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Thread: In Rockaways, a Tide Is Coming In

  1. #136


    Quote Originally Posted by EastMillinocket View Post
    In San Francisco, houses built during the reign of Queen Victoria are referred to as examples of Victorian architecture. That city was not settled by the British.
    But Victorian architecture originated in the UK and was spread throughout the British Empire, including the US. Early America was an immigrant country and culturally connected to Western Europe. Most American building styles were a "revival" or "neo" of a European form.

    I can't see making a case that mid 20th century US architecture was influenced by the Soviet Union.

  2. #137
    Crabby airline hostess - stache's Avatar
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  3. #138


    Actually what I meant was Soviet-era in the Soviet Union. Bland, cookie-cutter boxes.

  4. #139
    NYC Aficionado from Oz Merry's Avatar
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    Oct 2002


    Rockaway's Forgotten Arverne East Awaits New Development

    Arverne East, an 81-acre city property that has been abandoned for decades, may soon be redeveloped] The Rockaway neighborhood of Edgemere is home to one of New York City's last great wastelands, an 81-acre stretch of oceanfront property that has sat abandoned for over 40 years. Now known as Arverne East, this city owned, man-made wilderness has a long history dating back to the 1800's, when its landscape was dominated by summer bungalows and beachside resorts. By the 1970's, a failed urban renewal scheme had left the area empty, and its crumbling sidewalks and empty building foundations were overtaken by nature. Today, the neighborhood is covered in forests and meadows which hide elaborate homeless camps, communal dump sites, oyster middens, and torched cars.

    Onto this blank and lawless canvas, many have projected their ideas for a new community. Failed redevelopment plans have come from groups including Forest City Ratner and the Reichmann family, which once proposed to build Destination Technodome atop the wasteland. The latest proposal to redevelop Arverne East was recently put forward by a group called FAR ROC (For a Resilient Rockaway), which announced the winner of a design contest for the neighborhood on October 23rd. The plan, called Small Means and Great Ends, proposes a housing and park complex based on "the Scandinavian Model of economic efficiency and welfare state benefits," to be superimposed over the existing landscape, which is one of the most unique in New York City. Like the Iron Triangle and the SPURA, years of abandonment and neglect have warped Arverne East into a strange and singular environment which may soon be erased.

    The streets in southern Edgemere are ghostly shadows of their former selves, with sidewalks fading into sand and overgrowth.

    Though owned by the city, neighborhood roads are not maintained. Any project created here will have to build new "roadways, water mains, sanitary and storm sewers, utilities, smart grids, etc.," according to FAR ROC.

    Arverne East's open land stretches for over 20 city blocks. This area, near a public school, has been slated to be replaced by housing and a wetland park by FAR ROC's winning development proposal.

    The community playgrounds have been long abandoned. The proposal, by Swedish firm White Arkitekter, plans to create a pair of "storm water parks" and a nature preserve with a birdwatching tower.

    The neighborhood is currently used as a communal dumping sites. Entire households have been emptied into the overgrowth.

    Numerous homeless camps are located in the middle of city blocks, with walkways beaten into the bushes and reeds. The White proposal claims it will create "a new home for the community of Arverne East."

    Discarded sofas, mattresses, and dressers are common finds on sidewalks and in streets. Many are undisturbed for weeks on end.

    This abandoned bathtub sat roadside for over a month. This entire area was completely submerged during Hurricane Sandy.

    A household emptied into a street that has been overgrown by a forest. A nature preserve managed by the Parks Department is proposed for this section of Arverne East.

    Household debris blocking a road. Aside from a scattering of street signs, the city does little to maintain south Edgemere.

    New curb cuts were installed several years ago, and they are slowly being overtaken by nature and sand. New sidewalks were not installed.

    An out of service fire department call box, located close to a torched car. The nearby neighborhood in north Edgemere has a long history of violent crime.

    An impromptu chop shop in the bushes, located across from one of the many abandoned fire hydrants in the neighborhood. A new town square is proposed for this section of Arverne East.

    The city has recently replaced some fire hydrant caps, like the one seen here, which had a 10-year warranty tag still attached. A destroyed section of boardwalk sits in the background.

    Much of the old wooden boardwalk in the neighborhood was washed into the wasteland by Hurricane Sandy, and large sections have yet to be replaced. The proposal by White architects includes several ideas for mitigating storm surges and flooding in the area.

    Down the boardwalk to the west of Edgemere, Arverne By The Sea has slowly replaced another great wasteland in the Arverne Urban Renewal area with a new community.

    Homes are still being built and sold in Arverne By The Sea, despite the ongoing recovery process in the Rockaways from severe flood and storm damage caused by Hurricane Sandy.

    The future of these new oceanfront developments are difficult to predict, as sea levels continue to rise. A concrete boardwalk along the Arverne waterfront survived Hurricane Sandy, but if Small Means and Great Ends is ever built, will it survive the next superstorm?

  5. #140
    NYC Aficionado from Oz Merry's Avatar
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    It's wonderful to see the fruits of the rebuilding effort, but I can hardly believe what's replaced the devastation of Sandy. Pretty much like-for-like, it seems, despite "new building requirements".

    Breezy Point Residents Choose to Remain and Rebuild

    by Nathan Kensinger

    Breezy Point, a gated community in the Rockaways, has committed to rebuilding after Hurricane Sandy. All photos by Nathan Kensinger.

    Welcome back to Camera Obscura, Curbed's series of photo essays by Nathan Kensinger. This week marks the second anniversary of Hurricane Sandy, and Kensinger will return to three neighborhoods he has been visiting since the storm. Up first is Breezy Point, a gated community in the Rockaways.

