Author Archives: John Massengale

Traditional & Neo-Traditional

What’s the difference between traditional and neo-traditional design? Probably not what you think. More on traditional and neo-traditional design after the photos. Neo-Traditional Traditional

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Introduction to the 1st Annual Jane Jacobs Award at the Met Housing Council

Jane Jacobs wrote 12 wide-ranging, brilliant books. In them she wove together ideas about cities, city life, politics, economics, and social and cultural issues, so it’s hard to succinctly summarize her contributions to tonight’s topic of affordable housing in New … Continue reading

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Streets for People

INFO http://bit.ly/peoplenyc RSVP http://bit.ly/RSVP-streets

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Posted in Beauty, New Urbanism, New York, Pedestrian, Slow Streets, Street Design, Urbanism, Walkability | Leave a comment

The Best Building At Columbia

THIS IS a difficult building to photograph, and a Northern Italian Renaissanc church with a loosely Byzantine interior wouldn’t normally be my favorite. But it is so well done. The perfect proportions, the details in the entrance in antis, the … Continue reading

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There once was a tree on Nantucket
(street design humor)

There once was a tree on Nantucket, With none of its roots in a bucket, “That can’t be,” Said the state DOT, But no car has ever yet struck it. After the jump, another Nantucket Elm

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Posted in Beauty, Culture, Good Kind, Joke, New England, Street Design, Street of the Day, Urbanism | Leave a comment

Occupy Broad Street

Today is the fifth Anniversary of Occupy Wall Street. For some thoughts about that, click here. THE BROAD crossroads where Wall Street and Broad Street come together is a beautiful space, fully the equal of medieval European plazas. Today, post-911, it’s closed … Continue reading

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Posted in Beauty, Current, New York, Pedestrian, Slow Street of the Day, Slow Streets, Street Design, Street of the Day, Urbanism, Walkability | Leave a comment

Occupy Wall Street, Main Street, Broad Street

LIKE MOST NEW YORKERS, I was happy to see Occupy Wall Street arise.* We need more of that spirit in the neighborhood and preservation battles against the Lords of Real Estate that are welling up all across the city. When I … Continue reading

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The Good Kind: Notre Dame du Haut (Ronchamp)

NOTRE DAME DU HAUT is a work of beauty and genius. To fully appreciate that you must visit the pilgrimage chapel in the northeast corner of France. Le Corbusier put aside his machine aesthetic and principles of mechanical standardization and embraced … Continue reading

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Posted in Architecture, Beauty, divine, Good Kind, Local | 2 Comments

Inexpressive Interiors – The Other Kind

MANY ARCHITECTURE SCHOOLS in the northeast have become more like art schools than architecture schools. They emphasize conceptual “autonomous” architecture and personal expression, and neglect materials, construction, composition, context, placemaking… the list goes on and on. When I was on … Continue reading

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Posted in Architecture, The Other Kind | 1 Comment

Monument of the Day

Firemen’s Memorial, Harold Van Buren Magonigle and Attilio Piccirilli, Riverside Drive at 100th Street, 1913. THE FIRST YEAR AFTER 9/11, New York firemen started an unofficial memorial service at the Firemen’s Memorial on Riverside Drive. Small at first, it has grown … Continue reading

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Occupy Main Street

Great Barrington’s Main Street should be a place where place people want to get out of their cars to shop, eat, and socialize—under a majestic canopy made with tall trees. That’s not what State DOTs build, however. This story originally … Continue reading

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Occupy Main Street (from the Berkshire Record)

Download the PDF Occupy Main Street (@ blog.massengale.com) The MassDOT Chainsaw Massacre MassDOT Mistake: How Not To Rebuild Main Street Street Design in the Berkshire Record The Berkshire Record

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Posted in Architecture, Beauty, Current, New England, Pedestrian, Street Design, Urbanism | 2 Comments

NYC DOT Shared Streets: Lower Manhattan THIS SATURDAY

THE NYC DOT’S SHARED STREETS: LOWER MANHATTAN will take place Saturday, August 13  as part of the annual Summer Streets program. Frankly, it looks like the weather will not be good, but the rain will come and go, and this … Continue reading

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Posted in Current, Good Kind, New York, Pedestrian, Slow Streets, Street Design, Urbanism, Walkability | 2 Comments

Quote of the Day: “A uniquely frightening moment in American life”

“It is the essence of fascism to have no single fixed form—an attenuated form of nationalism in its basic nature, it naturally takes on the colors and practices of each nation it infects. In Italy, it is bombastic and neoclassical … Continue reading

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Quote of the Day: Good Design

“As I’ve gotten older I’ve become less and less interested in novelty or cleverness as a really important attribute of good design. It’s disconcerting when you do this sort of work to see what kinds of things have truly endured, … Continue reading

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The Biggest Cornices in New York

Above & Below: Astor Court, 209 West 89th St, Charles Platt, 1915. Below: United States Rubber Building, 1790 Broadway, Carrère & Hastings, 1912. The Residential and Commercial Champions. Leave suggestions in the comments if you have alternative candidates.

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Attempting to answer now and forever the claims of English cyclists that the Amsterdam streets like the one on the cover of “Street Design” are not “shared space” because they are “filtered” or….

Moved to streets-book.com: http://bit.ly/sssettle. Seemingly every time I say something about shared space on Twitter, one or more English cyclists pop up to say “That’s not shared space.” Let’s settle this once and for all, without the character count limits of Twitter … Continue reading

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Posted in Slow Streets, Street Design, Urbanism | Comments Off on Attempting to answer now and forever the claims of English cyclists that the Amsterdam streets like the one on the cover of “Street Design” are not “shared space” because they are “filtered” or….