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10 1/4" x 14"

Arches 140#CP

 

I rarely believed retired folks when they said that they became so busy after retirement that they didn't know when they had time to work ... well, I'm singing a different song now. Either I'm slowing down significantly, finding more to do, or am more distracted - but the days seems to whiz by in a blur of motion, and I fall into bed each night and think "where did the time go!" Perhaps it's a bit of all of that that has me as busy as I was before, though I've exchanged 'work' obligations for home and family obligations. I'm finally spending a bit more time with my grands, getting some VERY much needed things done in and around the house, and my social life has picked up too. All good things -- and I have to admit, busier than I had anticipated in any of my retirement imaginings.

 

I painted this 'splash and splatter' simply for the colors .... I hadn't worked on a S&S for a while - the method I enjoy when I want to focus and find something recognizable from a page of freely tossed water and paint. I find the method relaxing, challenging and fun ... and so, anemones...

 

My garden tomatoes have gone gangbusters -- but the 5 vines I have are all the salad type tomatoes - especially Juliets and cherries. I have found over the years that the Juliets (those 2" grape shaped tomatoes) to be the very best for surviving North Carolina's extreme summer heat and humidity and most of all, semi-drought conditions. These last two weeks, we've had significant rain, and the vines are now over the porch rail making picking a challenge - it's like finding the jewels in the jungle ....

 

I've been dehydrating some tomatoes and mostly enjoying a simple meal of tomatoes and onions sauteed in butter and olive oil, flavored with basil, and served over spaghetti. My summertime favorite for a quick, light, easy to fix dinner or lunch.

 

We matted a few more paintings this weekend for an upcoming festival in August - a one-day event at one of my favorite retail nurseries. This is a first time event for them as well as for me, so we'll see how it goes.

 

I hope you have a super week!!!

This is a slightly more challenging picture for Flickr I guess.

 

The Northern French city of Rouen has a beautiful and historic heart but also has an industrial area, poverty and social problems - like most Western industrial conurbations. In July 2016 we were not far from Rouen when the Roman Catholic priest Father Jacques Hamel was murdered in the parish of Saint-Étienne-du-Rouvray by two men, Adel Kermiche and Abdel Malik Petitjean, supposedly in the name of the Islamic State. The President of Normandy's Regional Council of Muslims, lmam Mohammed Karabila, said he was a friend who gave his life for others. He had worked on an inter faith group in the region. Here, shoppers carrying branded bags from upmarket retailers pass by a tagged and graffiti-strewn historic building in the centre of the city. In the distance, a retail worker makes sure his shop windows are sparkling.

 

:copyright: 2017 I do not plaster my images with copyright information but I do not give my intellectual property away free and it is not in the Creative Commons; it is one of the ways in which I earn my living. The fact that the images on Flickr are mainly ‘fun’ images and snapshots makes no difference to me – they are still a commercial asset. No individual, group, organisation or entity is entitled to use these images in any way shape or form, on or in any media, at any time, in any place, for any reason, without my express written consent. To do so constitutes theft and will be treated accordingly.

Proxy Falls taken with my Holga last Fall on the same day as this other shot captured with my Pentax 6x7.

 

Working retail as I do, I deal with a lot of different types of customers, most of those I sell cameras to though are students, relative newcomers when it comes to purchasing cameras. As such, a lot of what I do over the counter involves educating as well as selling. Or put another way, re-educating.

 

See, many people operate under a fair number of misconceptions when it comes to photography, and I want to take a bit of time tonight to combat one of them in particular; in order to take professional quality photographs you need professional quality cameras.

 

Frankly, if the person selling you a camera tells you this, it really means they are just trying to sell you something more expensive, that and they are probably paid on commission. And they would probably auction off a family member for the right price.

 

I know, many you already realize this is bogus thinking, nonetheless many of us succumb to it. There is something reassuring in knowing your camera has a price tag to rival your social security number. I mean, come on, if you have to skip two mortgage payments how can that camera NOT be good right? Well chances are it is a good camera. Doesn't mean it is the right camera for you though.

 

And I guess it all depends on how we define good. Oh boy, that is a topic that requires about three hours and four beers...

 

I always stress that it is how you USE the camera, not the camera itself that makes the most difference and I stand by that. If I sound like a broken record at times, it is merely because it is true and a very valuable lesson to learn. It is one of the things I try to demonstrate with my stream. I shoot five main cameras, though I cycle in others here and there. My main 35mm is my Nikon FM2n. In the store I work at, this camera costs $200 in perfect working order with a warranty. That $200 buys me a camera that will last for decades, will cost about $120 to refurbish when it wears out every 10-15 years or so and will stay in the family my entire life unless I drop it in the ocean as I seem to be more than capable of doing. Plus it takes images that are incredibly sharp and can be printed as large as 24x36 with a fairly high degree of quality. Sure I could have bought an F3 ($300-400), an F4 ($400), an F5 ($500) or an F6 ($1000 or more). Heck the F6 is the latest and greatest film camera out there. It does everything except sweep the kitchen floor. I have shot it, everytime you press the shutter it sounds like the camera is silkily whispering "damn fine shot". Then again, with the same lenses it will take the exact same quality image as my FM2. And sure, it is whiz-bang, but then again pretty much every automatic feature on cameras these days can be duplicated manually. These cameras don't allow you to do things less expensive and sophisticated cameras won't, they generally just tend to make those things quicker and easier. That is what all that extra money tends to buy you, speed and convenience, not necessarily better quality. More on that possibly in a bit.

 

My second camera, also my main landscape camera these days, is my Pentax 67. This was once a top of the line medium format camera. It produces large 6x7cm negatives with detail and resolution that still blow my mind. I would even go so far as to say it produces a higher resolution, sharper image than all but the most expensive of digital cameras can compete with. It also cost me $200. I am on my third one due to two unfortunate accidents. I have spent less than $700 combined on all three.

 

My third is my pinhole, brand new for $250. For those who are familiar with my pinhole images, not much more needs to be said. For those who are not, it is an incredibly interesting camera that captures a perspective unlike most other photography. All without the benefit of a lens, auto-focus, a meter of any kind, not a single gear, wire or circuit. It scoffs if you mention LCD in fact.

 

My fourth, which this image was taken with, is my Holga. $25. No, I am not missing a zero. It is a plastic toy camera that retails for about $25. Certainly not a perfect camera, but then again is there such a thing? No, there isn't. And if the person behind the counter tells you there is, well see the fourth paragraph above. I was down in Yosemite last year browsing the Ansel Adams gallery in the park, and there is a piece by a photographer named Ted Orland. It is an amazing work and though I do not remember the price on it, it was a lot and well worth it. It was taken with a holga.

 

My fifth is my Leica M3, which is a contradiction to the point I am trying to make, that camera sold for about $700. Though these days, that is about average for most DSLRs. Though honestly it is more of a specialty camera for me and of all the cameras listed above, is one of the ones that gets used the least.

 

I am not trying to trumpet my nifty frugalness or impress upon you my ability to not irrationally and impulsively spend my camera budget. The point I am trying to make is that it has always been, and always will be good photographers behind cameras that make good images. Note I have not attached any adjective to cameras, because none needs to be. To be blunt, a photographer is either skilled at what they do, or they are not, or they are somewhere in between hopefully moving towards the former and not the latter. A camera will not change this, though it may seem like it does. And true, cameras can help us see differently, they can help us take different pictures, but that is all they do at the most. Help. We take the pictures, good or bad, and it can be done on all cameras, expensive or not.

 

Buying the best camera is very very very rarely buying the more expensive camera. Rather it is a moderately tricky process of figuring out what you want to do as a photographer and buying the camera that is the best fit. Want to take odd, alternative artsy photos? Buy a holga, a lomo or a fish eye. Photojournalism? Then you probably want a rugged DSLR. Landscape with the intent to make murals? Medium or large format. Do you want something lightweight? You will want to buy a plastic camera (which will also break on you in a matter of a few years). Do you prefer a heavy and rugged camera for backpacking? Go with one of the SLRs of the 60s or 70s like a Minolta SRT or Pentax K1000. Want to try out medium format on a budget? Get a twin lens. A top notch Yashica Mat 124G can be found for $250 or less.

 

There are options, sometimes a seemingly overwhelming number of them. Start with yourself. Figure out what you need in a camera (much less than you might think). Plan how and where you will use a camera. Make a list and stick to it. Otherwise you are just going to be paying for a number of features you never actually get around to using. Expensive is not always the answer, but then again neither is cheap. It really revolves around your needs. You are matching a camera to yourself, not the other way around.

 

Anyway, hope that is somewhat intelligible. And hope you enjoy the photo. I find it interesting to compare the two images, both medium format, but one shot through a high end glass lens, the other a toy plastic camera. I like them both, a lot. And both are very different images taken from almost the exact same spot. That too is the beauty of different cameras, they allow photographers to realize different visions. Just remember, photography begins and ends with living, breathing human beings. Cameras are just means to that end.

  

My plans were to do a mountain scene using the Cloud w/Sun Lg 108G image but, instead of just coming up with a scene out of my head, I decided to reference a book for inspiration. This is a half page scene that takes a while as it's a composition that I haven't done before and there were a few new considerations that I ran into.

 

To see this scene made visit: youtu.be/zAok3t4WzO4

 

Original: Dye based and pigment ink on glossy cardstock. Gel, paint, and alcohol pens.

 

Stamps used: Cloud w/Sun Lg 108G, Cloud Cumulus018E, Tall Peak 182G, Rocky Peaks 188F, Gulls 302A, Ledge 054F, Rocks and Leaves 206E, Foliage Lg 036B, Leafless Pines (lg) 371G, Leafless Pines (sm) 369C, Winter Brush 366C, and Tiny Rocks (sm) 329A.

 

For more information visit: www.stampscapes.com

where you can find a list of great rubber stamp retail stores that carry the Stampscapes line. Ask them if they offer workshops.

 

Social media:

www.ebay.com/usr/stampscapesstore

www.flickr.com/groups/stampscapes/

pinterest.com/stampscapes/

www.facebook.com/Stampscapes/

City of Almere and MVRDV present Vision 2030

(Almere, June 26, 2009) Dutch new town Almere plans to grow with 60,000 houses, 100,000 working places and all related facilities. By this Almere will grow into the fifth city of the Netherlands in an effort to relief and to offer qualities to the urbanised west of the Netherlands. MVRDV was commissioned to collaborate with the city to design a concept structure vision to accommodate this growth. The growth will take place in four main areas: Almere IJ-land, a new island off the coast in the IJ-lake, Almere Pampus, a neighbourhood focussed on the lake and open to experimental housing, Almere Centre, an extended city centre surrounding the central lake, and Oosterwold, an area devoted to more rural and organic urbanism. Together the proposals form the new framework to accompany the growth of the city until 2030. Together with the entire board of city councilors and the mayor, Adri Duivesteijn, city councilor of Almere and Winy Maas of MVRDV, presented the concept structure vision to the ministers of Transport, Public Works and Water Management (V&W), Camiel Eurlings and minister of Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment, Jacqueline Cramer (VROM) on June 26th. The design of IJland has been a collaboration with Adriaan Geuze of West8 and William McDonough of McDonough and Partners.

 

“The structure vision for Almere is more than an urban masterplan…” said Adri Duivesteijn, city councilor of Almere, “…it describes how the city can develop in economic, cultural and social terms. The expansion is not a quantitative effort. Even though the number of 60,000 new homes is impressive, the main objective is the addition of new qualities. Almere wants to serve the demand of the Randstad and at the same time needs the chance to develop into an ecologic, social and economically sustainable city”.

 

The Axis: Nowadays Almere is a city with 185,000 inhabitants, 30 years ago it was an empty stretch of land reclaimed from the sea. The growth will preserve and further expand Almere’s model of a poly-nuclear city. It will diversify the existing city by adding various densities, programs and characters that do not exist yet is the current situation,

The vision consists of four major development areas, each with their own character, logic and identity. These new area developments are connected by an infrastructural axis which connects the metropolitan area of Amsterdam with Almere. Between the two cities the Almere IJ-land (referring to IJ-lake) is a connector, literally as well as in economical and cultural perspective. The axis then leads to Almere Pampus, the Centre of Almere and Oosterwold in the east and will in the future be continued to connect Utrecht.

 

Almere IJ-land: Together with West 8 and William McDonough, MVRDV worked on the unique opportunity to design a series of urban and nature reserve islands. The new rail connection to Amsterdam and a needed ecological intervention in the IJ-lake offered the potential to propose the creation of a living area with 5,000 up to 10,000 homes, combined with this nature development. IJ-land combines ecological and infrastructural interventions with the possibility to live and work in a natural riparian environment. The island could also be part of the possible Dutch bid for the 2028 Olympic Games.

 

Almere Pampus: This area will combine the feeling of a coastal town with high density and make room for 20,000 homes, all streets are all leading to the boulevard at the lake. The existing maintenance harbour will be reused for leisure and floating villages. There will be a new train station with a plaza at the coast.

 

Almere Centre: The current centre will grow and extend to the southbank of the Weerwater , turning the central lake into the Weerwater-park and becoming in time the cultural and economical heart of the city. On the junction of the new axis, a motorway and the rail connection the motorway will be covered which makes it possible to develop up to 5,000 homes, offices and public amenities. The central station will be developed into an economical hub and will be surrounded with new program.

 

Almere Oosterwold: This large area in the east offers room for up to 18,000 new homes and a variety of functions such as business and retail centres. It will be developed following individual and collective initiatives, from small scale to large scale, with plots that are always surrounded by nature development, urban agriculture or local parks. The area will reserve areas for future development after 2030.

 

The vision 2030 is not a blueprint but a flexible development strategy. Duivesteijn: “It is a framework which can be filled in by the people of the city. By remaining flexible we create possibilities to adjust the plans to future opportunities.” Almere wants to develop according to this structure vision in order to become an ecological, social and economically sustainable city. For this large investments in infrastructure are needed to connect the city with in future 350,000 inhabitants to its surroundings and to Amsterdam

 

Winy Maas will remain involved in the further development of the concept structure vision in a supervising role. MVRDV has a long history of engagement with Almere: Earlier projects included two studies on new ways of organic urban development for Almere Hout and Almere Homeruskwartier, a study for the A6 Boulevard and the study for Pampus harbour, a neighbourhood of 500 floating dwellings. MVRDV’s Jacob van Rijs currently works on part of Olympiakwartier, a dense urban district of in total 220.000m2 mix use with public facilities.

 

Minneapolis, Minnesota

 

An empty retail space in the largest mall in America.

 

0091

When I immigrated to Canada at the age of 17 I went through a culture shock. The most differences between the Canadian society and the Iraqi society are the lack of commitment, and how lightly love is treated here. I first came to realize that commitment is not highly valued here at my first summer job: people simply didn't care about the company, the products they were producing, their co-workers, or the owners—they only wanted their pay checks. I don't even want to start talking about love here, because I don't know where to start and where to end! I just want to make one comment about love:

 

Love is not only a feeling, if it was our Lord Jesus Christ wouldn't command us to love our enemies (Matthew 5:44). Because when was the last time you felt love towards your enemy? So love is also a commitment: while a feeling is something you can't control, a commitment you certainly can. It is after you make the commitment to pray and do good to your enemies that the feeling of love may come.

 

I remember while I was new in Canada I watched on a Judge Judy show a woman suing her common-law husband who is 25 years old because he does not work or help her around the house because he only plays video games with his friends, while she takes care of their 2 children. I had to laugh when I heard that, as I was new to this concept of a 25 years old man who does nothing with his life but play video games! Then around that time I heard in the morning news that a man was wanted in a drive-by shooting related to gang wars, and they said he was 35 years old! I was very shocked to find out that a 35 years old man is still in a gang and he goes around shooting people! It took me few years to figure out what is going on to a high percentage of people here: people (both males and females, but it seems males have a higher percentage) seem to go through infancy, childhood, adolescence, but have such a hard time passing into adulthood. Let me give you an example:

 

Boys in Iraq when they grow up they are constantly reminded that one day they are going to be men. For example, when my brother-in-law (who is from Egypt) goes to do a business deal he takes my 6 years old nephew with him because he wants his son to see that life is not all playing and that it requires seriousness and responsibility. And we are also told to keep our word—that is if we say something we stick by it. Because Iraq is a cultural society a man's worth is valued by how he values his own words. Let's say a man promises his neighbour to help him fix his car in the evening. If evening comes and the man doesn't show up then he cannot be trusted, if he cannot be trusted then he is not dependable, which mean his services will not be required, and if you are not needed in the society then you are not important. This idea here is almost non-existing. At university for example students are constantly being formed into groups of about 5 people and have to work as a group to get a project done. It is almost always that one group member or more either doesn't show up to a meeting, or is late, or has not done his or her part. Many have no feelings of responsibility or commitment. Yet, those same students are expected to graduate in a year or so and become leaders of families and our society!

 

The problem lies in that most people live here by preference rather than convictions. Their thoughts pattern usually goes like this: I feel like it therefore I will do it, or I don't feel like it therefore I won't do it. People live by preferences when they are selfish and self centred. But living by convictions and commitments requires selflessness and sacrifice. And as Christians it is essential that we keep our words and promises. Because if we desire to be like our Lord then we have to be trustworthy, faithful, selfless, and committed like Him. It is essential that we live by convictions.

 

Imagine marriage run by feelings alone? Who feels like taking the garbage out? Who feels like changing diapers? Who feels like waking up 3 times a night to a crying child? Who feels like paying the mortgage? Who feels in love the same with their spouse after 30 years?

 

Another problem people face here is that at such a young age they engage in sexual immorality, and associate love with it, and experience rejection. If a person has had multiple sex partners by the time they are 20 years old, what value does marriage, love, or commitment have to them anymore? That's why it is so important that Christians raise their children on Biblical principles and enforce those principles.

 

I am not saying that in Iraq people don't break their promises, and people in Canada are not trustworthy, all I am saying is that the percentage of people who are untrustworthy, take love easily, and don't value commitment is much higher here. And I am not saying that if you promise something you have to always keep it. If you promise in your anger to commit a sin then don't do it. Or if you promise doesn't fit God's will then don't do it. And I am also not saying you should become like a machine living without feelings but by commands alone. The goal here is not to be become a perfectionist or ignore your humanity; the goal here is to be trustworthy, dependable, and not disappoint God and people as long as it depends on you. The idea here is to be a adult (responsible) man or woman.

 

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Few months ago I read in the February 2009 InTouch magazine a story of a Christian man's divorce that really touched me. I cried when I read it because the emotions he expressed were so true of a rejected, fooled, deceived, mistreated, and disesteemed person. The story reminded me of a movie that was based on a true story of a man committing adultery with his secretary, and then divorcing his completely unsuspecting wife to marry his mistress. The sad part of the story is that he only felt guilty for a while, while she had to live with the feelings of being rejected, unloved, unimportant, deceived, and had to deal with disappointment, shame and labels (because of society), and having no support in raising their sons for many years. On top of that, when holidays came her sons went to spend time with their dad while she stayed home alone. It is amazing how the actions of one person can harm another so greatly. Sometimes we think that the person who does the wrongdoings reaps the consequences for his or her actions immediately, but often times this is not the case and that the victim suffers for much longer. At least that's sometimes true here on earth, but in heaven everything is fair and no time is longer than an eternity in hell.

