The latest news on New York architecture.

  • When Sidewalks Attack

    When Sidewalks Attack

    Winter is over but it's effects are still taking a toll on our sidewalks. Due to New York winters, the chemicals and salt used to clear the snow from the streets damage the sidewalks. While it is necessary to clear the snow, the wear and tear of winter can do a number on our sidewalks.

    You've seen them - uneven and cracked sidewalks. You may have even felt them by getting your heel caught in a crack or tripping over buckled concrete. When sidewalks attack, it's time to consider sidewalk replacement.

    In order to fix your unsightly sidewalk, you should engage a professional firm that is experienced with the New York City Administrative Code Sidewalk Rules and the repair and replacement of sidewalks and vaults.  

    A sidewalk replacement project can involve:

    • Designing and specifying structural and paving details
    • Filing and obtaining necessary city agency permits
    • Contractor bidding and negotiation
    • Construction management

    In addition to the basics listed above, many businesses and homeowners find that beautification is an important reason to engage a sidewalk replacement expert. 

    By adding well-conceived paving plans that takes into consideration the types of materials that can best withstand traffic, you can improve the aesthetics of your building.  

    A more attractive external appearance improves the sense of arrival for a visitor or customer, resulting in better foot traffic for a business.  Likewise, an appealing sidewalk-scape will contribute to the long-term value of your property.   

    Scott Henson Architect specializes in sidewalk replacement, paving plans, and street tree designs. Contact us to start the conversation about using aesthetics to improve the value of your property.

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  • New Dimensions and Classic Charm: Adaptive Reuse in New York City

    New Dimensions and Classic Charm: Adaptive Reuse in New York City

    New York City is a place with a rich history, a buzzing atmosphere, and commanding architecture.  Natives and travelers alike regularly walk past sites of historic and aesthetic value unaware of the potential that lines the block. Adaptive reuse in New York City is a viable option for those who are looking to place a new function, and get new value from a building or site.  

    Adaptive reuse is the practice of refitting existing architecture to meet new needs. This form of urban revitalization is becoming more common due to the practical solutions it provides for many urban centers, but it has a long tradition with New York City.

    Infrastructure reflects the growth and change of a population.  New York City has always embodied this principle by adopting new purposes for old buildings, while recognizing the history of the site. The High Line, a park on Manhattan's West Side, started out as an industrial freight line and now functions as a unique, cultural attraction that provides a window to the past.  An old printing press in Brooklyn was recently transformed into a creative work space for freelancers.  Many former industrial production sites across the city now serve as apartments, department stores, and restaurants.  Many of these sites preserve certain unique architectural traits.  This provides a quality that brings together the new function of the site with the existing character.

    Adapting a new function for old buildings also cuts out several phases of the design and build process.  One of these is demolition.  This saves the architects and engineers from designing an entirely new building, and saves the client money.  It also creatively challenges the designers to meet the needs of the client, while utilizing the existing structure. 

    Adaptive reuse has many benefits which have helped shape the character of New York City for over two centuries.  This practice is becoming more common, and is inspiring creative solutions for the use of old architecture.  To learn more, contact us.

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