Fellow, Leonard A. Lauder Research Center for Modern Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 2015-17
Anna Jozefacka is an art historian specializing in modern architecture, urbanism, art, and design history in Europe and the United States. She earned her doctorate from the Institute of Fine Arts, NYU, in 2011 with the dissertation Rebuilding Warsaw: Conflicting Visions of a Capital City (1916-1956). Her current fellowship research at the Leonard A. Lauder Research Center for Modern Art focuses on Cubism’s relationship to the evolution of the interior in the first three decades of the twentieth century. Among her recent publications is “Protean Prompt: The Matchbook as Commercial, Private, and Cultural Reminder” for Journal of Decorative and Propaganda Arts (2015). In addition, she has contributed to the exhibition catalogue Cubism: The Leonard A. Lauder Collection (New York, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2014). Jozefacka taught courses on history New York City’s architecture and urbanism at Hunter College, CUNY, and Duke University’s Duke in New York programs.
Lecturer, Art Department, Brooklyn College, City University of New York
Malka Simon is an architectural historian specializing in modern architecture and urban development in Europe and the United States. She teaches courses at Brooklyn College on the history of architecture and urban design, and on New York City’s architectural development. Her research, some carried out under the aegis of the Landmarks Preservation Commission, examines Brooklyn’s industrial landscapes of the early twentieth century, and her publications include “’The Walled City’: Industrial Flux in Red Hook, Brooklyn, 1840-1920,” in Buildings and Landscapes (2010). She earned her doctorate from NYU’s Institute of Fine Arts in 2009 with the dissertation The Space of Production: Brooklyn and the Creation of an Urban Industrial Landscape.
Professor of Architecture and Urban Studies, Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, New York University
Hilary Ballon, an urban and architectural historian, teaches at NYU, where she is University Professor and Professor of Architecture and Urban Studies in the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. Her research on New York City has resulted in: New York’s Pennsylvania Stations, an exhibition and book (2002); Robert Moses and the Modern City, a three-part exhibition and related book (2007); The Greatest Grid: The Master Plan of Manhattan, an exhibition and related book (2011); and the Future City Lab, an innovative, interactive exhibition about big challenges facing New York over the next generation. The Future City Lab is part of New York at Its Core, a new, permanent exhibition about the city’s past, present and future at the Museum of the City of New York. In 2012 Ballon received the American Academy of Arts and Letters Award in Architecture for her publications and curatorial work. She is on the board of the Skyscraper Museum and the Regional Plan Association.
Thomas J. Campanella
Professor of city planning at Cornell University and director of its undergraduate Urban and Regional Studies program; Historian-in-Residence, NYC Department of Parks
Across the Tudor Plain
This paper explores the origins, symbolism and meaning of the signature architectural style of southern Brooklyn neighborhoods—the Tudor Revival. By 1900, Brooklyn north of the glacial moraine had mostly hardened into cityscape; nearly everything to its south was still countryside. Not until the 1920s did the metropolitan tide spill down the outwash plain. If the Italianate brownstone was the architectural icon of old Brooklyn, that of the new was the Tudor-revival rowhouse. Steeped in an aura of chivalry and Shakespeare, Tudorism was born of nativist yearnings to secure America’s (largely imagined) Anglo-Saxon past in the face of massive immigration. But it was a pliable form, and appealed to the very people—Jews, Italians, Irish—whose arrival helped spawn it. In outer-borough Brooklyn and Queens, Tudorism was stripped of its revanchist edge, popular not for channeling some mythic past but for evoking the wealth and status of elite suburbs like Riverdale and Bronxville where it first appeared. By emulating the emulators, Tudorism turned from a style for the rich into one for the striving masses.
Thomas J. Campanella is a professor of city planning at Cornell University and director of its undergraduate Urban and Regional Studies program. He currently serves as Historian-in-Residence of the New York City Department of Parks. A recipient of Guggenheim, Fulbright and Rome Prize fellowships, Campanella has written for The New York Times, Wired and the Wall Street Journal. His books include The Concrete Dragon: China’s Urban Revolution and What It Means for the World and Republic of Shade: New England and the American Elm—winner of the Spiro Kostof Award. He divides his time between Ithaca and the Marine Park neighborhood of Brooklyn where he grew up.