    In the two years since Hurricane Sandy devastated New York's waterfront, the city has undergone a painful recovery process. In Breezy Point, Sea Gate, Ocean Breeze and Oakwood Beach—some of the neighborhoods hit hardest by the storm—residents have struggled to choose between rebuilding or retreating from the water. With sea levels expected to rise several feet in coming years, the government has also been considering what steps to take next to address a future shaped by climate change, flooding, and storms. "We are rebuilding highways, we're doing dune replenishment, there are massive MTA projects, there are protections for the tunnels," said Barbara Brancaccio, spokeswoman for the Governor's Office of Storm Recovery. "It's the second anniversary and I would say that the city is extremely prepared."
    New York City's most impressive recovery is taking place in the Rockaways, where many communities were destroyed by Hurricane Sandy's storm surge. Today, the peninsula is protected by a newly built system of walls and dunes, and all of its neighborhoods have decided to rebuild. In Breezy Point, a gated community at the western tip of the Rockaways, more than 300 homes were either washed away or burned to the ground during Sandy. Over the past two years, the landscape here has been transformed from scorched ruins into a thicket of new homes, many built in the past few months. One year ago, on the first anniversary of the storm, Breezy Point was still dominated by empty lots filled with sand. Today, dozens of new homes have been built, and the sounds of hammers, saws, bulldozers and backhoes echo through the salty air.

    Despite being located on a shifting sand bar surrounded by the ocean, the residents of Breezy Point are committed to staying on the waterfront. They recently spent $130,000 of their own funds to create a protective dune, and are in the process of evolving their housing stock from the single-story bungalows that Sandy destroyed to mammoth multi-story homes that fulfill the new building requirements. The government is supporting the community in their rebuilding efforts, and recently announced a multi-million dollar "Comprehensive Coastal Protection System" for Breezy Point, "to safeguard the community from future instances of extreme weather." This project is just one part of the city's resiliency plan, explains Amy Spitalnick, director of public affairs for the city's Office of Management and Budget. "The plan strengthens coastal defenses, upgrades buildings, protects infrastructure and critical services, and makes homes, businesses, and neighborhoods safer and more vibrant in these communities and beyond."

    The refusal to retreat from the water is also part of a much larger city vision. Since Hurricane Sandy, numerous residential megaprojects have been built or announced along the city's coastline, increasing population density enormously in areas which will experience the most flooding during storms to come. Some have questioned the wisdom of building in flood zones next to the sea, but in the Rockaways and Breezy Point, these concerns have not deterred rebuilding.

    November 2012: On Gotham Walk in Breezy Point, Hurricane Sandy's devastation was nearly complete. After a fire destroyed over 120 homes in the area, only a handful of houses remained standing.

    October 2014: Standing at the same spot today, the changes are disorienting. A new home has been built on almost every empty lot.

    November 2012: On Fulton Walk, every home was burned to the ground during Hurricane Sandy, in what the Times described as one of the "the worst residential fires in New York City's history."

    August 2013: Then months after the storm, rebuilding had begun on only a few new homes in the area. Fulton Walk's concrete paths had been cracked by demolition equipment.

    October 2014: Today, the residents of Fulton Walk have enjoyed a nearly complete return, with houses either completed or under construction. Much of the cost has been covered by insurance and private money, according to Crain's.

    November 2012: On Irving Walk, humble one-story bungalows were pushed off their foundations by Hurricane Sandy, which destroyed approximately 350 homes in Breezy Point.

    November 2012: Many of these homes were unsalvageable and were gutted and demolished, with personal belongings taken away to be deposited in a landfill.

    October 2014: On Irving Walk today, these bungalows have been replaced by much larger houses, elevated above the sand to meet new building requirements.

    October 2014: Seeing a mailman making his rounds through the neighborhood would have seemed almost impossible two years ago.

    October 2014: Some residents have reportedly had difficulty rebuilding, but even the increasingly rare empty lots of Breezy Point have been set up to arrange delivery of mail.

    October 2014: This new home was erected in just over a week, with workers laboring through the weekend. Many new homes here are modular in construction, and some, like the building site on the left, have been funded by the city's Build It Back program.

    October 2014: Facing south towards the sea, some of these new houses are isolated, surrounded by sand and situated at sea level.

    October 2014: A broad plain separates Breezy Point from the ocean, but provides no buffer from the elements. When it comes to sea level rise, New York is one of the "most vulnerable metropolitan areas" in the world, according to the Times.

    October 2014: Residents constructed this 1,000-foot dune along the south side of their community using their own funds.

    October 2014: From atop the dune, the sea is never far away. A new climate change report will be approved by the United Nations at the end of this month, which will help shape future plans for waterfront communities.

    Nathan Kensinger [Official]

  6. #141
    NYC Aficionado from Oz Merry's Avatar
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    Community Group Wants to Bring Park to Rockaway Peninsula

    March 4, 2015, by Jeremiah Budin

    The Rockaway Waterfront Alliance has released a proposal for a pedestrian greenway underneath the elevated A train tracks that would span the five-mile length of the Rockaway Peninsula. The project, called "Project Underway," would take the mostly neglected space and transform it into a mix or bike paths, footpaths, and green space. According to the proposal (pdf) the first phase of the three-phase plan is already underway, and the Alliance is working to the owners of the Averne By the Sea development to develop a stretch from Beach 62nd Street to Beach 67th Street into a temporary pilot project. The pilot will include green insfrastructure landscaping to reduce stormwater runoff, among other features.

    "Project Underway" Proposes a Pedestrian Greenway Along the Rockaway Peninsula [Q'Stoner]
    Project Underway [PDF]

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