Posts tagged with "TRUMP":

New York City launches interactive map of its privately owned public spaces

New Yorkers and open space enthusiasts have something to celebrate, as the NYC Department of City Planning (DCP) has released a map of the more than 550 privately owned public spaces (POPS) in the city. POPS have been an integral part of New York City’s zoning process since their introduction in the 1961 zoning code as an incentive to developers; in exchange for building public plazas, arcades, or outdoor spaces, the city allows private developers to add extra floor area to their buildings or grants other waivers. According to the DCP, POPS exist at over 350 buildings and account for more than 3.8 million square feet of open space. With the new searchable map, interested visitors can gather information on the location, amenities, hours of operation, year of construction, and designers behind each and every privately owned public space. Most of the aforementioned spaces are in Manhattan, and while Brooklyn and Queens only contain a smattering of such public areas, the DCP expects this number to grow dramatically as development in these boroughs increases. Despite the significance of POPS in Manhattan, they’re not untouchable. A furor arose in October of last year as the owner of 200 Water Street at the southern tip of Manhattan sought to convert half of their public plaza space into retail. Even the release of the DCP’s mapping tool wouldn’t have happened without pushback against developers who were misusing the extra space afforded by POPS. The city has been engaged in a tug-of-war with the Trump Organization since the 1980s over the removal of a 22-foot-long stone bench from the lobby of the Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue and East 56th Street. After Trump added two sales counters hawking Trump-branded merchandise to the public lobby, the city issued a series of fines, and the City Council ultimately passed legislation in 2017 to guard against the future misuse of POPS. Up until that point, nearly half of all POPS were being improperly used but the city lacked a stringent inspection protocol to verify this. A three-year inspection schedule, along with new signage requirements and the map released this week, arose directly from that vote to tighten POPS regulations.

Chicago’s Trump Tower entices potential tenants by excluding the Trump brand

According to New York-based real estate developer RKF, 401 North Wabash Avenue in River North offers unparalleled retail and restaurant opportunities. Located just steps from Michigan Avenue, 401 North Wabash Avenue is “the perfect entertaining and dining destination,” provides “spectacular views of the Chicago River” and proximity to Nordstrom, Dylan’s Candy Bar and the Apple flagship store. A glossy marketing flyer on the RKF website fleshes out the appeal of the 66,000 square feet for lease in the 98-story building. For a potential retail tenant, there is little not to love, except for the five 20-foot tall letters spelling out the owner’s name: T-R-U-M-P. With only 1,000 square feet of the Trump International Hotel and Tower being leased out, RKF is trying a new tactic to sell the nearly three floors of empty space in the building. With the sole tenants being the Anthony Cristiano Salon and a gift shop selling Trump shot glasses and playing cards, RKF is selling Trump Tower’s positive points without using the Trump name, and even omitting the Trump sign in photographs of the building. Marketing materials for the space only note the Trump name once, on a map of neighboring businesses, in small text. Designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill and completed in 2008, the terrace and riverwalk spaces inside Trump Tower were never fully occupied. RKF was hired in 2014 to lease the retail space, coming on board just in time for the controversial sign to be erected, sparking a Twitter war between Donald Trump and Chicago Tribune architecture critic Blair Kamin. First floor retail space was converted to meeting and event rooms in 2015 in an attempt to make the space more marketable. Residential tenants have attempted to distance themselves from the Trump brand, and SOM refers to the building as “401 North Wabash Avenue" on its website.

Cards Against Humanity buys land to block Trump’s border wall

It’s that time of year again. Cards Against Humanity (CAH), the slightly obscene Chicago-based card game makers, are running their winter “promotion.” With a penchant for deadpan pranks, the company has found a way of raising large amounts of money for seemingly useless or unwanted rewards. In the past, the company has raised the price of its eponymous game on Black Friday as an anti-sale, sold boxes of manure, and sold nothing for $5. In 2016, it dug a “Holiday Hole” with the help of customers's donations, which was literally just a hole in the ground. This year’s promotion is aiming a bit higher, though, as the company has purchased land along the U.S.–Mexico border in order to undermine President Trump’s border wall plan. Already sold out, CAH's promotion offered a set of six surprise gifts throughout December for a $15 donation to the campaign. The money raised will, presumably, go towards the efforts of the company to combat “injustice, lies, racism, the whole enchilada.” According to the campaign’s dedicated website, the border land has already been purchased, and a law firm specializing in eminent domain has been retained to make the process of building the border wall “as time-consuming and expensive as possible.” Not mincing words, the site reads, “It’s 2017, and the government is being run by a toilet.” Elaborating further, it says, “Donald Trump is a preposterous golem who is afraid of Mexicans. He is so afraid that he wants to build a twenty-billion-dollar wall that everyone knows will accomplish nothing.” Recently released documents show the Army Corps of Engineers’ assessment of the plan to build the wall in South Texas. The report outlines plans to place the wall through wildlife habitats and RV parks, and anticipates costly legal battles for privately-held land. If Cards Against Humanity has anything to say about it, those legal battles are going to be long and drawn out. As part of the proportion of the campaign, CAH produced a short mockumentary which takes place in the not-to-distant future, outlining its accomplishments in saving America.

