Category Archives: Beauty

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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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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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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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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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 (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

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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Urban Design: The Good Kind & the Other Kind

WE ALL UNDERSTAND why so many normal, rational New Yorkers can act like NIMBYs—because we’ve all seen alien, intrusive development in New York like Billionaire Row and Atlantic Yards. Recent developments at the American Museum of Natural History brought this … Continue reading

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Leon Wieseltier on Modern Cliches

IF you apply for a grant today and want to be successful, you’d better use the words “innovate” and “innovative” in your proposal. In art and architecture, words like “challenging,” “transgressive,” and “disruptive” are among the most used. So I … Continue reading

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Posted in Architecture, Beauty, Craft, Culture, Current, Egotecture, Global, New York, Quote of the Day, The Other Kind, Urbanism | Tagged | 1 Comment

Form Follows Fashion

WE ALL UNDERSTAND that in architecture Modernism has promoted the expression of industrial materials. For one hundred years, its proponents have declared that Modernism is not a style but a rational, modern way of building. Last week, I happened to … Continue reading

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We Moved

To the Broadway Chambers @ 277 Broadway, on the corner of Chambers Street—Cass Gilbert’s first building in New York City. Here’s the view from my desk:

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The Best Smelling Lobby In New York

YOU CAN FIND some of the best bread and pastries in New York in this Tribeca office building lobby—and in the year 2016, that’s saying a lot. The story is that a New Yorker who’s roamed the world learning how … Continue reading

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New Rules for the New Year in New York

Any new building in New York City taller than the Empire State Building must be more beautiful than the Empire State Building. Any buildings receiving public subsidy, tax benefits, or increased FAR must be approved by the local Community Board, … Continue reading

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