Independent scholar and educator
The Next Generation Row House
The row house is a New York City archetype, and has been a mainstay of the city’s residential fabric since the 18th century. When one conjures an image of a row house, though, what typically comes to mind is the classic 19th-century “brownstone,” a towering four-or five-story structure, of the type that might be found on the Upper West Side, Park Slope, Bedford-Stuyvesant, or Crown Heights. This poster will explore the row houses that came later, those that were designed and built specifically to accommodate cars. By the middle of the 20th century, when car ownership was standard and large swaths of the outer boroughs were urbanizing, acre upon acre of plain, red-brick row houses were built. This poster celebrates these humble homes—to be found in outer borough neighborhoods like Marine Park, Canarsie, and Mill Basin–and identifies them as the architectural descendants of those 19th progenitors.
Jane Cowan is an independent architectural historian and educator whose specialty is teaching children to care about, love, and notice the built environment. For nearly 20 years, Jane has conducted hands-on, art-based architectural “residencies” in over 300 classrooms for students in grades K – 12 throughout the tri-state area. In addition to her teaching, Jane has created and written original architecture-based curricula and lesson plans for historic house museums in New York and New Jersey. She is also the author of companion lesson plans for WTTW-Chicago’s three-part “10 That” series that aired on public television stations across the nation in the spring of 2016. The shows in this series were “10 Homes That Changed America,” “10 Parks That Changed America,” and “10 Towns That Changed America.” Jane conducts architectural research and is the author of dozens of articles for organizations such as The New York Landmarks Conservancy; the American Institute of Architects; and Friends of the Upper East Side Historic Districts. Jane has a BA in the Growth and Structure of Cities from Bryn Mawr College and an MS in Historic Preservation from Columbia University. Visit Jane on the web at www.learnfrombuildings.com.
Andrew S. Dolkart
Professor of Historic Preservation, Columbia University School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation
Hiding in Plain Sight: The Six-Story Apartment House in New York City’s Outer Boroughs
The six-story apartment house, erected in large numbers in the outer boroughs in the 1920s and 1930s, largely for working- and lower middle-class immigrant households, is one of the most ubiquitous but least analyzed building types in New York City. Who built these buildings?; who designed them?; why were the facades and public lobbies designed to resemble historic European and American architecture or, alternatively, to evoke modern urbanism?; how were they planned and marketed?; who moved in?; and what did the new tenants get for their rent? These are important questions that need to be answered in order to understand the character of New York’s neighborhoods at a crucial period, when development was following subway lines into previously undeveloped areas of the city. Historians have investigated the city’s nineteenth-century row houses and immigrant tenements, reform and progressive housing, and twentieth-century luxury apartment houses, but the six-story apartment house has been hiding in plain sight.
Andrew S. Dolkart is an architectural historian and preservationist specializing in the architecture and development of New York City, with a central focus on the unrecognized vernacular building types of the city. He has written several award winning books, including Morningside Heights: A History of Its Architecture and Development, Biography of a Tenement House in New York City, and The Row House Reborn: Architecture and Neighborhoods in New York City, 1908-1929. He is currently working on a book about the architecture and development of the city’s garment lofts.
Visiting Assistant Professor, Pratt Institute, Brooklyn
Associate, Diane Lewis Architects, New York City
A Green Ward: Mass and Void in Jackson Heights
Jackson Heights embodies planning principles developed at the turn of the 20th century which remain prevalent in contemporary society. The concerns of population growth and the accompanying investigations into mass housing were balanced with the emerging recognition of the necessity to retain and promote green space as an address to densification. Jackson Heights is significant in the uniformly coherent scope of its vision implemented under singular stewardship and the nuanced architectural planning of its full block massing. Autonomous apartment volumes were conceived as repeated sets to create a network of permeable blocks with interior green thoroughfares. Land as a continuous green space was prioritized as the given condition with its roots in the formalization of an agrarian history, an important deviation from the typical NYC convention of a built urban environment with plant life reinserted in the constructed hard-scape. The clarity in the architectural organization laid the framework for the atmospheric, socially diverse, and vibrant neighborhood that Jackson Heights is today.
