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  1. #46
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Considering the rising level of water around Manhattan the concrete and hardscape could prove to be a very smart move:

    Rising Sea Levels Force Battery Park City Walkway to Move

  2. #47
    Chief Antagonist Ninjahedge's Avatar
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    I understand, but if the purpose is to make something that people can enjoy, why waste money on something that people will NOT enjoy, but still be able to not enjoy it if water levels rise?

    I do not mind the retaining walls on the edge, but such a large expanse of concrete with no landscaping or shade or ANYTHING.......

    The skateboarders will love it though.

  3. #48
    Fearless Photog RoldanTTLB's Avatar
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    Note: not concrete. It's entirely granite. Massive blocks of granite. Also, and I'm sorry if I've said this before, but I liked living on RI. It was weird, but pleasant. I should go over and take photos of every last building on the island. It's doable, and I think that's neat too.

  4. #49
    Crabby airline hostess - stache's Avatar
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    So now we can walk all the way around the southern tip of the island?

  5. #50
    Fearless Photog RoldanTTLB's Avatar
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    Not until the memorial is open. Previously you could walk most of the way around it. Now you can walk down to the construction and back on the other side. I'm hoping to go after work and take some pics in the next week or two. I came close last night, but it was too late. I caught 5th ave instead.

  6. #51
    NYC Aficionado from Oz Merry's Avatar
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    Roosevelt Island Shops for More Stores

    By PERVAIZ SHALLWANI


    Exit the F train station on Roosevelt Island and the scene could resemble many other Manhattan residential neighborhoods.

    A Starbucks, a Duane Reade, pizza and sushi places, an upscale sports bar and other retail businesses occupy eight spaces in Riverwalk, one of the newest developments on the narrow, two-mile-long island.

    But a larger group of stores in older buildings farther north along the island's drab Main Street corridor isn't doing as well, with more than a quarter of its 34 shops vacant. Residents can cite a laundry list of businesses they would like to see open in the area.

    "We desperately need a bakery," said Judith Berdy, an island resident since the 1970s and president of the island historical society. "We need a fish store. We need a produce store. We need a florist. We need some more restaurants."

    The state agency that runs Roosevelt Island is trying to do something about those needs. It recently gave the developers of the Riverwalk project a 30-year lease to lure new business and spruce up 100,000 square feet of retail space on Main Street.

    "The one missing piece is having good retail on the island. To us that has always been the Achilles' heel," said David Kramer, the head of Hudson Cos., which built and runs Riverwalk together with Related Cos., another developer. "Improving the retail will help our residents, but as an investment it's got to work as a stand-alone project as well, which we expect will be the case."

    Revitalizing the retail strip comes after a 40-year government effort to remake the former Welfare Island into a mix of luxury and affordable homes. More than 14,000 residents now live on the island resting in the East River with picturesque views of Manhattan and Queens. Last year, the island's well-known tram connecting with Manhattan—originally intended as a temporary link when it was built in 1976—was re-opened after a nine-month upgrade.

    A project currently under construction is a memorial and monument to Franklin Delano Roosevelt being built on seven acres on the island's southern point. The private project, based on a design by architect Louis Kahn, is scheduled to open in the fall of 2012 as Four Freedoms Park.

    Just north of the future park is Goldwater Memorial Hospital, one of the sites that the Bloomberg administration is offering to universities in competition to open an applied-sciences campus in the city.

    Planners, developers and officials from schools including Stanford and Cornell universities have been visiting the island regularly to prepare their proposals for the project that are due Oct. 28; a winner is expected to be announced by the end of the year. Stanford has said it would bring 2,200 graduate and Ph.D. students and 100 faculty to the new campus. Cornell expects 2,000 students and 200 faculty.

    As a residential community, many view Roosevelt Island as largely a success.

    "We have been delighted," said Christiana Park, 33 years old, who moved to the island from Union Square. "It was cheaper. There are great views. I like how quiet it is but it's one stop from Manhattan and one stop from Queens."

