On a recent walk down Broadway near the AN offices in Lower Manhattan I was handed a flyer by The Granny Peace Brigade who were protesting in front of a building where several New York City Council Members have offices. The flyer claims in bold letters "High Tech Stop and Frisk: Domestic Drones Coming to Your Neighborhood?" It had an image of a LEAPP Drone made by Brooklyn Navy Yard–based Atair Aerospace who claim their powered paraglider "is a slow-flying, long endurance powered paraglider UAV [Unarmed Aerial Vehicle] platform that is used for ISR [Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance] and distributive operations payload delivery missions," but that the Brigade believes could be used to monitor for loitering. The Granny's claim "Predator drones assassinate people designated as terrorists, who have never been lawfully charged nor tried. And there is a grave danger that drones will come home." They are asking the New York City Council to declare the city a "No Drone Zone," and for the public to write their City Council representative and ask them sponsor such a resolution. Given New York's controversial stop and frisk policy it is not too early to be concerned with this drone threat. It does seem inevitable that if this technology is used but the U.S. military it will someday come home to local police forces.
Posts tagged with "Brooklyn Navy Yard":
New York entrepreneur Baldev Duggal and Studios GO architect Gregory Okshteyn have brought new life to an old building in Brooklyn’s Navy Yard. The 100,000-square-foot, eco-friendly project called the Duggal Greenhouse was once a deserted, asbestos-stricken eyesore. Now it's a state-of-the-art venue where Duggal Visual Solutions tests and manufactures an assortment of green products. The $10 million retrofit of Duggal Greenhouse preserved the existing structure, while fully modernized it. Duggal Greenhouse is the hub of Duggal Energy Solutions, a corporation dedicated to resolving global electricity, water, and agriculture problems. Duggal first began researching energy, since the green initiatives he cared most about require power. Lumi Solair, the company’s first product, is an off-grid, solar-powered streetlight. More than 50 of these lamps are installed in the Navy Yard. Lumi Solair is also installed on the Atlantic City boardwalk, where it was the only streetlamp to continue functioning through Hurricane Sandy last year. With a backyard that opens up to a riverside terrace with scenic Manhattan views, the Greenhouse is not only open for business schemes. Heineken held a 1,300-person celebration in the building to launch a new bottle, and Beyonce has rehearsed in the space. Duggal’s Navy Yard venture began over a decade ago with a single 10,000-square-foot space. Now, he owns 10 times the space across seven buildings. Duggal plans to obtain an additional property neighboring the Greenhouse, where he wants to build a cafe, eco-lounge, and urban farm on the roof. The Navy Yard played an active part in helping Duggal grow. CEO Andrew Kimball, whose group contributed $500,000 to the Greenhouse and saved more than $600,000 by utilizing Lumi lamps, has called him a creative genius.
With the arrival of the Citi Bike share program just around the corner, and the Regional Planning Association’s Harbor Ring proposal gaining momentum, New York’s cycling community can now set its sights on the Brooklyn Greenway. The proposed 14 miles of bike lanes running from Bay Ridge to Greenpoint aim to provide a safe route for cyclists and pedestrians wishing to cross the borough. As Gothamist reported, the New York City Department of Transportation (NYCDOT) is preparing to begin construction on three more sections of the path, in Red Hook, Greenpoint, and the Brooklyn Navy Yard. In Red Hook, a connection is set to be forged between Columbia Street and Louis Valentino Jr. Park, with added bike lanes on Van Brunt, Imlay, Conover, and Ferris Streets. (See greenway map here.) TNYCDOT is ready to begin construction on the $12.5 million project this summer. Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal reported bike lanes have been approved along West Street in Greenpoint, while existing routes are set to be widened along Flushing Avenue by the Brooklyn Navy Yards. With a cost of $10 and $8 million respectively, these two projects are slated for completion in 2014.
The Brooklyn Navy Yard has emerged as one of those rare, post-industrial-era success stories. The former shipyard, which closed in 1966, is now home to a mix of industries such as construction, cleantech, metal fabrication, film production, design, contracting, and even urban agriculture. The Wall Street Journal reported that the non-profit Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corp. will soon announce an $80 million renovation of Building 77, a monolithic concrete former ammunition depot and the largest structure on the 300-acre park. Jack Basch plans on relocating his company, Shiel Medical Laboratory, from one building on the yard into Building 77. He will occupy 240,000-square-feet of space, and then rent out 180,000-square-feet to companies in his industry. Basch expects this move will allow him to add up to 400 jobs. Renovation of the 16-story tower, which has been vacant for half a century, is expected to present unique challenges, including boring through 2-foot-thick concrete walls to add new windows. This continued investment in the Navy Yard might be well worth it. According to a study by the Pratt Center, the “Navy Yard generates $2 billion in economic output and sustains 10,000 jobs and $390 million in earnings each year.”