Emma Fuller is a graduate of the Cooper Union Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture. She currently teaches at Pratt Institute, is an Associate with Diane Lewis Architects, and works independently on architectural research, design and theory projects. Her recent work includes the study and analysis of ancient villages outside of Shijiazhuang China with a lecture, site visits and a pending publication funded by the Hebei province government. As a 2016 Fellow of the Institute for Public Architecture she designed a living/work space typology developed in hand with a comprehensive survey of the city’s artists. In 2015 she designed and orchestrated two exhibitions, lectures, and panel discussions entitled Richmond as a Work of Art supported through grants from CultureWorks. Design projects have been featured at The Branch Museum of Architecture and Design as well as The Storefront for Community Design in Richmond VA. Her work has been awarded a Design Excellence Award and a Design Education Award from the aforementioned institutions and she was a finalist for the American Academy in Rome 2016-2017 Prize in Architecture.
Epic to Ad Hoc: Bedford Stuyvesant Superblock, 1966-69
In December 1966, Brooklyn’s Bedford Stuyvesant ghetto became the testing ground for an emerging socio-economic rehabilitation model, the Community Development Corporation (CDC). What happened next has received attention both as a milestone in US urban policy and for its unlikely concatenation of participants including Sen. Robert Kennedy, Franklin Thomas, Brooke Astor, and Sonny Carson. The urban design and architectural aspects of this episode, however, are often relegated to footnotes by social historians. In fact, these aspects provide a powerful frame for analysis: the Bed Stuy CDC’s originary concepts were heavily invested in urban planning and design — and especially their extension into construction, rehabilitation, and maintenance. The trajectory from Edward Logue’s 1967 Bed Stuy master plan through I.M. Pei’s “Superblock” strategy to the provisional realization of one Superblock in 1969 illuminates a watershed transition from macro-scale urbanism to localized response.
Kimbro Frutiger is an architect and writer with twenty-two years of professional experience in New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago. His recent completed projects include facade restoration documents for the landmark May Co. building as part of the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures and a new space for A+D / Architecture and Design Museum, Los Angeles. Kimbro’s historical research focuses on intersections of culture and construction in postwar Modernism, especially in the US (Paul Rudolph, Ben Thompson) and Italy (Franco Minissi, BBPR). He has written extensively on social aspects of architecture and urbanism in New York City during the 1960s and 70s, both for DoCoMoMo publications and a book in preparation. Kimbro studied Classical languages and archeology at Amherst College and received an MArch from Yale School of Architecture. More information is at kimbrofrutiger.com
Co-founder, president, and principal investigator, Chrysalis Archaeology, New York
Landscape Transformation in Marine Park, Brooklyn – Prehistory to modern-day Suburb
Use and occupation of the present-day neighborhood of Marine Park and Gerritsen’s Creek extends back to the Native American Woodland Period. With European settlement in the seventeenth century, Dutch farmers modified the area for large scale agricultural uses. One of the first mills to be constructed on Long Island was established on the shores of Gerritsen’s Creek by the 1640s. The still extant Hendrick I. Lott Farm was part of a large agricultural property that operated from circa 1720 until 1926. Archaeological and historic research surrounding the Lott House and Marine Park has documented prehistoric occupation, large scale agricultural production in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and the rapid rural to urban transformation of Marine Park, Brooklyn. This poster presentation documents changes in the landscape from the Native American, agricultural through urbanized periods of the Marine Park’s history.