    Hudson's Mr. Kramer says that fewer than 10 of 1,200 apartments in six buildings he has helped develop currently sit empty. A look at Roosevelt Island properties on StreetEasy.com turns up nine available properties ranging from $550,000 for a one-bedroom condo to $1.3 million for a three-bedroom unit.

    Providing people with places to spend money on the island is another matter.

    "I mean we absolutely need the revitalization of the retail," Ms. Berdy said. "It's so sad to walk here and to look at the stores that never even lift their gates."

    Resident Abigail Corrigan, 35, agreed. "We definitely need another grocery store," the stay-at-home mom said, echoing a complaint of many on the island.

    The Roosevelt Island Operating Corp., a state agency assigned to oversee development on the island in 1969 when the city was facing hard financial times, says it long has had a difficult time filling the Main Street shops. It hopes the Hudson-Related team can do for Main Street what it has done with retailers in the Riverwalk buildings.

    "Getting a master lessee, and an expert that does that all the time, I am hopeful will speed things up and make it more efficient," said Leslie Torres, the president and chief executive of the state agency.

    Kaie Razaghi, the owner of Trellis, a diner on Main Street, says fellow business owners are excited about the planned revitalization, but worried that their leases might not be renewed. Some now are operating month-to-month.

    Mr. Razaghi has five years left on his lease. He wants to spend money to fix the place, but said he wants assurances he won't be kicked out five years from now.



    "Everybody is concerned," he said. "I have been here 15 years. I have put my life in here. I am excited about what they are doing, but I want to be part of it."

    Mr. Kramer said that "as leases come up for renewal—whether Trellis or other stores—we'll be discussing improvements as part of the lease commitment."

    The Main Street revitalization got under way at the beginning of August with a survey of what residents would like to see. One candidate is a wine store—the owner of one on the island died and the space hasn't been leased again.

    "That seemed to be an obvious one," Mr. Kramer said, adding that a pet store and ice-cream shop also got high marks.

    "We are quite bullish that if we can be successful with our eight stores in Riverwalk, then we can be equally, if not more, successful with our stores on Main Street. There is more foot traffic on Main Street," he said.

    Ms. Berdy, the longtime resident, said she also wants to be an optimist. "I love the island. I am just skeptical about some of the plans," she said.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000...NewsCollection

  7. #52
    Fearless Photog RoldanTTLB's Avatar
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    It's good to know the people living on RI are still morons.

    1.) The last fish shop went out of business for a reason.
    2.) You're a planned community that did not initially allow pets (for 40+ years). Much of the community still doesn't. A pet shop won't work.
    3.) The number of people on the island barely support the Gristedes, a second grocery store won't work. And that's ignoring the predatory lease Gristedes has prohibiting other grocery vendors.
    4.) Trellis is just the greasiest of spoon diners, and not in a good way.

    That said, not all the ideas are universally bad. A bakery would be good. Bringing back the liquor store would be good too. Unfortunately, the only real way to get more retail on the island is to get a bunch more residents. The 14k or so people who live there sound like a bunch, but it's really not so many in the grand scheme of things. We're talking your average small suburb that wouldn't even warrant a Walmart or Target outside the city. The fact that there won't be foot traffic here form any other neighborhoods doesn't help either.

  8. #53
    NYC Aficionado from Oz Merry's Avatar
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    Comment> Theodore Prudon

    Docomomo's Theodore Prudon goes to Roosevelt Island as part of National Tour Day where the lessons in quality housing are more resonant than ever.

    by Theodore H. M. Prudon


    View from the Aerial Tramway of Roosevelt Island today with the new residential development in the
    foreground and the original 1970s complex in the rear. Greg Goodman

    Public opinion of modern architecture has come a long way from the days of lambasting Boston City Hall and scapegoating architecture in the demise of the Pruitt-Igoe housing project in St. Louis. With its demolition in 1972 Charles Jencks, almost triumphantly, declared modern architecture dead. Today with our nostalgia for the first half of the twentieth century and all things Mad Men, PanAm, and such, we can say that this is far from the case. It is actually ironic that while PanAm is revived as a show, its terminal at JFK, now used by Delta, is scheduled to be demolished.

