Monday, February 28, 2011

Love Your Landmark #16 - New York Society for Ethical Culture

New York Society for Ethical Culture
2 West 64th Street

The New York Society for Ethical Culture buildings are some of my favorites along Central Park West. I can't help but love such a beautiful school building!


Debi Germann
Landmark West! Director of Education

P.S. Learn more about the Ethical Culture buildings and other Upper West Side landmarks here!

Love Your Landmark #15 - Holy Trinity Lutheran Church

Holy Trinity Lutheran Church
51-53 Central Park West
The Holy Trinity Lutheran Church is a very good example of preservation and restoration in action. In my lifetime, I've seen it go from being absolutely filthy to being covered in scaffolding to emerging as this gem that is as close to its original state as possible. I admire the beautiful rusticated stonework, and I love the contrast of the bright, detailed stone with the slender steeple!


Max Yeston
Architectural Enthusiast

P.S. Want more information? Read about the Holy Trinity Lutheran Church and other great buildings on the LW! database here!

Love Your Landmark #14 - Dakota Apartments

Dakota Apartments
1 West 72nd Street

The Dakota is wonderful for two reasons: the building itself and the people that live there! Not only is the Dakota one of the most important buildings to the history of the Upper West Side, but its residents are some of the most dedicated! Inside out, attention is paid to every detail. From the care they show their building to their involvement with the preservation of the Upper West Side, it's obvious that these people really love their landmarks!


Arlene Simon
President, Landmark West!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Love Your Landmark #13 - Central Park West Skyline

Central Park West Skyline
Central Park West, as seen from Central Park

It's impossible not to love the Central Park West skyline! It's as iconic an image of New York City as Grand Central Station or the Statue of Liberty. Made up of such landmarks as the Dakota Apartments, the American Museum of Natural History, and the soaring twin-towered apartment buildings of the 1920s and 1930s, the Central Park West skyline showcases some of the best architecture in the city, and is one of its most breathtaking sights. 


Polly F.
West Sider and lover of landmarks

P.S. Click here to read about Landmark West!'s efforts to preserve the amazing Central Park West skyline!  New York without the Central Park West skyline? Not if we can help it! 

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Love Your Landmark #12 - IRT Powerhouse

IRT/ConEd Powerhouse
840 12th Avenue at 59th Street

It's hard to not feel awestruck by the IRT/ConEd Powerhouse. The scale, the architecture, the history- it's tremendous!


Kate Wood
Landmark West! Executive Director

P.S. Not close enough to see the Powerhouse in person? Not a problem! Take a virtual tour of the Powerhouse and see what Kate is talking about for yourself!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Love Your Landmark #11- Public School 166

Public School 166, The Richard Rodgers School of Arts & Technology 
132 West 89th Street

Landmark love begins early on the Upper West Side!  Here, first graders from P.S. 166 gather to show their affection for their historic school (designated a NYC Individual Landmark in 2000).  It's not hard to see the appeal--who wouldn't love learning in this castle-like gem!  These youngsters prove that age is nothing but a number when it comes to loving your landmarks! 

First Graders at P.S. 166
Students/Landmark Aficionados-in-Training

Friday, February 18, 2011

Love Your Landmark #10 - Cafe 82

Cafe 82
Broadway at 82nd Street

Few could be more loved than Cafe 82! As many as 20 of us have breakfast there every single morning and socialize, going from table to table to talk about the latest opera or movie we've seen, the most interesting New York Times stories of the day, and myriad other topics that, simply by sharing, keep us sane!

Here are just a few of us with Cafe 82's owner, Luka Luka! 

Cafe 82 "Breakfast Club" 

Left to right: Front row: Anita Kasen, Sherrie Murphy, Rene Suarez-Barrio, Luka Luka (Cafe 82 owner); Back row: Bob Briggs, John McIntosh, Kalia Doner.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Love Your Landmark #9 - Pioneer Supermarket

Pioneer Supermarket
Columbus Avenue between 73rd and 74th Streets

Between the tenaciously old-school facade and the rotating selection of Russian beers served in large plastic bottles, the Pioneer gives me hope for a Columbus Avenue increasingly dominated by cupcakes and couture.


