Drastic architectural overhauls often require the eviction or removal of those living in the area that has been designated for revamping. The ongoing redesign of Manhattan's Astor Place and Cooper Square is no exception, though in this case, authorities are looking beyond mere eviction in favor of extermination. The rodent residents of the area have proven a recent set-back for a project that was first revealed over three years ago. Following its 2011 debut, the plan for the block by WXY architecture + urban design has undergone slight revisions. The goals of creating extra public space, improving storm drainage, and making the area more pedestrian-friendly remain in place. Towards this end Cooper Square Park will be expanded and the surrounding street-grid will be altered. Quennell-Rothschild & Partners will adorn the newly formed plazas and walkways with trees and other vegetation. Updated renderings released at the end of 2013 show additional seating added to the area immediately surrounding the Astor Place Subway station and the creation of a new Alamo plaza, formed by an expansion of the sidewalk that currently houses the rotating public sculpture. Construction began in the fall of 2013 on new drainage systems at East 4th Street and is slated to progress northward over the two years that are said to be required for its completion. In December, however, the steadily growing rat population living underneath Cooper Square became problematic enough that the park needed to be shut down for three weeks to allow for a large-scale poisoning operation. New York Department of Design and Construction spokesman Craig Chin sees the WXY design itself as a more long-term means of addressing the infestation: "The actual reconstruction of the park helps address the issue at the root...with construction removing the burrows and subterranean rodent habitats that formed in the vaulted spaces underground."
Posts tagged with "Cooper Square":
Keeping Cooper. There's a fight brewing over the demolition of the 186-year-old 35 Cooper Square. A demolition permit had been issued and subsequent stop work orders and candlelight vigils. The small federal style structure was once home to descendants of Peter Stuyvesant and beatnik Diane DiPrima. Keep tabs on the little building at EV Grieve and the Bowery Alliance (And in other Cooper Square preservation news, what's going to happen to the Astor Place mosaics under the planned pedestrian plaza upgrades?) Slum for Sale. In the heart of Mumbai, India, the Dharavi settlement is under pressure to redevlop. Polis has a review of a new documentary on the struggles of a "city tearing at the seams" trying to balance capital growth and the needs of its inhabitants. Urban Evolution. Cities are constantly changing, but we rarely take the big step back and look at how an area has evolved over, say, the past 500 years. Aid Watch put together a visual history of one block in New York's Soho neighborhood, from wilderness, to brothel central, to home of high-end retail. (Via Economix.) Infographic. Gothamist uncovers an interesting chart comparing Chicago and New York by the statistics. Categories include miles of transit track, cost of living, and even who has better pizza.
If you're an architecture geek like us, you love playing Spot the Building while watching TV or at the movies. (The International, otherwise mediocre, is one of our favorites for this very reason.) That's why this Cadillac commercial caught us so off guard when we saw it the other day. At first, we knew we recognized the "museum" at the start, even though it wasn't actually one. In fact, it wasn't even one building. The big photos of the Caddy are on display in the 14th floor double-height cafeteria at Renzo Piano's Times building, a nice touch given the cool light effects the building's (very climbable) ceramic bars create. But then, their gallery-going complete, the happy yuppie couple step outside into... Huh? That's not Times Square but Cooper Square! Somehow, through the magic of advertising, we've been transported downtown, outside Morphosis' new Cooper Union building. As though the restrained rectilinear forms of Piano could be mistaken for the curvilinear craziness of Thom Mayne! Nice try, Madison Avenue fatcats. You can't pull a fast one on The Architect's Newspaper.
This innovative British firm is on the shortlist for the 2010 Stirling Prize. The building they're brainstorming is the firm's first U.S. commission. The site is somewhere on Cooper Square. Morphosis is the architect of record. Their work is the focus of a new book, Feasibility: The New Polemic (The Too Little Too Late Press, 2009).