fbpx

The latest news on New York architecture.

  • A Win for New Yorkers Trying to Save Tin Pan Alley

    A Win for New Yorkers Trying to Save Tin Pan Alley

    Tin Pan Alley is once again making its way into the hearts of Americans now that plans to build a high rise in its place have fallen through. After the Tin Pan Alley was put up for sale in the fall of 2018 for $44 million, the plan to redevelop the area fell through due to economic turmoil. The historical value and landmark status of these buildings have pushed them back into the spotlight and ignited many New Yorkers' desire to preserve their culture.

    American Culture Revisited

    Tin Pan Alley initially began as an influential residential area and reinvented itself as the spot to set up shop in the entertainment or music industry. Many careers began on these streets some of whose efforts would go on to support Americans through two World Wars and several presidential terms. Thomas Edison's motion picture company even boasted an office on this iconic avenue. Printers, composers, singers, songwriters, and even journalists called this place home for years.

    Notes of the Past

    Throughout the late 1880s and into the 1950s our country's songwriters thrived in this community. Piano tunes and various broadcasts could be heard up and down the road competing for attention. Local journalists nicknamed the area Tin Pan Alley referencing the competing piano tunes throughout the day and night.

    Tin Pan Alley’s musical history contains great songs such as "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" by Jack Norwood and "Give My Regards to Broadway" by George M. Cohan. These iconic pieces were penned within these buildings, and it seems fitting that preserving these buildings protects a rich history that is unique to the streets of New York and to the founders and artists of a bygone era.

    A Win for the Tin

    On March 12, 2019 the Landmarks Preservation Commission calendared five buildings on Tin Pan Alley; 47, 49, 51, 53 and 55 West 28th Street between Broadway and Sixth Ave. The Commission will research the history of these buildings and determine whether they will be eligible for landmark designation based on a combination of historical, cultural, and architectural significance.

    Back in the Spotlight

    The new focus on this area has presented the history of these remaining buildings in a unique, personal light for both the residents and New York City’s musical culture in general. Recognizing the value of these buildings and their place in history represents the core values of our city and our culture.

    Contact Scott Henson Architect to learn more about the preservation, restoration, and repairs necessary to protect these landmarks and other buildings with significant historical value.

    Read more...
  • Olmsted’s Staten Island Home in State of Disrepair

    Olmsted’s Staten Island Home in State of Disrepair

    On Staten Island sits an important house in a dreadful state of disrepair. Described by the New York Landmarks Preservation Commission as "a distinguished residence," the former home of Central Park designer Frederick Law Olmstead was declared a landmark in 1967.

    Alternately known as the Olmsted-Beil House or the Poillon House, this structure is the final remnant of the original 125-acre farm property Olmstead called home from 1848 to 1854. It was here that the idea of Central Park was conceived. This 18th century farmhouse was one of the very first official New York state landmarks, but if conservationists don't raise sufficient funds to make repairs soon, this important piece of history is sure to be demolished.

    According to a New York Times article, the estimated cost of stabilizing the abandoned house is around $460,000. One-third of that price would go towards removing flammable material, erecting a security fence, and paying for architectural drawings. This price doesn't include the cost of actual restoration of the landmark house.

    A Plan to Preserve

    In late October, the NYC Department of Parks and Recreation proposed the acquisition of an adjacent property that would protect the area around the historic farmhouse from future development while adding public park space to the neighborhood. ”The purchase of this neighboring house is an imperative step toward the goal of renovating and reopening the house.” said Staten Island parks commissioner, Lynda Ricciardone.

    How You Can Help

    According to Untapped Cities magazine, the New York Landmark Conservancy is in a hurry to raise renovation funds by way of a Kickstarter campaign. At the time of this blog, the conservancy group Reclaim Olmstead House Committee has received enough crowdfunding to cover the cost of stabilizing the farmhouse floor and giving the historical house a fresh coat of paint.

    The ROHC is endorsed by Cultural Landmarks Foundation president, Charles Birnbaum, Prospect Park admin, Sue Donoghue, historian Kenneth Jackson and documentary filmmaker, Ric Burns.

    To know more about historical restoration, contact us.

    Read more...