At Tuesday's groundbreaking of B2, the first 32-story residential tower to be built at Atlantic Yards in Brooklyn, New Yorkers got a sneak peek at how the world’s tallest modular building will be constructed. Just beyond the podium stood what officials call the “chassis,” a steel framed box that makes up an essential structural element of the building. “You don’t need to compromise on design when it comes to modular,” said Developer Bruce Ratner. Located on the corner of Dean Street and Flatbush Avenue, the SHoP Architects-designed tower will rise above the Barclay Center, also designed by SHoP, and offer 363 units split evenly between affordable housing and market rate units. Ratner told the audience that the affordable units at Atlantic Yards will be equipped with the exact same appliances and amenities as the market rate apartments: “You will not know an affordable unit from a market rate unit.” The bulk of the construction of the modular components will happen in a 100,000 square-foot space at the Brooklyn Navy Yard with the help of 125 unionized workers, which MaryAnne Gilmartin, executive vice president of commercial and residential development at Forest City Ratner, said would help in the “reduction of traffic, dust, and waste” and Mayor Bloomberg hailed as “cheaper and less disruptive.” B2 is just the first of more than a dozen residential buildings to come.
After the sad news back in August that New York City's already-delayed bike share system—Citibike—would be delayed until the spring of 2013, we'd almost forgotten about the thousands of bright blue bikes that have been in storage at the Brooklyn Navy Yard while computer glitches are worked out. The apparently-cursed bike share system is back in the news, however, as the New York Times reports that some of the equipment was damaged during Hurricane Sandy when the East River inundated waterfront Brooklyn. Floodwaters up to six feet deep apparently damaged program equipment including the docking stations, but the NYC Department of Transportation would not comment on the extent of the damage or whether it would cause further delays in launching the system. DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan told the Times, "We're working on it." Some believe the electronic design of the docking stations could make them especially vulnerable to flooding.
Brooklyn Navy Yard and Steiner Studios have come up with a gigantic plan for a media hub to be spread across 50 acres of the former ship yard. According to the New York Times, the $400 million project depends on an influx of $35 million from the state and $2.5 million from the federal government to build out water, sewers, and electric infrastructure. Navy Yard CEO AndrewKimball gave a pointed shout out to the governor and mayor in the Times piece, indicating yet another project making a mad dash to get on the boards before Mayor Bloomberg's tenure comes to an end in 2013. Though the Navy Yard lost out on its bid to be the locale for the city's new tech campus that ended up on Roosevelt Island, it does occupy an all-important corner to the Brooklyn Tech Triangle, where nearly 10,000 people work in that sector.
Urban rooftop farming is on the up-and-up in New York City and across the country. Putting his official stamp of approval on the movement, New York Mayor Bloomberg stopped by the city's largest rooftop farm, the 43,000-square-foot Brooklyn Grange atop a building in the Brooklyn Navy Yard. With the growing season in full swing, the plants were towering nearly as high as the Manhattan skyline in the distance. The new facility is the second site for Brooklyn Grange, a commercial farming operation that also operates a rooftop in Long Island City, Queens. The new farm was awarded nearly $600,000 from the Department of Environmental Protection's Green Infrastructure Grant Program, the largest project in the program to date, as it's expected to help defer stormwater runoff and improve water quality. In fact, it's expected that the farm will store more than one million gallons of rainwater every year. That will help keep the city's sewer system from being overwhelmed during storms, which causes combined sewer overflow (CSO) sending sewage directly into New York Harbor. “It’s no news that a tree grows in Brooklyn, and now we’re ready to harvest cucumbers, eggplant, lettuce and kale,” Mayor Bloomberg said in a statement. “Along fresh produce and new jobs, the city’s largest rooftop garden will absorb more than a million gallons of storm water and help keep our harbors and streams clean. This is one of the biggest projects we’ve funded as part of our Green Infrastructure program and will help us meet our PlaNYC goals for a greener, greater New York.” The farm will grow salad greens, chard, kale, basil, eggplant, cucumbers, and ground cherries, and Brooklyn Grange hopes to harvest around 20,000 pounds of produce a year.
