Monday Bulletin: Multiple Buildings Top Out or Near Completion; 26-Year-Old Art ‘Phenom’, The Story of West Side Story

An outdoor Yom Kippur service on 71st Street. Photo by Lese Dunton.

September 20, 2021 Weather: Partly cloudy, with a high of 74 degrees.

Our calendar has lots of local events!

“Topped Out” and “Nearing Completion” are music to the ears of those living near construction. Three Upper West Side buildings fit the bill, according to NY YIMBY, which offers photos and renderings of all three sites.

It is the addition to the American Museum of Natural History that has topped out. “The organic-looking, amorphous structure is progressing near the corner of Columbus Avenue and West 79th Street and is surrounded by an abundance of landscaping and tall trees. The project is projected to cost around $383 million and is aiming for LEED Gold certification.”

“Exterior work is closing in on completion on Charlotte Of The Upper West Side, a nine-story condominium building at 470 Columbus Avenue (82-83)…. The structure is engineered to meet eco-friendly standards set by the German-based Passive House Institute, which is known to reduce energy consumption for heating and cooling by up to 90 percent.”

“Exterior work is nearing completion on 2505 Broadway, a 19-story residential building…on the corner of 93rd Street…. The majority of the gray brick has been installed around the floor-to-ceiling windows and most of the scaffolding and construction netting have been disassembled from the upper floors, revealing the numerous stepped setbacks on the main eastern elevation facing Broadway.”

Political redistricting is under way, and it could change the maps that determine who represents which neighborhoods…but the process is already getting messy. In 2014, New Yorkers voted overwhelmingly to appoint a bipartisan committee to redraw political district maps for U.S. and state congressional seats. The intent was to prevent gerrymandering — the redrawing of districts for political gain. Redistricting occurs every 10 years, following a national census. “New York’s new bipartisan redistricting commission got off to an inauspicious start on Wednesday, as its Democratic and Republican members failed to reach an agreement on an initial set of congressional and legislative map proposals,” The Times reported. “Its failure could pave the way for Democratic supermajorities in Albany to step in to determine the final maps early next year. Party leaders there and in Washington are already quietly circling in case the commission cannot reach a final agreement or produce a final result party leaders like. They hope to use the process to knock out as many as five Republican congressional seats, boosting the party nationwide as it tries to maintain a narrow House majority, and to firm up permanent majorities in the Legislature.”

Anna Weyant is a 26-year-old “fast-moving” Upper West Side artist whose subjects portray “the indignities of being a young woman,” ArtNet reported. “Her sometimes-frightening ability to capture these experiences in ways that resonate with fully grown women has made her one of the most sought-after young artists working today…. [She] landed in New York after studying painting at the Rhode Island School of Design. Following graduation, she spent the summer as an event planner for Lincoln Center (‘It was great, but I just could not do the 9 a.m. mornings,’ she says.)” So she got a job as an artist’s assistant. “She would return home every evening to paint in the Upper West Side apartment she still lives in….”

Finally, Entertainment Weekly provided some background for the reboot of West Side Story, coming in December. Here’s the trailer:

COLUMNS, NEWS | 7 comments | permalink
    1. Juan says:

      I generally think that gerrymandering is evil and unAmerican. However, the Republicans are doing it in many states. If the Democrats don’t do it where they can, they are taking a knife to a gun fight.

      Gerrymandering, combined with all of the votes Republicans legislatures in purple and red states are passing to make it difficult for Democrats to vote, is going to hand the 2022 and 2024 elections to the Republicans. So Democrats must do everything they can, even options that seem very unpalatable.

      • EdNY says:

        Absolutely no question about it.

      • Boris says:

        How is it that people who are well-versed about every way to benefit from Federal/State/City government programs cannot figure out how to vote? Tightening up the voting process to prevent fraud is not insurmountable.

    2. George Hincapie says:

      There were a bunch of United Van Lines trucks parked in front of AMNH yesterday. All of us around the building became very hopeful that they were moving out. They have been a neighbor from hell and should be gone.

      • Jay says:

        What a ridiculous statement. The museum is a huge plus for the neighborhood.

        I’ll take a guess that the museum was here when you moved in, so if it aggrieves you so much, maybe you should think about your choice of where you live.

      • Peter says:

        There was also a Bellevue ambulance with a couple of guys carrying a straightjacket. All of us around the building became very hopeful that they were coming for you.

    3. J UWS says:

      I wish I could afford it, but bringing Passive Houses to the UWS is great progress! It will reduce emissions (many of our preserved historic buildings are terribly inefficient) and improve indoor air quality for the residents. We should build more housing like this and find ways to make this type of construction more affordable.