Category Archives: The Other Kind

A Chicane Is Not A Shared Space Place

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

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Streets for People, or Streets for Profit?

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

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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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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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Selling Snow To Eskimos Part II (BIG Photobombs Tribeca)

UPDATE: I rode a bike from Lafayette Street to the Hudson River today. At the beginning of the ride I looked up Broadway and saw the top of the Chrysler Building. At Fifth Avenue the Empire State Building came into … Continue reading

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Why Is A Private Company Allowed To Close And Design Public Streets?

UPDATE: The good news is that this has been to the Community Boards, which endorsed the plan—I don’t know why I didn’t find that in my searches or calls around this morning. It is good that there is some public … Continue reading

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The Good Kind—The New York Municipal Building

McKim, Mead & White, New York Municipal Building, 1 Centre Street, Manhattan, 1907-1914. ONE-HUNDRED YEARS AGO, when the New York Municipal Building was one year old, McKim, Mead & White were known across the country as the best architects in … Continue reading

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Honestly, isn’t this building giving New Yorkers the finger?

UPDATE: When I first published this quick post in September 2014, for some reason it attracted comments from young architects who not only wanted to defend the building, but who saw my comments as ridiculous. In retrospect, it’s obvious that … Continue reading

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The Good Kind, and the Other Kind

The top photo shows, from left to right, the Pierre Hotel, the Sherry-Netherlands Hotel, the Savoy-Plaza Hotel, the Squibb Building, and the Plaza Hotel. In between the Pierre and the Sherry-Netherlands Hotel are the Metropolitan Club and two long-gone buildings. … Continue reading

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“We are an evil people, and we deserve to be punished”

It was meant to trumpet an aspirational lifestyle and showcase the very pinnacle of luxury living in one of London’s most exclusive new residential towers, where penthouses are currently on the market for over £4m. But property developer Redrow’s latest … Continue reading

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