 

Sometimes people say that it takes two people to ruin a marriage. I don't believe in that: I think it needs only one person to ruin a marriage (of course, it can also take two people). You only need one hand to be missing for you not to be able to clap. Few years ago at work a woman discovered her husband was committing adultery with a co-worker who was 20 years his junior. The wife was very crushed. Then a co-worker told me that her sons say that she doesn't even cook at home. I answered her, "That's non-sense, if he was that hungry he should cook himself, order food, or take them out for dinner. How is food connected to adultery?" It seems that we humans love to blame the victim for the crime, but this doesn't please God.

 

I also know a very godly Iraqi man who loved a girl with all of his heart for 3 years. There was nothing he wouldn't do for her as long as it made her happy and it wasn't a sin. Then one day she told him that she couldn't marry him because he was a construction worker, and even though he made good money he was worth nothing because he doesn't have a degree. He was shocked when he heard her say that to him, because he wanted to marry her! After all those years, money spent and efforts from his part, and all that love, that's what she thought of him? Few months later he heard that she got married to a doctor. Six months later she sent him an e-mail apologizing, asking his forgiveness saying that she still loves him. He wrote her back with the supervision of his pastor and addressing her as "sister" saying that what happened has happened, and he prays for her and her husband, wishes them the best, and that he doesn't want her to contact him anymore because she is a married woman now. Since then I wondered: Why make a mess of your life? Why not value someone who you know in your heart that this person genuinely loves you? And we all know how difficult it is to find someone who loves you unconditionally and is committed to you. Why marry someone for the wrong reasons and regret it later? I want to say this to the ladies reading this:

 

There is nothing more attractive in a woman than knowing she is wise, and have a strong character. (That's why so many men find girls who wear glasses attractive!) It is a beautiful thing in a woman to have an independent character. And by independent I don't mean rebellious or that she doesn't respect other people's thoughts, but I mean to be dependent on God's Word and to know who she is in Him and what His will is and to live a godly life—that she is not easily persuaded to do things. I am saying this because in the Middle Eastern culture and even among many Christians, women seem to be so easily influenced by whatever a man says. When I get married, if it is God's will, I want my wife to have her own character, her own thoughts and to ask, "Is what my husband saying correct? Is it supported Biblically?" And if it is not then I would love for her to correct me. Just as I am supposed to be the man of the house, she is supposed to be my helper, and how can she helps me when she just duplicates my thoughts, and doesn't question my decisions?! Interestingly, the most independent in her thinking godly woman I know is also the best wife I know. The Bible says in Proverbs 31:

 

"{10} A wife of noble character who can find?

She is worth far more than rubies.

{11} Her husband has full confidence in her

and lacks nothing of value."

 

[How can a husband have full confidence in his wife if he knows she is easily influenced?]

 

"{13} She selects…. {14} She bringing…. {15} She gets up…she provides…. {16} She considers… she plants…. {17} She sets about her work…. {18} She sees that her trading is profitable…. {19} She holds…. {20} She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy…. {21} She has no fear…. {22} She makes…. {25} She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. {26} She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue."

 

[This is a woman has an independent mind and a strong character, works hard, and make profitable deals, she is confident and makes wise decisions, and her husband has confidence in her and is respected—that's a godly woman.]

 

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So for few months now I have decided to take a photo to illustrate the pain a man or a woman go through when the wife or the husband commit adultery. And yesterday at university with the help of few classmates I was able to take that photo. The photo is dedicated to William Ryder (whose story is posted below), and all wronged persons out there whose only crime is that they loved so purely that they didn't see evil coming.

 

I hope you like the photo and the writing :)

 

PS: The one thing I don't understand about adultery is how come it is not against the law! I mean, marriage is a contract and both parties agree on its terms and sign it, right? Then how come the breach of this contract is not against the law? I mean, if you do it in business you get sued and have to pay for it. So why is destroying a family, and the lives of the wife or husband, and the children is not punishable by law?

 

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This (unexpected) Life

Surviving the pain of labels and “good intentions”

by William Ryder

 

I will always remember that night with crystal clarity. We had just moved to a new city eleven days earlier to enable Amy, my wife of three years, to begin a Master’s program. Having graduated from seminary ten weeks prior, I was working a retail job while I searched for a church ministry position. Weary from a ten-hour workday framed by a one-hour commute, I slowly climbed the steps to our new apartment.

 

Inside, I sank gleefully into my favorite chair and turned my attention to Amy, who was sitting at the edge of the couch beside me. She nervously cleared her throat and said, “We need to talk.” I was not prepared for what came next. In what seemed like a single breath she said, “Well, I have not been very happy lately. I have been racking my brain trying to figure out why, and I think I’ve finally realized the truth. I don’t love you. I don’t have the feelings for you that I think a wife should have for her husband. I think marrying you was a mistake, and I don’t want to be married anymore.”

 

Wow. There was simply no response in my mind to what she had said. I was numb. I stood up and paced the floor as I desperately strove to work through this information. I understand that in most divorces, both parties usually see it coming; however, there is occasionally that hapless idiot who’s caught completely off guard. That was me, catching butterflies in left field while my wife decided she no longer loved me.

 

Almost immediately, Amy moved out of our apartment to stay with a friend. She would speak to me only through e-mails and, soon after, her attorney. I stayed there alone for several weeks, pleading with her to change her mind. However, two months after the initial bombshell, Amy had divorce papers drawn up, and I realized that our marriage was truly over. Knowing her decision was final, and because I had no job or friends in the new city, I agreed to leave town.

 

I remember walking through the apartment, trying to separate “my” things from “her” things. It was impossible—like reaching inside of a baked cake, trying to pull out the individual ingredients. No longer was there a unity of belongings, but rather a collection of two people’s possessions thrown together. Looking over all our stuff, I was no longer able to see any gray; everything was either black or white, hers or mine, staying or going.

 

As I made the last inspection after packing all of my things into a U-Haul, my attention paused at a framed wedding picture on the kitchen table. For a moment, I stopped breathing. Picking it up, I looked into the eyes of that beautiful bride, and I trembled. Returning the photograph to the table, I became painfully aware of the now-defunct piece of gold on my left hand. I slowly pulled the wedding band off my finger, gently kissed it, and sat it on the table beside the portrait. Then I turned, walked outside, and locked the door behind me. At that moment, in every way, I was a man with no home.

 

Weeks later, I suffered the tremendous indignity of piecing together the abhorrent truth behind Amy’s departure. Her “rational, adult decision” to leave our marriage was a sham; she’d actually been embroiled in an affair with another man for almost a year—one third of our marriage. This was the “friend” with whom she was staying while I pled for her to return. With this insight, my last hopes were destroyed, and I signed the divorce papers . . . two days before Thanksgiving.

 

This is my story. Tragic? Absolutely. Pitiful? Without a doubt. The real question, though, is, Why should you care about all of this? Why did I have to invite you into the darkest part of my private nightmares? The answer, sadly, is that if you do not have such a painful story yourself, you can be certain that you know someone who does. Roughly half of all marriages in America end in divorce; for born-again Christians, the percentage is, surprisingly, higher. Despite all of these “newly single” people populating American churches, the church in general has no idea how to react, relate, or respond to the needs of this heartbroken crowd.

 

I believe the first obstacle that must be conquered is a matter of identity. Let me explain: In the past few years, I have become painfully aware of how, when, and where the word “divorce” is used. It often appears in a checklist under the heading “Marital Status,” which gives people four options: single, married, widowed, or divorced. I’ve seen this in the most unexpected places, from a church visitor information card to an application for health insurance.

 

The issue is that people have grown accustomed to categorizing others according to certain “pegs” in their social life. The problem with this, however, is that there is no such thing as a “divorced person.” Divorce is an event, not a condition. My divorce was something that happened to me, a tragedy in my past. However, that misfortune should not characterize my whole life from now on.

 

The church can go a long way toward ministering to the expansive population of “new singles” by simply striking the word “divorced” from its vocabulary. Using the term as an adjective simply identifies an individual by a horrible event in his life. In this, saying, “Will is a divorced person” is tantamount to saying, “Frank is a pancreatic cancer person.” No one would be insensitive enough to say the latter, so why should it be acceptable to commonly say the former?

 

The most shocking and hurtful appearance of the “divorce check-box” that I have seen was actually church-related. I had taken myself out of the ministry search for almost a year while I worked through my divorce. Then, as I began to test the waters, I wrote to local denominational associations, asking for help in finding possible positions in their areas. One group mailed back a Personal Inventory Checklist to be stapled to my résumé. The checklist contained a brief list of yes/no questions that inquired about any involvement in child abuse, spousal abuse, and other indiscretions. There, wedged neatly between “Obscene/Harassment Phone Calls” and “Do you use illegal drugs?” was the question, “Have you been divorced?” It was then I realized that, in many people’s opinions, my new peer group consisted of wife beaters and child molesters. I completed the form, but obviously never heard from any church in that area.

 

Another problem is the “civilian’s” inability to understand what divorce does to a person. Unfortunately, many well-meaning people attempt to help their hurting friends by uttering the five most potentially destructive words imaginable: “Get on with your life.” This encouragement is built on the premise that their friend’s life is still there, but he has just removed himself from it. This is a mistake. Even though he may still be breathing, your friend’s life, for all intents and purposes, was terminated by his divorce.

 

Let me demonstrate this point from my own experience. For eight long, continuous years I worked hard in school, held a full-time job, took on various church leadership roles, got married, and began making long-term career and family plans. However, my wife’s actions effectively ended that life. In a real sense, my divorce murdered the man and the minister that I was becoming. I will simply never be that man again.

 

The miracle is that God has raised a new life from the ashes. I now have a new career and ministry that I adore. I honestly cannot imagine being happier doing anything else. Does this mean that my current life will always be second-string to what “might have been”? I don’t think so; however, I do know that this life came about only through time, patience, and the determined work of God. Do not be quick to urge the newly single person to “get on with his life”; he may actually be stuck between the old life and the new. Only the Holy Spirit and a hearty amount of patience will truly enable him to get on with his new life.

 

When my ordeal first began in August of 2000, I met with a trusted mentor—a minister who had been through a similar situation. He said something to me that I’ll never forget: “William, nothing I say can make this less painful. But I do know that if you get through a major crisis like divorce with your faith intact, you will understand some things about God that a lot of people never realize.” Now, looking back, I see that he was right. I have never been more aware of the enduring presence of the Holy Spirit than I have these past few years. I have never before known the complete joy and release of casting everything at the foot of the cross and coming to God with a broken heart and empty hands. Mostly, though, I never expected to actually like my new life, but God was more gracious than I ever imagined.

 

If you are standing where I have been, or if you love someone who is going through the whirlwind of divorce, do no expect any trite words of comfort and solace here. However, if you are a hurting individual who is crying out to God for the strength to endure, be encouraged by His response through the apostle Peter: “[Cast] all your anxiety upon Him, because He cares for you . . . And after you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you” (1 Peter 5:7, 10). Even if the present seems insurmountable, you can trust that the future is wide open for your success, love, and happiness. How do I know? Because God said so, and because He has done it for me.

 

------------------------------------------------------------------

Source: InTouch Magazine, February 2009

 

(Toronto, ON; fall 2009.)

 

The founding families of Sharon first settled on a flat plain bordering the Shenango River (this area is situated between two hills and is the current location of Sharon's downtown business district). According to local legend, the community received its name from a Bible-reading settler who likened the location to the Plain of Sharon in Israel.

Initially a center of coal mining, Sharon's economy transitioned to steelmaking and other heavy industry following the Industrial Revolution. Following the extensive national deindustrialization of the 1970s and 80's, the city's economy diversified and is now based primarily on light industry, education, health care, and social services.

NRHP District ~ Historic Downtown District

Bulolo Flats, a two-storeyed block of eight self-contained brick flats, was erected in 1934 for Brisbane businessman and politician Thomas Charles Beirne as purpose-designed residential flats for young women working in his Fortitude Valley department store. The building was designed by the prominent architectural firm of Hennessy, Hennessy and Co. of Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.

 

Thomas Charles Beirne (1860-1949) had a strong association with the development of retailing in Queensland and with the expansion of Fortitude Valley as a major Brisbane retail centre. Like his contemporaries MD Piggott, J McWhirter and FJ McDonnell, Beirne founded a fortune based on the burgeoning retail trade and the transformation of nineteenth century drapery stores into large twentieth century department stores.

 

After having trained as a draper in Ireland Beirne had emigrated to Victoria in 1884, where he was employed in a Melbourne drapery store. In 1886 he joined fellow Irishman MD Piggott in partnership in a small retail drapery in South Brisbane. A disastrous fire in the store in 1889 and the dissolution of the partnership in August 1891 resulted in Beirne establishing his own store in Fortitude Valley, which was emerging as a retail centre to rival North and South Brisbane. His business expanded over the succeeding decades to become one of Queensland's leading department stores, with branch stores established at Ipswich (1892) and Mackay (1902). In 1894 James McWhirter was employed as Beirne's manager for one year, became his partner for another three years, then opened his own establishment on the other side of Brunswick Street in Fortitude Valley, in competition to Beirne. The strong rivalry between the Beirne and McWhirter drapery shops and their evolution into large department stores was one of the principal factors in establishing Fortitude Valley as an important retail centre, dominated for the first half of the twentieth century by the two 'big' stores.

 

From 1898 Beirne was an active member of the Brisbane Traders' Association. He was a supporter of the Labor Party from its infancy, but would not be tied to Party policy. In 1905 he was appointed to the Queensland Legislative Council, remaining a member until the Council was abolished in 1922. He was a successful business person and sat on a number of company boards, including those of the Brisbane Tramway Co., the Queensland Board of the Australian Mutual Provident Society, Queensland Trustees, the Atlas Assurance Co., and the British Australian Cotton Association. In 1927 he was elected to the Council of the University of Queensland and served as warden of the University from 1928 to 1941. In 1935 he donated £20,000 to the University to establish the TC Beirne School of Law.

 

A devout Roman Catholic and close friend and confidant of Archbishop James Duhig (1871-1965), Beirne was a prominent benefactor of the church. In July 1929 he was awarded a papal knighthood of the Order of St Gregory in recognition of his work for the Church, especially in connection with Duhig's planned Holy Name Cathedral [QHR 600208] in Fortitude Valley. On his death in 1949 the Courier-Mail commented that 'Brisbane has lost a personality whose life has been woven strongly into its own progress and development for half a century.'

 

Beirne was regarded as a good employer and in erecting Bulolo Flats he appears to have had the welfare of his female employees at heart, the flats being intended for the use of girls who came from the country to work at his Fortitude Valley department store. Many of Beirne's young female employees were experiencing city life for the first time, and he took a paternal interest in their moral welfare. Located in McLachlan Street close to Brunswick Street, Bulolo was conveniently situated within easy walking distance of the main Fortitude Valley shopping centre and the TC Beirne emporium. The building accommodated eight flats, each comprising a large bed-sitting room with adjoining sleep-out balcony, a kitchenette with built-in cupboards, and tiled bathroom with built-in bath, hot water geyser and built-in cupboards. Each flat had both a private entrance and a service entrance with a trades hatch to receive deliveries (such as milk, bread, meat and vegetables). Shared laundry facilities were provided on the rooftop. The flats offered girls the privacy of a home of their own, as an alternative to shared accommodation in hostels, boarding houses, guest houses, private hotels and tenement or apartment buildings.

 

The construction of Bulolo Flats was an indication of changing social attitudes toward the role of women in the workplace and of community expectations about the behaviour of women in society. Designed as private homes for young women earning their own income, they were symbolic of contemporary community recognition that many young, unmarried women of this era could support themselves financially and were no longer content to live in the family home, or in supervised accommodation such as hostels, or in other forms of communal dwellings. At the same time, the intention to attract only female occupants allayed traditional community suspicions about the immorality of single men and women inhabiting shared residential accommodation. By insisting that Bulolo Flats were designed for women only, the stigma of 'fast' or 'loose' being applied to the young unmarried female occupants was removed.

 

Although quite fashionable in Sydney and in London, flats designed especially for single women were uncommon in Queensland, and no other self-contained block for this purpose is known to have been purpose-constructed in Brisbane in the interwar period. Sometimes referred to as 'bachelor flats', they were distinguished from one-bedroom flats in that the bedroom and sitting room were combined, with a small kitchenette attached (sometimes just an alcove with a sink and single gas burner). Bachelor flats often had shared bathrooms, water closets and laundries, and were in reality tenements, not self-contained flats. For example, the only other identified, purpose-built interwar flat/tenement building in Brisbane designed expressly to accommodate single girls was St Helier, a block of six brick tenements erected in 1930 in Grey St, South Brisbane (no longer extant). Each apartment comprised a bed-sitting room with kitchenette. Bathrooms and water closets were shared - one bath per three persons - and there was a common laundry. In 1932 a second storey was added, comprising three tenements and an owner's flat of six rooms. Similarly, a few blocks of 'bachelor flats' or tenements were erected in Brisbane for single men - such as Donegal (1934 and 1936) on St Paul's Terrace in Fortitude Valley. Bulolo was unusual in that, although designed along the lines of 'bachelor flats', the apartments were self-contained with private bathrooms and water closets.

 

Bulolo was erected in the vanguard of the revival in Brisbane residential construction following the economic depression of the early 1930s. A chronic housing shortage in Brisbane had been exacerbated by the depression and the collapsed of the residential construction industry. With many young couples unable to afford to purchase land and take on house repayments the demand for rental accommodation intensified, and in this environment small flat developments, both purpose-designed and house conversions, were proving attractive investments for small-scale developers. For a large enterprise such as TC Beirne (Pty) Ltd, however, the construction of Bulolo Flats was a philanthropic gesture rather than an investment opportunity, providing employment during construction and much-needed residential accommodation for young women during an accommodation shortage.

 

Title to the site of Bulolo Flats was acquired by TC Beirne (Pty) Ltd early in 1934; in July that year Council building approval was obtained to erect a block of flats to cost £4,500 and work commenced the same month. The contractor was PH Turner & Co. and the building was designed by architects Hennessy, Hennessy and Co.

 

Hennessy, Hennessy and Co. was a Sydney-based architectural firm with branch offices in Brisbane and Melbourne. The firm had been established in Sydney in 1884 by John Francis Hennessy and Joseph I Sheerin as Hennessy and Sheerin. Both were devout Catholics and friends of Archibishop (Cardinal) Moran, and their firm designed extensively for the Catholic Church in New South Wales. In 1912 Sheerin left the practice; his place was taken by Hennessy¿s son Jack Francis Hennessy jnr and the firm was re-named Hennessy and Hennessy. The Brisbane office was established in 1916 in association with Brisbane architect Francis Hall (Hennessy and Hennessy and FR Hall). In 1925 Jack Donoghue was the Brisbane partner (Hennessy, Hennessy, Keesing and Co. and JP Donoghue). Leo Joseph Drinan was manager of the Brisbane office 1924-1927 and Brisbane partner/manager from 1928 to 1967. Like the Hennessys, Hall, Donoghue and Drinan were all Catholics with close connections to the Church in Queensland. Jack Francis Hennessy, the principal of this firm in the interwar period, was TC Beirne's son-in-law, having married Stella Beirne in 1922.

 

Hennessy, Hennessy and Co.'s work for the Catholic Church in Queensland included Villa Maria Convent on St Paul's Terrace, Fortitude Valley and plans for the Holy Name Cathedral, also in Fortitude Valley, which did not come to fruition. Hennessy, Hennessy and Co. were leading practitioners of mainstream interwar styles such as Spanish Mission and Romanesque and many of their buildings featured textured face brickwork, as in Bulolo Flats.