From Private to Public: The Changing Landscape of Van Cortlandt Park, Bronx, New York in the Nineteenth Century
The nineteenth century was a period of great change in America. The growing Industrial Revolution and changing landscape of the environment altered not only the social structure, but the physical make-up of the county. This paper will focus on one aspect of transformation in the nineteenth century and how it can be seen in the archaeological record: the Environmental Movement. Using the archaeological evidence from excavations in Van Cortlandt Park, Bronx, New York in conjunction with documentary evidence of the time, the paper will present how this “idea” of the changing landscape from private to public was played out. The work at the park in conjunction with the growing social movement attempts to answer the question of why the Van Cortlandts, one of the wealthiest families in the City of New York, sold and deeded 850 acres of their land to the City for the expressed purposes of turning it into a park and how the City in turn transformed the family’s farm lands into the one of the major parks of the City. (Presented jointly with Christopher Ricciardi.)
Alyssa Loorya is a New York City-based archaeologist and preservationist. She is co-founder and President of Chrysalis Archaeology and serves as an advisory board member for several preservation organizations, including the Hendrick I. Lott House and the Historic Districts Council. A lifelong New Yorker, who grew up and still lives in Brooklyn, Alyssa is a strong proponent of sharing her research with the public and making archaeology and history relevant to local communities. From 1994 and 2001, Ms. Loorya participated in over twenty excavations in and around the New York City area while working at the Brooklyn College Archaeological Research Center (BC-ARC). As Principal Investigator of Chrysalis Archaeology, Ms. Loorya has directed over sixty Cultural Resource Management (CRM) projects within New York, New Jersey, Vermont and Connecticut. These have included excavations within historic cemeteries, projects within New York’s City Hall Park and the South Street Seaport area. Ms. Loorya is also involved in archaeological and historic preservation educational programming. She has developed special content curricula in archaeology and historic preservation and architecture for the New York City Department of Education, several local museums and non-profits. A Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of Anthropology at the City University of New York’s, Graduate Center Ms. Loorya’s research interests focus on the ongoing development of the New York City area from the Dutch period through the turn of the twentieth century.
Martha J. Nadell
Associate Professor, English Department, Brooklyn College, City University of New York
The Poetics of Brooklyn’s In-Between Spaces
Brooklyn has a long and varied history in American arts and letters. Although Walt Whitman is often taken as a founding father of Brooklyn literature, the twentieth- and twenty-first century saw an explosion of writing in and about Brooklyn. Ideas about Brooklyn’s cityscape and inhabitants varied over time and across the borough. In the 1920s, H.P. Lovecraft constructed an occult-cum-nativist fantasy centered in Red Hook’s portside tunnels. Arthur Miller, in the 1950s, and Hubert Selby, in the 1960s, used Red Hook’s waterfront tenements, housing projects, and docks to speculate about citizenship, sexuality and gender, and race. More recently, Jonathan Lethem mapped a complex web of social and spatialized relationships on to the streets and buildings of Gowanus cum Boerum Hill, a nearby neighborhood during 1970s gentrification.
Brooklyn is one of what French critic Bernard Westphal describes as hauts lieux littéraires, locales that have rich and substantive literary presences that are strongly linked to and meditate on the material spaces to which they refer. My paper focuses on how two small, yet recognizable, material spaces of Brooklyn – the fire escape and the stoop – become occasions for the literary exploration of a variety of social anxieties. I concentrate initially on visual and performative representations of these structure and then read the fire escapes and stoops in a number of relatively recent literary texts (Do the Right Thing, Brooklyn, The Fortress of Solitude, and others). All imagine the interstitial spaces between public and private as sites that allow for multiple narratives of race and gender and childhood and adulthood. I argue that fire escapes and stoops challenge privileged ideas of the home, the hardened opposition between public and private, and rigid ideas about socio-spatial identity in the context of urban renewal and in conversations with contemporaneous ideas about urban decay and community.
Martha Jane Nadell is Associate Professor of English at Brooklyn College of The City University of New York. She is the author of Enter the New Negroes: Images of Race in American Culture, as well as articles about African American arts and letters and race and modernism. She is at work on a literary and cultural history of Brooklyn and has published in that area. In 2015, she was a Fulbright Scholar at the Università Ca’Foscari Venezia.
