Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Central Park tennis bubbles: an electrical outlet away from reality?

UPDATE :: Central Park tennis bubbles, two months later
As reported by Cristiana P.

The West Side Independent picked up on LANDMARK WEST's email blast yesterday reminding the public about the brief yet intensely focused and ultimately successful battle waged this past Spring in Central Park: the Battle of the Bubbles!

Tennis bubbles, that is.  Because of the unwavering support of over 1,300 individuals who signed the online petition to Keep Central Park Open to All, the tremendous support of our local Community Board 7, and support from over a dozen ally organizations*, we burst the bubbles!  But as we stated in our email, the reprieve could be only temporary.

Watch NYC Dept. of Parks and Recreation (DPR) Commission Adrian Benepe's interview on NY1 and you'll hear for yourself that a re-imagined bubble scheme could re-inflate in the foreseeable future.  The DPR hasn't abandoned the idea of installing tennis bubbles in Central Park, so we must not abandon our efforts to ensure that Central Park remains bubble-free for all to enjoy!

Sign the online petition and encourage others to follow suit!  Click here for the petition!

*For a full listing of the organizations and elected officials who joined in the fight, see our email.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Urban Outfitters to Metro Theater: "Howdy, neighbor!"

It seems as though the Metro Theater won't be welcoming Urban Outfitters as a new retail tenant after all.

For some time, it was speculated that Urban Outfitters (UO), the clothing and random-grab-bag-o-merchandise chain store already at home on the West Side at 72nd Street and Broadway, would be taking up residence at the Metro Theater.  Located on Broadway between 99th and 100th Street, the Metro Theater is an Individual Landmark building.  So when talk of a new occupant began to bubble up, LANDMARK WEST! kept its ear open.  The chatter subsequently died down. 

Then, discussion of a new location for UO in the 100th-and-Broadway neighborhood began anew this week.  Turns out the store has secured the retail space directly across Broadway from its previous site of interest, in the new Extell residential tower.  For details, check out the following articles:

Wall Street Journal
covers this "bodega chic" venture.

West Side Independent
's take on the "fake" neighborhood character proposed by UO.

The Shophound caught the story earlier this Spring, as did the blog MyUpperWest.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Landmarks and Landmarks-in-Waiting in the e-press

The Upper West Side press has been kept busy this week covering the landmark beat!  From the West Side's newest Individual Landmark, West-Park Presbyterian Church on 86th Street, to buildings deserving of landmarks status but locked in limbo, like the IRT Powerhouse on 59th Street, people are talking about our neighborhood's historic architectural resources!

Check out the articles below, then head to the LANDMARK WEST! Wish List advocacy page to learn more about how you can help further these campaigns.

West-Park fundraiser in the West Side Spirit and DNAInfo.

IRT Powerhouse chatter in West Side Spirit.

Stay tuned to LW! and these neighborhood news sources for more information on these and other landmark issues!

A Stellar Year for LW's Youth Education Program, Keeping the Past for the Future!

The 2009-2010 school year has been a Landmark year for LW's decade-old youth education program, Keeping the Past for the Future (KPF). The number of students experiencing KPF has sky-rocketed in a few short years.  This year, we have worked with 1,600 students in 66 classrooms in 11 Upper West Side schools for a total of 229 invdividual class sessions, compared to only two years ago when we worked with 1,000 students in 43 classrooms for a total of 133 sessions. We were thrilled to partner for the first time with PS163 (163 West 97th Street) and the Professional Childrens School (132 West 60th Street)!

Highlights of this year include:
Fifth Graders from PS145 (150 West 105th Street) studied the storied history and architecture of the former Towers Nursing Home.
Fourth Graders from PS87 (160 West 78th Street) looked at the West End Collegiate Church as an example of Dutch Revival architecture for their unit on New Amsterdam.
Third Graders from PS75 (735 West End Avenue) worked together to create poems inspired by the Cliff Dwelling (left).

KPF is a central part of our mission to preserve the architectural heritage of Manhattan's Upper West Side.  In studying and exploring their own surroundings as they were and as they are today, students relate history to their own world of home, school, and neighborhood.  By learning to "read" and understand the built environment that they experience everyday, students acquire a sense of ownership toward their surroundings.  KPF truly brings the neighborhood to life!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Historic house tours 2010: Murray Hill, Mount Morris Park, and Hamilton Heights

As summer approaches, the end of the historic house tour season draws near.  But fear not!  There are still opportunities to step inside the hidden-in-plain-sight treasures of New York City's historic neighborhoods.

Explore historic Murray Hill* or head uptown to landmarked Mount Morris Park on Sunday, June 13th (more info on both here; on Murray Hill, see "NOTE" below).

Can't wait until next weekend for your chance to explore?  Join the Hamilton Heights Homeowners Association (HHHA) this weekend, June 5th and 6th, for a walking tour and house and garden tour!

First on Saturday, June 5th,
Michael Henry Adams, noted Harlem historian and author of Harlem Lost and Found, will lead a tour of historic Hamilton Heights.  Then on Sunday, June 6th, the HHHA will host its 21st Anniversary House and Garden Tour.

Stroll though the Hamilton Heights/Sugar Hill Historic District, stretching from 135th to 155th Street between Riverside DriveEdgecombe Avenue. This area contains many architectural gems of various styles, such as Flemish, Beaux-Arts, Romanesque Revival, and Tudor among its many townhouses and churches.

For more information on the HHHA events, click here.

Logistics of the Murray Hill historic district tour have changed.  Please contact the Murray Hill Neighborhood Association for the most up-to-date schedule of sites.