New York

Halfway There

by Don Friedman on September 23, 2017

I have finally found the perfect apartment. Now I just need $110,000,000.

Architectural Nostalgia

September 22, 2017

  Michael alerted me to the existence of 80s.NYC, a website that gives street views of buildings as photographed by the city government some 35 years ago. It’s fantastic if you want a sense of what the city was like then and how different it is from today. I am a bit disappointed that the […]

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The Two Extremes of Subway Planning

September 13, 2017

An accidental but informative juxtaposition: planning to make the entire city a one-fare zone in 1920 by building a lot of new subway lines and the decay of subway development after World War II. The Second Avenue subway is, of course, a symbol of the change in fortune: it was first planned in 1920 but the […]

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A Joke Until It’s Not

September 1, 2017

Plenty of building sites in 1903: It’s not often you see a parody as well executed as the website for One Liberty, the redevelopment of the Statue of Liberty as condos. From the “One [Something]” name to the tagline “Goodbye Huddled Masses, Hello Muddled Cocktails” it manages to encapsulate everything mockable in the current real […]

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Rail For The Future

August 25, 2017

The Regional Plan Association has a really good suggestion – a plan, one might even say – for running a new mass transit rail line from southern Brooklyn through central Queens to the south and east Bronx. It is potentially much cheaper per mile than other projects, like the Second Avenue Subway, because it uses […]

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Mapping The Center of the World

August 20, 2017

Two oddball maps that work great together… First, the Antipodes map, which shows you where in the world is exactly oppose your location. When I enter our office address, it tells me that 90 Broad Street is at 40° 42′ 13.7″ N, 74° 0′ 43.2″ W; the opposite point is of course 40° 42′ 13.7″ S, 105° […]

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Adaptive Reuse of a Specialized Structure

August 18, 2017

A lot of New York’s adaptive reuse comes directly from deindustrialization. The loft buildings of SoHo and TriBeCa, the big concrete buildings in Long Island City and the far west side, the railroad now known as the High Line, and a lot of our waterfront were all industrial. The other force driving reuse is changes […]

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Possibly Futile Clarification

August 17, 2017

These maps of subway stations have been getting a fair amount of exposure lately. I suspect that in part it’s because they are beautiful drawings. Considering them just as abstract art, they’re great to look at; the fact that they are reasonable accurate and detailed maps of subway stations makes them incredible. Subway stations are […]

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Interpreting Historical Photographs

August 16, 2017

That’s Broad Street at the beginning of the twentieth century. The building on the left side of the street with the pasted-on temple front is the New York Stock Exchange; the temple at the end of the street is Federal Hall. So far, another try down memory lane… This post came about after I read […]

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Grand Central

August 6, 2017

When you live with a topic for a long time, it’s easy to forget that everyone else doesn’t know all the details. In case anyone has ever wondered about how it is that Penn Station was demolished and Grand Central survived, here’s a good primer.

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