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News November 2017

The developer seeking to eradicate Paul Rudolph's Shoreline Apartments in Buffalo is being challenged by the city’s Preservation Board to more adequately honor the site’s past. In July 2016, the board "denied without prejudice" Norstar Development's initial application to demolish another section of Rudolph’s 1974 low-rise housing complex. (The north end was demolished in 2015). At that time, the developer was asked to come back with mitigation measures to offset the loss of the buildings, which the NY State Historic Preservation Office had determined were eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places. ... MORE

The long-planned redesign of David Geffen Hall (formerly Avery Fisher Hall), reported to cost around $500 million and take two years to complete, has been scrapped after construction design teams said they could not guarantee that the overhaul, which called for lowering the auditorium to the plaza level, would not infringe on a third season. Debora L. Spar, president of Lincoln Center, and Deborah Borda, president and CEO of the Philharmonic, explained that while no design team has been chosen yet, the new approach will be “less monumental and more incremental.” ... MORE

David Geffen Hall (formerly Avery Fisher Hall) at Lincoln Center, Max Abramovitz, 1962.

After a conceptual proposal for expansion sparked widespread outcry for its heavy-handed reworking of Gordon Bunshaft’s 1962 addition, the Albright-Knox Gallery has announced in a statement released September 18 that it will work with the Buffalo-based group Preservation Studios, New York City-based PBDW Architects and other groups to "review and adjust this initial concept, to make progress toward the first iteration of an architectural design." According to The Buffalo News, Albright-Knox communication director Maria Morreale said in an email that the hiring of preservation consultants had been part of the gallery's plan since the fall of 2016... MORE

New York is the latest city to get the “concrete map” treatment by Blue Crow Media, an independent publisher that creates “thoughtfully designed and carefully curated city maps.” While not exclusively Modernist, Concrete New York features quite a few Modern sites, both Brutal and otherwise, such as Marcel Breuer’s Begrisch Hall at Bronx Community College, John Carl Warnecke’s Long Lines Building in lower Manhattan, Eero Saarinen’s TWA Terminal, Albert Ledner’s Curran/O’Toole Building, and I.M. Pei’s Silver Towers in Greenwich Village.... MORE

Organizers of New York’s annual preservation conference, to be held April 27 in Albany, have issued a call for session proposals. The gathering—which in recent years has met capacity—attracts professionals in the field, policymakers, and preservation advocates from all corners of the state. The conference is presented by the Landmark Society of Western New York, Historic Albany Foundation, the Preservation League of New York State, and the NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. Proposals are due November 3.... MORE

The Association of Preservation Technology’s Northeast Chapter is accepting presentation abstracts for its 2018 symposium to be held on February 2 at Yale University. The focus will be “Preservation in a Campus Environment: Challenges and Opportunities.” Papers on the following topics are encouraged: historic buildings versus modern infrastructure on campuses; how much is too much? preservation versus renovation; historic preservation as part of campus planning; and integrating new needs and technologies into historic buildings. Abstracts are due November 17.... MORE

Architects and devotees of Modern design worldwide are saddened at the death on August 15 of Gunnar Birkerts. He was not only an outstanding, highly innovative architect, but a person of exceptional intellectual depth and human understanding. While many of his most prominent works are located beyond the New York/Tri-State region (Minneapolis and Duluth, MN; Houston, TX; Ann Arbor, MI; Columbus, IN; Kansas City, MO; Riga, Latvia), Birkerts designed five notable buildings in our area:... MORE

If you are curious to know what has changed inside the old Four Seasons restaurant space but would like to be spared a pricey dinner tab, this Architectural Record slideshow is for you. We’ll let the photos speak for themselves, but suffice it to say the changes are not “tweaks” in our opinion. Evidently the Landmarks Preservation Commission is not too pleased either. The tenant, Major Food Group Company, and their interior design team will appear before them at a public hearing on Tuesday September 19 to legalize the installation of a reception desk at the ground-floor lobby and alterations at the Pool Room Mezzanine, which were done without permits.... MORE

The Pool Room of the Four Seasons, now adorned with a Calder instead of trees. Photo © Scott Frances

On August 9, after five years of review and heated public debate, the full City Council unanimously approved the proposal to rezone Midtown East. The vote followed approvals in July—also unanimous—by the Council’s land use and zoning committees. The affected area is generally bounded by Fifth Avenue, Third Avenue, East 39th Street, and East 57th Street, with most attention focused on the blocks adjacent to Grand Central Terminal. With the rezoning, developers can build taller buildings in exchange for buying air rights from designated Landmarks, contributing to pre-identified infrastructure improvements, or creating public plazas on their properties.... MORE

Stirred by a heartfelt appeal by the renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma in the New York Review of Books, groups in towns and cities in the United States and abroad, including Kingston in New York’s Hudson Valley, are submitting bids to permanently dock a spaceship-like music barge at their waterfront. “Point Counterpoint II”—a watercraft that opens like a clamshell to reveal a performance stage—was designed by Louis Kahn before his death in 1974 and completed two years later.... MORE