsolete by the General Service Administration and sold at auction in 2008 for $235,000. The US Coast Guard confirmed this week that the stout structure succumbed to the storm. Light House Friends has more history on the Old Orchard Shoals Lighthouse:
In the late 1800s when winter ice closed down Staten Island Sound, the waterway separating New Jersey from Staten Island, an estimated 15,000 tons of shipping were forced to use the narrow channel that ran along the eastern shore of Staten Island. In doing so, the vessels passed dangerously close to Old Orchard Shoal. A bell buoy and a lighted buoy initially marked this shallow area, but mariners considered these navigational aids grossly inadequate...After $60,000 was approved, construction of the lighthouse was completed in 1893. The new fifty-one-foot, cast-iron tower was cone-shaped, built in the “spark plug” style common among offshore lights in that region.
[Via SI Live and Working Harbor.]
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Welcome to Staten Eye-Land: World’s Tallest Ferris Wheel to Anchor New Waterfront Development

Today, thousands of tourists and New Yorkers make a loop on the Staten Island Ferry between the borough and Manhattan, but as soon as 2016, they will also be able to make a vertical loop on the world's tallest Ferris wheel, anchoring a new mixed-use project on the North Shore waterfront in St. George. Mayor Bloomberg today unveiled plans for Harbor Commons, which includes 350,000 square feet of retail space for 100 outlet mall stores, a 200-room, 120,000 square foot hotel, and a massive green-roofed parking structure, but all eyes were on the project's neighbor; the 625-foot-tall New York Wheel will offer stunning views of New York City and its Harbor to an estimated 4.5 million people per year. The Harbor Commons and New York Wheel developments flank the Richmond County Bank Ballpark, home of the minor league Staten Island Yankees, and rise from the site of two large surface parking lots at the ferry landing. SHoP Architects with Lee Weintraub Landscape Architects designed the $230 million mixed-use outlet mall-entertainment-hotel complex at Harbor Commons to relate to the surrounding Staten Island community while still providing a monumental presence on the waterfront and ferry landing. "At SHoP, we like taking typologies traditionally considered suburban or car-dominated and turning them inside out, making them urban in their experience" said Vishaan Chakrabarti, principal at SHoP. "It's not a mall in the traditional sense." A series of undulating ribbon-like green roof structures are arrayed at Harbor Commons to define three open-air pedestrian corridors through the site. Each ribbon is punctuated by grids skylights where north-south passages connect the corridors. "It's about organizing pedestrian corridors," said Chakrabarti. "We looked to create a contemporary version of an Italian hill town. The great hill towns have interesting spines." Floor plates gradually shift as the site negotiates a 25-foot grade change. Facade treatments and materials are still being determined, but will reflect the industrial waterfront site. Chakrabarti said SHoP is exploring a signage and art program that will enliven the waterfront facade. "As day turns to night, the ribbons' presence on the waterfront is elevated as they start to glow." Chakrabarti said. Whatever the final design, however, it "needs to be respectful of the waterfront." The Ferris wheel on the north side of the ballpark will take the world's tallest title, topping the current title holder, the Singapore Flyer, by 84 feet and dwarfing other iconic wheels like the London Eye which stands just over 440 feet tall. The $250 million wheel will contain 36 football-shaped pods carrying 40 passengers each for the 38 minute ride. The NYC Economic Development Corporation estimated that at peak season the wheel will spin up to 30,000 visitors a day. The New York Wheel's resemblance to its London equivalent is more than passing; it's being designed by Starneth, whose team includes members who built the Eye. "This wheel is a game changer for Staten Island," said Staten Island borough president James Molinaro in a statement. "Going forward, Staten Island will be known as the Borough with the largest wheel in the world." Surrounding the New York Wheel, a 100,000 square foot commercial terminal building designed by Perkins Eastman continues the theme of green ribbon roofs, adding an array of wind turbines and solar panels to generate sustainable energy for what's envisioned as a LEED Platinum facility. The structure will include restaurant, retail, theater, and exhibition space over a nearly 1,000-car parking structure. New York Wheel and BFC Partners will sign a 99-year lease for the two development sites, paying the city $2.5 million per year, and plan to begin construction in early 2014 with an anticipated opening in 2016.
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On View> From Farm to City: Staten Island 1616–2012

From Farm to City: Staten Island 1616–2012 Museum of the City of New York 1220 Fifth Avenue Through January 21, 2013 From Farm to City: Staten Island 1616–2012 explores the history, evolution, and future of New York’s often overlooked fifth borough. The island has served as the city’s breadbasket, a pastoral escape for the city’s elite, an industrial center, an international port, and a toehold for new immigrant communities. Divided into four sections—Farms, Pleasure Grounds, Suburbs, and City—the exhibition examines the major forces that have shaped land use on the island, including the development of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge. The exhibition includes historic photographs, maps, and other ephemera and objects, as well as an online mapping component tracing the chronology of major developments on the island.
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Event>Olmsted on Staten Island: The Rural Laboratory

