03.23.09 Enjoy Banking

This just in: More public art fun in NYC from Enjoy Banking, whose mega-sized decals epitomize the term “sign of the times” uh, literally. Find all their sites and additional photos here and they'll have more soon here.

03.22.09 You can Blame Robert Moses (again)

Hey disgruntled 90-year-old Brooklyn Dodgers fan, stop blaming L.A. and the O’Malleys for stealing your team and take your gripin’ to Robert Moses. Of course, you’ll have to get in line. Arch enemy of Jane Jacobs, affordable housing, liveable cities, blue collar workers and public transit, Robert Moses was the biggest political road block to a new stadium in Brooklyn at the time, and he provided the bullying impetus to move the team out of the city, as news of his involvement in the contentious Dodgers move to Los Angeles continues to come to light.

(Although yours truly thinks its high time the diehards bury the hatchet: Brooklyn’s boys in Blue mutated into “Los Dodgers” a long, long, LONG time ago and they’ll remain that way in baseball’s lexicon.)

Long time Dodger’s owner Peter O’Malley (from 1970-1998), along with "Forever Blue" author Michael D'Antonio, recently attended a bereavement-themed Dodgers symposium at the Brooklyn historical society that brought to light and highlighted the involvement New York’s most infamous urban development czar in the eventual transplant of the team to the West coast and the destruction of Ebbets field.

Walter O’Malley (father of Peter) wanted to redevelop to the derelict Fort Greene public market area for a new Brooklyn Dodgers’ stadium, but Moses wouldn’t have it. He was subsequently pushed to find other cities for the team, fatefully landing in L.A. Today the Atlantic yards site, at the border of Fort Greene and Prospect Heights – to be designed by Frank Gehry, er, or maybe not – hasn’t progressed any faster than O’Malley’s domed stadium. Presently, at the site where O’Malley would have built, little work has been done, private land remains to be acquired, and developers are scrambling to keep their heads above water.

03.15.09 The American Land Museum (Woodbury University)

Second-year Sophomores at Woodbury University’s School of Architecture presented their final designs for the new “American Land Museum” this week. The intention of the Land Museum as building project (infused with shades of landscape urbanism) gave students a formal freedom that drove some really impressive modes of making, representation and processes. In addition, the interpretive learning facility and museum was hypothetically sited on a very loaded site downtown – rich with environmental possibilities, but also problematic as students found themselves dealing with criss-crossing freeway onramps, historical buildings at Olvera street, Union Station, little space for parking and a fair amount of topography. Needless to say, the assignment contained some very complex programmatic and urban conditions.

The program for the new museum included a sky space, a green room, cityscape lookout, city map room and information & security kiosks. Students had previously researched Martha Schwartz’s Jacob Javits Plaza, the Cheong Gye Cheon River in Seoul, and the garden city of Esfahan in Iran for preliminary case studies and precedents.

Below are a few glimpses into the review and highlighted projects. Good work guys!