 

The name of the flats appears to have been derived from the Bulolo goldfield in the Central Highlands of Papua New Guinea, southwest of Lae. The site of a rush in 1934 when these flats were constructed, the Bulolo field was attracting much Australian interest and investment.

 

Bulolo Flats remained the property of TC Beirne (Pty) Ltd / TC Beirne Ltd / Duncan Street Properties (Pty) Ltd until 1955. The flats remain in single ownership and have not been strata-titled.

 

Significance:

 

✓✓ Criterion A

 

The place is important in demonstrating the evolution or pattern of Queensland’s history.

 

Bulolo Flats, constructed in 1934, is important for its association with the provision of residential accommodation for women in Brisbane during a period of chronic, bordering on acute, housing shortage. It was one of the few residential establishments of its type constructed in Brisbane at this period, and was an attempt to address contemporary community concerns about the moral 'evils' of single men and women together in other forms of shared residential accommodation of the period, such as boarding houses, guest houses, and private hotels. The place also demonstrates contemporary community recognition that modern young women were seeking an independent lifestyle outside the family home.

 

Brisbane attracted the greatest percentage of residential flat developments in the State during the interwar years, and from late 1933 the erection of purpose-designed, purpose-built blocks of residential flats led the recovery in Brisbane residential construction following the severe and widespread economic depression of the early 1930s. Construction of Bulolo Flats in 1934 was in the vanguard of this activity.

 

✓✓ Criterion B

 

The place demonstrates rare, uncommon or endangered aspects of Queensland’s cultural heritage.

 

Bulolo Flats is an uncommon Queensland example of purpose-built residential flats of the interwar period intended to accommodate single women only. Unlike some other 'bachelor flats' or 'flats for business girls' of this period, in which bathrooms and lavatories were shared, the Bulolo Flats, although essentially bed-sits, were self-contained, with private bathroom, water closet and kitchenette.

 

✓✓ Criterion D

 

The place is important in demonstrating the principal characteristics of a particular class of cultural places.

 

Bulolo Flats remains highly intact. As an excellent example of its type it is important in demonstrating the principal characteristics of a well-designed, well-constructed, domestic-scale block of self-contained residential flats for single women. Each small flat contains a bed-sitting room, sleep-out, kitchenette, bathroom, water closet, built-in cupboards, and front and rear (trades) entrances. Common areas include the central street entrance, halls, stairwells and the former shared laundry facilities on the rooftop. The lack of provision of garaging is consistent with its interwar purpose as flats for young women residing within easy walking distance of their place of work. Decorative details such as the planter boxes at the front, either side of the entrance stairs; the stylistic concerns with utilising brickwork for decorative purposes (including salt-glazed highlights and patterns in a darker colour brick and the incorporation of dramatic pilasters to the exterior); and the incorporation of small 'grotesques' in the front elevation; remain intact.

 

The place is an excellent example of the domestic work of the architectural firm of Hennessy, Hennessy and Co. in Queensland. The firm received a large number of commissions from the Catholic church in Queensland, and they are better known for their design work in convents, church schools, churches and presbyteries throughout the south-east of the State. In Bulolo, their concern with Romanesque stylistic influences so often found in their institutional work and of which they were leading practitioners, is apparent in their domestic design work as well.

 

✓✓ Criterion H

 

The place has a special association with the life or work of a particular person, group or organisation of importance in Queensland’s history.

 

The place has a special association with TC Beirne, a prominent Queensland businessman and politician, for whom the flats were erected. It remains strong evidence of his compassion as an employer and as a committed Catholic and humanitarian, which earned him the respect of his staff and of the Queensland community generally.

 

Source: Queensland Heritage Register.

This image represents the FINAL key outcome of the eyes } world { hands 2008 project.

 

The image is a composite, equally representing all 364

individual eye images taken during 2008 (on the first and last day of the year, the cameras D80 and D300 photographed themselves, hence there are not 366 eye images for 2008).. As such, then, this image represents the average eye for the year.

 

The superimposition concept was inspired by the Australian National Photographic Portrait Project by Raimond De Weerdt, Karen Donnelly and Tony Nott. In 2002 I had the opportunity of being one of 50 faces contributing to the male portrait of the Faces of Albury.

 

Here are the individual images for the months of January, February, March, April, May, June, July , August, September , October, November, and December. Or see here for a combined poster of all monthly eyes.

 

The cameras used for the project were a Nikon D80 (until mid June) and then a Nikon D300. The mainstay lens used was a Nikkor AE-S f3.5-5.6 18-200mm VR

.

 

The images were taken at the following LOCATIONS: Albury, Alma Park, Anchorage, Arkaroola, Avenel, Balranald, Beechworth, Bendigo, Berrigan, Berrima, Bethanga, Bremerton, Brisbane, Cameron Corner, Canberra, Chiltern, Edgehill, Guam, Gundagai, Hepburn Springs, Holbrook, Homer, Hurricane, Iga Warta, In-Flight, Jindera, Kawanna Waters, Lake Boga, Lake Mungo, Lavington, Melbourne, Menindee, Mount Kembla, Mutawintji, Narrandera, Nowra, Olive Downs, Pine Lodge, Pooncarie, Saipan, Seattle, Strzelecki Desert, Taipei, Tarcutta, Temora, Thurgoona, Tibooburra, Tidbinbilla, Uranquinty, Wagga Wagga, Wetootla Gorge, Willandra NP, Wodonga, Yass

  

And the following PROFESSIONS are represented: academic, accountant, admin assistant, administrative assistant, administrator, adventure ecotourism student, adventure tour operator, anthropologist, anthropologust, applications programmer, aquatic ecologist, archaeologist, artist, assistant registrar, assistant tourism officer, author, director & radiohost, bank officer, bar manager, barista, baseball player, bell ringer, bookseller, brick salesman, builder, building designer, business manager, business owner, café assitstant, cafe owner, care giver, carpenter, casual retail assistant, cemetery manager, chairman athenauum trust, champion shearer, church volunteer, cleaning supervisor, clerk, climate change researcher, co-director, collections & exhibitions officer, communications coordinator, communications technician, community volunteer, computer technician, concierge, concreter, conductor, Conservationist, courier contractor, creator & cyclist, cultural anthropologist, cultural development, cultural manager, curator, customer service agent, director, diving consultant, doctoral student, driver, ecologist, educational designer, environment officer, environmental historian and museum curator, environmental manager, executive assistant, executive director, executive officer, farmer & aviator, farmer & historian, finance officer, firefighter, fishing woman, fishmonger, fixologist, flight attendant, floorsanding business, florist, fruiterer, futurist, gallery trainee, games shop retailer, genealogical researcher, graphic designer, groundsman, hairdresser, hairdresser & barista, happy camper, health professional, heritage consultant, heritage officer, heritage specialist, heritage student, historian, historian of photography, hospitality supervisor, hotel manager, illustrator, insurance branch supervisor, insurance claims adjuster, interpretation aide, IT officer, IT Specialist, IT systems administrator, jack-of-all-trades, janitor, journalist, kids activities, Koorie academic, laboratory manager, lecturer, lecturer in education, legal assistant, leisure specialist, librarian, library assistant, library officer, linesman, mail sorter, maintenance staff, manager, market development officer, market stall holder, marketing officer, masseur, media officer, mediator, medical receptionist, milk truck driver, minilab operator, mother, motor mechanic, museum curator, museum director, museum guide, museum manager, museum president, museum student, museum volunteer, musician, NPWS area manager, NPWS Field Officer, observationist, occupational therapist, occupational thrapy student, operations manager, optometrist, outdoor retailer, owner of the Niagara Café, PA & secretary, pacific historian and curator, pacific scholar, painter, Pakantyi/Malyankapa tour guide, park ramger, park superintendent, parking enforcememtn officer, parks manager, parks project officer, pathology collector, pavior, pawn broker, personal lending manager, pest controller, pharmacist, photographer, photographic retail, picture framer, pilot, pizza chef, plumber, poet, political consultant, postal service officer, postal worker, printer, programmer, public servant, publican, publisher, p-u-d drivver, purchasing officer, quarantine officer, race driver, radio producer, railway employee, ranger, real estate agent, real state agent, receptionist, research assistant, research officer, research scientist, restaurant proprietor, retail, retail sales assistant, retailer books, retired, retired professor, Rotary volunteer, sales, sales & marketing, sales assistant, sales associate, sales clerk, scientist, second hand dealer, security officer, senior field officer, senior ranger, shop assistant, shopkeeper, social researcher, solicitor, spatial analyst, stamptrader, store manager, store owner, student, student admin assistant, student services officer, student support officer, system administrator, systems officer, taxi driver, teacher, technical officer, telecommunications administration & sales, telephone tecnician, theatre student, tour guide, tourism operator & geologist, town planner, truck driver, tyre fitter, university lecturer, upholsterer, volunteer guide, waiter, waitress, web site designer, wildlife refuge manager, wildlife rescue assistant, windscreen repairs & sales, writer, zoo photographer.

  

Comments and critiques are welcome!

  

Image made EXPLORE on 6 January 2009. Max position: 206

 

:copyright: Dirk HR Spennemann 2009

All Rights Reserved

  

Maggie Binet, AAF, AIFD, CPF, PFCI, has an insatiable appetite for floral education. She has traveled around the world to study with renowned designers, and she embraces any opportunity to share her knowledge with others.

 

Binet, the owner of Le Jardin Binet LLC in Englewood, Colorado, helped create the state’s Certified Professional Florist program and, in 2014, founded The School of Floral Arts in Denver. A board member of the Colorado Retail Florists Association (CRFA), Floral Association of the Rockies (FAR) and the South Central Region of the American Institute of Floral Designers (AIFD), she frequently gives presentations and leads workshops for experienced designers as well as those just beginning their creative journeys. She has won the Rocky Mountain Cup, the FAR’s Bridal Bouquet Competition, the Denver Home and Garden Show’s Table Top Display Contest, Rocky Mountain Designer of the Year and CRFA’s President’s Award.

 

Binet has served as a design consultant for the Colorado Symphony Orchestra, the Colorado Children’s Chorale and the ArtReach Festival of Trees. She has also designed costumes for the Bolshoi Ballet Company’s performances in Vail and provided set design for the Metropolitan Opera’s performances in Denver. For the past five years, she has chaired the Rocky Mountain Floral Expo.

 

Outside of the industry, Binet is active in local and regional politics, as well as city planning with the Platte Area Reclamation Commission. She also leads the social justice committee at her church.

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Designed in 1924 as a Lodge for the Order of the Elks, the building remains as one of the finest examples of the neo-classic revival style that grew in popularity during the 1920s. After the Elks left the building it operated as the Henry Clay Hotel for almost 40 years, then as a YWCA until 1988. This building was restored by City Properties and now has retail shops, condos, office space and rental space for events. This building is a great example of the adaptive reuse of a building, combining all the different uses into one property.

Theater District, Midtown Manhattan, Manhattan, New York City, New York, United States

 

The Music Box Theater survives today as one of the historic playhouses that symbolize American theater for both New York and the nation. Constructed shortly after the end of World War I, the Music Box was built by producer Sam Harris to house Irving Berlin's Music Box Revues.

 

Sam Harris was a legendary Broadway producer, who first reached fame through his successful partnership with George M. Cohan, and then collaborated with Irving Berlin and later with Kaufman and Hart. Irving Berlin is among the greatest and best-known American songwriters of this century. Together they staged Berlin's Music Box Revues for the first five years of the 1920s.

 

C. Howard Crane was a nationally prominent theater architect when Harris and Berlin hired him, along with his associate E. George Kiehler, to design the Music Box. Besides his two Broadway houses (the Music Box and the Guild -- now the Virginia), he designed legitimate theaters and grand movie palaces in cities across the country, and later in England.

 

The Music Box Theater represents a special and important aspect of the nation's theatrical history. Beyond its historical importance, its facade is an unusually handsome Palladian-inspired design.

 

For over half a century, beginning with the Irving Berlin's Music Box Revues, the Music Box Theater has served as home to countless numbers of the plays through which the Broadway theater has come to personify American theater. As such, it continues to help define the Broadway theater district, the largest and most famous concentration of legitimate stage theaters in the world.

 

DESCRIPTION AND ANALYSIS

 

The development of the Broadway Theater District

 

The area of midtown Manhattan known today as the Broadway theater district encompasses the largest concentration of legitimate playhouses in the world. The theaters located there, some dating from the turn of the century, are significant for their contributions to the history of the New York stage, for their influence upon American theater as a whole, and in many cases for their architectural design.

 

The development of the area around Times Square as New York's theater district at the end of the 19th century occurred as a result of two related factors: the northward movement of the population of Manhattan Island (abetted by the growth of several forms of mass transportation), and the expansion of New York's role in American theater. The northward movement of Manhattan's residential, commercial, and entertainment districts had been occurring at a steady rate throughout the 19th century. In the early 1800s, businesses, stores, hotels, and places of amusement had clustered together in the vicinity of lower Broadway. As New York's various businesses moved north, they began to isolate themselves in more or less separate areas: the financial institutions remained downtown; the major retail stores situated themselves on Broadway between 14th and 23rd Streets, eventually moving to Herald Square and Fifth Avenue after the turn of the century; the hotels, originally located near the stores and theaters, began to congregate around major transportation centers such as Grand Central Terminal or on the newly fashionable Fifth Avenue; while the mansions of the wealthy spread farther north on Fifth Avenue, as did such objects of their beneficence as the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

 

The theater district, which had existed in the midst of stores, hotels, and other businesses along lower Broadway for most of the 19th century, spread northward in stages, stopping for a time at Union Square, then Madison Square, then Herald Square. By the last two decades of the 19th century, far-sighted theater managers had begun to extend the theater district even farther north along Broadway, until they had reached the area that was then known as Long Acre Square and is today called Times Square.

 

A district of farmlands and rural summer homes in the early 1800s, Long Acre Square had by the turn of the century evolved into a hub of mass transportation. A horsecar line had run across 42nd Street as early as the 1860s, and in 1871, with the opening of Grand Central Depot and the completion of the Third and Sixth Avenue Elevated Railways, it was comparatively simple for both New Yorkers and out-of-towners to reach Long Acre Square. Transportation continued to play a large part in the development of the area; in 1904 New York's subway system was inaugurated, with a major station located at 42nd Street and Broadway. The area was then renamed Times Square in honor of the newly erected Times Building. The evolution of the Times Square area as a center of Manhattan's various mass transit systems made it a natural choice for the location of legitimate playhouses, which needed to be easily accessible to their audiences.

 

The theater business that invaded Long Acre Square at the end of the 19th century consisted of far more than a few playhouses, for at that time New York was the Starting-point for a vast, nationwide entertainment

 

network known as "the road." This complex theater operation had its beginnings in the 1860s when the traditional method of running a theater, the stock system, was challenged by the growing popularity of touring "combination" shows. In contrast to the stock system, in which a theater manager engaged a company of actors for a season and presented them in a variety of plays, the combination system consisted of a company of actors appearing in a single show which toured from city to city, providing its own scenery, costumes, and sometimes musical accompaniment. Helped by the expansion of the nation's railroads after the Civil War, the combination system soon killed off the majority of stock companies. By 1904 there were some 420 combination companies touring through thousands of theaters in cities and towns across the country.

 

Of crucial importance to the operation of the combination system was a single location where combination shows could be cast, rehearsed, tried out, and then booked for a cross-country tour. Since New York was already regarded as the most important theater city in America, it is not surprising that it became the headquarters for the combination system. In addition to the many theaters needed for an initial Broadway production for the combinations before they went on tour, New York's theater district encompassed rehearsal halls, the headquarters of scenery, costume, lighting, and makeup companies, offices of theatrical agents and producers, theatrical printers and newspapers, and other auxiliary enterprises. Close to the theater district were boarding houses catering to the hundreds of performers who came to New York in the hope of being hired for a touring show or a Broadway production.

 

As theaters were built farther uptown, the auxiliary enterprises also began to move north. By the turn of the century,

 

the section of Broadway between 37th Street and 42nd Street was known as the Rialto. Theater people gathered or promenaded there. Producers could sometimes cast a play by looking over the actors loitering on the Rialto; and out-of-town managers, gazing out of office windows, could book tours by seeing who was available.^

 

The theater district that began to move north to Long Acre Square in the 1890s was thus a vast array of business enterprises devoted to every facet of theatrical production.

 

The movement of the theater district north along Broadway had proceeded at a steady pace during the latter part of the 19th century. The Casino Theater was opened on the southeast corner of Broadway and 39th Street in 1882. A year later, it was joined by a most ambitious undertaking--the construction of the Metropolitan Opera House on Broadway between 39th and 40th Streets. In 1888, the Broadway Theater was erected on the southwest corner of Broadway and 41st Street. Five years later, the American Theater opened its doors at Eighth Avenue between 41st and 42nd Streets, as did Abbey's Theater at Broadway and 38th Street and the Empire Theater at Broadway and Fortieth Street.

 

It remained for Oscar Hammerstein I to make the move into Long Acre Square itself. At the close of the 19th century, Long Acre Square housed Manhattan's harness and carriage businesses, but was little used at night,

 

when it seems to have become a "thieves' lair."^ In 1895 Hammerstein erected an enormous theater building on Broadway between 44th and 45th Streets. The original plan for the Olympia called for a "perfect palace of entertainment--which would have included three theaters, a bowling alley, a turkish bath, cafes and restaurants." Only part of this visionary plan ever became a reality. On November 25, 1895, Hammerstein opened the Lyric Theater section of the building, and a little over three weeks later he inaugurated the Music Hall section. Never a financial success, the Olympia closed its doors two years after it opened. Nevertheless, it earned Hammerstein the title of "Father of Times Square."

 

By the turn of the century Hammerstein had built two more theaters in the Long Acre Square area, and in the years 1901-1920 a total of forty-three additional theaters appeared in midtown Manhattan, most of them in the side streets east and west of Broadway. Much of this theater-building activity was inspired by the competition between two major forces in the industry, the Theatrical Syndicate and the Shubert Brothers, for control of the road. As each side in the rivalry drew its net more tightly around the playhouses it owned or controlled, the other side was forced to build new theaters to house its attractions. The result was a dramatic increase in the number of playhouses, both in New York and across the country. After World War I, as the road declined and New York's theatrical activity increased, the general economic prosperity made possible the construction of thirty additional playhouses in the Times Square area, expanding the boundaries of the theater district so that it stretched from just west of

 

Q

 

Eighth Avenue to Sixth Avenue, and from 39th Street to Columbus Circle.

 

The stockmarket crash of 1929 and the resulting Depression causec a shrinkage in theater activity. Some playhouses were torn down, many were converted to motion picture houses, and later to radio and television studios. From the time of the Depression until the 1960s no new Broadway playhouses were constructed. Fortunately, the theaters that survive from the early part of the century represent a cross - section of types and styles, and share among them a good deal of New York's rich theatrical history.

 

Evolution of Theater Design

 

The frenzy of theater construction that occurred in New York during the first thirty years of this century brought with it an evolution in architecture and decoration. At the close of the 19th century American theaters were still being built in the style of traditional European opera houses, with high proscenium arches, narrow auditoriums, two or three balconies built in a horseshoe configuration, and dozens of boxes, some set into the front of the first balcony. Although contemporary notices of the theaters attributed specific (though often vague) styles or periods to them, their interiors were more often than not a melange of styles and colors.