Frederick Law Olmsted, designer of Central Park, spent nine formative years on a 130-acre farm on the southern shore of Staten Island. Olmsted's involvement in agricultural experimentation and nature conversation allowed him to develop his own thoughts about open space and urban settings. At 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, September 19th join Alan G. Brake, executive editor of The Architect's Newspaper, at the Museum of the City of New York as he moderates a discussion exploring how Olmsted's time on Staten Island influenced the field of American landscape architecture and the timeless parks he designed for the city. Included on the panel will be Ryan J. Carey, co-curator of From Farm to City; Tatiana Choulika, Associate Partner at James Corner Field Operations; and Gus Jones, Snug Harbor Heritage Farm Manager. The panel is also in conjunction with the museum's exhibition From Farm to City: Staten Island, 1661-2012. 
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City Bringing Culture to St. George Ferry Terminal

The New York City Economic Development Corporation has announced a Request for Proposals (RFP) for the lease and operation of a cultural facility adjacent the St. George Ferry Terminal on Staten Island. Building 11, one of several buildings that housed the Coast Guard’s lighthouse operations from 1836 to 1966, was recently renovated by the city as part of a campaign to revitalize Staten Island’s North Shore waterfront. The RFP calls for a tenant who will provide “cultural programming in the form of a museum, exhibition, gallery, performance space, or community facility” in hope of attracting some of the 2 million tourists who ride the ferry each year to visit the Island’s cultural attractions (rather than jumping onto the next ferry back to Manhattan). An initial lease of one and a half years will be offered to the winning proposal with renewal options for up to four years. The EDC will offer temporary programming during the RFP process. Council Member Debi Rose wrote in a statement, “This formerly underutilized gem will now serve as a draw to bring people off the ferry and also provide an opportunity for all of our cultural groups to showcase their work.” In 2005, the NYCEDC sought to develop retail and housing in the area surrounding the Coast Guard buildings, citing the National Lighthouse Museum as a future tenant of Buildings 10 and 11. Plans for the Museum stalled due to fundraising issues. The mixed-use development, Lighthouse Point, was approved by the city early this year and will include 45,000 square feet of retail space and 172 residences. The National Lighthouse Museum plans to submit a proposal for Building 11.
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Not a Bridge too Fair

Ever since the tragic collapse of the I-35 bridge in Minneapolis in 2007, politicians and public authorities nationwide have been scrambling to get theirs up to code. New bridges, or at least proposals for them, abound, some nice, some not so much. Fortunately, the Port Authority appears committed to a high-design bridge. The authority released a request for information [PDF] this week, a precursor to an RFQ. The Observer picked up on the PA's interest in building the thing with a public-private partnership, an approach with a mix of benefits—no upfront costs—and risks—less control or long-term revenue. But what is promising, nonetheless, is the PA's commitment to constructing what could be called a statement bridge. It's a pretty strong commitment, especially for an agency with an uneven track record—consider the World Trade Center, JFK, and the loathsome bus terminal. The design requirements, along with these handy renderings, are put thusly in the RFI:
The appearance of the structure is of great importance to the Authority, and the illustrative design has been subject to considerable attention as regards visually significant elements such as pier shape and cable layout. However, the “illustrative design” has been presented at public meetings with the proviso that it may be subject to amendment. The Authority is developing aesthetic requirements to clearly define unacceptable solutions (e.g. “smokestack” pylon design) and help Proposers determine the range of design solutions that may be acceptable. Aesthetic guidelines will cover overall form and function and matters such as edge detailing and finishes that are not yet reflected in the Authority’s “illustrative design. The Authority expects to assign some weight to a DBFM [design, build, finance and maintain] Company’s “visual management plan” which would provide detailed commitments on how aesthetic quality would be taken into account in the detailed design.
While we're still trying to figure out what a "smokestack pylon" is, that there are unacceptable designs is at the very least a promising sign, as there will be no race to the bottom, an especially risky proposition with public projects. The prioritization of pedestrian and bicycle access as well as room for a future transit component running down the middle is a nice touch. Granted, such design guidelines are probably a necessity given that the PA will be giving up some control over the project as a result of its undertaking a public-private partnership. Still, given that this may be the new normal, at least for the time being, as the PA continues to commit more money and time at Ground Zero, it's good to see the agency taking a smart, aesthetically driven approach, one that will hopefully persist on sister projects.