    Over the last five years Docomomo US (the acronym of the US Chapter of Documentation and Conservation of Buildings Sites and Neighborhoods of the Modern Movement) has been organizing a national Tour Day. The format of a tour was selected because it is a good way to introduce people to what modern architecture actually looks and feels like and, after all, we are all mighty curious about places we are otherwise not able to visit. Focused around the second weekend in October, tours are conducted of modern buildings and neighborhoods across the country. This year is no exception. Participating in the event include Docomomo’s thirteen regional chapters as well as local organizations with similar interests such as Houston Mod, Historic Albany Foundation, Palm Springs Modern, Phoenix Modern, and the Chicago Architectural Foundation, to name a few. This year we are also collaborating with the National Trust for Historic Preservation for special events at the Philip Johnson Glass House in New Canaan and with the Society for Architectural Historians (SAH) and its regional chapters. With 34 tours in 29 cities in 21 states, Tour Day is the nation’s largest annual architecture event.

    Tour Day gathers a wide variety of people and organizations with similar missions and interests but who normally do not work together or do not even know about each other. Across the country tours vary widely in focus or building typology. Many of them are focused on single-family residences, one of the significant building types to emerge after the war. On one such tour in Rhode Island, we will be visiting homes designed by Ira Rakatansky, an early graduate of the GSD. The presence of the original architect on the tour will add an extra and interesting dimension to the visits. Similarly tours in Palm Springs, California, Maine, and New Orleans will give an opportunity to visit houses and buildings not normally open to the general public.


    Aerial view of Roosevelt Island. Courtesy Docomomo

    The New York regional area has always been an integral part of this event and the regional chapter Docomomo US/NY TriState is hosting a tour of Roosevelt Island. The island, unknown to many New Yorkers except for its unique aerial tramway completed in 1976, is actually an interesting example of modern architecture in both its planning and for many of its 1970s buildings.

    The history of Roosevelt Island and its development is of note in both a social and an architectural sense, with discussions around its use that are sometimes reminiscent of those today around Governors Island. It is remarkable that an island that started off with the less than auspicious name of Varcken Island (varcken is the 17th Century Dutch word for hog), then Blackwell Island after the family’s farm, and Welfare Island given in 1921, finally emerges in the 21st century some 400 years later once again with a Dutch name, Roosevelt Island. In between, institutions such as hospitals for infections diseases, prisons, and facilities for the poor were banned from the city proper (in medieval times outside the walls), and the island became that location for New York.

    In the late 1960s, Mayor John Lindsay appointed a committee to plan for the island, and in turn the committee recommended that it become a residential community. New York State’s Urban Development Corporation (UDC) began a 99-year lease in 1969 and Philip Johnson and his partner John Burgee created a plan that called for 5,000-apartment units housing some 20,000 people. The plan identified two major residential areas, Northtown and Southtown, with much of the 1970s development located in Northtown. The island was re-christened Roosevelt Island in 1973, at the same time that Louis Kahn was commissioned to design the FDR memorial, now called the Four Freedoms Memorial and currently under construction.




    Contemporary view of Main Street and Westview apartments designed by Sert, Jackson and Associates (top)
    and view of Main Street with the restored Chapel of the Good Shepherd originally designed by Frederick Clark Withers (above).
    Katherine Malishewsky

    In the late 1960s and early 1970s, a commitment to interesting and affordable, quality housing still existed on a public level. In particular the Roosevelt Island project was one of two that benefited from a HUD program titled New Town-In Town, a provision in the Housing and Development Act. That particular program sought to stimulate large-scale multi-use development projects adjacent to, or in, existing cities. Cedar Riverside in Minneapolis designed by Ralph Rapson is another example of this program and well known as the fictitious home of Mary Tyler Moore in her eponymous show. As the title of the federal program New Town-In Town suggests, Roosevelt Island and its main artery called Main Street, is very reminiscent of the new towns in Britain executed under the various iterations of the Town and Country Planning Acts. This is also reflected in its original social goals of mixed income housing.

