Archive for October, 2010

Field Trip Friday: YouTube Play at the Guggenheim

Last Friday night Hae-In attended the Guggenheim’s Art After Dark event, kicking off YouTube Play: A Biennial of Creative Video, which was on view at the museum from October 22 – 24. Art After Dark is a new series of seasonal evening events at the Guggenheim which focuses on a special exhibition or program at the museum.

Guggenheim exterior

For YouTube Play: A Biennial of Creative Video, the museum teamed up with Youtube to find the best creative videos from all over the world in order to select the most unique, innovative, groundbreaking work being created and distributed online during the past two years.

The exhibit addresses the fact that in the last 20 years, there has been a big shift in visual culture and the Internet has become a popular way to share new forms of digital media. More than two billion videos are watched daily on YouTube.

As stated on the Guggenheim’s website, “It is the goal of YouTube Play to reach the widest possible audience, inviting each and every individual with access to the Internet to submit a video for consideration. This global online initiative is not a search for what’s “now,” but a search for what’s next.”

The line for Art After Dark

Over 23,000 online videos were submitted from 91 countries, reflecting just how accessible video has become to produce and watch, even via iphone or digital camera. The submissions were narrowed down to 125 videos, which can be seen here.

Finally, a jury of 13 experts including artist Takashi Murakami, filmmaker Darren Aronofsky and the band Animal Collective, chose 25 videos to display at the exhibition. The Guggenheim Museums in New York, Bilbao, Berlin, and Venice all exhibited the top 25 videos last weekend.

YouTube videos projected onto the Guggenheim's exterior

At the event, YouTube video stills were projected on the museum’s exterior on a continuous loop. Inside the exhibit room, visitors received headsets with channels that corresponded to the 25 videos playing on the walls. In an adjoining room, one could also watch the videos on mounted flat screens, scrolling through and selecting them on the screen. The effect of everyone standing around, watching various videos and smiling, laughing, nodding along to music, and sharing their thoughts was more interactive than expected. The selected videos reflected a wide range of creativity and media within the digital realm.

Some of Hae-In’s favorites included Ladybird’s Requiem by Akino Kondoh, Luis by Joaquín Cociña, Cristóbal León, and Niles Atallah, Strindberg and Helium at the Beach by Eun-Ha Paek, Erin Perkins and James Bewley, Synthesia by Terri Timely and Wonderland Mafia by Lindsay Scoggins. Check them all out here.

Art After Dark bar area

In conjunction with the exhibit, the Take is a blog featuring writing by experts, scholars, and artists from the worlds of film, video, and Internet culture.

During the event, visitors were also able to view Chaos and Classicism: Art in France, Italy, and Germany, 1918–1936 and Broken Forms: European Modernism from the Guggenheim Collection in addition to their permanent collection.

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
1071 5th Avenue, New York, NY


OHNY Weekend Thank You’s

Field Trip Friday: FDR Four Freedoms Park Hard Hat Tour

Yesterday, OHNY staff took a tour of the Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park, designed by architect Louis I. Kahn and currently being constructed on the southern point of Roosevelt Island. Located at the center of the East River (which is not actually a river, but a tidal strait connecting Upper New York Bay to the Long Island Sound), the site offers panoramic views of the city’s skyline.

The original Smallpox Hospital, designed by James Renwick

Gina Pollara, Executive Director of Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park, and associate Stephen Martin led us through the site. We met at the Park’s entrance, located just south of the Smallpox Hospital, designed by James Renwick and built in 1856. Also known as the Renwick Ruin, it was landmarked in 1976 (the only ruin in the city to carry that designation) and has now been stabilized so that it can remain as an example of Gothic Revival architecture.

The final design for FDR Four Freedoms Park

Five Copper Beech trees will mark the Park’s entrance, as seen above. Visitors can arrive via paths that run along the east and west sides of the island, directly along the river’s edge, or by a wide stair that will eventually rise twelve feet to meet the “Garden,” a triangular shaped lawn bordered on either side by an allée of Little Leaf Linden trees.

Gina and Stephen described how the Garden will provide a southern view along the river and the promenade will highlight views of Queens and Manhattan. Both promenades and the path through the Garden will lead to the Forecourt, also bordered by Linden trees, and eventually the sculpture court which will display a sculpture of Franklin D. Roosevelt created from life in 1933 by artist Jo Davidson.