B. Rooney Shera

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

iPhone App :: The Sequel? The Next Generation? Whatever it is, let's do it!

In December 2010, LW! launched the FIRST EVER iPhone app walking tour of Manhattan’s Upper West Side.  We zeroed in on the area around the Dakota Apartments on West 72nd St. and Central Park West, educating “tour goers” on architectural styles, neighborhood history, and lesser known “fun facts”. 

DID YOU KNOW? The Aylsmere Apartments were so named to evoke an Olde English lineage, but it appears no such place actually exists in England!

The app has been a hit!  From the good ol’ USA to Italy, from Norway to Canada, from Australia to Belgium, from Malaysia to France, from India to Japan, people are exploring the Upper West Side with LW’s iPhone walking tour app.  So guess what … we’re ready to do it all again!  But this time, you get to help decide where our tour takes us!

DID YOU KNOW? The statue of composer Verdi in his eponymous Square is surrounded by four figures, each representing a character from one of his operas.

We want to hear from you!  What would you like to see in a second app from LW!?  Have a hankering for more information on the area highlighted in our first app?  Is there another West Side enclave that you’re dying to learn more about?  Tell us what you think!  

Tell us via Tweet (@landmarkwest)!

Comment on this blog post!

We're listening ...

Love Your Landmark #8 - St. Michael's Church

Little Vivian has competition!

Last week, Love Your Landmark received its first hand-drawn submission from pint-sized preservationist Vivian.  It appears she's inspired another artistically inclined lover of landmarks to put pencil to paper and capture a beloved piece of Upper West Side architecture.  Spot on depiction, Julia!

St. Michael's Church
Amsterdam Avenue at 99th Street

My favorite hoped-to-be landmark on the West Side is St. Michael's Church.  I love the large tower, which seems to dominate the street grandly.  I also really like the design of the repeated arches, which makes the structure look open and airy.  I like the colors of the church, too.  The palate is nice and simple, but also noticeable. 

Julia H.
12 years old, admirer of architecture, Jersey gal (we won't hold it against her)

P.S. St. Michael's is on LW's "Wish List"!  Learn more about its history, and how you can become more involved!

UPDATE from the FIELD :: One Up, One Down

As reported by Max Y.

The Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) reviewed not one but two proposals for modifications to buildings within the Upper West Side/Central Park West Historic District yesterday.

The La Rochelle, 329 Columbus Avenue.
The first item was an application from the Make Meaning store to install signage in their storefront at the La Rochelle, a Renaissance Revival-style apartment building designed by Lamb & Rich and built in 1895-98, at 329 Columbus Avenue.  Throughout the public review process, the Make Meaning company was very receptive to LW's suggestions to improve their initial signage concept, remarking at the public hearing that "LANDMARK WEST! had some fantastic ideas."  Why, thank you, Make Meaning!

The proposed signage--individual pin-mounted letters on a bar which bows or angles out, away from the facade--would be less conspicuous than the existing signage.  Further, the overall design would not detract from the La Rochelle's monumental aesthetics.  A straight band behind the back of the sign would protect the window's mullions and support the signage as it bows out (this to address concerns of the store's curbside visibility) ... all without damaging the building's facade.  Community Board 7 approved of the design, adding that the colossal banded columns should be a as visually present as possible.

As the commissioners moved to discussion of this proposal, one noted that, in the past, the LPC has approved individual letters mounted to a bar as long as the bar didn't damage the facade.  However, the Commission has rarely approved illuminated letters.  The sign's plastic material does not live up to the historic fabric of the area, the commissioner continued, and an appropriate material should be selected instead.  Several other commissioners chimed in deeming the sign as a whole to be: "too busy," "too big," "too plastic," and having "too many pegs" or "attachments."  In addition to expressing their thoughts on the individual sign, virtually all the commissioners felt a master plan for all the advertisements on the La Rochelle would make for a more consistent and aesthetically pleasing facade.

The Commission took no action on the proposal, directing the Make Meaning team to continue working with staff to address the concerns brought forth.  All in all, the project is "going in the right direction."  Right on!  To read LW's statement on this project, click here.