 

With the increase of theater construction after the turn of the century came a new attitude toward theater architecture and decoration as firms such as Herts and Tallant, Thomas W. Lamb, and others, began to plan the playhouse's exterior and interior as a single, integrated design. The

 

Art Nouveau style New Amsterdam Theater, which opened in 1903, signalled this new seriousness in theater design.

 

Perhaps influenced by such European experiments as Wagner's Festival Theater at Bayreuth, American theater architects after the turn of the century began to structure their playhouses along different lines. Proscenium openings were made lower and wider, auditoriums were made shallower, seating was planned in a fan shape, and the number of balconies was usually reduced to one. Boxes were cut back to a minimum. The theaters that were built just before and after World War I for the most part shared this new configuration.

 

Because many of New York's extant playhouses were built during the period in which New York was serving as the starting-point for nationwide tours, they represent a style of theater architecture that is characteristic not only of New York but also of other cities across the United States, for a show which was originally produced in a New York theater would require similar conditions in the theaters in which it toured, and theater owners often hired the same architects to design and build theaters in several cities. Thus, New York's theaters set the standard for theater construction across the United States, as an inspection of designs for theaters in various cities will show.

 

The Broadway Theater in American Theatrical History

 

The playhouses scj.ll standing in the Broadway theater district share among them over eighty years of American theatrical history. In the early years of the century, when American theater was still heavily influenced by Europe, the theaters played host to such great international stars as Sarah Bernhardt, Eleonora Duse, and Mrs. Patrick Campbell, and to adaptations of such European successes as The Merry Widow and Floradora.

 

It was in the Broadway theaters that the beginnings of a distinctly American drama could be seen in the Western melodramas of David Belasco, the social comedies of Clyde Fitch and Langdon Mitchell, and the problem plays of Edward Sheldon and Eugene Walter. With the rise of the "little theater" movement in the second decade of the century, it seemed that theatrical leadership had passed from Broadway to such experimental "art" theaters as the Provincetown Playhouse and the Neighborhood Playhouse. Before long, however, the innovations of the little theaters infused Broadway with new life. Beginning with the production of Eugene O'Neill's first full-length play, Beyond the Horizon, on Broadway in 1920, the playhouses of Broadway presented the work of a new generation of playwrights, including, in addition to O'Neill, Maxwell Anderson, Philip Barry, S.N. Behrman, Rachel Crothers, Sidney Howard, George S. Kaufman, George Kelly and Elmer Rice.

 

The Depression of the 1930s brought with it a new concern with political and social issues, and the dramas presented in the Broadway playhouses reflected that concern. Commercial producers gave us plays by Lillian Hellman, Robert E. Sherwood, and Thornton Wilder, whle the Group Theater and other new organizations introduced such writers as Clifford Odets and Sidney Kingsley. The Broadway theaters continued to house

 

challenging plays during the 1940s and 1950s, when new talents such as Tennessee Williams, Arthur Killer, and William Inge first began writing for the theater.

 

Meanwhile, musical comedy had blossomed from the adaptations and imitations of European operetta popular at the turn of the century to a uniquely American art form. By the 1940s and 1950s the works of Rodgers and Hammerstein, Cole Porter, Irving Berlin, Jerome Kern, and many others, were being exported from the stages of Broadway to theaters around the world.

 

The 1960s and 1970s were decades of ferment and change, both in and out of the theater. As in the 1920s, the impetus for theatrical experimentation came from outside of Broadway, and as in the 1920s, the experimentation helped to revitalize the Broadway theater. Today, the playhouses of Broadway are showcases for the best plays of the Off- and Off-Off Broadway theaters, as well as for exciting productions from theatrical workshops, regional theaters, and outstanding foreign companies.

 

Having moved gradually northward all during the 19th century, New York's theater district finally came to rest at Times Square, where it has remained for almost ninety years. The economic Depression of the 1930s discouraged speculative ventures such as the construction of new theaters, while after prosperity returned in the wake of World War II, the cost of renting land and constructing a theater was prohibitively high. The northward movement of the theater district may also have been discouraged for a number of years by the existence of the Sixth Avenue Elevated Railway, which crossed from Sixth to Ninth Avenues 53rd Street, thereby providing a natural northern boundary for the theater district.

 

The Music Box Theater, as one of the Broadway playhouses surviving today in the theater district, contributes to the totality of the district's history by virtue of its participation in that history.

 

Irving Berlin and Sam H. Harris

 

The Music Box was built for Sam Harris and Irving Berlin, legendary Broadway figures who each played an important role in shaping the history of American theater entertainment. Sam Harris was a soft-spoken, behind-the-scenes genius whose percentage of hits is still one of the highest in Broadway history.^ Irving Berlin is one of the great American

 

songwriters of this century. Together they created the Music Box Theater and made it what one writer called "the home of the hits!"

 

Sam Harris, a native New Yorker, was born February 3, 1872, on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. He left school at the age of fourteen, and by the age of seventeen was organizing local holiday entertainment and athletic exhibitions. Harris also raised thoroughbred racing horses and promoted prize fighters, including the featherweight champion of 1897, "Terrible Terry" McGovern. The enterprising Harris figured "Terrible Terry" could do more than just box in the ring, so beginning in 1898 he had McGovern delivering punch lines on the stage, first in The Bowery After Dark, a financial success which went on to tour the country, and then in The Gay Morning Glories, not nearly as popular.

 

In 1904, Sam Harris began a lengthy collaboration with composer George M. Cohan. Their first great success was Little Johnnie Jones. It was Cohan's show; he acted in it and wrote the music, including the songs "Give My Regards to Broadway." Harris, however, knew better than anyone the

 

business end of good popular entertainment; together Cohan and Harris are still regarded as one of the most successful teams in Broadway history.

 

Harris also controlled several theaters with Cohan: in 1913, they built the Bronx Opera House on East 149th Street and Third Avenue (extant), and together they took control of the Cohan and Harris Theater. Their personal lives were linked through their marriages to sisters, Alice Nolan (Harris's first wife), and Agnes Nolan (Cohan's wife). Their partnership eventually dissolved over a disagreement during the actors' strike which preceded the formation of Actors' Equity in 1920. Despite their feud, Cohan and Harris remained good friends and even revived their partnership in 1937 to produce one more show, Fulton of Oak FalIs.

 

When Harris parted with Cohan, he joined Irving Berlin in the Music Box Theater project. In addition to Berlin, Harris went on to collaborate with George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart on a number of productions, including Once In a Lifetime, Dinner At Eight, and The Man Who Came To Dinner. Three of his productions won Pulitzer Prizes: Icebound in 1923, Of Thee I Sing in 1932, and You Can't Take It With You in 1937. Harris died in 1941, a successful and respected stage figure whose name, Max Gordon once said, "stood for impeccable taste and something called for lack of a better word, 'class.'"

 

Irving Berlin, still alive today at the age of 99, has been one of the most versatile and popular songwriters of the twentieth century. Born May 11, 1888, in Eastern Russia, Israel Baline immigrated to the United States with his family in 1892 when he was only four years old."* His first published song (1907) was "Mario From Sunny Italy." A printer's error on the cover spelled his name I. Berlin, and he kept the name. Unable to read music and without any formal training, Berlin nonetheless has had over 1500 songs published, many of them internationally known. He can play the piano only in the key of F-sharp, and even has a special instrument furnished with a clutch that enables him to switch automatically to any key.

 

At the beginning of his career, Irving Berlin was a "Tin Pan Alley" pioneer, helping to win wide acceptance for ragtime jazz and the accompanying dance craze. His first great musical success, "Alexander's Ragtime Band," became an international hit when vaudeville star Emma Carus introduced its syncopated march rhythms to Chicago audienpes in 1911. By 1915, the song had sold over two million sheet copies and Berlin had become identified in the public mind with ragtime.

 

In 1914 Berlin wrote his first complete score for the Vernon and Irene Castle revue Watch Your Step that popularized "Play a Simple Melody." At that time he was also performing in vaudeville, appearing at such theaters as the London Hippodrome, where he was billed as the "king of ragtime." Drafted into the army in 1918, Berlin wrote and starred in Yip-Yip Yaphank, a service musical in which he first introduced "I Hate to Get Up in the Morning."

 

In 1919, the songwriter formed his own musical publishing company, Irving Berlin, Inc. During the 1920s Berlin wrote for a number of revues including the Ziegfeld Follies of 1920 and 1927 and his own Music Box Revues of 1921-24. In 1925, he scored his first musical comedy, The Cocoanuts, for the Marx Brothers. His work took on a more sober tone in

 

the early 1930s with two political satires, Face the Music (1932) and As Thousands Cheer (1933), the latter featuring his holiday classic, "Easter Parade." In 1935 Berlin began writing for the movies. Bing Crosby, Ginger Rogers, Fred Astaire and Judy Garland owed some of their greatest hits to him. Top Hat (1935) featured Rogers and Astaire dancing to "Isn't This a Lovely Day" and "Cheek to Cheek," Crosby introduced "White Christmas" in Holiday Inn (1942), and Garland and Astaire walked up the avenue in Easter Parade (1948). On Broadway, Berlin was particularly identified with Ethel Merman who starred in his greatest hit Annie Get Your Gun (1944) and later spoofed Perle Mesta in Call Me Madam (1950).

 

In 1954 Berlin went into retirement. He returned to Broadway in 1962 with the score for Mr. President, a great popular success despite a lukewarm reception from the critics. In 1955, President Eisenhower presented Berlin with a gold medal "in recognition of his services in composing warm patriotic songs," the most famous of these being "God Bless America."

 

(PD, GH)

 

C. Howard Crane and E. George Kiehler

 

During a career that spanned almost fifty years, Charles Howard Crane designed more than two hundred theaters in the United States and some 125 more in Canada and Great Britain. Among the most widely publicized of these were his only two Broadway playhouses, the Music Box (1921) and the Guild (later the ANTA, currently the Virginia; 1924-25). Quite different from each other in appearance - - the GuiId is mode 1 ed on a Tuscan villa while the Music Box is severely Palladian in style -- both theaters display Crane's academically correct eclecticism. Crane believed that

 

theaters ought to exemplify architecture as an art of dramatization. Unlike many other theater architects of the time, who blended various historical elements into a personal style, Crane never developed a "signature" in his work.

 

Born in Hartford, Connecticut, in 1885, Crane began his career in that city in 1904. He moved to Detroit in 1905 where he apprenticed himself to Albert Kahn. Only a year later he had become the chief draftsman for the firm of Field, Hynchman & Smith, and by 1909 he had established his own practice. His expertise in theater design and construction, and specifically in acoustics, gained him a solid reputation and kept his services in constant demand, particularly during the 1920s. At one time he employed fifty-three draftsmen who assisted him with projects in almost every major American city. In Detroit alone, he designed almost fifty theaters, the most heralded two being the Majestic (1917) and Orchestra Hall (1919).

 

Crane employed two senior associates: Ben A. Dore, chief designer in the Detroit office, who collaborated on, or was in charge of, many mid-western projects' and Kenneth Franzheim (1891-1959), who ran Crane's New York City office. Two well publicized examples of Crane and Franzheim's collaboration were the twin Selwyn and Harris Theaters in Chicago. Archie and Edgar Selwyn, both prominent New York producers, commissioned one; and Sam Harris, impressed with his architect's 1921 Music Box design, commissioned Crane to build the other. The two separate but adjoining structures were roughly the same size and consisted of similarly fashioned Renaissance style facades. Another Crane and Franzheim collaboration was the Capitol Theater and Office Building in Boston in 1926. This elaborate design incorporated a two-story Ionic colonnaded facade into a standard fourteen-story office tower with an extremely plush and decorative interior. E. George Kiehler was also a collaborator on some of Crane's theater projects, including the Music Box, but his specific contributions are not known.

 

At the height of Crane's career, shortly before the Depression, many American film studios and theater corporations had attained their greatest financial and popular success. Individual theaters and theater chains became one part of an expanding entertainment empire. Beginning in 1925, for example, the Fox Theater Corporation embarked on a campaign to build or acquire what would amount to 800 theaters by the year 1929. Crane alone was commissioned by Fox to design twenty-five new theaters. Two of them, the Detroit Fox and the St. Louis Fox, both completed in 1928, were among the largest theaters in the country. Typically for Crane, the style of the Detroit Fox blended East Indian, Byzantine and Baroque motifs. Another similar theater in the Fox chain, the Brooklyn Fox, also by Crane in 1928, had a seating capacity of 4,305, and became a famous showcase for first-run motion pictures.

 

United Artists took advantage of Crane's talents too in 1927 when they commissioned him to design the Spanish Gothic style United Artists Theater in Los Angeles. With a lobby that resembled a vaulted Spanish cathedral, the theater also featured intricate tracery and a mirrored auditorium ceiling.^

 

In 1932, one of the worst years of the Depression, Crane moved to Europe, first to Milan where he designed Italy's first skyscraper, then to London where he settled permanently. Although his reasons for leaving the United States remain unclear, Crane continued to build theaters in England and maintained his office in Detroit. Perhaps his greatest architectural challenge, and certainly his finest engineering accomplishment, resulted in 1937 in his Earl's Court Exhibition Hall, sports and amusement center. Faced with a triangular twelve-acre site above a network of railway tracks, Crane created a modern curvilinear structure with a 118-foot high arena and five exhibition halls which could be opened into one vast amphitheater seating 30,000. It also featured an Olympic-sized swimming pool which could be raised, frozen for skating, or used as a stage or playing field. All this, it Is said, was erected without stopping a single train below the construction.

 

During and after World War II, Crane rechanneled his efforts into industrial design while working on the rebuilding of London factories and the modernization of other British plants. He continued to visit the United States frequently to lecture, but resided in London until his death there in 1952.

 

(PD, FD)

 

The Music Box Theater

 

According to one account, Sam Harris first mentioned his interest in building a theater to Irving Berlin in 1919. Berlin responded, "If you ever do, I have a great title for you." "A title for a song?" asked Harris. "No, a title for a theater, the Music Box," replied Berlin.

 

The following year Harris joined with Berlin to build the Music Box Theater, shortly after the termination of Harris's partnership with George M. Coh an. Harris built the Music Box Theater specifically to house Berlin's Music Box Revues. (Harris and Berlin were joined in the venture by a mutual friend, motion picture magnate Joseph Schenck, who soon after the theater's completion sold his interest to the Shubert Organization.) A site on 45th Street was purchased from the Astor Realty Co., and on September 22, 1921 the Music Box Theater opened with an extravaganza Berlin wrote especially for the new house. The property cost $400,000, the building $600,000, and more than $240,000 was spent for Hassard Short to produce and stage the first show. Theatre Magazine's reviewer obviously thought the expense well worthwhile, for he proclaimed Berlin's Music Box Revue and the Music Box theater "a wonderful new show in a superlatively beautiful new theatre.""*

 

For another reviewer the theater and show were "the most eye-filling and appealing combination of play and playhouse that local playgoers accustomed as they are to things gorgeous theatrically -- have ever been treated to." "Say It With Music" became Berlin's theme song for the theater and for his Music Box Revues of 1921, 1922, 1923, and 1924.

 

The Music Box was one of the small number of theaters built in the 1920s for an individual producer, rather than for a large organization like the Shuberts or the Chanins. Harris and Berlin turned to C. Howard Crane for an unusual and individual design that would mark the theater as the home of Irving Berlin's Music Box Revues.

 

Crane's design for the Music Box combined Palladian and Adamesque motifs from an architectural tradition that was essentially English and neo-Georgian. Its most prominent feature was a delicate limestone Ionic

 

colonnade screening the gallery, with pedimented doorways and finely designed lanterns. The bays on either side were framed by double pilasters and punctuated by Palladian windows on the second level, and a single window on the third. The theater was then crowned by a mansard roof with four dormer windows and a decorative wrought-iron balustrade running the length of the 100 foot theater. As described by the contemporary architectural press:

 

The delicate limestone colonnade and gallery with its finely designed doorways and lanterns is the central feature. Pylon like at the sides the structural masses give strength and proportion to the design and the mansard roof with its dormer windows and balustrades is decidedly a crowning feature. The freedom of the front from the blatant electric advertising sign is a relief. Two signs of small size designed and proportioned in keeping with the whole scheme proclaim the purpose of the building and the marquise-a concession to the needs of a stormy night-is so submerged as not to obtrude to the detriment of the composition.

 

The overall effect of Crane's design for the Music Box was distinctly domestic. The combination of Palladian and neo-Georgian elements was suggestive of a grand country house. Such an approach was not new to the

 

theater district; a number of earlier theaters built as headquarters/homes for theatrical impresarios followed similar themes. David Belasco's Stuyvesant Theater (today the Belasco) used a neo-Georgian facade to suggest an Intimate, if luxurious, 1ivingroom housing his productions. Winthrop Ames's Little Theater used a similarly styled facade to suggest a domestic home for his intimate "little theater" productions, and his architects, Ingalls & Hoffman, did something similar for Henry Miller's Theater a few years later. Contemporary with the Music Box was the Theater Guild's home (also designed by Crane), whose Italian pa1azzo-inspired facade deliberately evoked the homes of the Renaissance princes who patronized the theatrical arts. This connection between neo-Georgian architecture and intimate theater appears to have been generally understood at the time, and a contemporary architectural periodical noted of the Music Box:

 

This small theatre seats one thousand and is designed for the so-called "intimate" production. This idea is well carried into the design by the use of the style of the Georgian period following the delicacy of domestic architecture more than the monumental.

 

From the first the Broadway critics were impressed with the beauty and refinement of the Music Box's design. Jack Lait of Variety called it "the daintiest theatre in America," and the Evening Telegram's reviewer dubbed it "a theatre unparalleled....so beautiful and so satisfying that its like is not to be found here or even on the continent.." For the Herald's reviewer the Music Box's facade provided a welcome contrast to the more mundane theater buildings then going up in the Broadway area:

 

The audience which gathered to witness the brilliant opening of the Music Box last night had its first surprise on approaching the building. The new theater actually has a front -- it even deserves to be called a facade -- Vith pillars and other dignified architectural decorations....

 

The architectural press was equally enthusiastic, though perhaps less colorful in its praise. A number of journals published photos, plans, and descriptions of the Music Box. The American Architect-Architectural Review devoted eight pages to Crane's playhouse in the February 1, 1922, issue, calling it one of the most "artistic additions to New York's large number of theaters." The journal added "how remarkable" the Music Box was "for the quiet dignity of its desien and in its plan for those elements of comfort and luxurious ease____"

 

A few years later in the American Spirit in Architecture, Talbot Hamlin ranked the Music Box "among the most beautiful of modern theaters" saying:

 

It is in a modernized Adam style, and borrows much from our own native tradition in its quiet wall and roof surfaces and its delicately proportioned loggia. Proportion, detail, atmosphere make its facade a true ornament to the city, and prove that gayety is quite compatible with repose and dignity.

 

Berlin presented a Music Box Revue in each of the next four years. He moved on to other creative projects after 1925 but maintained his controlling interest with Sam Harris in the Music Box Theater. Their careful supervision of outside productions using the theater gave the Music Box an outstanding performance record: in its first twenty-five years only three shows ran less than 100 performances.

 

Today Irving Berlin retains a share in the ownership of the Music Box Theater -- "What the hell does a songwriter want with a theater?" he said in 1971. "I've sold real estate, but I've held on to the Music Box. It's a sentimental interest." The Music Box remains remarkably intact inside and out, its facade largely unaltered from the day it was built.

