As AN recently reported, a fire that destroyed a warehouse in Williamsburg, Brooklyn has rekindled questions about a long-promised waterfront park. Back in 2005, Michael Bloomberg rezoned much of Williamsburg and Greenpoint leading to a surge in glassy towers. With those towers was supposed to come Bushwick Inlet Park, a 28-acre green space along the East River. But in the decade since, only parts of the park have been completed. That is partly because when the city rezoned the waterfront, it didn't purchase the 11-acre Citistorage property that sits in the middle of the planned park. Now, with one of the warehouses destroyed, local residents and elected officials are urging the de Blasio administration to finally acquire the lot and deliver more green space. But with the property reportedly valued between $75 million and $100 million, the de Blasio administration says it has no plans to do so. In spite of that, over the weekend protesters used "light graffiti" to urge the administration to change course. Gothamist reported that images were projected on the side of a storage facility next to the charred site that read: "The city mapped it, designed it, and promised it and we need it more than ever," "Hey de Blasio Where's Our Park?" and "This Right Here is Supposed to be a Park." There were also details displayed about an upcoming rally planned outside City Hall on Thursday. The event in Williamsburg brings us back to 2011 when Occupy Wall Street protesters projected so-called "bat signals" on the side of the Verizon Building next to the Brooklyn Bridge.
Posts tagged with "Brooklyn":
Overcrowding on New York City subway trains is becoming a major problem for commuters. According to new data from the MTA, there were 14,843 weekday delays caused by overcrowding in December alone. The New York Post found that the number is up 113 percent from the same period a year ago. Fixing the overcrowding will not be easy for the MTA as it is trying to accommodate record ridership and still dealing with damage from Superstorm Sandy.
As AN has been reporting for a while now, it's all systems go for the long-stalled Domino Sugar Factory redevelopment on the Brooklyn waterfront. Crews have been demolishing old structures on the site for months, and today we got word that the developer, Two Trees, is breaking ground on the massive project's first residential building: a 16-story, 500-unit rental building designed by SHoP, which is designing the entire project. In a press release, the developer noted that "approximately 105" of the 500 units will be designated as affordable. With news of the groundbreaking also comes a new rendering of the building that gives us a better sense of its design. While its overall form appears to be roughly the same, with terraces that create a cascading effect, its materials have clearly changed. Atop a masonry podium, SHoP said the building will be clad in industrial materials like zinc and copper. The building is slated to be completed in 2017. Two Trees also announced that it's starting to repair the site's waterfront pier to accommodate an upcoming 5-plus acre public park designed by James Corner Field Operations. This prep work is expected to take between 12 and 18 months.
If the address 56 Bogart in Brooklyn means nothing to you then you're missing the center of the art world in New York City in 2015. Forget about Chelsea and the Bowery, Bushwick and East Williamsburg are the most exciting exhibition outposts in the city and maybe in the country. It's Soho 40 years ago as any Saturday afternoon stroll along Bogart Street will make clear with its cafes, bars, restaurants and working artists lofts on every block. The 56 Bogart gallery Black and White, for example, was founded in New York in 2002. Its mandate is to cultivate "promising artists in the initial and more advanced phases of their careers." The gallery started in an industrial ground-floor space in Brooklyn and from 2006 to 2010 had two locations—Williamsburg and Chelsea. In 2010 the Chelsea gallery closed and not-for-profit Black & White Project Space was established in Brooklyn. Now after a two-year hiatus, the Project Space is at 56 Bogart Street and the first show in its new space, Henry Khudyakov Final Brain Storm, is a survey of the Russian-born, 85-year-old artist and poet's nearly forty year career in the United States. That's unique and ambitious for a small gallery like Black and White. The gallery is a perfect place to spend a Saturday afternoon.
In our recent story about the current development surge happening in and around Dumbo, we touched on the controversy surrounding the Pierhouse—an under-construction hotel and condo complex next to the Brooklyn Bridge. The Marvel Architects–designed building, which will help cover Brooklyn Bridge Park's maintenance costs, has riled up local residents who say it is blocking their views of the iconic bridge. The Pierhouse was expected to top out at 100 feet, but was pushed about 30 feet higher due to a bulkhead. The Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation (BBPC) maintains that the building's design is exactly what was presented to the community in 2013. But facing growing criticism, the BBPC went ahead and asked the site's developer to double-check that the building fully complied with the Brooklyn Heights Scenic View District. So at the end of January, the Department of Buildings filed a stop work order at the site so everything could be evaluated. Now, a few weeks later, work is expected to pick back up at the Pierhouse, but with a few concessions in regards to height. A spokesperson for the project told the website New York YIMBY that two parapet walls will be removed and the building will be lowered by 1.5 feet.
Hillary Clinton will not be named the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, as Mayor Bill de Blasio had hoped. No, that will likely happen at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, as the Democratic National Committee has announced that the City of Brotherly Love will host its 2016 national convention. The expected anointing of Hillary will happen during the week of July 25, just days after the Republicans meet in Cleveland, Ohio to nominate—who knows—Jeb Bush? Clinton versus Bush. What a world.