51 West 90th Street, as it appeared at
the time of designation (1990).

The second topic for debate was an application to alter the rear facade of 51 West 90th Street, a Renaissance Revival-style row house designed by Henry Andersen and built in 1893-94.  LANDMARK WEST! stated that rear facades of row houses are historically composed of mostly masonry walls, crisply punctured by windows.  Masonry, not glass and metal, should be the dominant feature on this row house's rear face.

In support of the design scheme, the applicant cited numerous examples of row houses whose windows had already been enlarged or extended within the same rear yard "doughnut".  It was argued that since the windows do not face the street--and, by extension, the public--the new facade would not detract from the neighborhood's character.  

In a quick and near unanimous decision, the commissioners agreed and approved the application, stating that as long as the enlarged windows were not visible to the public, it would not detract from the historic district.  What does this imply, LANDMARK WEST! is left to wonder, about the ways in which we value our historic architectural resources?  Are they merely stagesets to be preserved, front side-only?  Or, rather, aren't the row houses, apartment buildings, and other landmark structures that comprise our neighborhoods 360-degree structures to appreciated in full?  Tell us what you think!

You win some, you lose some!  LANDMARK WEST! continues to press on, through ups and downs.  Stay tuned!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Love Your Landmark, the latest Twitter phenom ...

... at least in the architecture world!

Yesterday, in observance of Valentine's Day, LANDMARK WEST! put a special push behind the Love Your Landmark project on Twitter.  Almost immediately, the lovin' was a-flowin'!  We tweeted our friends and colleagues here in New York, over in Chicago, out west in Los Angeles.  They, in turn, shared the Love Your Landmark alert with their followers, and pretty quickly the responses started rollin' in.  With a little international flavor, below are the results of yesterday's Love Your Landmark Twitter-a-thon!

Thank you (thank you!) to all the tweeters who played along!  Extra-special thanks to the Chicago Architecture Foundation (@chiarchitecture)!  Your excitement really inspired Chicagoans to think about the places they love in their city, as the Illinois-heavy submissions are evidence!

Don't forget, the project goes on for the entire month of February.  So print yourselves a sign, pick up a camera, and get out there to show the landmarks in your area how much they're loved!

The De La Warr Pavilion
Bexhill, South East Englad

Sent with love by Stewart Drew (@fob51)

Monadnock Building
Chicago, Illinois

Love, travel savvy folks at Concierge Preferred

Presidio National Forest
San Francisco, California

Lovingly, the gang at Perkins + Will Architectural Designs (@perkinswill_SFO)

Heurtley House
Oak Park, Illinois
Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright

With love, Mark Campbell
of the Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Trust

Carl Schurz High School
Chicago, Illinois

Pulaski Park Fieldhouse
Chicago, Illinois

Double dose of love
from Drew Deering

Crown Hall
Illinois Institute of Technology
Chicago, Illinois

With love, Annie

860-880 Lake Shore Drive
Designed by Mies van der Rohe
Chicago, Illinois

Form-follows-function'al love
from Howard Riefs

Union Station
Chicago, Illinois

... and, in keeping 
with the train theme ...

Grand Central Terminal
New York, NY

Photo: ISpyNYC

Good things come in twos!  
With love, Jennifer Harvey

Inland Steel
Chicago, Illinois

Landmark love, Jen Masengard


Cloud Gate, 
"The Bean",
in Millenium Park
Chicago, Illinois

Public art lovin', from Christina Saull

Krause Music Store
Chicago, Illinois

According to Dean Xene, the "most beautiful building in Chicago"!  Love it! 

Robert Lindblom Math & Science Academy
Chicago, Illinois

From Lovers of Learning at the Chicago Architecture Foundation's Teen Programs

Chicago Board of Trade
Chicago, Illinois

"Looking South down LaSalle at the Board of Trade" ... sounds lovely, Sara!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Love Your Landmark #7 - Central Park

 Young couple from Australia, bundling up and enjoying a carriage ride

Pedicab Driver relaxing and taking in the sights

Central Park

It's not just us at the LW! office that are smitten with Central Park! This treasure is beloved by visitors and locals alike, with people from across the globe braving the February cold to spend time in this amazing New York City Scenic Landmark. Sheep's Meadow, the Ramble, Strawberry Fields, the Mall, and of course Bethesda Terrace -- what's not to love?


