Urban Planning

Homage And Disappearance

A lot of people who have never been to New York have heard the name “Five Points.” The neighborhood’s fame faded in the second half of the twentieth century, as bigger and more unsettling slums became famous, but the commercial success of the movie The Gangs of New York – a fictional drama based on …

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An Imbalance In Public Space

Two news items published this Tuesday, on the same website and with the same author, need to be read together. “Report: Less Than Half Of NYC’s Open Streets Are Operational” and “A Radical Plan to Revive Pandemic-Stricken SoHo: Remove Cars,” both on Gothamist and both written by Ben Yakas, both discuss the relationship of cars, space, …

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The Future Coming Soon

I recently took a trip on the Metro-North Railroad and I had a few minutes to kill at Grand Central Terminal. I wandered into the new extension from the terminal to the west, created when One Vanderbilt Avenue was constructed, and found this sign. One Vanderbilt is now the tallest commercial building in midtown, so …

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Typology From The Sky

New York City has an open data policy, which makes it possible to download a number of interesting databases from the city government’s website. They’ve also put a number of data sets related to the built environment on a single map, at http://maps.nyc.gov/doitt/nycitymap/. I use it for various purposes in finding information about old buildings, …

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Private Infrastructure

Assuming we exclude buildings from “infrastructure” – and that’s a big assumption – there’s still quite a bit of the past that falls into the category of “private infrastructure.” All of the nineteenth-century railroad structures I’ve shown here were built by private companies, for example. Another example, and the topic of today’s post, is the …

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