    The list of architects connected with the project reads in many ways like a history of modern architecture in itself. The island almost becomes an architectural museum not only with its surviving examples from early farming and hospital days but also with these modern buildings. The first phase of the original plan to be built was Northtown and included four buildings: Westview and Eastwood as well as Island House and Rivercross, respectively the work of Jose Lluís Sert, Jackson & Associates, and Johansen & Bhavnani. Motorgate, the parking garage built adjacent to the bridge to Queens was the work of Kallmann McKinnell.

    Architects and designers attached to what ultimately happened on Roosevelt Island include Johnson and Burgee; John Johansen (of the New Canaan Five) and his partner Ashok Bhavnani; Jose Lluís Sert (of CIAM, Harvard and Peabody Terrace), Kallmann McKinnell (of Boston City Hall fame); landscape architects like Dan Kiley (of Lincoln Center), Zion & Breen (of Paley Park), and Lawrence Halprin (of the now demolished Skyline Park in Denver). Rem Koolhaas submitted an entry for one of the competitions as shown in his book Delirious New York but was not selected. The FDR memorial as designed by Louis Kahn in 1974 will be the most recent addition and certainly adds to the idea of a collection of modernist architecture.

    The significance of the architecture is not limited to modern buildings. The 1888 Chapel of the Good Shepherd, was originally designed by Frederick Clark Withers and described as “the most beautiful church in the city for its most neglected class of humanity.” Its restoration in 1975 was the work of Giorgio Cavaglieri, an early restoration architect known for his innovative adaptive use of the Jefferson Market Courthouse into a New York Public Library.

    The island is changing again not only in the number of residential buildings but also in terms of moving away from the ideals that were once the underlying philosophy for its design. One of the factors to which the flight to the suburbs in the 1960s and 1970s was attributed was the lack of quality and affordable housing. The result was not only the Roosevelt Island plan but also many other architecturally significant buildings throughout New York. Today’s residential construction is mostly market rate and in condominium ownership.

    Times have changed and, to contradict Charles Jencks, modern architecture is far from dead. In fact, interest in the period is growing and maybe, for once, we can learn from our mistakes and build better housing that is affordable but also architecturally innovative.

    The Docomomo US/NYTriState tour will feature the participation of architects Theodore Liebman, once an architect working for UDC; and Bhavnani, who with his partner Johansen was responsible for the design of some of the residential buildings, among others. The result will be an inside view of the past and a tour of the present. For information on the Roosevelt Island tour or for a complete and up-to-date listing of other tours during the Docomomo US Tour Day, please visit www.docomomo-us.org.

    http://www.archpaper.com/news/articles.asp?id=5676

  9. #54
    NYC Aficionado from Oz Merry's Avatar
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    All those jobs sound great, but I think these proposals look ridiculous on Roosevelt Island.

    ...Bloomberg’s rallying cry “We can’t sit here and let Silicon Valley be bigger than us”
    ^


    Silicon Island

    Let the competition to turn New York into tech-central begin.

    by Julie V. Iovine


    Courtesy SOM

    It’s a big day tomorrow for the Groves of Academe, as the deadline for submissions to the NYC Economic Development Corporation’s (EDC) Applied Science NYC Campus arrives. Last December Bloomberg lobbed an Request for Expressions of Interest for a high-concept school that would recast New York as an East Coast Silicon Valley for training and launching applied science entrepreneurs of all high-tech stripes. President Seth Pinsky of the EDC keeps referring to it as an “Erie Canal moment,” harking back to the early 18th century when Governor DeWitt Clinton, over protests from Thomas Jefferson, invested in building the Erie Canal, a move that helped New York compete and ultimately overtake Boston and Philadelphia as the country’s major shipping port.

