Professor Montgomery

Author: Kevin Martinez

Final Reflection

I feel that it was a huge impact on me studying New York City architecture outside the classroom because it was helpful to see the building up close in person. Every class going outside meeting in front of the building we will talk about was good and interesting. For example foe being outside the class would have been better than meeting in class and just talking about the building and looking at images of them and talk about it, for me personally that would have been boring and I would have been distracted or not pay that much attention to the images. On the other hand, going to the building we are talking about, looking at it walking around it inside it and seeing how it looks on the block and how it relates to the site and the surrounding buildings was very helpful for me. I feel that future upcoming students that will take this class should have the opportunity to go and meet outside the classroom each week because it will be very helpful for the student. It will be easy to talk about the building, look at it and analyze it in person rather than looking at it via images from google or other websites. I also feel that it will be very helpful to compare buildings to each other in person rather than via images and drawings, I feel that in person you will look and see more details than images or drawings won’t show you and that will make it more interesting to look at and discuss about it. For me having this class meet outside the classroom each week was very helpful and beneficial for me I felt I learned better that way and it was very cool experience.

Week 10

The evolution of the exterior skin in office/institutional buildings has certainly changed throughout the years and you can clearly see that when you look at the Lever House, Seagram Building, Citicorp and Lipstick buildings. When you look at those buildings you can clearly compare their massing strategies as well as their exterior skin and you can see how they differ from each other as well as how they learned from one another. One good example of this is when you look at and compare the Lever House and the Seagram Building to each other you can clearly spot the differences and the similarities they share.

The Lever House was built in 1951 and you can see by just looking at the building you can see right away it has two different types of glass being used a transparent glass where you can see into the offices and a greenish window that is most likely covering mechanical equipment and drop ceilings. You can also see that the Lever House has an offset as well as a relief on the ground floor and in the top part of the building. When you walk across and look at the Seagram Building which was built in 1958 you can see some similar qualities in the exterior façade that it mimics from the Lever House. You see the windows in the Seagram building are transparent with a yellowish color to it and this building has only one relief and it can be seen on the ground floor you can see and one major difference between the Lever House and the Seagram Building in the way the building is laid out you can clearly see that the everything inside the Seagram building is aligned and center as well as the façade has spandrel just like the Lever House just that these spandrels are colored black. Both the Lever House and the Seagram where built in the same century just a couple of years apart from each other and you can clearly see what the architect (Mies van der Rohe) of the Seagram Building learned from the Lever House and took into consideration when he was designing the Seagram Building.

Week 8

When you take a look at both Grand Central Terminal and Penn Station you see how important the way of civic infrastructure was to developing those buildings. When you look at as well as go inside of Grand Central Terminal and Penn Station you notice how those two buildings are a good reflection of New York City’s civic architectural culture and history. As the subway system began to develop and explode to what we see today Grand Central Terminal and Penn Station each had their own take of what the spacing design and layout would be.

Grand Central Terminal has a unique layout compared to Penn Station when you enter Grand Central Terminal you are walking down a ramp as you enter the main part of the terminal you notice right away the change of height the main part of the terminal I would say is triple height space and there is a lot of open space to walk around and to enter each station. Along with the open space you have one important feature of this terminal is how you have the ability of having natural light come into the space, Grand Central Terminal is the home of many trains that pass by this terminal so you have a lot of people passing by and walking around in this terminal so the layout is good because there is a bunch of open space for people to walk around.

When you now look at and go inside Penn Station in my opinion it’s a completely different layout as well as atmosphere. When walk around Penn Station you feel that you are in a cramp/tight space with not that much open space for people to walk around and observe this station as well as when you are walking you feeling how small this space is because of the height of the space you don’t have no change in height and you have no windows in this station at all so you don’t have access to natural light from the outside. When you compare both Grand Central Terminal and Penn Station you can obvious see the difference in the two as well as it’s layout and what the intend was for each place.

Week 7

Lower Manhattan has a unique composition of key landmark buildings a few of those landmark buildings are the US Customs House, New York Stock Exchange, Federal Hall, and Trinity Church. One common thing that makes these landmark buildings are they were built a long time ago and as the years passed by these buildings were a good representation of old New York. Furthermore as time went on and new buildings started to go up and lower Manhattan began to develop and change all those buildings had to be built around those landmark buildings the designer had to take into consideration how they can interact or appeal the person walking by.

Two good examples of key landmark buildings that show a good representation of unique composition in the area are the US Customs House and Trinity Church. When you look at Trinity Church standing at Broad St and Wall St you will notice how down the block looking towards Broadway you will see a glimpse of Trinity Church. It looks like from where I was standing how trinity church is located right in the middle of two buildings so you can see it from a far. As well you see the different types of materials used in the buildings and Trinity church. Another good example of unique composition being intergraded in the site is in the US Customs House. As you are walking down Broadway st or are standing or sitting in Bowling Green park you see the US Customs House straight ahead. You can see how Bowling Green Park interacts good with the US Customs House because as you are leaving the building and are looking straight ahead you obviously see the park, but you can also see past the park into Broadway St. I consider that a good integration because no matter where you are standing or sitting you will notice the key design features of the US Customs house and the amount of detail intergrade in the building you can compare what is occurring in trinity church where you see the different types of material and era happening there you can see how that is also happening in the US Customs House by seeing the different type of buildings style and ,materials used in the surroundings buildings.

How would you describe the sense of place when walking through 19th century New York City neighborhoods? What qualities are particularly notable?

