The latest news on New York architecture.

  • NYC Tax Photos Online Provide Insight in Architectural Development

    NYC Tax Photos Online Provide Insight in Architectural Development

    For the historic building enthusiast, New York City offers timeless architecture and a sense of nostalgia. The preservation of these historical buildings provides a small glimpse of what New York City looked like in the early 20th century.

    Starting in 1939, a group of photographers spread themselves throughout all five boroughs to undertake a project organized by the Works Progress Administration (WPA) and the New York City Department of Taxation. The original goal was to utilize these photos to appraise property value. These organizations had no idea just how valuable these photos would become in development today.

    Until recently, the ability to view these 1940s tax photos was an expensive and lengthy process.  In order to remedy this issue, the New York City Department of Records & Information Services has released a compilation of historic photos of the city to the public, available for online use. There are now 720,000 digitized images of every existing building in New York City between 1939 and 1941 for any user to view online. To peruse the photo gallery, click here.

    While these photos give us a snapshot of what city life looked like back in the day, they prove most useful in preserving historic architectural details. Even in the subsequent tax photos taken in the 1980s, we start to see alterations in the building fabric as many historic details are removed and replaced with cheaper interventions. Before completing any renovation, we must consider the historic details that make a building special.

    Scott Henson Architect prides itself in the preservation of historic New York City buildings. Our design aesthetic focuses on innovation combined with the preservation of historic detail and the SHA team values our clients’ goals and visions. Please set up a consultation and contact us today.

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  • What We Know About The New Amazon Headquarters in Long Island City

    What We Know About The New Amazon Headquarters in Long Island City

    After 238 proposals and 14 months of intense speculation, Amazon recently announced the new location for their second North American headquarters in Long Island City, New York.

    Why Long Island City?

    Long Island City is close in proximity to New York City - offering cultural institutions, international airports, public transit options and many other benefits of a densely populated urban area. Long Island City is a recently redeveloped area along the East River in Queens, New York. It has its own enticements such as residential towers with waterfront views, art galleries including MoMA PS1 and the landscaped riverfront park. The state of New York has offered approximately $1.7 billion in subsidies and incentives to lure Amazon in.

    Where in Long Island City will the Headquarters be?

    Per agreements between Long Island City and Amazon, the company’s headquarters will be built on a site in the Anable Basin area, north of the Hunters Point high-rise development. The site is a mix of publicly and privately-owned buildings, and is bordered by the East River, 46th Avenue, 44th Road and Vernon Boulevard.

    While many of Long Island City’s industrial areas have been replaced with shiny new residential and commercial buildings, there are still pockets of historic architecture such as the Hunter’s Point Historic District - a single-block of 2-story pre-war homes along 45th Avenue between 21st and 23rd Streets.

    Who will be designing the Long Island City Headquarters?

    No one knows currently. While making their decision regarding site location, Amazon worked with the Innovation Center's development team to make sure the site listed in the agreement could be developed to meet their requirements. However, Amazon has been silent about whether or not they intend to work with this team moving forward.

    The Innovation Center development team Amazon previously worked with includes:

    • TF Cornerstone (developer of several residential towers near the proposed site)
    • Handel Architects (architecture firm known for the design of the September 11th memorial)
    • Nielsen Matthews (a landscape architect with experience designing flood-prone sites)

    What are the current plans for the Headquarters?

    The current plans call for an initial development of around 4 million square feet of space across multiple buildings, with the potential to expand it to 8 million square feet later on. Amazon anticipates creating as many as 40,000 new jobs for workers in the New York City area over the next 15 years.

    Stay tuned for more information on this and other projects being developed around NYC. If you are looking for an architect for your own project - contact us for more information today.

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