    In scale and scope, the “Genius School,” as it’s been tagged, dwarfs the West Side stadium and even the Olympics bid, demonstrating that Bloomberg although in his last leg is still aiming high: a 30-year build-out; two million square feet of construction; $6 billion in overall economic activity; 22,000 permanent jobs; $1.2 billion in taxes for the City. The City is committing $100 million for infrastructure, or what an EDC spokesperson described as “seed capital,” and four sites for free to choose from, including Roosevelt Island, Governor’s Island, Brooklyn Navy Yard, or the farm Colony on Staten Island. No wonder over two-dozen institutions started salivating when the project was announced last December.

    Now down to the wire, with an administration eager to make a decision by year’s end so that Bloomberg can get his legacy shovel ready by the time his term ends in 2012, two front runners—Cornell and Stanford—and one site—Roosevelt Island—are coming into focus. (Perhaps rushed into print is more like it: the City requested “a quiet period for review and evaluation” and no talking to the press about details after Friday. Even now, the information is sketchy, but here’s the gist…)


    Stanford's proposed tech campus on Roosevelt Island.
    Courtesy Stanford

    Cornell’s NYC Tech Campus is throwing its weight into a 150,000 square foot net-zero building just south of the Queensboro Bridge on the 10-acre site of Goldwater Hospital promising it will be “the largest net-zero energy building in the eastern United States.” Renderings show at least six buildings in all stacked, tilted or variously canted towards the sun and slathered in PVs. SOM is the architect on the team, and Field Operations is working on 500,000 square feet of landscaping with what looks like webs of turf gathered around building bases and running to ground. Karen Tamir, project manager for Cornell NYC at Field Operations, describes it as a “multi-layer landscape from grade to roof garden to balconies back to street level, with buildings over and under green roofs” building in part atop a 30 to 40 foot high plinth. The program includes housing for faculty, staff, and students. Projects with connections to the community win points and so there not only are gardens attached to housing but also community gardens plus public spaces on campus, gardens as part of a public school, and a nursery so that the long-term project can grow its own trees. The net-zero building is the linchpin and the first to be built of the highly-phased campus where energy production will be based on the photovoltaic arrays (devised by Distributed Sun of Washington DC) generating 1.8 megawatts at daily peak—plus a four-acre geothermal field with 400 wells drilled into Roosevelt’s granite foundation. (To get that solar power flowing fast a 60,000 square foot shed to prop up PVs is included in Phase One that could host all nature of community activities) Of the super-sustainable structure, Kent Kleinman dean of Cornell University’s College of Architecture, Art, and Planning said, “We wanted to do something that would demonstrate our values and that would also reflect the things actually being researched inside. LEED Gold and Platinum are nice but it’s better to generate as much energy as you consume.”

    Cornell's proposal is filled with sustainable construction techniques. [+ Click to enlarge.]
    Courtesy SOM




    Kleinman described the tech school’s curriculum as focusing on three “hubs” of learning: Connective Media, Healthier Life, and Built Environment. The hubs would be demonstrably anti-silo with “aggregations of expertise”—rather than core subject departments—with, say, agriculture specialists teaming up with engineers and media types. “It’s more of a community, less like a research park,” he said, “and not at all a mono-culture like the Google campus.” Students and researchers would be working next to start up companies and co-located corporations, and everyone would share the tomatoes from the roof gardens.

    With a high-powered technology partner, Technion, the Israel Institute of Technology, the team is feeling strong. “All vectors are pointing the right direction,” Kleinman said on the eve of their submission. “This could add a dimension to the way we study architecture and urbanism that would be quite profound, not just as a science.”


    Inside the proposed Cornell tech campus.