Catherine Seavitt Nordenson
Associate Professor, The Bernard and Anne Spitzer School of Architecture, City College, City University of New York
Toward an Industrial Ecology: Staten Island’s North Shore
Staten Island, New York City’s fifth borough, was consolidated into the city in 1898. Often maligned and commonly nicknamed “the forgotten borough,” compassionate interest in the island’s ecological and social issues surged after the devastating landfall of Hurricane Sandy in October 2012 and the death of Eric Garner at the hands of police in July 2014. Staten Island is a fascinating site of exploration for landscape architects, particularly given the environmental justice issues focused along the island’s North Shore, home to Staten Island’s most racially diverse and economically challenged neighborhoods. The Fall 2016 graduate landscape architecture research studio, coordinated by Catherine Seavitt Nordenson at the City College of New York, is proposing a transformation of the industrial and ecological waterfront at the western reaches of the North Shore between the Bayonne Bridge and the Goethals Bridge. Sites include Mariners Marsh Park, Arlington Marsh, and the Port Authority rail yards.
Catherine Seavitt Nordenson is an Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture at CUNY’s City College of New York and principal of Catherine Seavitt Studio, a practice integrating the design of landscape and infrastructure. Her research includes design adaptation to sea level rise in urban coastal environments, as well as the novel transformation of landscape restoration practices given the dynamics of climate change. She is also interested in the intersection of political power, environmental activism, and public health, particularly through the design of public space and policy.
Independent Scholar, New York
The Staten Island Civic Center and Architectural Scenography in Metropolitan New York
This paper traces the genesis of the Civic Center in relation to the development history of Richmond County in the nineteenth century and the effects of the 1898 municipal consolidation. It analyzes the dynamics of architectural scenography in Carrère and Hastings’ design, placing it in the contexts of their other work around the city and the larger goal of bringing visual cohesion to the newly-enlarged cityscape of Greater New York. Scenographic design—an approach that emphasized dramatic perspectival views of architectural ensembles; theatrical, stage-like settings; and other powerful visual experiences that had not been exploited previously in the city’s architecture—helped to visually stitch together the disparate parts of the metropolis. The paper suggests ways in which this architectural vision was prepared for and supported by political and social developments in the Progressive Era, especially the new understanding of urban citizenship that transformed the anti-urbanism endemic in American life.
Paul Ranogajec is an art and architectural historian with a Ph.D. from the City University of New York. He works at the Open Society Foundations and is an adjunct instructor in American art at Hunter College. He has also taught at York College, Mercy College, and Brooklyn College. His current work examines New York City’s architectural scenography in the years around 1900. He is completing a book manuscript, Scenographic New York: Classical Architecture and the Modern Metropolis.
Co-founder and principal investigator, Chrysalis Archaeology, New York
From Private to Public: The Changing Landscape of Van Cortlandt Park, Bronx, New York in the Nineteenth Century
The nineteenth century was a period of great change in America. The growing Industrial Revolution and changing landscape of the environment altered not only the social structure, but the physical make-up of the county. This paper will focus on one aspect of transformation in the nineteenth century and how it can be seen in the archaeological record: the Environmental Movement. Using the archaeological evidence from excavations in Van Cortlandt Park, Bronx, New York in conjunction with documentary evidence of the time, the paper will present how this “idea” of the changing landscape from private to public was played out. The work at the park in conjunction with the growing social movement attempts to answer the question of why the Van Cortlandts, one of the wealthiest families in the City of New York, sold and deeded 850 acres of their land to the City for the expressed purposes of turning it into a park and how the City in turn transformed the family’s farm lands into the one of the major parks of the City. (Presented jointly with Alyssa Loorya.)