Kahn referred to the area at the tip of the Park as the “Room,” which is meant to be “a transition from a place of activity to a more contemplative setting.” The “Room” will be a 72-foot square plaza, open to the south but otherwise defined by high, closely spaced granite columns. The open south side of the Room provides a beautiful views of the United Nations, city skyline and the East River.

Showing us the plans

The Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park is named after Franklin D. Roosevelt’s famous Four Freedoms speech, given on January 6, 1941. Addressing Congress right before the US entered World War II, President Roosevelt spoke about our right to four essential freedoms: Freedom of Speech, Freedom to Worship, Freedom from Want, and Freedom from Fear. These points will be memorialized and inscribed on a granite wall in the final design of the Park.

The granite comes from a quarry in North Carolina

Planning for the park began back in 1970, when the Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute (then known as the Four Freedoms Foundation) initiated the idea for a memorial to FDR in New York. The southern tip of what was then known as Welfare Island was selected and so the island was renamed Roosevelt Island in honor of the former President on September 24, 1973. Fundraising kicked off as soon as the project was conceived (the estimated cost of the memorial at that time was $6 million) but the financial crisis in New York City in the mid-1970s prevented them from moving forward. In 1985, the Roosevelt Memorial Commission finally reviewed site plans and reaffirmed their commitment.

It has been a challenge to find funding for the project, but some progress has now been made towards building the memorial. The ruins of the Old City Hospital at the southern end of the island have been torn down and the site has been filled, shaped and graded according to Kahn’s design.

The first stones have been placed

This past Monday, Governor Paterson and Mayor Bloomberg were there to welcome the arrival of 24 Granite Foundation Stones, monolithic stones that each weigh 36 tons. They are now being placed onto the site to form the Room’s foundation. This part of the site, referred to as the “Room,” is currently surrounded by a steel wall which help forms a bathtub-like area out of which they must constantly pump water.

OHNY Staff and Gina Pollara, on site

The Park is to be completed and open by Fall 2012.  We are excited to follow the Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park’s progress and look forward to comparing ‘before’ and ‘after’ shots once it is completed!

Enter the Focus on Architecture Photo Competition — deadline extended!

Ellis Island by Michael George

The deadline has been extended to enter OHNY’s 2010 Focus on Architecture Competition via Flickr!

Submit your best to be judged by award-winning professional photographers in four competitive categories:

  • interiors
  • exteriors
  • details
  • people

Download the rules and waiver form at:

Submission Details:
* Upload to OHNY’s flickr group between Saturday, October 9th — Tuesday, October 26th.
* Please limit your submissions to 4 photos per category.
* Submit your image/s with titles in this format: SITENAME-CATEGORY-creditYOURNAME, Example: USCustomHouse-Interiors-creditReneeSchacht
* Parents or legal guardians must fill out and sign a waiver form for entrants under the age of 18 in order to be eligible and mail to openhousenewyork, 115 West 27th Street, 9th Floor, New York, NY 10001 or fax to 212.620.5299.
* Adult entrants must copy the following onto the email and ‘sign’ by adding their full name below

“I have read the competition rules posted on as of October 9, 2010 and accept and agree to abide by them and the decisions of openhousenewyork inc. which shall be final and binding in all respects.”

* Your image/s will be removed if a waiver is not received by October 22nd.
* The minimum dimensions of each image must be at a 180 pixels wide in JPEG format only.

Field Trip Friday: World Habitat Day 2010

New York celebrated World Habitat Day on October 4 and one of our interns, Kathleen, was able to attend the day-long Workshop at the United Nations Headquarters. The theme, ‘Better City, Better Life’ focused in on the ‘collective vision of a sustainable urban world that harnesses the potential and possibilities, mitigates inequalities and disparities, and provides a home for people of all cultures and ages, both rich and poor.’ The discussion brought forth the best and worst experiences of urban projects around the globe in an effort to encourage and improve sustainable urban practices.

The UN Headquarters from beneath the scaffolding! (and in the rain...)

The lecture was held in the Conference building, adjacent to the General Assembly and Secretariat Buildings.  Designed by a team of 11 international architects, the grounds are an ‘international zone’ under the jurisdiction of the United Nations, despite it’s location in Manhattan. The famous glass facade of the Secretariat was designed by Le Corbusier and Oscar Niemeyer (1947-53) but is currently undergoing a much-needed renovation and partially hidden by scaffolding.  The complex has four main buildings: the General Assembly building, the Conference Building, the Secretariat and the Dag Hammarskjold Library (1961).

