Best Laid Plans
The press release from a publicist trumpeting some scintillating (or often, not so scintillating) “news” that was broken hours earlier in a Wall Street Journal or New York Times exclusive—what journalist doesn’t hate that? Of course, such breathless communiqués hardly ever make mention of the fact that all of the information being “revealed” is already available in a rival publication and has, at that point, usually been blogged about by several other websites.
It’s a thorn in the side of every journalist—that is, every journalist who doesn’t work at the Journal or the Times—an indignity that is usually borne with under-the-breath invective, some grousing to one’s immediate neighbors and an occasional, pointed email to said publicist informing them that your publication would have been interested in covering this had the Journal not published a story on it hours earlier saying everything there was to say.
Best Laid Plans
From the start, one of the biggest concerns over the proposed Midtown East rezoning has been the fate of the area’s historic buildings. Midtown has its fair share of landmarks already, but it is no Upper East Side or Park Slope. No doubt there are precious older buildings worthy of preservation, or at least consideration for landmarks protections, especially when staring down all the development that is likely to come from a huge rezoning like the one the Bloomberg administration has proposed for Midtown East.
To that end, the Municipal Art Society has put forward 17 buildings it believes the city ought to consider protecting before the Midtown East rezoning goes into effect. The administration is rushing toward approving this plan sometime next year, but survey of the area’s historic buildings actually has more time than it might seem to proceed, since it has promised the rezoning will have a sunrise provision preventing it from taking effect until 2017. Still, that does not mean any of these buildings could be saved from being torn down and becoming the next Empire State Building.
on the waterfront
In this week’s Observer, we take a look at two proposals to widen the Park Avenue median and turn it into a pedestrian promenade. One is from SHoP Architects, one SOM, both presented at last month’s MAS Summit. Part High Line, part art walk, the hope is it would create an entirely new destination on the East Side of Manhattan, providing much needed open space along the way. Take a stroll for yourself and decide.
With at least a few people clamoring for a Chris Ward mayoralty, the Port Authority executive director visited the Time Warner Center today and talked about something besides the World Trade Center–not only the focus of much of his work the past three years, but also his public speaking.
Instead, he proffered an ambitious, even absurd, proposal for the Brooklyn waterfront and Governor’s Island. The former he likened to Vietnam: “nobody ever seems to retreat with a clear victory,” he said during an address at Municipal Art Society’s Summit for New York City. Of the latter, he said “it is the last open question, in terms of land-use, in the city.”