Christopher Ricciardi holds a doctorate in Anthropology and Archaeology from Syracuse University and is a Registered Professional Archeologist (RPA). Currently Dr. Ricciardi is a Program Manager with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) – North Atlantic Division. He is in charge of ensuring the Corps’ mission is executed throughout the region from Maine to Virginia. In addition to his work with the Corps, Dr. Ricciardi is a Co-Founder and Principal Investigator with Chrysalis Archaeology. He has served in this position since 2001. From 1990 to 2001 he was the Assistant to the Director of the Brooklyn College Archaeological Research Center (BC-ARC). During that period he lectured on field and laboratory methods, directed field and laboratory programs and mentored students. Between 2001 and 2009 Dr. Ricciardi served as the Chief Archaeologist for the Corps, New York District, where he managed all New York City Works projects as they related to Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act. Dr. Ricciardi has participated in over thirty archaeological excavations in Eastern Europe, Bulgaria, the Caribbean, upstate New York, Long Island and across New York City. Some of his specific research interests include: African-American slavery, the Underground Railroad, rural to urban transformation, the Dutch in New York and landscape transformation. Dr. Ricciardi has authored and co-authored over forty archaeological reports and publications and has presented over a hundred lectures on various topics surrounding New York City history and archaeology.
Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Art History, Urban Design and Architecture Studies, New York University
Democratic Amusements: Civic Centers, Amusement Parks, and Public Life in Early 20th Century New York City
In the years around 1900, architects, politicians, and entrepreneurs introduced two new public spaces into U.S. cities: civic centers and amusement parks. This paper examines the history of both in New York City, arguing that private amusement parks in Brooklyn’s Coney Island shaped a richer public experience than the public civic center. Designers of both civic centers and amusement parks derived their form and plan from the 1893 Chicago World’s Columbian Exposition, but they differed in their aims and programs. Civic center proponents, often Progressive reformers, claimed their projects would facilitate democratic participation and citizenship through public buildings, site planning, and monumental works of art. Amusement park owners did not aspire to build a public sphere, but their parks attracted greater attendance and more public events than did the civic centers rising in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Staten Island. For many, the amusement park, not the civic center, became the locus of social interaction, community building, and identity formation.
Jon Ritter is an urbanist and architectural historian who works on the early 20th century origins of urban planning in U.S. cities. He teaches courses on the history of architecture and urbanism in the NYU Department of Art History, Urban Design, and Architecture Studies. He also co-directs the NYU M.A. in Historical and Sustainable Architecture, which promotes preservation and adaptive reuse of historic buildings. Professor Ritter earned his B.A. from Yale University in 1988 and his Ph.D. from the NYU Institute of Fine Arts in 2007.
Kara Murphy Schlichting
Assistant Professor of History, Queens College, City University of New York
“From Dumps to Glory”: City Planning, Coastal Reclamation, and the Rebirth of Flushing Meadow for the 1939-1940 New York World’s Fair
This paper examines the massive environmental reclamation project of Flushing Meadows for the 1939-1940 Queens world’s fair. In the 1930s, the infamous ash dump at Flushing Meadows stood as stark proof of the consequences of an unplanned periphery. On this wasteland, planners merged urban environmental and technological infrastructure to build the fair, the “World of Tomorrow.” While the fair is most often remembered in terms of its futurist theme, the creation of the Flushing Meadows fairsite was grounded in the very real, contemporary forces of Progressive infrastructure systems and federally-funded public works. When viewed comparatively, site construction and the fair’s exhibits on the futurist utopian city emerge as complementary narratives of re-planning and re-engineering of the urban environment. The history of the fairsite makes visible how urban planners, public works officials, and engineers merge the city’s technological and environmental infrastructure to build the World of Tomorrow in an urbanizing borough.
Kara Murphy Schlichting is an Assistant Professor of History at Queens College, CUNY. She earned her PhD from Rutgers University in 2014. Her work in late-19th and 20th-century American History sits at the intersection of urban, environmental, and political history, with a particular focus on property regimes and regional planning in greater New York City. She is currently finishing a manuscript on this topic. In the spring of 2016 Schlichting held a Mellon fellowship in Urban Landscape Studies at Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection in Washington, D.C., for her new project entitled “The Nature of Urban Coastal Resiliency: Twentieth-Century Governance, Environmental Management, and Design.”