Snøhetta, the Norwegian firm known for big, dramatic buildings around the globe, has completed a more modest project in Gowanus, Brooklyn: the conversion of a warehouse into a studio and gallery space for José Parlá, a Cuban-American artist and painter. The new space is separated into two defined spaces known as the “Arena” and the “Nest.” The “Arena” is where Parlá can showcase his work, like the mural ONE: Union of the Senses, which is now on display in the lobby of One World Trade Center. And as for the “Nest,” Snøhetta describes that as “a cozy mezzanine [that] provides a relaxing space for the artist to take distance from his work, and an elevated location to view his paintings from a new perspective.” Artists, right? Snøhetta's renovation retains much of the building's industrial past, including its ceilings and concrete floors; the building's brick exterior has largely been preserved as well, but now includes rolling doors to accommodate large pieces of art. Inside, walls are painted grey to highlight the artist's work and old skylights have been opened up to increase natural light.
We might be in the thick of winter, but planning is already underway for the third annual NYCxDESIGN coming up in the Spring. On Thursday morning, organizers—NYC & Company and the NYC Economic Development Corporation—invited members of the design community, fittingly, to the newly opened and revamped Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum to kick off the week-long, citywide design festivities taking place May 8–19. The program offers a platform to more than 40,000 designers and 3,900 design firms practicing in the city to showcase their work. Over the course of 12 days, a variety of exhibitions, installations, panel discussions, and open studios will be held in venues throughout Manhattan and Brooklyn. Six returning events anchor the program, including: BKLYN DESIGNS (May 8–10), WantedDesign Brooklyn (May 1–19), Collective Design (May 13–17), Frieze Art Fair (May 14–17), WantedDesign Manhattan (May 15–18), and ICFF (May 16–19). The opening night of BKLYN Designs will be the official launch of NYCxDESIGN. If last year's impressive turnout of 2,000-plus listings at 181 venues is telling, then May 2015 will be a busy one for those in the design sector.
The de Blasio Administration has unveiled new details for one of the most significant pieces of its ambitious affordable housing plan: the rezoning of Brooklyn’s East New York neighborhood. As New York YIMBY reported, the administration announced that it would “upzone” a stretch of Atlantic Avenue to create what it calls a “growth corridor” that could accommodate residential development up to 12 stories. Moderate density development for surrounding blocks is proposed to support “affordable and mixed-income housing, retail, businesses, and community facilities near transit.” On smaller-scale side streets, the administration hopes to preserve the neighborhood’s existing character by continuing to allow “low scale duplexes, single-family homes and rowhouses.”
Last fall, AN had the pleasure of touring the historic Kings Theatre in Flatbush, Brooklyn in the midst of it is meticulous restoration by the Washington, D.C.–based Martinez+Johnson. The grand theatre, with its ornate detailing and 2,000-pound chandeliers, opened in 1929 with all the flair and flourish of Versailles. For nearly 50 years, the theatre—the biggest in Brooklyn—hosted vaudeville acts and films inside a grand auditorium that could seat over 3,000. But the grand spectacle of the Kings Theatre didn’t last forever—the space shuttered in 1977 and spent the next four decades in decay. That theater, though, wasn't destined to remain dark forever. In 2012, the city set out to restore the theater's greatness with a $95 million renovation. After two years, that work is complete and all we can say is: Wow. If you live in or near New York City, you can see the Kings Theatre for yourself at an open house on February 7th. Or you could buy tickets to see Diana Ross on February 3rd.
DUMBO's enormous Empire Stores warehouses are going to be very "Brooklyn," and here are the new renderings to prove it
When AN visited the under-construction Empire Stores in Dumbo last fall, we were told that the conversion of the 19th century coffee warehouses into a 500,000-square-foot office and retail complex would be completed in just about a year’s time. “Year, sure it will,” we thought as we walked around the window-less, floor-less space that had no semblance of its planned rooftop park. Well, jump ahead a few months and it looks like our skepticism was misplaced. Crain’s New York reported that things are moving ahead right on schedule over in Dumbo. The development team expects to wrap up construction on the Studio V–designed complex in six months, and the project's glossy new website said office space will be deliverable in the fall. With the planned opening comes a marketing campaign (with new renderings!) aimed at enticing tech companies to the Brooklyn waterfront. Lest any prospective tenants think the complex isn’t cool enough, or perhaps "Brooklyn" enough, the leasing team is sending out “handsome coffee-table books detailing the project” paired with some Brooklyn-distilled whiskey. As AN reported last fall, Studio V is adding a glass and steel addition onto the old warehouses and cutting a striking, open-air courtyard through the complex's center. The team is also refurbishing much of the warehouse’s original elements like its masonry and schist walls and yellow pine beams. [h/t Brownstoner]
We know, we know, we know—the internet is being overrun with drone-photographed, time-lapse videos of cities and ruins. They are like cat videos, or BuzzFeed quizzes, or thought-pieces on Hillary Clinton's ground game in 2016: they're everywhere and they're unavoidable. But sometimes they're pretty great. This five-minute video by Victor Chu is called “Ultimate Aerial Video of NYC!," and, well, yeah, it kind of is! The video starts with a quote from (who else?) F. Scott Fitzgerald and then finds its way through the five boroughs with the help of an agile drone. Some architectural highlights include Four Freedoms Park, Hunters Point South Waterfront Park by Thomas Balsley Associates, and pre-demolition 5Pointz. The drone also travels directly through the Unisphere, which is known best from the 1964-65 World’s Fair and second best from Men In Black. [h/t Gothamist]