Giant inflatable chicken with golden hair appears outside the White House

There's something outside the White House with a quiff that holds a lot of air—and not much else. It is, of course, a giant chicken. The inflatable bird appeared in a public park yesterday right by the White House and was put up—or rather blown up—by Taran Singh Brar. A documentarian, organizer, and filmmaker from Laredo, California, Brar had spent several months planning the event. The 10-foot-by-30-foot golden-quiffed-chicken is, according to its creator, in protest of the President being "weak as a leader." In an interview on Twitter with the Washington Examiner, Brar said Trump was "too afraid to release his tax returns, too afraid to stand up to Putin," and was now engaged "in a game of chicken with Kim Jong Un." Speaking to The New York Times, Brar said it had taken four months to get permission from the National Park Service but had just “kept calling, kept showing up in person and kept emailing,” to get his way. The chicken had cost Brar $1,300 online and was inspired by a similar looking chicken found in a Chinese mall in 2016 when it was the Year of the Rooster. This particular chicken was designed by Casey Latiolais, an artist from Seattle. Latiolais' drawings were, according to Brar, sent to China where they were used to create a cold-air water balloon. Brar had the deflated bird sent to Washington, D.C. where, with the aid of some volunteers, ropes, and sandbags, was able to erect the chicken. The chicken even has an official name. "Donny, official fowl of the Tax March" can be found on Twitter under the handle @TaxMarchChicken. "This isn't my first rodeo. I've been all over the country crashing Trump events," Tweeted Donny yesterday, citing four other instancesAs for Brar's outing of the big bird, the President will not see his doppelgänger. Trump is playing golf (unsurprisingly) in Bedminster, New Jersey, as work is done to the Oval Office. For more Donald Trump public art protests, look no further than the golden pigs coming to Chicago.

Experts and academics create open petition against Dr. Ben Carson’s appointment to HUD

In an open letter to Idaho Senator Michael Crapo, chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs and Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown, a ranking member of the committee, professors, experts, and academics across the U.S. are requesting that Crapo and Brown decline to confirm Dr. Carson’s appointment to the federal government’s Housing and Urban Development (HUD) agency. As The Architect's Newspaper reportedPresident-elect Donald Trump tapped Dr. Carson for the position on December 5, despite misgivings from some that Dr. Carson has no expertise in housing. The letter reinforces this fact and quotes Dr. Carson's friend, Armstrong Williams, who "has acknowledged that Dr. Carson: 'has no government experience. He’s never run a federal agency. The last thing he would want to do was take a position that could cripple the presidency.'" The letter also discusses the time Dr. Carson dismissed fair housing as "a mandated social-engineering scheme" and other comments he has made with regard to poverty, affordable and fair housing, and the government's role in those sectors.  The letter ends, "To conclude, we cannot imagine that a person with Dr. Carson’s views about fair housing, the role of government, and the roots of poverty could possibly be an advocate for the very programs for which HUD is responsible. We believe that the appointment of Dr. Carson would severely jeopardize the well-being of the nearly 5 million households across the country for whom HUD is their only means of securing housing. We strongly urge you to decline to confirm Dr. Ben Carson as HUD Secretary." To read the entirety of the letter and to sign your name to it, click here.

Eavesdrop> Sign of the Times: Reflecting on Chicago Summer-Long Trump Tower Saga

Mr. Donald Trump has bestowed upon fair Chicago an ode to his own self-worth, spurring an architectural debate that’s pulled in Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Jon Stewart, and plenty more. Grab a bag of popcorn and we’ll catch you up. In June, Trump International Hotel & Tower gained an array of 20-foot-6-inch-tall stainless steel letters spelling T-R-U-M-P, which Curbed called a “big, dumb sign” and Blair Kamin called “as subtle as Godzilla.” Trump didn’t like that, and bashed Kamin as “a lightweight” in the press—Trump, critic of architecture critics! Already reduced in size about 20 percent from its original plans (The Donald makes no small plans), the sign was always part of the 2008 SOM building’s design, although architect Adrian Smith apparently “had nothing to do” with it. It’s a gaudy bit of self-promotion along Chicago’s most visible strip of real estate, but it’s Trump’s name—not his sign itself—that’s really got us riled up. After all we put up with corporate intrusions on our public field of view all the time. In fact, all this public indignation over design has us hopeful: Let’s rise up and take back our public spaces! Or at least sarcastically Instagram the new sign with its ‘T’ strategically cropped out.