Posts Tagged ‘new york restoration nyc’

A Nice Church Spotted By York Restoration Corporation Near NYU

June 15, 2010

Church Image From York Restoration Corporation

So many beautiful churches in Manhattan. This one’s down by NYU, where York was walking around last week.

York Restoration Corporation hasn’t had a chance to restore many churches yet, and it’s a shame. We’d love to show off our one-of-a-kind restoration skills on such an important, permanent stage.

Some day. It’ll happen, we know it. Until then, we’ll keep enjoying these churches, cathedrals, and monasteries from afar, secretly rebuilding and restoring them in our minds.

Church Image By York Restoration Corporation

York Restoration Corporation Image


Every Restoration Corporation Enjoys New York’s Met Building

June 9, 2010

York Restoration Corporation shot of Metlife

This giant, foreboding wall of windows is one face of the gigantic MetLife building (nee Pan Am Building), located slightly above and behind Grand Central Station in central Manhattan.

Strangely enough, it’s not even owned by MetLife any longer. It’s owned by some group called Tishman Speyer Properties, which sounds more like a mom-and-pop apartment leasing venture than a group with the clout to buy an iconic Manhattan high-rise.

York Restoration Corporation is, sadly, not a huge fan. It reminds us of many of the generic Los Angeles sky scrapers, boxy and gray, boring and somewhat of an eye sore. All of that is multiplied, of course, by its location behind Grand Central. It stands out, (somehow gaudily) despite its generic ugliness, a throwback to the utilitarian, almost Modernist, late 60s/early 70s high rise architecture that dominated the day.

Ah well. It is very popular with tenants, supposedly, probably because of its central location and attachment to Grand Central.

Maybe someday we’ll see a replacement, but it’s highly doubtful. The MetLife building is probably here to stay.

A Roof Most Restoration Companies Would Love to Hate

June 8, 2010

Restoration Corporations Admiring a beautiful roof

Wow. That’s… one heck of a roof there.

The restoration corporation involved with that roof would have a bit of a logistical headache on its hands. Nothing impossible, of course, but time-consuming.

But, the chance to work on something that intricate and historic! It’d be a joy to loath that job.

Working on old churches is a personal favorite. I can’t quite shake my Catholic upbringing; standing in a century (or centuries) – old cathedral brings a sense of calm to the job. There’s a smell to it – candle wax, stain for the pews, the must of old books – that reminds me of youth, of being young and cared for, meals taken care of, Nickelodeon back when Nick At Night ruled the evening, and frozen pizzas.

Well, some things stay the same.

There’s an old comfort to old things. It’s nice to be reminded of that now and again.

Seeing Green With York Restoration Corporation

June 7, 2010

Seeing Green York Restorations Corporation

My old friend, Frank Lloyd Wright, once remarked as we were enjoying a spot of tea in Arizona, the setting sun splashing red all over the painted landscape around us: “Doctors bury their mistakes. Architects cover them.”

Not always, old friend!

Sometimes, adding a bit of green can add some excitement to the plodding sameness of an area or, especially if the ivy’s allowed to grow and spread, add some consistency to a desultory progression of architecture.

Dangers exist.

If your stucco or brick isn’t sound; if your cement and lime sealant isn’t true and pure, that creeping ivy can (and usually will) find its way in the imperfection(s) and start to cause hell in your wall. Newer structures, for the most part, don’t have to worry about this.

Wooden structures, it seems, inevitably fall to the creeping insistence of ivy. Whether it’s imperfections in the grain (ivy will force its way in the grain and then break apart the board from the inside, causing dry/wet rot), tearing apart seams (ivy will grow in-between the boards and grow… and grow… until the boards are suddenly cockeyed and unstable), or sheer weight (ivy grows until it weighs enough to collapse the structure), ivy’s been known to literally tear apart wooden structures.

But don’t let that get you down! Ivy, like a good dog, just needs to be trained. With a little effort and a month-to-month check-up, you can make sure your ivy’s going where it needs to go. It requires a little patience, but ivy can and will grow to cover just about any surface you train it to.

