Brooklyn

The Williamsburg Wall

Thoughts on Urban Densification and the changing structure of New York’s waterfront:

The New York waterfront has seen a proliferation of “Urban Wall” buildings cropping up along it’s shores; Most notably in the Williamsburg area of the City. With changes in Zoning and a push toward affordable housing, there is nowhere to go but up. And the permanence of these changes will be amplified by the design (or lack thereof) of this New Urban Wall. Here is a rundown of the major developments impacting Williamsburg:

ODA_Spitzer

(416-420 Kent Avenue by ODA Architects)

416-420 Kent, just to the South of the Williamsburg Bridge, is one of the more daring developments to take shape on the Urban Waterfront, This series of towers, developed by Eliot Spitzer and ODA Architects, takes the conventional tower form and “cracks” it into pieces, as is the trend in tower design (see prior post) these days. A reference point for this trend can be found across the River at Herzog and DeMueron’s Jenga Tower which has topped out in Lower Manhattan. Foundation work on this project has started.

Domino Sugar

(Domino Sugar Redevelopment, Image by SHoP Architects)

The Domino Sugar Development, brought to fruition by Two Trees Development, was controversial from the outset because of its site. In essence, this development embodies “New” New York taking over the old, as many of the Domino Sugar buildings were town down to make way for these mega towers. The design mixes residential with greenspace, as well as offices in the old Domino Building, which is the one building still standing on the site (with smokestack). The refurbishment of this structure seems in the vain of the Tate gallery in London, with a new glass bar erected on top of the old industrial hulk of industry gone by. Construction on this project has started.

Greenpoint Landing

(The Glassification of Greenpoint Landing, Rendering by Handel Architects)

And further up The River, Greenpoint Landing, a massive development at the northern tip of this industrial area, is reshaping the Urban Edge and in many ways, will sanitize a once gritty maritime waterway. A continuation of The Urban Wall against The River as New York’s transformation (and Gentrification forces) continue unabated.

 

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Our Gateway to Manhattan Turns 50

Verrazano

(Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, Early 1960’s. Image from Museum of The City of New York)

Happy Birthday this past week to the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge which turned 50! Always commanding a presence at the mouth of New York Harbor; The bridge has welcomed visitors and travellers alike now for half a century.

Hats off to the Bloggers at The Bowery Boys, keepers of many of New York City’s best historical secrets. They put together A top 10 list of facts and a podcast about the Bridge and its relationship to Our City’s past. Cheers to the Verrazano-Narrows and to many more future years servicing New York.

Links of Relatable Note can be found here:

The Bowery Boys (an amazing compilation of New York City’s curious Historical Facts)

Verrazano Turns 50, facts and podcast from The Bowery Boys Blog

Robert Moses, Wikipedia link to The Master Builder of New York Monuments