P.S. Don't let the cold keep you indoors -- the Central Park Conservancy has events all year round! It's a great way to get involved and see what all the fuss is about!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Love Your Landmark #6 - Empire State Building

Okay, we know.  We asked for pictures of Upper West Side landmarks you love.  Normally we're sticklers for the rules, but when a lil' landmark lover submitted her "photo", we couldn't say no!  Rules were made to be broken, after all!

Empire State Building
350 Fifth Avenue

What does Vivian adore about the Empire State Building?  All the colors it can be!  What holiday does Vivian's color selection represent?  The coming of Spring, perhaps?  Love it!

Vivian A.S.
4 years old, preservationist-in-the-making, crayon enthusiast

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Love Your Landmark #5 - (former) Horn & Hardart Automat

(former) Horn & Hardart Automat
2710-2714 Broadway

The former Horn & Hardart Automat at 104th and Broadway is such a neat little building, with a really quirky history. It's so charming, and a piece of history that makes New York City so unique!


Lisa Carlson
Graduate Student, Columbia University Master's Program in Architecture

P.S. Never heard of an automat? Read about the story behind these buildings and LW!'s advocacy work with them here!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Love Your Landmark #4 - Broadway Fashion Building

Broadway Fashion Building
Broadway and 84th Street

With New York Fashion Week kicking off this tonight at Lincoln Center, how can I not show my love for the Broadway Fashion building?!  A stainless-steel building with its own light show?  So hip; so with it!  I love it!  It’s not an official landmark just yet, but we’re working to see that it gets the landmark protection it deserves!  Interested? Let me know!


Cristiana Peña
Landmark West! Director of Community Outreach

P.S. Read more about the Broadway Fashion Building and other LW! Wish List highlights here!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Love Your Landmark, Walking Tour App, and Advocacy All Make Headlines!

LANDMARK WEST! saw its name (and those of its staffers!) in the press on a variety of fronts today.  Read on to learn more!

LW! Walking Tour App
Since launching the Upper West Side's FIRST EVER walking tour iPhone app back in December 2010, we haven't stopped talking about how much we love this app!  Today, we got a little boost from our friends at CurbedNY, and a new acquaintance, Village Agent.  Each of these blogs gave a shout out.  And thanks, CurbedNY, for twice noting the most important thing ... IT'S FREE!  Check it out now.  And for an even tastier reason to download the app, take a look at our app restaurant map!

Love Your Landmark
Friendly reporter Leslie Albrecht with hyper-local news site helped us to share the love of our Love Your Landmark project!  "Who knows, someone could take a picture of an interesting building or site that’s been an unknown treasure," said LW's Cristiana Pena.  It could be you!  Get your sign, and give cupid a run for his money!  It's so easy; learn more here!  For Leslie's full article, click here.

Landmarks Commission Rules Amendments
Could proposed amendments to the Landmarks Preservation Commission's Rules take "an important layer of transparency and public input out of the process" of landmark stewardship?  LW's Kate Wood spoke with DNAInfo's Jill Colvin about the transferring discretion from the hands of the eleven professional experts who sit on the Commission to those of the Commission's overworked (and underfunded) staff.  What could that mean for the city's thousands of landmark protected sites?  For the full reportage, click here.  To read a copy of LW's recently-submitted statement on these proposed amendments, click here!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Love Your Landmark #3 - Ansonia Hotel

Ansonia Hotel
2101-2109 Broadway

Not only have the superb architectural details of the Ansonia Hotel decked the Upper West Side since 1904, the building has shaped the culture of New York City in other ways.  The Ansonia’s dense interior walls have made it a haven for generations of musicians who’ve helped guide New York City to its status as the music capital of the world.

Andrew Kaplan
Lifelong New Yorker and one-half of Landmark West! Intern team

P.S. Click here to read more about the Ansonia in the Landmark West! Building Database!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Love Your Landmark #2 - Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts

Lincoln Center
70 Lincoln Center Plaza

Lincoln Center is one of my favorite areas in New York. The amazing architecture perfectly compliments the incredible cultural offerings! It's one of a kind.

Haruka Kuga
Shop Assistant/Patron of the Arts