As I was walking through neighborhoods, I found some of the houses share the similar design feature while the buildings were trying to mimic the design style from the houses. I could also see how the old New York looked like without the 1811 gird plan. As well as seeing how very different SOHO looks from Greenwich Village and Washington Square Park. When I first arrived in Washington Square park, I didn’t realize that the park once serviced as an old cemetery area for the poor people as well as NYU back in the day purchasing buildings around the area and now, they have the best land space owned. One thing I found interesting is 5th ave stops at the entrance of Washington Square park so as you are approaching the park you get a good view of the Washington Square park arch.

As I was walking towards Greenwich Village you can see the difference in how the streets are laid out, the streets in that area are irregulated streets and that is a good representation of how the old New York looked prior to the 1811 gird plan. A good example of that is when you go to Sheridan Square Viewing Garden you can see how that open space area doesn’t have perpendicular streets. Another thing I found interesting in Greenwich Village is when we got to Gay st the one thing that stood out to me was how narrow the street and sidewalk are. I notice that it’s a street that only one car can pass. Also, some of the houses there have a unique feature and that is the main attraction in those houses are the door, because the door in the houses are wide and that is where the most detail is invested in.

When arriving at Soho you see the difference in the neighborhood because of the atmosphere there and you are seeing many buildings in soho instead of houses. Almost all of the buildings there are made out of cast iron while others are not. As well as all the buildings there have a similar façade design.

Short Writing Assignment 3

During the late eighteen hundreds one major thing happened to manhattan was a population boom. Millions of people migrated from different parts of the world and started coming to manhattan to settle down here. The landlords in manhattan saw this as something where they can make a profit from this situation which they did but at the same time this had a negative effect on the incoming immigrants moving in. This situation led to the introduction of housing and the negative parts of that which was bad living conditions.

As people started coming in and moving into manhattan the landlords took advantage of this situation and made lot’s of profit from this situation. At the time many landlords who had the money or resources would profit from this situation by buying lots of properties to build buildings on these properties. Once the buildings were build the owner/landlord would try to fit as many families as they can in the building even as to going as far as having some families living in the basement/cellar of the buildings. The owner/landlords would due this to max out the use of the entire building only to gain more money from this situation.

Two negative points from this situation was having multiple families lived cramped up in a building is 1. Living conditions and 2. If a sickness would break out almost everyone in the building will get sick. The living conditions in those buildings were so bad they had poor plumbing. All the tenants living in the building would have to share one single family bathroom. All the buildings were build so close to each other that they had no nature light to come in with no good air follow. If a sickness would break out within a family living in that building almost everyone living in that building would get sick and people living in the surroundings building would get sick too that would be consider “The Lung Block”.

As the time passed on all these bad living conditions had improved. New building code laws were developed to improve living conditions as well as to have windows in all the rooms with access to nature light and good air flow.

Compare Early New York/Brooklyn Architecture Streetscape

As I was walking down Remsen St heading towards the Brooklyn Heights Promenade, I noticed that almost all houses have the similar design some differ than other houses because of restoration but overall had the same layout. One inserting thing that I learned was that Brooklyn Heights mainly was consider as a residential gateway from the developing city of New York (Manhattan). As we arrived in Brooklyn Heights Promenade park I noticed that the park was on a high elevation compare to what was on the other side of the East river which is Manhattan and was on a low elevation and that can lead to more floods happening in Manhattan than in Brooklyn Heights. Another thing I found interesting from this walk was that if 2-3 houses have the same design and layout it was probably owned by one owner who would divided the land to fit 2-3 lot’s as was the case with the houses located on Willow St 155-157-159 which is consider a New York Landmark because it’s a good representing of the federal style of those days. The most important feature in those houses was the door you saw how back then they made that their main point, the door looked taller and a littler wider than the type of doors we see in today’s house, the door as well had iconic columns and the glass window on top of the door with a lintels laying on top of the window. As we landed in Manhattan (Wall St ferry stop) I realized why Manhattan was developing more than Brooklyn and why almost all the ships and trade was happening in Manhattan it was because it was easy access to both the Hudson and East river and has we walked I found out that back in the day stores weren’t actually stores but they were warehouse to store products or other things. Almost all the buildings near the river were mostly consider to be Industrial & it was because it would benefit from being there because it would be easy to ship stuff out compare to Brooklyn where there isn’t that much space to do all these stuffs and Brooklyn was consider more to be residential area than industrial. As the trip conclude I really saw a huge difference in the architecture and streetscape in Brooklyn and New York (Manhattan).

Manhattan & Brooklyn HW1

As we know both Manhattan and Brooklyn had a totally different pace of growth and that affected Brooklyn in a bad way those affects can be seen till this rate. While Manhattan was developing everything changed after the war in 1797 when the city went under a huge expansion that later in 1811 lead to the creation of the first major gird plan for Manhattan. At the same time with the first major gird plan being made for Manhattan nothing was made for Brooklyn they still had no gird plan, so they were developing and growing the old way which was moving around high areas etc. When John Randal Jr. set the rectilinear gird for Manhattan which is what can be seen till this day it was a major thing because that was the plan the whole city was going to follow which lead to major demolition of property’s that were where the plan consider streets are going to be, at the same time in Brooklyn while everything in Manhattan is being established that left Brooklyn in a huge disadvantage because that lead to Brooklyn struggling with there urban planning because they didn’t have a gird to follow to stay align or have a similar gird to that of what is being made for Manhattan. All the struggles that Brooklyn was going through as they try to grow got worse over the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge and then Manhattan bridge this was a huge struggle because the bridge served as a connection of both cities but since Brooklyn never had a master plan they keep developing by following the old properties lines and those effects can be since today in Brooklyn. If Brooklyn had a master plan or got a sample of the master plan Manhattan was using it would of made a huge difference for Brooklyn because they would have had something to follow instead they and that lead to all the struggles Brooklyn went through that can be seen today.