Category Archives: Current

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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Posted in Architecture, Beauty, Current, Global, New York, 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

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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Posted in Architecture, Beauty, Classical, Current, Good Kind, New York, Street of the Day | Leave a comment

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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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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Posted in Architecture, Beauty, Classical, Culture, Current, Egotecture, Good Kind, New Urbanism, New York, The Other Kind, Urbanism | Leave a comment

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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Posted in Architecture, Beauty, Classical, Culture, Current, The Other Kind | 1 Comment

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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Posted in Architecture, Beauty, Classical, Craft, Culture, Current, Good Kind, New York | 1 Comment

To Stop Pedestrian Deaths NYC Must Change How it Builds Streets

From CITYLIMITS.ORG: November 13th—Friday the 13th—marked the 13th day in a row that a pedestrian died on a New York City Street, all killed by cars or buses going too fast. They were among the 19 pedestrian deaths in the … Continue reading

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

God is in the details

I’m working on a project in Connecticut where the team is proposing a “Slow Zone” in the center of town. An engineer on a project is a little worried about some of the details I’ve proposed. He wrote, “I think we … Continue reading

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Posted in Architecture, Beauty, Bicycle, Craft, Culture, Current, Good Kind, Materials, Pedestrian, Slow Streets, Street Design, Urbanism, Walkability | Leave a comment

Places Where People Want To Walk

: MY COMMENT ON BIKE PORTLAND’s Bike-friendliness and walk-friendliness are actually pretty different, study says I’ve only been to Portland twice, mainly downtown. There was no bike share then, so I’ve never ridden a bike in Portland. In other words, … Continue reading

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Posted in Beauty, Bicycle, Current, Slow Streets, Street Design, Urbanism, Walkability | Leave a comment

Exhibition Road Redux

“Shared space schemes labelled ‘dangerous’ in Lords report” “A new House of Lords report has called for a moratorium on any new ‘frightening and intimidating’ shared space schemes” — Architects Journal WE GAVE Exhibition Road a mixed review in Street … Continue reading

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Posted in Current, Pedestrian, Slow Streets, Street Design, Street of the Day, Urbanism | 11 Comments

Quotes of the Day – Rem Koolhaas

Rem Koolhaas in Metropolis: For a couple of years now,I have been … well, I don’t know what the best word is, but it is somewhere between bored and irritated, by the current course of architecture forcing people to be … Continue reading

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Posted in Architecture, Craft, Culture, Current, Education, Egotecture, Global, Good Kind, Quote of the Day | Leave a comment

The Three Best Entries in the World War I Competition are Classical

THERE’S STILL no resolution to the war in Washington over Frank Gehry’s design for a memorial to General Dwight D. Eisenhower. Many who love Gehry’s work hate the memorial design,* which the Eisenhower family rejected. But Kansas Senator Bob Dole and … Continue reading

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Posted in Architecture, Beauty, Classical, Culture, Current, Egotecture, Good Kind, Urbanism | 11 Comments

My Comment on CityLab: “What’s the Matter With San Francisco?”

POSTSCRIPT: When the highest profits in a market like New York’s come from 1) converting affordable rental housing into housing for sale that buyers use for investment and speculation, and from 2) building housing for the rich and the super-rich, there is … Continue reading

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Posted in Current, Global, Urbanism | 1 Comment