    A press release emanating from the office of Stanford University cut straight to the financial marrow of their own submission, StanfordNYC, stating that their proposal represents would come with an investment by the university of $200 million spent on start-up costs and an “initial endowment” for a 1.9 million square foot campus with housing for 200 faculty and 2,000 students in LEED Platinum digs. Stanford president John Hennessy also pledged a $1.5 billion would come from a ten-year capital campaign with an “accelerated launch” for 2013—music to the major’s outgoing ears. With a constant refrain that they are the spawning ground of Google, Cisco, Hewlett-Packard and Sun Microsystems, Stanford wants it known that they know how to translate teaching into economic lift-off. The university is partnering in its bid to win with City College. And instead of promising a Phase I building, classes with an initial emphasis “on research and education related to new York’s dominant industries of finance and media” would start being held on the City College campus as early as 2013. The proposal’s architect is Ennead, who referred requests for more information to the Stanford communications office. Interestingly, with all the rhetoric about sustainability flying, neither Cornell nor Stanford seem to have seriously considered re-using the Goldwater Hospital buildings.

    Virtually no details were forthcoming from the other institutions believed to be making submissions at deadline, other than reports that Columbia is focusing its proposal on Manhattanville and New York University in concert with Carnegie-Mellon (who is pitching a second lone wolf proposal as well), University of Toronto and U.K.’s University of Warwick, presumably on downtown Brooklyn. Little was heard about universities taking advantage of the other gratis sites, the Navy Yard or Staten Island. Surprisingly, Governor’s Island doesn’t appear to be getting any of the love. It’s already way too built-up, according to one team contender, apparently referring apparently to the West 8, MNLA, Rogers Marvel Architects, and Diller Scofidio +Renfro plans already afoot.

    With hopes high that the winners will be selected by year’s end and Bloomberg’s rallying cry “We can’t sit here and let Silicon Valley be bigger than us” ringing in every year, NYCTech could be just over the photovoltaic-engineered rainbow.

    http://www.archpaper.com/news/articles.asp?id=5723

  10. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by Merry View Post
    Two trolley lines were provided on the outer lanes of the lower level. The trolley service, operated by the Queensborough Bridge Railway, went back and forth between stations at each end of the bridge. The trolleys also stopped at two other stops on the bridge: one above Vernon Boulevard in Long Island City, the other above Roosevelt Island. From these stations, trolley riders descended a small staircase to a catwalk underneath the roadway, where they entered an "upside down building" (the entrance was on the roof) in which they took elevators to street level. Trolley service ended with the completion of the Roosevelt Island Bridge in 1955. The old elevator buildings were demolished in 1970...

    Ok, so clearly there used to be Trolley service on the outer roadways of the Queensboro bridge, but someone help me out with what this is:


    I'm guessing it's the second avenue el train that would cross over the bridge to Queens, but where the heck did it go? Is this the original 7 train? I'm assuming it went onto the top of Queensboro plaza and over Queens blvd but for some reason I haven't been able to find any old maps showing the complete route

  11. #56

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    The IRT Second Ave El had a spur that crossed the bridge and terminated at Queensboro Plaza.

    Here's a 1939 IRT route map:
    http://www.nycsubway.org/perl/captio...s/irt_1939.jpg

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    Default Freaky Cooincidence

    This is going a bit off topic, but yesterday when I was looking up old images about the history of the subway on queensboro bridge, I came across this picture:



    I was scanning the image and took notice of the old ad up on the building and just thought, hmm that's interesting - a company selling vaulted fireproof warehousing, wonder when they went out of business. The company was Day & Meyer. Then I open up the Times today and what do I see, an article about a top secret vault building by Day & Meyer, it's still there... WEIRD!!

    Storing the Stuff of Dreams
    www.nytimes.com/2011/10/30/nyregion/day-meyer-murray-young-warehouse-of-the-rich.html

  13. #58
    Chief Antagonist Ninjahedge's Avatar
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    Very weird... Those tracks look like the roadways servicing the QB.... (The lower ones, at least).

    Makes you wonder how many hoops they jumped through to add access to the bridge itself.


    As for the proposals? They all look like giant malls. They probably went to Paramus Park in NJ to get their ideas from.

    Sheesh!

  14. #59
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    ^^On the other side of the QB Bridge you can still see the steel from QueensBoro Plaza Station continuing from the station onto the bridge upper level. My understanding is that QueensBoro Plaza Station was twice as wide to accomodate the additional elevated train traffic.

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    You can see the other platform on the right.


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