Jonathan D. Taylor
Associate, Higgins Quasebarth & Partners
Tapestry Brick Dwellings: The Afterlife of the Row House in Brooklyn
This poster illustrates the creation of a widespread type of residence in new Brooklyn neighborhoods developed in the 1920s. The tapestry brick dwelling is a typically two-story brick building, attached or semidetached, ornamented with patterned brickwork and a shaped parapet without a cornice. The 1920s were the decade with the largest production of new housing units in New York’s history, much of it in new neighborhoods in the outer boroughs, often settled by residents moving from older immigrant centers like the Lower East Side. Architects, themselves immigrants, designed the buildings in a consistent vocabulary that lent itself to both uniformity and variation. These house-like buildings were really small multiple dwellings, originally occupied by working- and lower-middle-class families. This under-acknowledged hybrid of row house form and tenement density defined residential life for much of 20th-century New York beyond the large apartment buildings of Manhattan.
Jonathan D. Taylor is a historic preservation consultant in New York City. A graduate of Harvard College and the Historic Preservation program of Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, he is also a collaborating editor, with Patrick Ciccone, of a forthcoming revised edition of the late Charles Lockwood’s Bricks & Brownstone (Rizzoli).
Queens Modern: How Vernacular Mid-Century Architecture Defined a Borough
The architecture of Queens has long been underappreciated, especially when compared with gleaming Manhattan. However the borough contains one of the most significant collections of mid-century architecture and is a case study on how high style modernism made its way to the masses. From 1930 to 1970, Queens’ population nearly doubled by a million people and thousands of buildings were constructed to provide places for them to live, work, and interact. The Queens Chamber of Commerce Building Awards program serves as a record of some of the best of this architecture, with more than 400 award-winning properties over four decades, ranging from small industrial warehouses to new housing developments for tens of thousands of residents. By examining this expansive body of work, done largely by local and regional architects, we can begin to understand how vernacular modernism defines the Queens we know today.
Frampton Tolbert has been involved in the fields of architecture, preservation, and urbanism for more than 20 years, currently serving as Deputy Director at the Center for Urban Pedagogy, an award winning non-profit, whose mission is to use the power of design and art to increase meaningful civic engagement. He was previously Deputy Director of the Historic Districts Council, an advocacy organization for NYC neighborhoods. In 2009, he created the blog Mid-Century Mundane to document regional and vernacular mid-century architecture. Building on that work, he launched the Queens Modern project to examine the significance of modern architecture in Queens, NY. He received his BA in Historic Preservation from the University of Mary Washington.
Missed Target: Locating and Losing Staten Island’s Nuclear Homeport
Strategic homeporting, the dispersal of battleship fleets to coastal cities, was a key program of the United States’ late Cold War military buildup. The Navy targeted Stapleton, Staten Island for the recommissioned battleship USS Iowa and its seven-ship Surface Action Group. In addition to the rehabilitation of buildings at Fort Wadsworth, necessary new construction entailed a mooring basin and a 36-acre site with facilities for ship maintenance, a waterfront operations center, and a steam-generating plant. However, arriving alongside this highly visible multimillion-dollar construction project was an invisible threat. Navy spokesmen did not disclose if the fleet would carry nuclear weapons, citing a long-standing policy of neither confirming nor denying such cargo. For those opposed to the homeport, Stapleton became a possible Ground Zero for nuclear disaster. Looking at the places of political grandstanding for and against the homeport, acts of civil disobedience conducted at public sites, and representations of New York Harbor in activist graphics, this paper locates Stapleton within the history of building a nuclear urban America in the 1980s.
Andrew Wasserman received his Ph.D. in Art History and Criticism from Stony Brook University and was most recently an Assistant Professor of Art and Architecture History in the School of Design at Louisiana Tech University. His work has appeared in ARTL@S Bulletin, Harvard Design Magazine, PUBLIC, Public Art Dialogue, Open Inquiry Archive, and Visual Resources. He is currently working on a book about public art of nuclear fear in the final decade of the Cold War. He is a recipient of a Creative Capital and Andy Warhol Foundation Art Writers Grant for this project.