A space is only a place if people want to be there. The chicane shown above is for traffic calming, not placemaking. Putting that another way, it’s a product of traffic engineering, not a piece of urban design. I understand … Continue reading
Category Archives: New York
My Op-Ed at City Limits (click to read) Excerpt: AVs will be programmed to stop immediately if a pedestrian steps in front of them to cross the street—and we all know that given the opportunity, New Yorkers will do that … Continue reading
I RECENTLY spent a week in Seaside, where I was once Town Architect. In honor of Seaside, I’m uploading two essays from Street Design, The Secret to Great Cities and Towns. The first is the opening of the chapter on … Continue reading
New York City Streets for People After the Congestion Zone May 15, 2018 (link) The debate continues over how to make New York City’s streets less crowded, safer and better for people as well as cars. Some, like Gov. Andrew … Continue reading
New York City’s Historic Districts and Landmarks Are Under Siege Have you noticed how many ideas and movements from the 1960s are back in a big way? Feminism. The civil rights movement. Streets for People, which was the title of … Continue reading
The view from our apartment Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
WE SAW HIM around 10 am, seemingly waiting out the snowstorm. Around 12:15, when there was a break in the snow, he spotted lunch flying by and took off in pursuit.
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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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
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 to almost all traffic, because the New York Stock Exchange sits at the southwest corner of the … Continue reading
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
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
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.
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
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
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: