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Big Doings for the Big Apple: Starting tomorrow, and over the next two weeks, there's a wealth of events surrounding the rebuilding of Lower Manhattan

Special programs offered by The Municipal Art Society, Van Alen Institute, the Center for Architecture, and the NYU Real Estate Institute.

by ArchNewsNow
May 31, 2002

“Imagine New York” Convenes Summit


On Saturday, June 1st (tomorrow!), Imagine New York workshop participants will help select the themes and visions that best reflect the thousands of ideas collected from Imagine New York workshops and Web site submissions. The Summit will be held from 10 am to 2 pm in at the New School University Swayduck Auditorium, 65 Fifth Avenue, Manhattan.


Breakfast and registration begin at 9:30 am. RSVP to the Imagine New York hotline at (212) 750-3972 or to


The Municipal Art Society of New York (MAS), in partnership with over 150 civic and community organizations, launched Imagine New York: Giving Voice to the People's Visions in March, in response to wide-spread concern that the broad public needed to be involved in the dialogue about downtown’s future.


The purpose of the Imagine New York Summit is to refine and finalize the workshop “vision statements” which will be published in a summary report and distributed to the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation (LMDC), the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, Mayor Bloomberg, Governor Pataki, the Borough Presidents, City Council members, and other key decision makers in the next few weeks (details of the presentation event will be posted on MAS Web site shortly).


Over 3,500 people across the tri-state region took part in Imagine New York workshops, expressing their ideas for rebuilding Lower Manhattan, memorializing the World Trade Center tragedy, and responding to the physical, economic and social impact that September 11th had on the city, region, and beyond. An additional 700 people from all over the world got involved in the process by posting their ideas on the Imagine New York Web site. 


“Thousands of people from incredibly diverse backgrounds and neighborhoods participated in our workshops,” says Holly Leicht, MAS Director of Design, Planning and Advocacy. “The Imagine New York process has shown that there is really more consensus than conflict concerning what should happen on the WTC site and in communities throughout the region in order to recover from September 11th. In fact, our initial findings suggest there is much common ground between the themes and visions generated by Imagine New York and the preliminary principles guiding the LMDC. We expect our summary report to be an important contribution as the LMDC develops an open, inclusive process for decision making.”


The Municipal Art Society is a private, non-profit membership organization whose mission is to promote a more livable city. Since 1893, the Society has worked to enrich the culture, neighborhoods and physical design of New York City. The MAS advocates for excellence in urban planning, contemporary architecture, historic preservation and public art.


“INFO-BOX NYC?” Architect of award-winning Info-Box shares insights from Berlin, with perspectives from New York


As the future of Lower Manhattan is determined, the need for information dissemination at or near the World Trade Center site and public dialogue becomes imperative. What can New York learn from the experience of Berlin’s Info -Box?


This question is at the heart of a public exchange entitled “INFO-BOX NYC?” organized by Van Alen Institute. The program will feature Info-Box architect Till Schneider of Schneider + Schumacher Architekten (Berlin), with perspectives from New York City architectural and planning leaders: Alexander Garvin, Vice President for Planning, Design and Development, Lower Manhattan Development Corporation; Hugh Hardy, Hardy Holzman Pfeiffer Associates; Laurie Hawkinson, Smith-Miller + Hawkinson; and Diana Balmori, Balmori Associates.


The event takes place Wednesday, June 5, 6:30 PM at The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, Wollman Hall, 51 Astor Place (8th Street between 3rd and 4th Avenues). Admission is free, but reservations are required: (212) 924-7000 x16 or


Mr. Schneider will present his design for Info-Box, the winning proposal of an international design competition for a temporary viewing platform and exhibition center overlooking the reconstruction of Potsdamer Platz (located in the heart of Berlin close to the Brandenburg Gate, Potsdamer Platz was destroyed during World War II. More recently it became the connecting point for East and West Berlin after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. It is now a central transportation hub and a leisure and business district). From its opening in 1995 until it was dismantled in 2000 (to make way for new building), the bright red iconic Info-Box became the city’s symbol of regeneration following the fall of the Berlin Wall. With two million annual visitors, it was one of the city’s most popular attractions. The information and exhibition center displayed architectural models, computer animations, and plans of the reconstruction, and had a regular program of lectures and forums to provide both residents and visitors with a central resource of comprehensive information about the redevelopment of the 120-acre site.


Respondents will consider what information exchange strategies might best serve Lower Manhattan’s residents and visitors, and whether New York should undertake a similar project. The program is sponsored by the MetLife Foundation and made possible by the Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture at Cooper Union.


This lecture is presented in connection with Van Alen Institute’s exhibition, “Renewing, Rebuilding, Remembering” which presents seven cities — including Berlin — that rethought and redesigned their urban life in the wake of disaster. This coming week is the last chance to see the show — it is on view only until June 7th by appointment at the Institute, 30 West 22 Street, 6th Floor. Call (212) 924-7000 to schedule a visit. The exhibition is scheduled to travel to a number of venues in the U.S. and internationally during 2002 and 2003.


Van Alen Institute is committed to improving the design of the public realm. Its program of Projects in Public Architecture promotes education and action through design studies, design competitions, public forums, Web sites, and publications, including the Van Alen Report.


6/11, Turning 9/11 Around: Symposium and Boat Tour


On Tuesday, June 11th from 1:00 to 5:30 pm, the Center for Architecture is presenting a symposium and boat tour with key New York City officials and financial industry decision-makers. Participants will assess the future of Lower Manhattan, the waterfront, and the region nine months after the attacks. After the conference, the discussion will continue on a boat tour of Lower Manhattan.


Panelists: Robert Davidson, FAIA, Port Authority of New York and New Jersey; Alexander Garvin, Hon. AIA, Lower Manhattan Development Corporation; Stephanie Gelb, AIA, Battery Park City Authority; Patricia Lancaster, AIA, New York City Department of Buildings; Geoff Rockhill, Goldman Sachs; Scott Salmirs, Lehman Brothers; Joseph Sproules, Citigroup; and John Vazquez, JP Morgan Chase


Moderators: Mark Ginsberg, AIA, Curtis + Ginsberg Architects; Fanny Gong, AIA, HLW International; Hector M. Guillen, AIA, Janko Rasic & Associates; and Margaret Helfand, FAIA, Helfand Myerberg Guggenheimer.


Respondents: Rosalie Genevro, Architectural League; Marian S. Imperatore, AIA, Regional Planning Association; Jill Lerner, AIA, New York New Visions; Fruma Narov, New York Association of Consulting Engineers; and Mark Strauss, AIA/AICP, Fox & Fowle Architects


Amanda Burden, Chair, New York City Planning Commission, will introduce the speakers. Also on hand will be Leevi Kiil, FAIA, President of the AIA New York Chapter and CEO of HLW International and Rick Bell, FAIA, Executive Director of the AIA New York Chapter.


The symposium, co-sponsored by the American Planning Association, begins at 1:00 pm at the National Museum of the American Indian, Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House, One Bowling Green, Manhattan. Tickets are $125 for CFA, AIA, and APA Members, and $175 for others (price includes admission to boat tour). For reservations, call (212) 683-0023 x11, or e-mail


The Center for Architecture, a joint project of the AIA New York Chapter and the New York Foundation for Architecture, is a virtual museum, community meeting place, conference center, research facility, and public policy institute providing critical resources for the public and the design, construction and real estate professions. The center will open real doors next year at 534 LaGuardia Place in Manhattan.


NYU Real Estate Institute/Urban Leadership Awards


Once the boat docks, you’ll have just enough time to change for the 35th Annual New York University Urban Leadership Award Dinner at the Regent Ballroom, 55 Wall Street (cocktails begin at 6:30, and the dinner and program start at 7:30).


The black tie event usually honors one individual for their contribution to the real estate community. This year, because of September 11th, REI felt the need for a different and special format. Advisory Board Chairman James Kuhn, President/Principal of Newmark & Co., and Chairman Emeritus Larry Silverstein, Chairman of Silverstein Properties, will co-host a program saluting the long-term commitment of the real estate industry to Lower Manhattan. There will be a screening of a specially commissioned video about Lower Manhattan, and a number of firms will be recognized for their special contributions to the fabric of Lower Manhattan


Special Recognition will be presented to: AIG; American Express; The Bank of New York; Brookfield Financial Properties; Century 21; Deutsche Bank; Goldman Sachs; Merrill Lynch; New Water Street Corporation; The New York Stock Exchange; Trinity Church; and Salomon Smith Barney.


The Dinner Chairs are Robin Panovka, Alan J. Pomerantz, and Mitchell E. Rudin. Honorary Chairmen include David M. Childs, Charlie J. Maikish, John C. Whitehead, John E. Zuccotti, and Mortimer B. Zuckerman.


Individual tickets: $600; Patron Tables: $5,500; and Benefactor Tables $10,000.


For more information, call the Dinner Coordinator, Fran Brooks, at (212) 790-3237, or email


The NYU Real Estate Institute is among the largest, most prestigious real estate educational facilities in the world. REI trains thousands of professionals a year in its graduate and undergraduate courses, continuing education courses, professional seminars, and national conferences.

(click on pictures to enlarge)


The Info-Box in Berlin, by Schneider + Schumacher Architekten, was designed as a temporary viewing platform and exhibition center overlooking the reconstruction of Potsdamer Platz.


© 2002