 

The Music Box as a Playhouse^

 

Irving Berlin's Music Box Revues occupied the Music Box Theater for its first four years. The Mail called the Revue of 1922 "four hours of jazz, girls, gorgeous costuming, spectacles that at times were dazzling, dancing acrobatics, arui all the hurly-burly of color movement associated with its predecessor."

 

The first straight play produced at the Music Box following Berlin's Revues was The Cradle Snatchers (1925), whose cast included the young Humphrey Bogart. Two more hit comedies followed, Chicago with Charles Bickford and Francine Larrimore in 1926 and Philip Barry's Paris Bound with Hope Williams in 1927. Music returned to the theater in 1928 with Cole Porter's Paris starring the glamorous Irene Bordoni. The following year Clifton Webb, Fred Allen and Libby Holman appeared in the Little Show revue. In 1931, the third edition of this series also appeared at the Music Box featuring Bea Lillie's rendition of Noel Coward's "Mad Dogs and Englishmen." For the most part, however, during the 'thirties the Music Box was given over to the the works of George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart who either together or in collaboration with others supplied the house with one hit after another. The decade opened with Kaufman and Hart's first joint effort,

 

Once in a Lifetime, a Hollywood satire with Jean Dixon that convulsed audiences for 410 performances. Kaufman and Morrie Ryskind collaborated on the Music Box's next production, the Gershwin musical Of Thee Sing, which ran 446 performances in 1931-32 and won the first Pulitzer Prize awarded to a musical. Subsequent productions involving Kaufman or Hart included Dinner at Eight (1932, Kaufman and Edna Ferber), As Thousands Cheer (1933, book by Hart), Merrily We Roll Along (19 34, Kaufman and Hart), First Lady (1935, Kaufman and Katherine Dayton), Stage Door (19 36, Kaufman and Ferber) and The Man Who Came to Dinner (19 39, Kaufman and Hart). Kaufman also directed all of the above productions as well as John Steinbeck's dramatization of his novel Of Mice and Men which won the New York Drama Critics Circle Award in 1938.

 

Following the death of Sam Harris in 1941 the Music Box was leased to independent producers on a show-by-show basis. Continuing to attract strong productions, it retained its reputation as one of the most successful theaters on Broadway. Contributing to this success was Mike Todd's Star and Garter, a rowdy revue starring Gypsy Rose Lee that racked up an impressive 605 performances in 1942-43. Rodgers and Hammerstein's productions of John Van Druten's I Remember Mama also enjoyed great success with 714 performances in 1944-45. The young Marlon Brando made his Broadway debut in this production which also starred Mady Christians and Oscar Homolka. Other notable productions from the forties included Tennessee Williams' Summer and Smoke (1948) and the Maxwell Anderson-Kurt Weill musical Lost in the Stars (1949).

 

The fifties were marked by a happy association between the Music Box and playwright William Inge who supplied the theater with three hits: the Pulitzer Prize winning Picnic (1953), Bus Stop (1954), and Dark at the Top £f the Stairs (1958). Other highlights of the 'fifties included Separate Tables which featured a Tony Award-winning performance by actress Margaret Leighton, and Five Finger Excercise which won the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for best foreign play of the 1959/60 season.

 

During the 1960s the Music Box housed a number of distinguished dramas, inc luding A Far Country (1961) with Steven Hill and Kim Stanley, and The Homecoming (1967) with Ian Holm and Vivien Merchant. Its most popular attraction, however, was a romantic comedy Any Wednesday (1964) which ran 983 performances and and garnered paeans of praise from the critics for actress Sandy Dennis.

 

Two thrillers dominated the 1970s, Anthony Shaffer's Sleuth (1970), a British import with Anthony Quayle and Keith Baxter, and Ira Levin's Deathtrap (1978), the Music Box's longest running play to date. In addition there was another long running comedy with Sandy Dennis, Absurd Person Singular (1974), and a revue of songs by Stephen Sondheim, Side by Side by Sondheim (1977), with Millicent Martin and Julie McKenzie. In recent years the Music Box has housed the stark drama Agnes of God (1983) with Elizabeth Ashley, Geraldine Page and Amanda Plummer, a charming revival of Noel Coward's Hay Fever (1985) with Rosemary Harris and Roy Dotrice, and a critically acclaimed production by the Royal Shakespeare Company of Les Liaisons Dangereuses (1987).

 

The success of the Music Box as a theater may be best summarized in the words of Moss Hart:

 

The Music Box is everybody's dream of a theatre. If there is such a thing as a theatre's making a subtle contribution to the play being given on its stage, the Music Box is that theatre. Except for the Haymarket Theatre in London, I know of no other that possesses so strong an atmosphere of its own, as living and as personal, as the Music Box. Even in broad daylight, as we stepped inside its doors and into its darkened auditorium, there was an undefinable sense that here the theatre was always at its best.

 

Description

 

The Music Box Theater has a symmetrically-organized facade which is wider than it is high. The ground floor, which is of stone (with concrete infill and patches) is dominated by its doorways. Four pairs of original bronze and glass doors adorned with curvilinear motifs, lead into the ticket lobby at the right (east). These are flanked by original bronze -painted wood and glass signboards, framed by colonnettes with grotesques and crowned by stylized pediments (of sheetmetal over wood) composed of waves f 1 ank ing lyres in wreath surrounds. A modern marquee extends out over the entrance doors. Three pairs of original bronze and gl ass exit doors from the auditorium are flanked by similar s ignboards of bronze -painted iron, and doorways, that to the east with a single door, and that to the west with a decorative painted wrought - iron gate at the foot of the fire stairs. Decorative iron railings flank the two granite steps leading from the gate. Two large original iron signboards are placed on the wall adjacent to the recessed paired bronze stage doors.

 

A single bronze stage door in an iron frame is at the western end. These two stage door openings flank a single original sign board. The ground floor is surmounted by a cornice with a wide Adamesque frieze containing vertical ribs, urns, and swags. The major portion of the facade, rising from the ground floor base, is faced with stone and is organized into a colonnaded center section with flanking end bays. Double-height fluted columns with stylized Corinthian capitals are linked by wrought-iron railings with cast-iron panels which shield a recessed portion of the facade. The gallery thus created serves as the exit for a set of fire stairs at the east and for the three doorways from the balcony level of the auditorium. These doorways have pane led doors and are surmounted by entablatures with urn- and swag-adorned friezes supporting triangular pediments (at the outer doors) and a scrol led broken pediment with pineapple finial (at the center door). Three wrought-iron and glass lanterns are suspended from the ceiling of the gallery. The end bays are flanked by pilasters with stylized Corinthian capitals.

 

A Palladianesque window with fan-filled tympanum is placed at the second floor of each bay. The windows have multi-paned casement sash. At the third floor of each bay is a window with a simple molded surround. The sash are mul ti-paned casements. A vertical sign projects from the wall of the eastern bay. An entablature with rosette-adorned frieze, dentils, and modi 11ioned cornice spans the facade. This is surmounted by a slate -covered sloping roof punctuated by round-arched sheetmetal dormers with multi-paned sash. Wrought - and cast - iron railings are placed above the cornice and at the roofline.

 

- From the 1987 NYCLPC Landmark Designation Report

The Haverstock Hill site provided LUC with an opportunity to develop shared space gardens, play areas, and a green roof for residents of the redevelopment to enjoy.

 

The landmark building at Chalk Farm includes a mixed tenure of residential units comprising market housing, social rented and intermediate housing; garden and terrace spaces at various building levels; ground floor retail provision; and an adjacent children’s play space.

 

The site also interfaces with the Grade II listed London Underground Chalk Farm Station.

 

For more information, visit: www.landuse.co.uk

In an effort to improve its overall shopping experience, Oakbrook Center has undergone the largest renovation in its history; enhancing its common areas and expanding them to accommodate special events and social gatherings.

 

One of the Center’s noteworthy additions is a new vortex inspired water feature located at one of the complex’s main entrances. The fountain’s innovative design creates multiple effects with a single jet. The basin alternatively drains and fills, building up to form a bubbling pool before gradually ebbing away, revealing brightly illuminated columns of water arranged within the spiral. Over 50 of Crystal’s nozzles and LED lights entertain shoppers throughout the day.

This beautifully decrepit structure is the former Skate Arena.

 

Built as an open outdoor theater in 1920, the building at the time was initially name Red Hill Picture Pops Theatre before a roof was built in 1927 when it was renamed the State Theatre. Architect Reupert T. Erskine and builder W Tinnerman were responsible for these 1927 alterations. This structure operated as a theatre until 1964 when it was converted into a sound lounge by the name Teen City in which artists such as Little Pattie, Col Joy and the BeeGees played. Teen City's life didn't last very long as it was in 1965 when the the former theatre/sound lounge became the Red Hill Skate Arena.

 

The Red Hill Skate Arena was Brisbane's most popular cultural hubs at the time for decades and served the surrounding community a thorough purpose in recreational activities until skating culture phased out in the late 1990's. Following its closure around this time, the Skate Arena sat idle and unused. Pending a development application in the early 2000's it was in fact Boxing Day - the 26th of December 2002 - when the Skate Arena suffered a "mysterious" arson attack which led to the Skate Arena's eventual demise, where it now suffers a life of abandonment exposed to graffiti vandal's and the harsh hand of Mother Nature.

 

Its new owners face the challenge of selling the location to have the structure restored into a multi-use commercial building consisting of retail, restaurants, cafe's etc however due to noise pollution, parking restrictions etc the development application has been rejected time and time again by Red Hill residents.

 

The Red Hill Skate Arena sits neglected and unloved, lacking the community embrace and purpose as it once did. A place where life long friends and life long lovers met one another now rots in the rain being damaged by disrespectful vandals.

 

In 2016 and 2017, as a part of the Brisbane Street Art Festival it appears the Skate Arena was given a facelift by street artist Drapl. Drapl's works can be seen on his facebook page here:

 

www.facebook.com/DRAPLART/

 

Significance:

 

✓✓ Criteria A

 

It is important in demonstrating the evolution or pattern of the City's or local area's history

for the evidence it provides of the development of popular forms of entertainment in Brisbane throughout the twentieth century including cinema going, roller-skating and live pop music.

 

✓✓ Criteria B

 

It demonstrates rare, uncommon or endangered aspects of the City's or local area's cultural heritage

as a rare example of a former 1920s cinema and 1960s skating rink in Brisbane.

 

✓✓ Criteria D

 

It is important in demonstrating the principal characteristics of a particular class or classes of cultural places

as a rare example of a former 1920s cinema and 1960s skating rink in Brisbane.

 

✓✓ Criteria G

 

It has a strong or special association with the life or work of a particular community or cultural group for social, cultural or spiritual reasons

for its social significance over a period of 80 years to several generations of the local community who have enjoyed recreational pursuits on the premises.

 

Source: Brisbane City Council Heritage Register.

New Delhi: 24 June 2017

Sukhminderpal Singh Grewal National Secretary and Spokesperson of Federation of All India Petroleum Traders (FAIPT) said that a letter is send by Industry Coordinator (Retail) Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd to our National President Ashok Badhwar. In a press statement here today Grewal told that this letter of Oil Marketing Companies (PSU) officials is proposed to hold a meeting with representatives of Federation of All India Petroleum Traders (FAIPT) in Delhi to discuss various issues from 04.00 to 05.30 pm on 28.6.2017. EDs Retail of Oil Marketing Companies will attend the meeting. Grewal said that according the Oil Marketing Companies (PSU) officials the details of the venue shall be communicated later. The Oil Marketing Companies (PSU) also request to please make it convenient to attend the meeting along with your members. We would request you to limit the number of participating members to (10) only. Grewal told that this letter is issued on behalf of the Oil Marketing Companies (PSU). He said that this letter is issued by Industry Coordinator (Retail) Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd.

 

Please LIKE our page:

www.facebook.com/penumbrasl

 

.PENUMBRA. is designed to be a fashion center, welcoming various agencies and designers for fashion events and brand marketing of all types. We offer, Fashion event venue, Marketing services for agencies and designers, Retail locations of various dimensions, Underground adult lounge for social events, Underground adult retail area and cross promotions with Style Kingdom Magazine.

 

For more information, please contact Fuzz Lennie, .PENUMBRA. Chief Operation Officer (fuzz@penumbrasl.com)

Dharavi (Hindi and Marathi: धारावी; also spelled Daravi, Darravy, Dorrovy) is a slum in Mumbai, India. It is one of the largest slums in the world.

 

Dharavi slum was founded in 1880s during the British colonial era. The slum grew in part because of expulsion of factories and residents from peninsular city center by colonial government, and from rural poor migrating into urban Mumbai (then called Bombay). Modern day Dharavi came to be founded in the 1940's once the British left India, and once the majority property holders of the area, Shantilal Nemchand and Co sold off there property holdings allowing houses to be built. It is currently a multi-religious, multi-ethnic, diverse settlement. Dharavi's total population estimates vary between 300,000 to about 1 million.

 

Dharavi has an active informal economy in which numerous household enterprises employ many of the slum residents. It exports goods around the world. Leather, textiles and pottery products are among the goods made inside Dharavi by the slum residents. The total annual turnover has been estimated at over US$500 million.

 

Dharavi has suffered through many incidences of epidemics and other disasters. It currently covers an area of 217 hectares.

 

HISTORY

In the 18th century, Dharavi was an island. In February 1739, Chimnaji Appa attacked Bassein. Before that, he took possession of Dharavi. The area of present-day Dharavi was predominantly mangrove swamp before the late 19th century, inhabited by Koli fishermen. Dharavi was then referred to as the village of Koliwadas.

 

COLONIAL ERA

Mumbai has been one of the centers of India's urbanization for 200 years. At the middle of the 19th century, after decades of urban growth under East India Company and British Raj, the city's population reached half a million. The urban area then covered mostly the southern extension of Mumbai peninsula, the population density was over 10 times higher than London at that time. Most parts of Mumbai faced an acute shortage of housing and serious problems with the provision of water, sanitation and drainage. Residential areas were segregated in Mumbai between European and 'native' residential quarters. Slums were heavily concentrated in areas meant for 'native' Indian population, and it attracted no planning or London-like investment for quality of life of its inhabitants. Unsanitary conditions plagued Mumbai, particularly in the so-called Native Town, the segregated section where Indians lived. In 1869, as with 19th century epidemics in European slums, bubonic plague spread in Mumbai and then across most of India. The epidemic killed nearly 200,000 people in Mumbai and 8 million in India. In 1880s, concerned about epidemics, the British colonial government expelled polluting industries and many Indian residents of the Native Town, away from the peninsular part of the city, to a distant edge of the city in the north in the village of Koliwadas. Thus was born Dharavi.

 

The most polluting industries were tanneries, and the first tannery moved from peninsular Mumbai into Dharavi in 1887. People who worked with leather, typically a profession of lowest Hindu castes and of Muslim Indians, moved into Dharavi. Other early settlers included the Kumbars, a large Gujarati community of potters (another polluting industry). The colonial government granted them a 99-year land-lease in 1895. Rural migrants looking for jobs poured into Mumbai, and its population soared past 1 million. Other artisans, like the embroidery workers from Uttar Pradesh, started the ready-made garments trade. These industries created jobs, labor moved in, but there was no effort to plan or invest in any infrastructure in or near Dharavi. The living quarters and small scale factories grew haphazardly, without provision for sanitation, drains, safe drinking water, roads or other basic services. Dharavi's first mosque, Badi Masjid, started in 1887 and the oldest Hindu temple, Ganesh Mandir, was built in 1913. A large influx of Tamil migrants came in the 1920s. Bombay's first Tamil school and Dharavi's first school was constructed in 1924.

 

POST INDEPENDENCE

At India's Independence from colonial rule in 1947, Dharavi had grown to be the largest slum in Mumbai and all of India. It still had a few empty spaces, which continued to serve as waste dumping grounds for operators across the city. Mumbai, meanwhile, continued to grow as a city. Soon Dharavi was surrounded by the city, and became a key hub for informal economy. Dharavi's Co-operative Housing Society was formed in the 1960s to uplift the lives of thousands of slum dwellers by the initiative of Shri. M.V. Duraiswamy, a well-known social worker and congress leader of that region. The Dharavi co-operative housing society promoted 338 flats and 97 shops and was named "Dr. Baliga Nagar". By late 20th century, Dharavi occupied about 175 hectares, with an astounding population density of more than 2900 people per hectare.

 

DEMOGRAPHICS

The total current population of Dharavi slum is unknown, and estimates vary widely. Some sources suggest it is 300,000 to about a million. With Dharavi spread over 200 hectares, this corresponds to an average population density estimate between 1500 and 5000.

 

About 33% of the population of Dharavi is Muslim, compared to 13% average population of Muslims in India. The Christian population is estimated to be about 6%, while the rest are predominantly Hindus (60%), with some Buddhists and other minority religions. Among the Hindus, about 20% work on animal skin production, tanneries and leather goods. Other Hindus specialize in pottery work, textile goods manufacturing, retail and trade, distilleries and other caste professions - all of these as small scale household operations. The slum residents are from all over India, people who migrated from rural regions of many different states. The slum has numerous mosques, temples and churches to serve people of Islam, Hindu and Christian faiths; with Badi Masjid, a mosque, as the oldest religious structure in Dharavi.

 

LOCATION & CHARACTERISTICS

Dharavi is situated between Mumbai's two main suburban railway lines, the Western and Central Railways. To its west are Mahim and Bandra, and to the north lies the Mithi River, which empties into the Arabian Sea through the Mahim Creek. To its south and east are Sion and Matunga. Both its location and poor drainage systems make Dharavi particularly vulnerable to floods during the wet season.

 

Dharavi has a high population density, and as with other worldwide slums, overcrowded. It is mostly low rise structures surrounded by Mumbai city. In most large cities, the floor space index (FSI) varies from 5 to 15 in the Central Business District (CBD) to about 0.5, or below, in the suburbs. Dharavi's FSI is very low. Still, in expensive Mumbai, Dharavi provides a cheap alternative where rents were as low as US$4 per month in 2006.

 

There is a disagreement if Dharavi is the largest slum in Mumbai. Some sources claim other slums in Mumbai have grown to become larger than Dharavi. Other sources disagree, and rank Dharavi as the largest slum in India.

 

ECONOMY

In addition to the traditional pottery and textile industries in Dharavi, there is an increasingly large recycling industry, processing recyclable waste from other parts of Mumbai. The district has an estimated 5000 businesses and 15,000 single-room factories.

 

Dharavi exports goods around the world. The total (and largely informal economy) turnover is estimated to be between US$500 million, over US$650 million per year, to over US$1 billion per year. The per capita income of the residents, depending on estimated population range of 300,000 to about 1 million, ranges between US$500 to US$2000 per year.

 

REDEVELOPMENT PLANS

There have been many plans since 1997 to redevelop Dharavi like the former slums of Hong Kong such as Tai Hang. In 2004, the cost of redevelopment was estimated to be INR5000 crore (US$810 million). Companies from around the world have bid to redevelop Dharavi, including Lehman Brothers, Dubai's Limitless and Singapore's Capitaland Ltd. In 2010, it is estimated to cost INR15000 crore (US$2.4 billion) to redevelop.