Mission: Small Business, Chase bank's new program to promote new small businesses allows residents to vote for their local small businesses to be considered for a hefty $250,000 grant. Among the countless entries for the program, Brooklyn-based dlandstudio's proposal for a new plastics recycling center at the Brooklyn Navy Yard has already received 200 votes. Founded by Susannah Drake in 2005, dlandstudio has long been concerned with sustainability and the environment including a proposal for a Sponge Park along the Gowanus Canal with a permeable landscape to capture stormwater runoff and other industrial waste discharged by flooded pipes in the low-lying neighborhood. This green infrastructure alternative to costly pipes was approved by New York City's Design Commission in January. The new recycling center will accept local plastic waste to be repurposed for new green infrastructure systems similar to the Sponge Park that could be be implemented in Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx. The proposition is expected to enhance manufacturing, create new jobs, and manage significant waste streams. If appointed, proceeds from the Mission: Small Business grant will be used for research and execution of the project.
The Brooklyn Navy Yard is home to New York's most spectacular collection of industrial buildings, warehouses, and 19th century dry docks. The Yard is normally closed to the public, but this Saturday Open House New York will open the gated industrial park to the public and many of its artisans, designers, and fabricators will be on hand to conduct tours of their studio spaces. The Navy Yard has just opened Building 92 with a spectacular museum of the facility's history and an adjacent exhibition space featuring an exhibit of the collected steel dies (called hubs) of Mathew Lewandowski who was tool and die maker based in the Yard. The hubs on display represent 30 years of Lewandowski's production and are beautiful objects in their own right as well as being tools for mass production. This Saturday is supposed to be beautiful weather so join Open House for a day in the Yard and its after party with the artists and artisans on the tour.
In a city known for specialized districts—diamonds, finance and garments to name only three—the Brooklyn Navy Yard is perhaps the most unique. The "Yard" is home to nearly 170 design related businesses like industrial designers, fabricators, artists, and architects and as a former ship building facility it is gated and closed to the public. But on May 12 Open House New York will open the former navy facility to the public from 12:00 to 5:00 p.m. and may of these creative studios and work spaces will open their studios for self guided tours. It will be an amazing day and AN will publish a full list of participating studios later in the week, but contact Open House to purchase a ticket for the tour which includes a drinks party at the Yard's new Building 92.
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The Building 92 museum's new gates were inspired by a history of manufacturingLast week, the Brooklyn Navy Yard threw open its doors to the public for the first time in more than two centuries. With the opening of its new BLDG 92, designed by Beyer Blinder Belle in collaboration with workshop/apd, the Yard welcomed community members to the new 24,000-square-foot exhibition space and visitors’ center. From their first view of the building’s south-facing forecourt, visitors will be inspired to learn about the area’s industrial past by an operable gate made by Ferra Designs, an architectural metal fabricator that calls the Navy Yard home. “The philosophy behind the Brooklyn Navy Yards in general is embracing manufacturing and supporting manufacturing,” said Rob Ferraroni, Ferra’s founder. Having worked with workshop in the past, the company was brought in early on to realize the design team’s vision of a steel gate with perforations abstracted from historical images. The idea is an extension of BLDG 92’s solar screen, whose perforated design was taken from a photograph of the 1936 launch of USS Brooklyn from the Brooklyn Navy Yard. (The screen was fabricated and installed by FMB last year.) After receiving pixelated photo files from workshop/apd, Ferra used SolidWorks to modify the artwork and translate the images into files for the shop’s Flow waterjet cutting equipment. Artwork was scaled to fit each panel, and perforations were considered carefully: “If all of the cutouts were too close the gate would be very flimsy,” said Ferraroni. Artistic considerations aside, the fence must withstand wind loads and other stresses that a street-level structure might face. The largest panels were larger than Ferra’s 12-foot waterjet bed, so the team developed a technique to cut one side then flip the panel and recalibrate the machine to cut the rest of the pattern seamlessly. The 32-day waterjet cutting process was monitored closely to ensure the steel panel remained flat on the bed—if it were to tilt and collide with the cutting tip, the machine would have to undergo an hours-long recalibration process. Ferra also built the gate’s custom hardware. Doors are coplanar when closed, but slide open on casters guided by Cor-Ten steel plates set into the courtyard’s pavers. The weathering steel is a nod to another of Ferra’s contributions to the site, a set of custom hull-shaped bike racks that are ready to welcome new visitors as well.