Give ivy a shot; just make sure your structures are sound, your surfaces are tight, and your schedule allows for a little oversight. Your building can look like Wrigley Field’s walls in no time!

This post brought to you by York Restoration Corporation

York Restoration Corporation Grooves on a Classic Building

June 4, 2010

York Restoration Corporation

Mmm. That top floor. Creepy, right? Like something from Hitchcock’s classic, “Psycho.” Looks like there ought to be the faint outline of a cross-dressing, murderous, hotel-running Anthony Perkins looking out onto the street.

Not to denigrate the building! It’s a classic building. You know it’s solid, if a little dingy, and probably filled to its rafters with locals who’ve lived in the same apartment for 32 years. They who nod in the hall as they pass one another, occasionally share exciting family news, live with two cats and a cockatoo, eat too much salt, hoard the razor-thin ovals of nearly used-up soap bars inside a plastic bag under the sink so that, a few months and many bars of soap later, those little leftover soap slivers can be packed together to form a “new” Voltron soap bar.

This building says, “buy local.”

“Never try to lift more than you weigh.”

“Cut up all but one of your credit cards, then put that last credit card in a shallow bowl of water. Stick that in the freezer. Whenever you get the urge to buy, pull it out and wait for it to melt. Chances are, the urge to buy will’ve subsided by the time it’s completely unfrozen. Win!”

“Take your date for a walk and a picnic in the park rather than dinner and a movie. Unless you can’t hold a conversation. In that case, always suggest movies. If all else fails, ask a lot of questions and pray you’re attractive.”

Yes, I’d take that sensible building. If it were a woman, and I were dating, I’d have no qualms about taking her home to mother (so long as she cleaned up a bit beforehand.)

And she weren’t the female Anthony Perkins.

York Restorations Enjoys Union Square

May 28, 2010

York Restoration Corporation's view of union square

After a cool day, one who threatened and menaced New Yorkers by brandishing darkening clouds and a whisper of rain, York Restoration Corporation felt the need to take a balmy visit to Union Square.

With temperatures teasing the low 90s, York Restoration Corporation sunned and sipped cold tea in Union Square’s newly wide-opened northern plaza.

This particular shot is facing west, looking at a aesthetically odd grouping of buildings. A mixture of shops, office space, and the occasional rogue apartment, the grouping’s wildly different heights and styles is a fun accident of New York’s mixture of old and new.

Next time the weather breaks and drags you out from your office, into the sun, beverage of choice in-hand, take a quick look around at the mixture of architecture, all the brick, steel, glass, sparkling, drab, crumbling, brand spanking-new, strange buildings that make up the visual white noise of living in the greatest city on Earth.

This post brought to you by York Restoration Corporation

Astor Place Building, York Restoration Corporation Salutes You

May 27, 2010

Glass Building photo courtesy of York Restoration Corporation

Today, York Restoration Corporation‘s legion of cameras walks us past the Astor Place Building. The Astor Place Building is a mid-rise steel-and-glass number near Washington Square Park and NYU. What sets it apart from its more tame steel-glass brethren is its rounded, globular, lower facade that bends and rounds itself into a circular crown. Up top, the architecture squares itself off into swanky lofts for the luckier, wealthier citizens.

The interiors conform to the dips and bows; the dens and bedrooms’ views look out over the city from behind the tinted glass walls. Natural light? They’ve got it in spades.

It’s certainly a unique look. We’re glad to have a glass/steel structure whose architects can see beyond the fascination with straight lines and ho-hum high-rises. Is it the landmark, however, that the owners claim it to be? Well, not yet. No one instructs a tourist to “take a right at the Astor Place Building,” but maybe this is just step one in its progression towards fame?

The lipstick building didn’t exactly burn up the charts on its way to semi-notoriety, either. Who knows.

Until then (if that fine day ever comes), the Astor Place remains as a pleasant, if slightly anonymous, footprint in lower Manhattan.

