Rent Guidelines Board, Apthorp, Fulton Market Building, Pastis Topper, Hy-Fi at MoMA PS1, Tory Burch, and One Wall Street

updates_jul26tojuly01_2014_evanbindelglassSo, I’ve been up to a bit since I last posted on my blog. Here goes.

On Monday, June 23, I covered the annual vote by the New York City Rent Guidelines Board. For those of you who don’t know, there are many apartments (and hotels) whose rent increases are controlled by the city. Every year, tenants of rent controlled apartments sit on pins and needles, waiting to find out how much more they’ll have to pay just to live. It’s a big deal. This year, there was word that there might, for the first time, be no increase. Well, that didn’t happen. But what did happen was something I’d never experienced.

The next morning, June 24, I was back at my usual Tuesday spot – the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission. I was assigned three LPC items. But upon realizing that they were holding the follow-up for an item I covered back at the end of April, I decided to pitch it as well. And now, the LPC roundup.

The Apthorp is an apartment building at 390 West End Avenue on the Upper West Side. It’s also a individual city landmark. Back in January, there was a proposal for a rooftop addition. The LPC did not approve it. The same happened with the revised proposal.

Back in May, the LPC, along with a sizable crowd, rejected a two-story glass topper proposed for the Pastis building, which is 9-19 Ninth Avenue. The team behind the proposal came back with a, well, somewhat quieter proposal and won over the LPC.

Howard Hughes Corporation is on a crusade to remake the South Street Seaport as it sees fit and many have been unhappy with their plans. That included the LPC when it came to a proposal for the Fulton Market Building in April. The Hughes team returned with a proposal they said better honored the building and the commissioners loved it.

This last LPC item is for the shoppers out there. The LPC has once again granted approval for a new building that will be the flagship location for Tory Burch. I said again because they previously approved a five story building for 151 Mercer Street. This time, the proposal was for, believe it or not, a smaller building – only four stories. LPC commissioner Michael Goldblum said New York City is a “mysterious place.”

I finally made it out to Queens to visit MoMA PS1. Why was I there? To check out the winner of this year’s Young Architects Program contest. The 2014 winner was a structure called Hy-Fi by architect David Benjamin. It includes bricks made from cornstalks. It was a lot of fun covering the opening reception. Check out my many photos here.

To end my roundup of recent stories, I’ll link you to my visit to another “Inaccessible New York” spot – One Wall Street. I got to go on a tour of the 1931 Art Deco building at the corner of Wall and Broadway. It’s being sold soon. So, the insides could change dramatically. The Red Room lobby is stunning and the 49th floor observation room blew me away!

Okay, that’s all for now.

– Evan Bindelglass

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