 

The latest urban redevelopment plan proposed for the Dharavi area is managed by American-trained architect Mukesh Mehta. The plan involves the construction of 2,800,000 square metres of housing, schools, parks and roads to serve the 57,000 families residing in the area, along with 3,700,000 square metres of residential and commercial space for sale. There has been significant local opposition to the plans, largely because existing residents are due to receive only 25.0 square metres of land each. Furthermore, only those families who lived in the area before 2000 are slated for resettlement. Concerns have also been raised by residents who fear that some of their small businesses in the "informal" sector may not be relocated under the redevelopment plan. The government has said that it will only legalize and relocate industries that are not "polluting".

 

SANITATION ISSUES

Dharavi has severe problems with public health, due to the scarcity of toilet facilities, due in turn to the fact that most housing and 90% of the commercial units in Dharavi are illegal. As of November 2006 there was only one toilet per 1,440 residents in Dharavi. Mahim Creek, a local river, is widely used by local residents for urination and defecation, leading to the spread of contagious diseases. The area also suffers from problems with inadequate drinking water supply.

 

EPIDEMICS & OTHER SISASTERS

Dharavi has experienced a long history of epidemics and natural disasters, sometimes with significant loss of lives. The first plague to devastate Dharavi, along with other settlements of Mumbai happened in 1896, when nearly half of the population perished. A series of plagues and other epidemics continued to affect Dharavi, and Mumbai in general, for the next 25 years, with high mortality rates. Dysentery epidemics have been common throughout the years and explained with the high population density of Dharavi. Other epidemics reported include typhoid, cholera, leprosy, amoebiasis and polio, through recent years. For example, in 1986, a children cholera epidemic was reported, where most patients were residents of Dharavi. Typical patients to arrive in hospitals were in late and critical care condition, and the mortality rates were abnormally high. In recent years, cases of drug resistant tuberculosis have been reported in Dharavi.

 

Fires and other disasters are common. For example, in January 2013, a fire destroyed many slum properties and caused injuries. In 2005, massive floods caused deaths and extensive property damage.

 

GUIDED TOURS THROUGH DHARAVI

A few travel operators offer guided tours through Dharavi, showing the industrial and the residential part of Dharavi and explaining about problems and challenges Dharavi is facing. These tours give a deeper insight into a slum in general and Dharavi in particular.

 

MEDIA DECIPTION

- Dharavi has been depicted in a number of Hindi films produced by the Mumbai film industry. These include Salim-Javed films such as Deewaar (1975), Mira Nair's Salaam Bombay! (1988) where several child actors were from the Dharavi slum, Vidhu Vinod Chopra's Parinda (1989), Sudhir Mishra's Dharavi (1991), Ram Gopal Varma's "Indian Gangster Trilogy" (1998–2005) and Sarkar series (2005–2008), Vikram Bhatt's Footpath (2003), Anurag Kashyap's Black Friday (2004) and No Smoking (2007), Madhur Bhandarkar's Traffic Signal (2007), Rajeev Khandelwal's Aamir (2008), and other films based on the Mumbai underworld.

- Dharavi has been depicted in films from other Indian film industries, particularly the Tamil film industry. Several films by Mani Ratnam based on the experiences of Tamil immigrants to Mumbai have depicted the Dharavi slum, including Nayagan (1987) and Bombay (1995).

- Dharavi features prominently in Danny Boyle's 2008 film Slumdog Millionaire, where several of the child actors in the film are from the Dharavi slum.

- The movie Mankatha was shot here starring Ajith kumar.

- The movie Businessman was shot here starring Mahesh Babu.

- In Kaminey, the 2009 Hindi movie, starring Shahid Kapoor.

- In the 2009 Swiss/German documentary Dharavi, Slum for Sale of director Lutz Konermann.

- In a programme aired in the United Kingdom in January 2010, Kevin McCloud and Channel 4 aired a two-part series titled Slumming It which centered around Dharavi and its inhabitants.

- The poem "Blessing" by Imtiaz Dharker is about Dharavi not having enough water.

- For The Win, by Cory Doctorow, is partially set in Dharavi.

YOUNG HOMELESS MAN | SAN FRANCISCO | DECEMBER 29, 2007.

 

the crowd is crushing and oppressive. joyful tidings of retail cheer. the clouds hover just beyond reach. the rain patters lightly; an incessant timepiece. and a figure rests like a stone beneath; drawn to the earth but apart from it. ground down.

 

it was acid that started the trip. dropped at 16. a welcoming introduction. a young "cole" no more. and texas couldn't hold his burn for long. nor jails dampen it. at 21 he flew; but was wanted. he made it to california, but would serve again and more in texas before he was 25. and elsewhere after.

 

but his love stood by him. a drifter who got a job and apartment to support and console him in jail. and thirteen years later they would be together; drifting homeless or shacked in $35 hotels.

 

no one's ever done more. certainly not the woman who carried him in her womb; but no further. perhaps her father did as much, caring for the child alone; but he died when an eight year old needs more. and adoption was a hollow thing at best.

 

yes, this drifter stood by him unlike the others.

 

but then, again, no more. a month or more alone. and counting.

 

yet he's here for heroin more than anything else. or anyone. the city has endless supply and sale pricing. so he has that.

 

and the dope was good for christmas. though he missed extra company. he struggles with recent memories; but is sure of both these.

 

so he's looking for someone new. that's really on his mind. but john is equally in his head.

 

because he still cares for him. and he still keeps up with him. and watches out for him.

 

he wants to be sure john doesn't get burned too hard by the new flame.

 

"sometimes you deserve it. and sometimes you want it; it's fun for a while."

 

but it can go too far and get too deep.

 

so he's keeping an eye out for his friend.

 

that's all.

 

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www.tomstonegallery.com/

Title: The American florist : a weekly journal for the trade

Identifier: americanfloristw42amer

Year: 1885 (1880s)

Authors: American Florists Company

Subjects: Floriculture; Florists

Publisher: Chicago : American Florist Company

Contributing Library: UMass Amherst Libraries

Digitizing Sponsor: Boston Library Consortium Member Libraries

  

View Book Page: Book Viewer

About This Book: Catalog Entry

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Click here to view book online to see this illustration in context in a browseable online version of this book.

  

Text Appearing Before Image:

igio. The American Florist. 949 both as a standard and bush plant. There is also a variety of other good pot roses. One of the noteworthy features of the place is the large area devoted to Adiantum Farleyense, which is grown to perfection. The palms, bay and box trees are always striking features, in fact a tour of the range is a succession of the most interesting things in horticulture. The range is less than one-half hour's ride from New York and visitors to the metropolis who are horticulturally inclined will find themselves well re- paid for taking a run out to Ruther- ford. Salter Bros., Rochester, H. Y. Salter Bros, have two large divisions in their business; the home estab- lishment on Park avenue, and the other in Fairport. 10 miles east of Rochester. They commenced the de- velopment of the Fairport branch about 15 years since and they now have a glass area in this place of 30.000 square feet. They make a spe- cialty of carnations, handling 35,000 plants. Amongst the white varieties Richard Salter says they find Queen Louise and White Enchantress two of the best. Enchantress, in its light and deep pink forms, is their most important pink carnation. They grow a considerable number of Winsor but find it has a tendency to burst its calj-x. Beacon is an important red with them, and they grow a large number of Lawson, A considerable number of other varieties are grown, but those mentioned are the most im- portant. A number of years since Salter Bros, used to grow roses extensively but they have now practically given them up. Richard Salter says there is too little sunshine In winter in the Genesee valley to make rose growing financially successful. About 35,000 chrysanthemums are grown in bench- es, and they are now busy planting them out. This firm is the only one in this part of the country to make violet growing a success. The only variety grown is the single California (Madame E. Arene). A narrow low house, 200 feet long, is devoted to it, and Richard Salter says they find it commercially successful. Amongst other things grown for cutting are sweet peas, asparagus in different species, smilax, etc. They grow an im- mense number of the standard bed- ding plants and annuals. One of the greenhouses was erect- ed by the King Construction Co. about five years since and is 34x200 feet, with a furrow in the center. Rich- ard Salter says it is a style of green- house construction which appeals to him very much. This system is heat- ed by hot water. The acreage of the Fairport branch is 17 acres, and it slopes gently to the southwest. The soil is light, rich loam, and is excel- lent for the growing of stock. Outside they grow the most popular perennials and large quantities of sweet peas and asters for the cut -flower trade. All of the carnations are grown on this ground, and shrubs are grown for forcing. At the home establishment on Park avenue there is about 20,000 feet of glass, and the ground area is about one and a half acres. They acquired

 

Text Appearing After Image:

CATTLEYA MOSSIiE REINECKIANA. this property about 20 years since, and it is now almost in the center of the best residential part of Rochester, where real estate is highly valuable. It would not be profitable to hold it for florist purposes, if it were not largely occupied with greenhouses. Palms, ferns, dracaenas, aspidi.stras and bedding plants are grown here in large quantities. Carnations and clirysanthemums are also grown in the benches. A limited number of orchids are grown, and Cattleya Tria- nse is the most important one. The white variety of Swainsona galegifolia is grown very successfully, and is re- markably useful for cut flower pur- poses. A number of bouvardias are grown, and Richard .Salter says they may perhaps start to grow them more extensively. Hardy shrubs, such as lilacs, Prunus triloba, wistarias, spireas and deutzias are forced exten- sively. This system is heated by two Woodbury steam boilers which can be worked independently of each oth- er. This boiler is not now in the market. The firm conducts two retail stores, one on West Main street and the other on East Main street. The large store on East Main street is always kept very attractive, and very taste- ful displays of cut flowers and green- house plants are always shown in the windows. They conduct an im- portant business in vegetable and flower seeds. The firm consists of the two broth- ers, Richard G. and Albion H. Salter. Many years since, the two brothers assisted in the well-known seed busi- ness of James Vick, later known as James Vick's Sons, and which largely aided them in business ability to build up the fine establishment they have now. Their father, Richard Salter, who died a few years since, was born in Devonshire, England, 'and came to this country by way of Canada in 1S66. He was a gardener of the old school, and had charge of the Whit- ney estate in this city for a number of years. The firm of Salter Bros, holds a very honorable reputation in this city, and in social life the brothers are highly esteemed. JOHN DTJNBAB. Akrox, O.—Work was started by O. C. Barber, the millionaire match man- ufacturer, on his model farm recently, which will result in the immediate construction of 11 greenhouses each 30x156 feet. It is Mr. Barber's plan to have between 50 and 60 acres un- der glass w.hen the structures are complete. The houses will differ largely from the greenhouses com- mon in this locality and will be of de- cidedly improved types. Fruits, veg- etables and plants will be grown.

  

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Singapore Zoo

Coordinates: [show location on an interactive map] 1°24?15.9?N 103°47?28.1?E? / ?1.404417°N 103.791139°E? / 1.404417; 103.791139

Date opened 23 June 1973

Location Singapore

Land area 28 hectares

Number of animals 2530

Number of species 315

The Singapore Zoo (Chinese: ?????? ; Malay: 'Taman Haiwan Singapura'; Tamil: ??????????? ????????? ????????????), formerly known as the Singapore Zoological Gardens and commonly known locally as the Mandai Zoo, occupies 28 hectares (0.28 km?) of land on the margins of Upper Seletar Reservoir within Singapore's heavily forested central catchment area. The zoo was built at a cost of S$9m granted by the government of Singapore and opened on 23 June 1973. It is operated by Wildlife Reserves Singapore, who also manage the neighbouring Night Safari and the Jurong BirdPark. There are about 315 species of animal in the zoo, of which some 16% are considered threatened species. The zoo attracts about 1.4 million visitors a year.

 

From the beginning, Singapore Zoo followed the modern trend of displaying animals in naturalistic, 'open' exhibits, i.e. with hidden barriers, behind moats and shrubbery etc. It also houses the largest captive colony of orangutans in the world. In 1977, primatologist Dr Francine Neago lived inside a cage with eighteen orangutans for six months to study their behavior and communication.

1 History

2 Present

o 2.1 Education and conservation

o 2.2 Rides

o 2.3 Friends of the Zoo

o 2.4 Organizing events

* 3 Incidents

* 4 Trivia

* 5 Awards

* 6 Gallery

* 7 See also

* 8 References

* 9 Notes

* 10 External links

* 11 Public Bus Services

 

History

Hamadryas baboons by a waterfall

The conception of the Singapore Zoo dates from 1969. At the time, the Public Utilities Board (PUB) decided to use some of its land holdings around reservoirs for parks and open recreational facilities. The then Executive Chairman of PUB, Dr Ong Swee Law, set aside 88 hectares of land for the construction of a zoological garden.

 

In 1970, consultants and staff were hired, and in 1971, the construction of the basic 50 enclosures started. Animals were collected from dealers and donated by sponsors. The Director of the Colombo Zoo in Sri Lanka, Lyn de Alwis, was hired as a special consultant to work out problems inherent in tropical zoos.

 

On 23 June 1973, the Singapore Zoo opened its gates for the first time with a collection of 270 animals from over 72 species, and a staff of 130. By 1990, 1,600 animals from more than 160 species lived in social groups, housed in 65 landscaped exhibits with boundaries conceived to look as natural as possible.

Present

A pair of white tigers

Today, the zoo is a model of the 'open zoo' concept. The animals are kept in spacious, landscaped enclosures, separated from the visitors by either dry or wet moats. The moats are concealed with vegetation or dropped below the line of vision. In the case of dangerous animals which can climb very well, moat barriers are not used. Instead, these animals are housed in landscaped glass-fronted enclosures.

The zoo has not expanded beyond the original 28 hectares. However, 40 hectares of secondary forest were later developed into the Night Safari. The remaining undeveloped land has been kept as wooded land. This and the waters of Upper Seletar Reservoir contribute to the Zoo, giving it a sense of natural, unrestricted space.

Among various attractions that the zoo offers,one highlight is the "Breakfast with an Orangutan" programme that allows visitors to meet and interact closely with the orangutans in the zoo, amongst which includes the famous primate matriarch Ah Meng, (died on February 8, 2008) who was an icon of the Singapore tourism industry. Animal shows, as well as token feedings coupled with live commentaries by keepers, are also the daily staple in the Singapore zoo.

 

Education and conservation

The Wildlife Healthcare & Research Centre was opened in March 2006 as part of the zoo's efforts in wildlife conservation. The centre further underscores Singapore Zoo and Night Safari’s commitment to conservation research, providing the infrastructure for the parks and overseas zoological partners to better execute their research programmes.

The zoo also embarked on various rescue and conservation efforts to protect wildlife.

Rides

White rhinos

The zoo also offers various modes of rides available within the premises: trams, animals, boat, pony and horse carriage rides. Additional modes of transportation which can only be rented include: strollers, wagon and wheelchairs.

Friends of the Zoo

The zoo also has a "friends of the zoo" programme, where people can sign up for a yearly pass which grants them special privileges such as:

* Free and unlimited entry to Singapore Zoo for whole year

* Free Zoo tram rides and parking

* A free quarterly "Wildlife wonders" magazine

* 10% discount at some participating retail outlets

Organizing events

Elephant show and the trainers

There are three event venues available in the zoo, Forest Lodge, Pavilion-By-the-Lake and Garden Pavilion. There are also three cocktail venues, Elephants of Asia, Tiger Trek and Treetops Trail. The Singapore Zoo also facilitates birthday parties and weddings.

 

Incidents

On 13 November 2008, two of three white Bengal tigers mauled a zoo cleaner to death after the man jumped into a moat surrounding their enclosure.[2]

Trivia

Lists of miscellaneous information should be avoided. Please relocate any relevant information into appropriate sections or articles. (September 2008)

* In 2002, teams of The Amazing Race 3 also came to the Singapore Zoological Gardens as part of a detour.

* Steve Irwin, the animal activist and conservationalist known as "The Crocodile Hunter", admired the Singapore Zoo greatly, adopting it as the 'sister zoo' to the Australia Zoo. He was at the Singapore Zoo in 2006 to officiate the opening of the Australian outback exhibit.

* The Singapore Zoo is the first zoo in the world to breed a polar bear in the tropics. Inuka was conceived on 26 December 1990.

Almost mirroring one another these two young girls were lost on Social Media in Doncaster Frenchgate today.

Kuala Lumpur (/ˈkwɑːləˈlʊmpʊər/ or /-pər/; Malaysian pronunciation: [ˈkwalə ˈlumpʊr]) is the national capital and most populous global city in Malaysia. The city covers an area of 243 km2 and has an estimated population of 1.6 million as of 2010. Greater Kuala Lumpur, covering similar area as the Klang Valley, is an urban agglomeration of 7.5 million people as of 2012. It is among the fastest growing metropolitan regions in South-East Asia, in terms of population and economy.

 

Kuala Lumpur is the seat of the Parliament of Malaysia. The city was once home to the executive and judicial branches of the federal government, but they were moved to Putrajaya in early 1999. Some sections of the judiciary still remain in the capital city of Kuala Lumpur. The official residence of the Malaysian King, the Istana Negara, is also situated in Kuala Lumpur. Rated as an alpha world city, Kuala Lumpur is the cultural, financial and economic centre of Malaysia due to its position as the capital as well as being a key city. Kuala Lumpur was ranked 48th among global cities by Foreign Policy's 2010 Global Cities Index and was ranked 67th among global cities for economic and social innovation by the 2thinknow Innovation Cities Index in 2010.

 

Kuala Lumpur is defined within the borders of the Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur and is one of three Malaysian Federal Territories. It is an enclave within the state of Selangor, on the central west coast of Peninsular Malaysia.

 

Since the 1990s, the city has played host to many international sporting, political and cultural events including the 1998 Commonwealth Games and the Formula One Grand Prix. In addition, Kuala Lumpur is home to the tallest twin buildings in the world, the Petronas Twin Towers, which have become an iconic symbol of Malaysia's futuristic development.

 

In May 2015, Kuala Lumpur was officially recognized as one of the New7Wonders Cities together with Vigan City, Doha, Durban, Havana, Beirut, and La Paz.

 

HISTORY

Kuala Lumpur means "muddy confluence", although it is also possible that the name is a corrupted form of an earlier but now unidentifiable forgotten name. It was originally a small settlement of just a few houses at the confluence of Sungai Gombak (previously known as Sungai Lumpur) and Sungai Klang (Klang River). The town of Kuala Lumpur was established circa 1857, when the Malay Chief of Klang, Raja Abdullah bin Raja Jaafar, aided by his brother Raja Juma'at of Lukut, raised funds to hire some Chinese miners from Lukut to open new tin mines here. The miners landed at Kuala Lumpur and continued their journey on foot to Ampang where the first mine was opened. Kuala Lumpur was the furthest point up the Klang River to which supplies could conveniently be brought by boat; it therefore became a collection and dispersal point serving the tin mines. The identity of the founder of Kuala Lumpur has however not been confirmed: Raja Abdullah bin Raja Jaafar and his role in founding the city do not appear in the earliest account of the history of Selangor. On the other hand, the Sumatrans Abdullah Hukum and Sutan Puasa, arrived in Kuala Lumpur at least in 1850. Raja Abdullah only came around 1857 and Yap Ah Loy, also regarded as the founding father of Kuala Lumpur, arrived in 1862. In addition, the Chinese men employed under Raja Abdullah worked in Ampang, 64 kilometres away from the main land. Meanwhile, efficient drainage and irrigation systems (bondar saba) were introduced in Kuala Lumpur by the technologically advanced Mandailing, improving the mining industry.