This post brought to you by York Restoration Corporation

Playgrounds for the rich

April 27, 2010
York Restoration Corporation Rockaway

The Rockaway Ferry is sinking quick

A recent article from the NY Daily News about their shutting down a shuttle from Rockaway Beach to Manhattan had this to say:

Deputy Mayor Howard Wolfson explained to the packed room of riders at the Belle Harbor Yacht Club how the city was subsidizing nearly $20 per passenger trip on the ferry. Wolfson noted this was a far cry from the 56 cents per subway ride the city provides in subsidies for each straphanger.

“The clear metrics that were established to determine whether or not this would be a success have not been met,” Wolfson said.

So what are the clear metrics that were established? What makes this a success or a failure, according to the Mayor’s office? Why is the city’s subsidizing of the ferry a failure when the financial exceptions made for the creation of a baseball or football stadium is deemed a success?

York Restoration Corporation, Atlantic Yards Imagination

A mock-up of the Atlantic Yards project

According to a press release from Forest City Ratner, the Atlantic Yards project will bring in 25,000 construction and permanent jobs. The release quotes Mayor Bloomberg:

“The Barclays Center at Atlantic Yards is the first piece of what will be one of the largest private investments and job generators in Brooklyn’s history,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “The world-class arena will bring the Nets to Brooklyn, and the entire project will bring with it more than 25,000 construction and permanent jobs, thousands of units of affordable housing, and tremendous economic activity. Now more than ever, we need investments that create jobs and help build for New York City’s future, and Atlantic Yards is as significant an example of that as there is.”

The city has – so far – provided over $305,000,000 in subsidies to the Atlantic Yards project, as well as backing off their requirements that Forest City Ratner pay for MTA transportation improvements, like reducing FCRatner’s initial financial obligation for the Vanderbilt Yard from $100 million to only $20 million. The New York Post sets the total loss to the city at $2.1 billion.

Wrapped up in all of this is the additional funding from the city for the “affordable housing” in the new sky rises, as well as favorable deadlines and penalties for completion of the various phases. The city is in a position to “require” the towers have “low-income” housing (officially defined as persons making less than $32,000 a year, which is a strange designation when the official “living wage” that Bloomberg signed into law is only $8.10/hour), but then pay the building’s owners a stipend for having the low-income units. Furthermore, it was announced that only 12 percent of the housing planned would be affordable to people making below $32,000.

We’ll be spending about $84,000 for each job created. Maybe not so bad if all those jobs were permanent; unfortunately, however, many of those jobs are swallowed up by one-time construction workers. You’d also have to factor in the fact that most of the jobs are seasonal, that the company running the concessions – Levy Restaurants, Inc – is based in Chicago and Charlotte, that many of the multi-millionaire players and coaches won’t necessarily live in New York City, or even the state, and things start to look a little more dingy.

York Restoration Corporation Yankee Stadium Overhead

Beautiful, but boondoggle nonetheless

Let’s compare this to the latest build in nearby Bronx. Here’s an excerpt from a recent analysis:

New York City released two of dozens of documents sought by the Assembly Committee on Corporations, Authorities, and Commissions that relate to the City’s attempt to give the Yankees an additional $430 million of taxpayer money for the construction of the new Yankee Stadium. The Yankees have already received an excess of $1.5 billion of taxpayer money.

These two documents are the Yankees’ application to the NYCIDA, which the City and the NYCIDA have had since December 11, 2008, and had previously refused to release, and a cost-benefit analysis which is part of the NYCIDA process. The documents reveal that the $2 billion in taxpayer subsidy will yield an total increase of full time employment at the new Stadium of only 22 jobs, that the average wage of employment at this subsidized project is $34 million per year, that the largest single uses of the new monies are for a large television and audio-visual system, concessions, Yankee’s administrative offices, and other accoutrements.

And then there’s the opportunity cost of selling this land to a stadium who won’t be paying as much in property taxes as a spread of regular everyday office buildings, or residential apartments. For example, New York City is missing out – in mortgage taxes alone – on $8 million because of the subsidies it offered to the new Yankee Stadium. Meanwhile, the state’s missing $14 million.

Meanwhile, New York is running a $10 billion deficit, and Governor Patterson is asking for the right to furlough “non-essential” government workers one day a week.