Cultural heritage throughout! Gift from the Republic of Korea: Early Movable Metal Type from 1447 AD

Anyone may enter the General Assembly building — you don’t need a tour to see the lobby, but it’s probably not a bad idea! The interior is as impressive as the surrounding grounds, full of artwork gifted from member nations as well as temporary installations in the General Assembly lobby.

Replica of Sputnik in the UN lobby

Speakers came from London and Rio to speak about the urban impacts of preparing to host the Olympics, while the Huairou Commission brought forth issues of women and human settlements. David Burney, Commissioner of NYC Dept. of Design and Construction and Dr. Karen Lee of the NYC Dept. of Health ended the day on a high note discussing New York City’s on-going transition to a more sustainable urban area! They highlighted the city’s successfully implemented projects and future plans for increased bike lanes, public spaces, encouragement of street cafe’s, open markets and healthier eating habits, and experimental car-free zones.

Field Trip Friday: OHNY Sites to See

Here’s a few of the OHNY sites and tours that don’t require reservations this weekend.  Check the website for more listings in your neighborhood!

Image courtesy of Renee Choi

OHNY Tours: High Bridge Park

The Emerging NY Architects Committee, AIA New York Chapter, hosted an international ideas competition for High Bridge Park, 2009-2010. Tour with the organizers of the competition, and see what lies ahead for the district.

Address: NW corner, River Ave/ 167th St

Neighborhood: Hunts Point, Bronx


Times: Saturday Oct. 9; 1, 2, 3, 4pm

Alexander Hamilton US Customs House Tour

Completed for the Customs Service in 1907, this Beaux-Arts landmark is now home to the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian and federal agencies.

Address: 1 Bowling Green/ Broadway (at the southern tip of Broadway)

Neighborhood: Financial District, Manhattan

Architect: Cass Gilbert, 1907.


Times: Open Oct. 9 & 10, 10am – 5pm  Architecture/ History tours throughout the day. * Sat 1 – 4 pm access to the Collector’s office.

Grand Lodge of Masons

The ornately decorated rooms of the Freemasons’ meeting place reflect this ancient organization’s unique history and mission.

Address: 23rd Street and 6th Avenue

Neighborhood: Chelsea, Manhattan

Architect: H.P. Knowles, 1912


Times: Oct. 9 & 10, 10am – 3pm

Brooklyn Academy of Music-BAM

BAM which staged its first performance in 1861, BAM is a long-standing cultural anchor of NY with one of the finest examples of polychrome terracotta architecture in the US.

Address: 30 Lafayette Ave/ Felix Pl

Neighborhood: Fort Greene, Brooklyn

Architect: Henry B. Herts & Hugh Tallant, 1908; restoration H3 Hardy Collaboration Architecture, 2008.


Times: Saturday Oct. 9, 2-4pm opendialoguenewyork start times 2, 3pm

LMCC Artists Studios Open House

In 2009, LMCC took over the space and Davis Brody Bond Aedas provided pro bono design services to transform the brick structure. Please join us as our visual artists-in-residence open their studios at Building 110: LMCC’s Arts Center at Governors Island for the closing weekend of the public access season.

Address: The Gallery at Building 110

Neighborhood: Governor’s Island, Manhattan


Times: Oct 9 & 10, 11am-6pm

NY Marble Cemetery

NYC’s oldest non-sectarian burial ground is a half-acre garden oasis with 156 underground vaults. With no markers on the grass, only plaques on the walls indicate the family names

Address: 41 1/2 Second Ave/ 2nd St

Neighborhood: East Village, Manhattan


Times: Oct. 9 & 10; 10am – 5pm

NYCity Marble Cemetery

One of only two non-sectarian burial grounds in Manhattan, it contains 258 underground marble vaults and has seen the funerals of many distinguished citizens, including President James Monroe and many founders of city institutions. Originally built on farmland north of the city it now a green oasis in this downtown neighborhood.

Address: 52-74 E 2nd St/ 1st Ave (between 1st and 2nd Ave)

Architect: Perkins Nichols, 1831

Neighborhood: East Village, Manhattan


Times: Oct. 9 & 10; 10am – 5pm

MTA’s Planned Service Changes during OHNY Weekend

For Saturday, October 9

For Sunday, October 10