 

In the early history of Kuala Lumpur, the Minangkabaus of Sumatra were considered to be one of the most important groups of people who involved in trading. Utsman bin Abdullah and Haji Mohamed Taib were influenced tycoon in Kuala Lumpur and surrounding area. Haji Taib, one of the wealthiest figure at that time, was an important person in the early development centre of city: Kampung Baru. Beside as merchants, the Minangkabaus also overwhelmingly on socio-religious figures, such as Utsman bin Abdullah was the first kadi of Kuala Lumpur as well as Muhammad Nur bin Ismail.

 

Although the early miners suffered a high death toll due to the malarial conditions of the jungle, the Ampang mines were successful, and the first tin was exported in 1859. The tin-mining spurred the growth of the town, and miners later also settled in Pudu and Batu. The miners formed gangs among themselves; there were the Hakka-dominated Hai San in Kuala Lumpur, and the Cantonese-dominated Ghee Hin based in Kanching in Ulu Selangor. These two gangs frequently fought to gain control of best tin mines. The leaders of the Chinese community were conferred the title of Kapitan Cina (Chinese headman) by the Malay chief, and Hiu Siew, the owner of a mine in Lukut, was chosen as the first Kapitan of Kuala Lumpur. As one of the first traders to arrive in Ampang (along with Yap Ah Sze), he sold provisions to the miners in exchange for tin.

 

In 1868, Yap Ah Loy was appointed the third Chinese Kapitan of Kuala Lumpur. Yap, together with Frank Swettenham, were the two most important figures in the development of Kuala Lumpur in the early days of Kuala Lumpur. In 1880, the state capital of Selangor was moved from Klang to the more strategically advantageous Kuala Lumpur by the colonial administration, and Swettenham was appointed the Resident in 1882. Kuala Lumpur was a small town with buildings made of wood and atap (thatching) that were prone to burn. It suffered from many problems, including the Selangor Civil War which devastated the town; it was also plagued by diseases and constant fires and floods. The war and other setbacks led to a slump which lasted until 1879, when a rise in the price of tin allowed the town to recover.

 

In 1881, a flood swept through the town, following a fire that had engulfed it earlier. As a response, Frank Swettenham, the British Resident of Selangor, required that buildings be constructed of brick and tile.[33] Hence, Kapitan Yap Ah Loy bought a sprawling piece of real estate to set up a brick industry, which spurred the rebuilding of Kuala Lumpur. This place is the eponymous Brickfields. Hence, destroyed atap buildings were replaced with brick and tiled ones. He restructured the building layout of the city. Many of the new brick buildings mirrored those of shop houses in southern China, characterised by "five foot ways" as well as skilled Chinese carpentry work. This resulted in a distinct eclectic shop house architecture typical to this region. Kapitan Yap Ah Loy expand road access in the city significantly, linking up tin mines with the city, these roads include the main arterial roads of the present Ampang Road, Pudu Road and Petaling Street. As Chinese Kapitan, he was vested with wide powers on par with Malay community leaders. He implemented law reforms and introduced new legal measures. He also presided over a small claims court. With a police force of six, he was able to uphold the rule of law. He built a prison that could accommodate 60 prisoners at any time. Kapitan Yap Ah Loy also built Kuala Lumpur's first school and a major tapioca mill in Petaling Street of which the Selangor's Sultan Abdul Samad had an interest.

 

A railway line between Kuala Lumpur and Klang, initiated by Swettenham and completed in 1886, increased accessibility which resulted in the rapid growth of the town. The population grew from 4,500 in 1884 to 20,000 in 1890. As development intensified in the 1880s, it also put pressure on sanitation, waste disposal and other health issues. A Sanitary Board was created on 14 May 1890 which was responsible for sanitation, upkeep of roads, lighting of street and other functions. This would eventually became the Kuala Lumpur Municipal Council. Kuala Lumpur was only 0.65 km2 in 1895, but it expanded to 20 km2 in 1903, and by the time it became a municipality in 1948 it had expanded to 93 km2, and then to 243 km2 in 1974 as a Federal Territory. In 1896, Kuala Lumpur was chosen as the capital of the newly formed Federated Malay States. A mixture of different communities settled in various sections of Kuala Lumpur. The Chinese mainly settled around the commercial centre of Market Square, east of the Klang River, and towards Chinatown. The Malays, Indian Chettiars, and Indian Muslims resided along Java Street (now Jalan Tun Perak). The Padang, now known as Merdeka Square, was the centre of the British administrative offices.

 

During World War II, Kuala Lumpur was captured by the Imperial Japanese Army on 11 January 1942. They occupied the city until 15 August 1945, when the commander in chief of the Japanese Seventh Area Army in Singapore and Malaysia, Seishirō Itagaki, surrendered to the British administration following the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Kuala Lumpur grew through the war, the rubber and tin commodity crashes and the Malayan Emergency, during which Malaya was preoccupied with the communist insurgency. In 1957, the Federation of Malaya gained its independence from British rule. Kuala Lumpur remained the capital through the formation of Malaysia on 16 September 1963.

 

On 13 May 1969, the worst race riots on record in Malaysia took place in Kuala Lumpur. The so-called 13 May Incident refers to the occurrence of violence between members of the Malay and the Chinese communities. The violence was the result of Malaysian Malays being dissatisfied with their socio-political status. The riots resulted in the deaths of 196 people, and led to major changes in the country's economic policy to promote and prioritise Malay economic development over that of the other ethnicities.

 

Kuala Lumpur later achieved city status in 1972, becoming the first settlement in Malaysia to be granted the status after independence. Later, on 1 February 1974, Kuala Lumpur became a Federal Territory. Kuala Lumpur ceased to be the capital of Selangor in 1978 after the city of Shah Alam was declared the new state capital. On 14 May 1990, Kuala Lumpur celebrated 100 years of local council. The new federal territory Kuala Lumpur flag and anthem were introduced. On 1 February 2001, Putrajaya was declared a Federal Territory, as well as the seat of the federal government. The administrative and judicial functions of the government were shifted from Kuala Lumpur to Putrajaya. Kuala Lumpur however still retained its legislative function, and remained the home of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong (Constitutional King).

 

GEOGRAPHY

The geography of Kuala Lumpur is characterised by the huge Klang Valley. The valley is bordered by the Titiwangsa Mountains in the east, several minor ranges in the north and the south and the Strait of Malacca in the west. Kuala Lumpur is a Malay term that translates to "muddy confluence" as it is located at the confluence of the Klang and Gombak rivers.

 

Located in the centre of Selangor state, Kuala Lumpur was previously under the rule of Selangor State Government. In 1974, Kuala Lumpur was separated from Selangor to form the first Federal Territory governed directly by the Malaysian Federal Government. Its location on the west coast of Peninsular Malaysia, which has wider flat land than the east coast, has contributed to its faster development relative to other cities in Malaysia. The municipality of the city covers an area of 243 km2, with an average elevation of 21.95 m.

 

CLOMATE AND WEATHER

Protected by the Titiwangsa Mountains in the east and Indonesia's Sumatra Island in the west, Kuala Lumpur has a tropical rainforest climate (Köppen climate classification Af), which is warm and sunny, along with abundant rainfall, especially during the northeast monsoon season from October to March. Temperatures tend to remain constant. Maximums hover between 32 and 33 °C and have never exceeded 38.5 °C, while minimums hover between 23.4 and 24.6 °C and have never fallen below 14.4 °C. Kuala Lumpur typically receives minimum 2,600 mm of rain annually; June and July are relatively dry, but even then rainfall typically exceeds 131 millimetres per month.

 

Flooding is a frequent occurrence in Kuala Lumpur whenever there is a heavy downpour, especially in the city centre and downstream areas. Smoke from forest fires of nearby Sumatra sometimes cast a haze over the region. It is a major source of pollution in the city together with open burning, emission from motor vehicles and construction work.

 

POLITICS

Kuala Lumpur is home to the Parliament of Malaysia. The hierarchy of authority in Malaysia, in accordance with the Federal Constitution, has stipulated the three branches, of the Malaysian government as consisting of the Executive, Judiciary and Legislative branches. The Parliament consists of the Dewan Negara (Upper House / House of Senate) and Dewan Rakyat (Lower House / House of Representatives).

 

ECONOMY

Kuala Lumpur and its surrounding urban areas form the most industrialised and economically, the fastest growing region in Malaysia. Despite the relocation of federal government administration to Putrajaya, certain government institutions such as Bank Negara Malaysia (National Bank of Malaysia), Companies Commission of Malaysia and Securities Commission as well as most embassies and diplomatic missions have remained in the city.

 

The city remains as the economic and business centre of the country. Kuala Lumpur is a centre for finance, insurance, real estate, media and the arts of Malaysia. Kuala Lumpur is rated as an alpha world city, and is the only global city in Malaysia, according to the Globalization and World Cities Study Group and Network (GaWC). The infrastructure development in the surrounding areas such as the Kuala Lumpur International Airport at Sepang, the creation of the Multimedia Super Corridor and the expansion of Port Klang further reinforce the economic significance of the city.

 

Bursa Malaysia or the Malaysia Exchange is based in the city and forms one of its core economic activities. As of 5 July 2013, the market capitalisation stood at US$505.67 billion.

 

The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for Kuala Lumpur is estimated at RM73,536 million in 2008 with an average annual growth rate of 5.9 percent.[66] The per capita GDP for Kuala Lumpur in 2013 is RM79,752 with an average annual growth rate of 5.6 percent. The total employment in Kuala Lumpur is estimated at around 838,400. The service sector comprising finance, insurance, real estate, business services, wholesale and retail trade, restaurants and hotels, transport, storage and communication, utilities, personal services and government services form the largest component of employment representing about 83.0 percent of the total. The remaining 17 percent comes from manufacturing and construction.

 

The average monthly household income for Kuala Lumpur was RM4,105 (USD 1,324) in 1999, up from RM3,371 (USD 1,087) four years prior, making it 66% higher than the national average. In terms of household income distribution, 23.5% of households in the city earned more than RM5,000 (USD 1,613) per month compared to 9.8% for the entire country, while 8.1% earned less than RM1,000 (USD 323) a month.

 

The large service sector is evident in the number of local and foreign banks and insurance companies operating in the city. Kuala Lumpur is poised to become the global Islamic Financing hub with an increasing number of financial institutions providing Islamic Financing and the strong presence of Gulf's financial institutions such as the world's largest Islamic bank, Al-Rajhi Bank and Kuwait Finance House. Apart from that, the Dow Jones & Company is keen to work with Bursa Malaysia to set up Islamic Exchange Trade Funds (ETFs), which would help raise Malaysia's profile in the Gulf. The city has a large number of foreign corporations and is also host to many multi national companies' regional offices or support centres, particularly for finance and accounting, and information technology functions. Most of the countries' largest companies have their headquarters based here and as of December 2007 and excluding Petronas, there are 14 companies that are listed in Forbes 2000 based in Kuala Lumpur.

 

Other important economic activities in the city are education and health services. Kuala Lumpur also has advantages stemming from the high concentration of educational institutions that provide a wide-ranging of courses. Numerous public and private medical specialist centres and hospitals in the city offer general health services, and a wide range of specialist surgery and treatment that caters to locals and tourists.

 

There has been growing emphasis to expand the economic scope of the city into other service activities, such as research and development, which supports the rest of the economy of Malaysia. Kuala Lumpur has been home for years to important research centres such as the Rubber Research Institute of Malaysia, the Forest Research Institute Malaysia and the Institute of Medical Research and more research centres are expected to be established in the coming years.

 

DEMOGRAPHICS

Kuala Lumpur is the most populous city in Malaysia, with a population of 1.6 million in the city proper as of 2010. It has a population density of 6,696 inhabitants per square kilometre , and is the most densely populated administrative district in Malaysia. Residents of the city are colloquially known as KLites. Kuala Lumpur is also the centre of the wider Klang Valley conurbation (covering Petaling Jaya, Klang, Subang Jaya, Shah Alam, Gombak and others) which has an estimated metropolitan population of 7.2–7.5 million as of 2012.

 

Kuala Lumpur's heterogeneous populace includes the country's three major ethnic groups: the Malays, the Chinese and the Indians, although the city also has a mix of different cultures including Eurasians, as well as Kadazans, Ibans and other indigenous races from East Malaysia and Peninsula Malaysia.

 

Historically Kuala Lumpur was a predominantly Chinese, but recently the Bumiputra component of the city has increased substantially and they are now the dominant group. Most of Malays who considered as Bumiputra came from Sumatra and other parts of Indonesia archipelago. The majority of them Javanese, Minangkabaus and Buginese began arriving in Kuala Lumpur in the mid 19th century, in addition to Acehnese who arrived in the late 20th century. The population of Kuala Lumpur was estimated to be around three thousand in 1880 when it was made the capital of Selangor. In the following decade which saw the rebuilding of the town it showed considerable increase, due in large part to the construction of a railway line in 1886 connecting Kuala Lumpur and Klang.

 

A census in 1891 of uncertain accuracy gave a figure of 43,796 inhabitants, 79% of whom were Chinese (71% of the Chinese were Hakka), 14% Malay, and 6% Indian. Another estimate put the population of Kuala Lumpur in 1890 at 20,000. In 1931, 61% of Kuala Lumpur's 111,418 inhabitants were Chinese, and in 1947 63.5%. The Malays however began to settle in the Kuala Lumpur in significant numbers, in part due to government employment, as well as the expansion of the city that absorbed the surrounding rural areas where many Malays lived. between 1947 and 1957 the population of Bumiputras in Kuala Lumpur doubled, increasing from 12.5 to 15%, while the proportion of Chinese dropped. The process continued after Malayan independence with the growth of a largely Malay civil service, and later the implementation of the New Economic Policy which encouraged Malay participation in urban industries and business. In 1980 the population of Kuala Lumpur had reached over a million, with 52% Chinese, 33% Malay, and 15% Indian. From 1980 to 2000 the number of Bumiputras increased by 77%, but the Chinese still outnumbered the Bumiputras in Kuala Lumpur in the 2000 census at 43% compared to Bumiputras at 38%. By the 2010 census, according to the Department of Statistics and excluding non-citizens, the percentage of the Bumiputera population in Kuala Lumpur has reached around 45.9%, with the Chinese population at 43.2% and Indians 10.3%.A notable phenomenon in recent times has been the increase of foreign residents in Kuala Lumpur, which rose from 1% of the city's population in 1980 to about 8% in the 2000 census, and 9.4% in the 2010 census. These figures also do not include a significant number of illegal immigrants. Kuala Lumpur's rapid development has triggered a huge influx of low-skilled foreign workers from Indonesia, Nepal, Burma, Thailand, Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka, Philippines, and Vietnam into Malaysia, many of whom enter the country illegally or without proper permits.Birth rates in Kuala Lumpur have declined and resulted in the lower proportion of young people falling below 15 years old category from 33% in 1980 to slightly less than 27% in 2000.[69] On the other hand, the working age group of 15–59 increased from 63% in 1980 to 67% in 2000. The elderly age group, 60 years old and above has increased from 4% in 1980 and 1991 to 6% in 2000.

 

Kuala Lumpur is pluralistic and religiously diverse. The city has many places of worship catering to the multi-religious population. Islam is practised primarily by the Malays and the Indian Muslim communities. Buddhism, Confucianism and Taoism are practised mainly among the Chinese. Indians traditionally adhere to Hinduism. Some Chinese and Indians also subscribe to Christianity.

 

As of 2010 Census the population of Kuala Lumpur is 46.4% Muslim, 35.7% Buddhist, 8.5% Hindu, 5.8% Christian, 1.1% Taoist or Chinese religion adherent, 2.0% follower of other religions, and 0.5% non-religious.

 

Bahasa Malaysia is the principal language in Kuala Lumpur. Kuala Lumpur residents are generally literate in English, with a large proportion adopting it as their first language. It has a strong presence, especially in business and is a compulsory language taught in schools. Cantonese and Mandarin are prominent as they are spoken by the local majority Chinese population. Another major dialect spoken is Hakka. While Tamil is dominant amongst the local Indian population, other Indian languages spoken include Telugu, Malayalam, Punjabi and Hindi. Beside the Malay language, there are a variety of languages spoken by Indonesian descent, such as Minangkabau and Javanese.

 

EDUCATION

According to government statistics, Kuala Lumpur has a literacy rate of 97.5% in 2000, the highest rate in any state or territory in Malaysia. In Malaysia, Malay is the language of instruction for most subjects while English is a compulsory subject, but as of 2012, English is still the language of instruction for mathematics and the natural sciences for certain schools. Some schools provide Mandarin and Tamil as languages of instruction for certain subjects. Each level of education demands different skills of teaching and learning ability.Kuala Lumpur contains 13 tertiary education institutions, 79 high schools, 155 elementary schools and 136 kindergartens.

 

WIKIPEDIA

Williamsburg, Brooklyn, New York City, New York, United States

 

A collaborative project of the Federal Public Works Administration and the newly established New York City Housing Authority, the Williamsburg Houses are notable as one of the earliest housing developments in the United States to reflect the ideas of the modern movement in architecture. In the 1920s Williamsburg was one of the most densely populated sections of Brooklyn and nearly six hundred, mostly frame, structures were demolished to create the 23.3 acre site. Proposed in 1934, this residential complex was skillfully designed by the Williamsburg Associated Architects during 1935 and most units were occupied by 1938.

 

The partnership included Richmond H. Shreve, of Shreve, Lamb & Harmon, the architects of the Empire State Building, and William Lescaze, the Swiss-born architect who helped introduce the “International” style on the eastern seaboard. Lescaze was responsible for the design, which includes twenty 4-story structures on four “super” blocks turned at 15 degree angles to the street grid. Oriented to the sun and prevailing winds, this unusual layout produced a series of large and small courts, many of which flow into a large public space at the center of each block. A light-colored palette distinguishes the facades, executed in tan brick and exposed concrete.

 

Among the most prominent features are the entrances, marked by blue tile and projecting stainless steel canopies, and the handsome streamlined storefronts. The complex was widely discussed by contemporary critics and more than 25,000 New Yorkers applied for 1,622 apartments. During the mid-1990s, the buildings underwent an extensive restoration which included the replacement of all exterior materials. Sponsored by the Housing Authority, in consultation with the Landmarks Preservation Commission, these alterations were remarkably sensitive and in the 4th edition of the AIA Guide to New York City the “revivified” complex was called “the best public housing project ever built in New York.”

 

DESCRIPTION AND ANALYSIS

 

Housing the Masses

 

From the rowhouse to the apartment building, New York City has been a laboratory for innovative housing. Beginning after the Civil War, apartments, variously known as French Flats and tenements, were built to house the city’s surging population. Immigrants, for the most part, crowded into unregulated tenements, structures that maximized profits for developers while providing few amenities that we take for granted today, such as light, air, and private bathrooms.

 

Despite government efforts to legislate minimum standards in 1867 and 1879, initially private individuals took the most significant steps to make decent housing affordable to all. Several pioneering examples were located close to the Brooklyn waterfront, including the Home and Tower Buildings , the Astral Apartments and Riverside . The later complex surrounded a large tree-shaded courtyard incorporating a music pavilion and areas for drying laundry. Despite these, and a few innovative Manhattan developments, the majority of New Yorkers continued to live in substandard conditions.

 

The passage of the New Tenement Law in 1901 improved the situation, requiring that multiple dwellings be built on significantly larger lots, with fire escapes and separate “privies” for each family. After World War I, the garden apartment came into vogue. While most were built for the middle class, especially in Jackson Heights, a significant group were sponsored by unions and cooperative organizations that wished to provide members with inexpensive apartments. Significant examples include the Amalgamated Houses on Manhattan’s Lower East Side and the “Coops” built in the Bronx by the United Workers Cooperative Association .