While the state will “officially” own the stadium, Ratner will lease the stadium for $1 a year. You put a single two-story home in that giant block of property, and you’d make more money in property taxes than the stadium will. While the stadium is publicly owned, the team will pocket the hundreds of millions in naming rights for the stadium. Think “CitiField” instead of Shea, or “Minute Maid Park” nee Enron Field nee Astros Field.

And then, there’s this:

Their deal [the one that’s netted them $48.2 million through 2009 – ed.] with the IDA lasts until 2046. According to the IDA’s latest job assessment report, that controversial stadium currently has 3,621 full time jobs — about 1,300 more than the old stadium, according to one estimate.

We paid out anywhere between $400 million to $2 billion in subsidies for the Yankees to add only 1,300 jobs. Sure, we got a pretty new stadium out of the deal. But try walking in there without shelling out $40 or so. Seems like a big open field would be a better deal. At least I wouldn’t have to pay half a day’s salary for the right to sit in the grass that my taxes bought.

Obviously, this is a done deal, and there’s no halting money from influencing a business-first city hall, but let’s not fall over each other trying to celebrate a if not corrupt, then certainly shady dealing. Atlantic Yards will be the next swanky condo highrise, and an obscenely rich Russian playboy gets a new home for his basketball team. Meanwhile, we’re all paying more for much less in our subways, and Rockaway Beach loses its ferry.

So let’s get back to the original question – at what point does the subsidy become silly? Why is the metric used for public transportation seemingly thrown into the bin when we look at stadium construction, or expensive condo units? Why does the MTA shut down umpteen bus lines and an entire subway line because of budget cuts, and how can we then afford to foot the bill for Forest City Ratner’s Atlantic Yards development? How can the deputy mayor say on one hand that the subsidies for the Rockaway ferry are untenable, but on the other, that Yankee Stadium was a giant success and boy-oh-boy Atlantic Yards is going to be an even bigger one?

I think we’ve gone past silly into surreal.

This post brought to you by York Restoration Corporation

New York Restorations in NYC Happening *Too* Fast?

April 8, 2010

york restoration,empty,office

A recent article from Business Week says that of New York City’s current 87 million square feet of office space, 12.7 percent – over 11 million square feet – is vacant. That’s nearly two-hundred football fields’ worth of office space going unused in Manhattan.

york restoration

Seven World Trade is currently the only completed building in the WTC rebuild and restoration

So is it possible, given the current economic climate, that the restoration and rebuild of the WTC is actually happening too quickly?

Of course, this is ignoring the emotional and city pride aspects that are, in reality, nearly impossible to disconnect from the financial side of the venture. That said, are landlords and real estate prospectors dreading the impending addition of – at the very least – another 4.4 million square feet of office space coming onto a cold market?

Still, the total amount of planned office space in the new World Trade Plaza won’t come close to the total destroyed in the September 11 attacks. Over 13 million square feet was destroyed that day, compared to the 1.7 million currently available in 7 World Trade, and the 4.4 million upcoming in the two exciting new towers.

The developer of the Trade Center project, Larry Silverstein, promised also to build another tower if enough interest (and money, and tenants) spurs the development.

It stands to reason that empty space in Manhattan will, eventually, be filled. It’s New York, for goodness sakes. But the immediate situation might make for some wide open spaces inside the mountains of commercial skyscrapers around our fair city.

York’s Restoration Corporation + Restoring Earth!

March 28, 2010
yorks restoration corporation,earth hour,conservation


Building restoration experts and Earth restoration experts are teaming up to raise awareness about Earth Day, and more specifically – Earth Hour!

The hope is that by showing how a little change – by doing something as simple as being aware and turning off non-essential lighting when it’s not needed – we can save hundreds of thousands of KwH every day! And that means less burning of fossil fuels, less waste, less of everything that makes pollution, greed, and death in the world.

Vietnam electricity demand fell 500,000 kWh during Earth Hour 2010, which was three times larger than the first time the country joined the event in 2009. Toronto experienced a 15% decline in usage in 2009. It’s amazing!

Well done, everyone! Building restoration experts are natural conservationalists. I’m gonna go flex my muscles in a mirror (with the lights off, of course!)

This post brought to you by Construction York Restoration