Roundup – “Downtown” Staten Island, Midtown Bus Master Plan, the Sheridan Expressway, WalkNYC, Crowdsourcing Bike Routes, and Party Wall

Photo by Charles Smith

St. George Terminal, Staten Island | Photo via Charles Smith

The City is hard at work nurturing a concentrated downtown area on Staten Island’s North Shore near the ferry terminal to Manhattan. The New York City Economic Development Corporation announced on Monday that in addition to the world’s tallest Ferris wheel, the borough will get a new business incubator and The Race for Space, a retail competition aiming to help fill some of the area’s 10,000 square feet of vacant storefront by awarding over $400,000 in prizes for “catalytic” retail businesses.

Like the nearby Penn Station, the Port Authority Bus Terminal operates at capacity during peak hours. With ridership projected to continue growing, the Port Authority has commissioned an in-depth analysis of the building and its ability to accommodate future traffic. The Midtown Bus Master Plan, aimed at revitalizing the “at once sprawling and cramped, cavernous yet garishly lighted” terminal, could suggest anything from a major renovation to possible replacement to the facility that handles over 200,000 passengers a day.

On Tuesday, the city released a long-awaited proposal for the Sheridan Expressway, a 1.25-mile highway that neighborhood advocates claim is unneccesary and cuts residents off from the Bronx River. The plan calls for transforming the highway into a pedestrian-friendly boulevard, along with additional pedestrian safety projects, new lighting, mixed use development, and a pathway connecting recently completed parks along the Bronx River. In a compromise, it also calls for creating direct access ramps to the food distribution facilities at Hunts Point Market, a food distribution center in the area that handles over half of the city’s wholesale produce.

The MTA released photos showing progress on the one-station extension of the 7 line subway as platforms, stairways, and tracks are all slowly taking shape. When completed, the 7 train will run from Queens to the heart of the ongoing Hudson Yards development on the west side of Manhattan.

To abate the bewilderment and disorientation navigating New York City can sometimes cause, 100 pedestrian maps are being installed throughout the streets and subway stations of the city. Designed by Pentagram, the new signs orient viewers towards local landmarks, indicate cardinal directions in reference to where the view is facing, and show bike lanes and transit hubs to help guide New Yorkers and tourists alike towards their destinations. Look for them to start popping up in Midtown Manhattan, Prospect Heights in Brooklyn, and Long Island City in Queens throughout the summer.

The streets of New York can be unruly and dangerous on two wheels. Before you hop on your bike, look up your route on The New York Times‘ crowdsourced map of sage biking advice (and contribute your own biking wisdom).

Used buttons in a recycling bin at the exit to the Met.

Photo via Joe Shlabotnik

In 1971, the Metropolitan Museum of Art introduced metal buttons as innovative and design driven tickets. Over 40 years, the buttons have become badges of pride for city visitors and an iconic piece of New York City’s visual cultural identity — but the run is coming to an end. Citing rising production costs, the Met will soon switch to a more typical paper ticketing system.

While debate on how to protect the city from future storms in the wake of Hurricane Sandy continues, the Whitney Museum has already incorporated state-of-the-art measures into its construction plans to protect its new home. Located adjacent to the Hudson River, the construction site for the new museum experienced significant flooding during Sandy.

Astoria Park Pool | Photo via Eric Skiff


Pool season has begun! From now until Labor Day, city pools are open. Be sure to stop by the revamped McCarren Park Pool, pop-up Brooklyn Bridge Park Pool at Pier 2, the mammoth Astoria Park Pool in Queens, or any other public pool throughout the five boroughs.

Since 1998, summer’s arrival brings the outdoor installation of MoMA PS1’s Young Architect’s Program. This year’s winner is Party Wall, a temporary urban landscape designed by CODA to provide shade, seating, and water for visitors and attendees of the Warm Up summer music series.

Regular Omnibus readers may have noticed our recaps of a number of interesting events put on by UnionDocs, a center for documentary arts in Williamsburg that has demonstrated a consistent and sensitive interest in creative representation and exploration of urban space and New York in particular. If you’re interested in actually making, as opposed to just appreciating, evocative non-fiction multi-media work — place-based or otherwise — now’s your chance: apply to be a part of UnionDocs’ Collaborative Studio. The ten-month program starts in September; the deadline for applications is this Monday, July 1st. International applicants are encouraged.


The Roundup keeps you up to date with topics we’ve featured and other things we think are worth knowing about.

The views expressed here are those of the authors only and do not reflect the position of The Architectural League of New York.