 

The first significant act of government intervention occurred in 1926 with the passage of the New York State Housing Law. Promoted by Governor Alfred E. Smith to encourage construction through the formation of local authorities that would sell bonds or seek federal funds, it had little impact until 1934 when the New York City Housing Authority was established. The authority’s first project, aptly called the First Houses , was located in Manhattan’s East Village. Begun as a rehabilitation program involving the demolition of every third structure, due to structural problems the eight brick buildings were entirely rebuilt.

 

Throughout the early Depression, government-subsidized housing remained a controversial issue. Consequently, it was first promoted as worker relief, organized to create jobs but not compete with the commercial market. The first federal agency to involve itself with housing was the Reconstruction Finance Corporation which was created in 1932 to provide low-interest loans to limited-dividend housing corporations. Of the two loans it made, one was toward the construction of Knickerbocker Village . Built for the Fred F. French Company, this Chinatown-area development consists of two 12-story buildings, both enclosing an interior courtyard.

 

In mid-1933, as part of Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal, the Housing Division of the Public Works Administration was established. What made this agency different from its predecessor, the RFC, was that it would be directly involved in the planning and construction of low-income housing. The program was a great success and over the next three and half years it collaborated on the design and construction of 51 projects in 36 cities, including the Harlem River Houses and the Williamsburg Houses.

 

The passage of the Wagner-Steagall Bill by the United States Congress in September 1937, strengthened the federal government’s commitment to housing, but shifted greater control to local authorities. The first New York City housing project to be financed under this program was the Red Hook Houses in Brooklyn. Future construction, which would amount to more than half a million low-rental units nationwide by 1957, would be funded primarily through low-interest loans.

 

Site

 

The Williamsburg Houses are located in northwestern Brooklyn, approximately one mile east of the Williamsburg Bridge and two blocks south of Grand Street, a lively commercial thoroughfare. Founded as part of the town of Bushwick in the mid17th century, Williamsburg was incorporated as a village in 1827. The community prospered and by 1852 it was the 20th largest city in the nation. Three years later, Williamsburg became part of Brooklyn and was commonly referred to as the Eastern District. Although ferry service was important to the area’s development, it was the planning and construction of a second East River crossing, the Williamsburg Bridge, that caused the most dramatic growth.

 

Proposed in 1883, the bridge was completed with much fanfare in 1903, serving pedestrians, bicycles and horse-drawn vehicles. In subsequent decades, Williamsburg rivaled the Lower East Side in population and density. The Brooklyn Eagle claimed in 1920 that the bridge was part of the busiest traffic center in the nation and that a single block north of it was the most crowded in the world. Conditions in the neighborhood continued to deteriorate throughout the decade, so much so that the population began to decline.

 

In October 1933, the Federal Works Administration established a slum clearance committee to study conditions throughout New York City. Richmond H. Shreve, who would later serve as chief architect of the Williamsburg Houses, was named director. Based on the committee’s recommendations, $25 million was set aside for a housing program in New York City. Under the direction of the NYCHA, a more comprehensive study was undertaken in 1934, focusing on fourteen neighborhoods, including Williamsburg. The PWA reported:

 

When the study was completed the blighted slum area of the Williamsburg section stood out as the best example where the most good could be done in wholesale clearance work.

 

Of 93 blocks studied, a grid of 12 was identified for redevelopment in Williamsburg. These blocks were chosen because property values were relatively low and the owners were willing to sell. Most of buildings were mixed-use, incorporating retail spaces at ground level and apartments above. Each lot was carefully documented: 90% of the structures were at least forty years old, 70% were built of wood, 78% had no central heating, and 67% had no private toilets. Such statistics were used to paint an extremely bleak picture of life there:

 

But the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn, according to official surveys, is unique in that its slums bear the stamp of dull listlessness and despair . . . Laissez faire, exploitation, and land speculation have robbed the community of its natural potentialities for development and orderly urban life.

 

Public amenities were also in short supply; there were few schools and there were almost no parks.

 

Architects

 

Five architects were appointed to the NYCHA’s architectural board in May 1934: Richmond H. Shreve of Shreve, Lamb & Harmon, Matthew W. Del Gaudio , William Lescaze , Arthur C. Holden , and James F. Bly. As members of the board, their initial role was advisory. They would act as the authority’s chief architect, overseeing the design and construction of municipal housing citywide.

 

In June 1934 an open competition was held to choose the architects who would work on the Williamsburg Houses and other NYCHA projects. The program guidelines did not specify the location, but the grid chosen closely resembled the long blocks where the Williamsburg Houses would be built. Of 278 architects who participated, 5 of the 22 selected were assigned to the Brooklyn project: Samuel Gardstein, of Holmgren, Volz & Gardstein, G. Harmon Gurney , of Gurney & Clavan, John W. Ingle Jr., Paul Trapani , and Harry Leslie Walker .

 

In June 1935, a contract was signed with the Williamsburg Associated Architects. The partnership consisted of ten men: the five architects selected by jury, as well as the five members of the architectural board. Among them, Shreve had the most experience with large projects, having worked on a succession of major Manhattan skyscrapers, most notably, the Empire State Building .

 

A graduate of the College of Architecture at Cornell University , he began his career as a member of the school’s faculty and later joined the firm of Carrére & Hastings in New York City where he distinguished himself as having a “genius for the solution of operational and administrative problems.” Whereas prior to the Depression he mainly worked on office buildings, in his later years Shreve was associated with residential developments, most notably the Vladeck Houses on the Lower East Side, and Parkchester , a development with more than twelve thousand apartments in the Bronx. During the late 1930s, he also served as a member of the board of design for the New York World’s Fair.

 

Design

 

Of the three initial projects built by the NYCHA and the PWA, the Williamsburg Houses were the most innovative. Shreve appointed Lescaze as the chief designer, responsible for the plan and elevations. In the 1930s, he was at the height of his career, profiled in publications read by professionals and the layman. Born near Geneva, Switzerland, in 1896, he studied in Zurich with the architect Karl Moser in 1915-19 and for a brief period worked in Paris with Henri Sauvage, an important designer of apartment buildings. Lescaze moved to the United States in 1920 and after working in Cleveland and New York City, formed a partnership with George Howe, a Philadelphia architect, in 1929.

 

Their association lasted four years and produced one architectural masterpiece, the Philadelphia Savings Fund Society building, completed in 1932. During the mid-1930s, he was extremely active, working on unrealized plans for the Museum of Modern Art, the Brooklyn Museum, and the Brooklyn Children’s Museum, as well as building three of the earliest modern-style townhouses in Manhattan, his own house and studio, completed in 1934, as well as the Raymond C. and Mildred Kramer and Edward and Dorothy Norman houses. He also designed, with Albert Frey, the Chrystie-Forsyth Houses. Planned in 1931, this unrealized proposal was included in the Museum of Modern Art’s so-called “International Style” exhibition of 1932.

 

One of the most unique aspects of the Williamsburg Houses is the plan. To create the 23.3 acre complex, twelve blocks were acquired by the city, and the two east-west streets were closed to traffic to create four “super” blocks. All but one extend three full blocks from north to south, except part of the block between Manhattan and Graham Avenues that was set aside for a new junior high school and play area.

 

The development of New York City was closely tied to its gridiron. Introduced in 1811, it resulted in a city of predictable intersecting streets and avenues. In 1835, a similar plan was approved for Brooklyn and by the early 1850s the streets that cross through the site of the Williamsburg Houses had opened.

 

Most were named for area residents, such as Daniel Maujer, a lawyer and alderman, John and James Lorimer Graham, land jobbers, and James Scholes, a local land owner. The impact of this approach is visible throughout New York City, establishing blocks and lots of equal size and dimensions. Residential developers benefitted immensely, commissioning rowhouse and tenement designs that could be repeated without regard to location.

 

By the end of the 19th century, there was relatively little open space in Manhattan and Brooklyn. As part of the City Beautiful movement, various attempts were made to loosen the grid’s hold, first through the passage of the Small Parks Act in 1887, which focused on tenement neighborhoods, and later, by situating major civic structures in plazas. Similar ideas shaped the development of garden apartments which came into vogue after 1910. One of the primary characteristics of this type of multiple dwelling was reduced site coverage.

 

In most cases, such as in the Jackson Heights Historic District, the buildings were set around the perimeter of each block, enclosing large private gardens, but in other situations, such as at the Harlem River Houses, a “crankshaft” arrangement was adopted, creating a mixture of interior and exterior courts.

 

Lescaze borrowed freely from both the garden apartment tradition and architects associated with European modernism. In his earliest design, each block incorporated six U-shaped structures arranged around a narrow central court. A later design was considerably more irregular. Turned at an angle to the street, there were fewer but larger buildings.

 

Many aspects of this proposal were integrated into the final design. The Williamsburg Houses are configured in three ways, with footprints suggesting a capital “H,” small “h,” and “T.” All have small spurs and extensions, resembling crossbars. By adding this feature the number of courtyards was significantly increased. Within each block are six buildings ; at the north and south are the “H” and “h” configurations, and in the middle, the “T”s.

 

The decision to turn the buildings at a 15 degree angle to the street grid proved controversial. PWA accounts described it in functional terms, explaining that the orientation would provide tenants with more sun and take advantage of the prevailing northwest breezes. During the previous decade, many architects and planners experimented with similar ideas. One of the earliest built examples “to deviate from the geometry of the New York gridiron” was the Mesa Verde apartments in Jackson Heights. Designed by Henry Atterbury Smith and based on an earlier proposal from 1917, the development featured two rows of six “closed L buildings” set at 45 degree angle to the surrounding streets.

 

Lescaze, however, was more likely to have been influenced by European sources. During the 1920s, he frequently returned to Europe, a period when leading architects were involved in the design of social housing. Many favored the “tower in the park” approach in which free-standing high-rise structures stood in continuous open space. Writing in English in 1935, Walter Gropius concluded that apartment blocks should “command a clear view of the sky, over broad expanses of grass and trees which separate the blocks and serve as playgrounds.”

 

Another source of inspiration might have been Ernst May who oversaw the design and construction of many low-rise housing estates in Frankfurt. In his Bruchfeldstrasse development of 1926-27, designed with C. K. Rudloff, one section was arranged in an overlapping zig-zag configuration. As in Williamsburg, each unit had corner windows, providing tenants with uninterrupted views of a central garden.

 

Many writers were skeptical about the benefits of Lescaze’s plan. Hamlin argued that the layout would convert the courts “into perfect channels for Project for a group of factories. our most vicious northwest winds.” He was told that

 

the arrangement had, in fact, been chosen for aesthetic reasons, to “break up the street facades” and “allow the feeling of space to weave in and out on the street fronts. This goal was definitely achieved, producing an environment that was new and distinctive. The flowing spaces that Lescaze planned are less monumental and more intimate than those experienced in most housing projects, juxtaposing wedge-shaped lawns with semi-enclosed courtyards and large open plazas. As originally built, no fences interrupted the spaces and the areas adjoining the curving concrete walks were paved with cobblestone.

 

The Elevations

 

Equally modern were the elevations. Lescaze was attracted to the expressive and aesthetic qualities of modern materials. Particularly unusual was the decision to use a light-colored palette. Built from reinforced concrete, the walls were originally enclosed with a sand-cast brick that was variously described by observers as bright tan, yellowish, pinkish, and grayish warm pink. One of the most notable features was the exposed concrete floor plates which express the structure and division between the floors while giving the complex a strong horizontal appearance. Talbot Hamlin observed:

 

The effectiveness of the buildings is undoubted. The striping of brick and concrete and the contrast of the light walls which front the stair towers make a vivid picture . . .

 

Prior to the mid-1930s, red brick was the most frequently used material in housing developments, used throughout Jackson Heights and in the First Houses and Harlem River Houses. The proposal to break with this tradition generated considerable debate. While the general scheme was approved in June 1935, it was not until October that specific materials were selected. Presumably, the PWA wished to standardize the building process and reduce costs. Frederick Ackerman, technical director of the NYCHA, defended Lescaze’s proposal. He wrote the authority’s chairman, Langdon W. Post:

 

. . . the “effect” of the Project will depend very largely upon the texture and quality of the exterior wall. Unless the exterior wall possesses a greater intrinsic interest than one made of common brick then the resultant effect is certain to be a bleak, barren and unusually forbidding mass of building:

 

One might readily mistake the At Williamsburg, the buildings stand as freestanding objects, finished on all sides and approachable from multiple directions. No facade dominates and the apartment entrances face both the streets and courtyards. For those unfamiliar with the layout, the angled plan may have been somewhat disorienting. To make it easier to navigate, signs were installed throughout the complex and Lescaze skillfully designed the entrances, making dramatic use of color and form. Like Le Corbusier, he was an “accomplished” painter and frequently used color, especially blue, to enliven wall surfaces. Another possible model was May’s housing development at Praunheim where contrasting colors were used to give the projecting stair towers a distinctive appearance.

 

Within the courtyards are as many as five entrances. Each is sheltered by a small cantilevered aluminum marquee and is flanked by square blue terra-cotta tiles. The entrances that are located at the far end of the larger courtyards are set at a angle. In these instances, the tiles spread onto the adjoining walls and extend above the parapet to the stair bulkhead. Other tile treatments project slightly forward, or are recessed above the doors to the roof. An entrance is also located in the covered breezeway. Reached by a short flight of stairs connecting both the street and courtyard, the more public street facade had an asymmetrical character, incorporating projecting blue tiles to one side and a wide aluminum marquee.

 

Construction

 

To prepare the site for construction, 568 buildings were demolished on 349 lots and approximately 5,400 people were relocated. A 1935 report described the population as divided equally between American born, Italian born, and other nationalities. Most were semi-skilled workers, employed in manufacturing, or as clerks, truck drivers, and construction workers.

 

Demolition commenced in June 1935 as PWA supervisor Elizabeth Ross dug a crowbar into the facade of 197 Manhattan Avenue, near Ten Eyck Street. In the months that followed:

 

Steam shovels and picks played a tune to rival that of the pipes of the Pied Piper of Hamlin. From every dank basement and crumbling wall rats fled in droves. Backyards disgorged an assortment of rusted cans, trash, filth and litter that would have discouraged the most voracious goat.

 

Ground was broken on January 3, 1936. Following a brief ceremony in the rain, public officials addressed an audience of five hundred at Public School 196. During April 1936, the first foundations were poured at the southwest corner of Manhattan Avenue and Stagg Street. Mayor Fiorello H. LaGuardia was in attendance, followed by “a few hundred interested onlookers and an army of schoolboys.”

 

As the foundations neared completion, the PWA solicited bids for construction. Starrett Brothers & Eken was awarded the $7. 5 million contract for the first 18 buildings in October 1936. A subsequent contract, for construction of buildings No. 5 and 18, was signed in late April 1937.

 

Founded by Paul Starrett and William Aiken Starrett and Andrew J. Eken in 1922, the firm was responsible for such high-profile buildings as the New York Life Insurance Company Building , Bank of Manhattan Building , McGraw-Hill Building , and Empire State Building . The Starrett Brothers worked closely with Shreve on the Empire State Building and it is likely that this relationship helped secure the contract for the Williamsburg Houses. William Starrett acknowledged the importance and complexity of this issue when he said:

 

It is the hope of people who are discussing this problem that those same brains that put together the great skyscrapers . . . will turn toward this.

 

Starrett Brothers & Eken later built Parkchester , Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village for the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company.

 

The cornerstone was laid in October 1936. It contained an aerial view of the site, a copy of the federal act creating the PWA, as well as an autographed copy of Jacob Riis’s timeless account of slum conditions, How the Other Half Lives, donated by his widow. Construction progressed rapidly, and aside from minor walk-outs by metalworkers and painters, the first six buildings were ready for occupancy with a year, in September

 

Publicity

 

The Williamsburg Houses was the largest and costliest project built by the PWA. With 1,622 apartments, it was more than twice the size of the Harlem River Houses. The approximate cost was $12.8 million. It was described by the PWA as part of “demonstration program” and numerous public events were held. In a letter to Post, Shreve stated:

 

As this project is the beginning of what, in a way, is a housing community experiment and as the public attitude toward housing will be largely controlled by the success or failure of such an experiment, it is of importance that every effort be made to make the first experiment successful.

 

In this context, how the project was perceived was of the utmost importance. Once the design had been approved, a scale model was built by the PWA and exhibited at banks in Brooklyn Heights and Williamsburg during late 1935 and 1936. This presentation was accompanied by a series of posters documenting the site, including photographs of earlier buildings and their demolition, as well as projected floor plans. The New York Times reported the model:

 

. . . throws into graphic relief the application of the new principle of multiple housing, providing more air, sunlight and recreational facilities and involving a departure from the solid-block construction.

 

The idea of using public funds to create low-income housing was relatively new and much of the language used in speeches and press releases heralded it as a major advance. At the site, signs were posted, calling Williamsburg the “Largest Low Rental Development in the USA.” At the ground-breaking, public officials evoked the memory of Alfred T. White, whose Brooklyn developments were among the first attempts to improve low-income housing in the nation.

 

Mayor LaGuardia thanked the President, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, for his support, as did Harold L. Ickes, Secretary of the Interior, who described slums as a “vicious project of that old order whose passing, we hope, is at hand.” While some critics equated the federal housing program with socialism, most speakers saw it as a defense of democracy.

 

In November 1935, Post had contacted the PWA, requesting that the complex be called the “Ten Eyck” Houses. No explanation was given, but it is likely that the request was made to distinguish the new development from the larger surrounding neighborhood.

 

Ten Eyck Street was one of two east-west streets closed to create the site and it was probably named for the Dutch family whose Brooklyn lineage extended back to at least the 18th century. In the immediate area also lived William Ten Eyck, who during the mid-19th century served as the deacon of the Reformed Church of South Bushwick . Post’s request was quickly approved. The new name, however, was not widely used and a 1938 PWA publication refers to the development as the Williamsburg Houses.

 

On October 28, 1936, the construction site was briefly visited by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Eleanor Roosevelt. According to the New York Times, ten thousand school children and five thousand adults “cheered the President’s passage through the streets bordering the housing project.”

 

Three “model” apartments were opened for public view in July through August 1937. Furnished with loans from various Brooklyn department stores, they were presented at 180 Maujer Street. Post was an early visitor and he described the apartments as a “demonstration of what can be done, this is the most valuable contribution to social progress that the New Deal has made.” An average of 1,200 persons a day visited. In September 1937, a second group of apartments opened at 176 Maujer Street, including one decorated entirely with “reconditioned furniture.” In a related development, during April and May 1938, the WPA created an exhibit in a storefront office at 212 Graham Avenue. Organized by William Friedman of the art teaching division, the display was changed periodically to demonstrate different apartment layouts and decoration. Nine experts spent five months preparing the exhibit, hoping that it would influence local residents and provide a model for future public housing developments. A music branch, at 176 Maujer Street, also provided lessons in theory, voice, and various instruments.

 

Tenants

 

According to the Brooklyn Eagle, the Williamsburg Houses were “one of the most perfect home sites in the word . . . an eagerly sought spot to live.” Income and need formed the basis of selection and no tenant could earn more than five times the annual rent. Preference was also given to former residents of the site.

 

The first tenants began to occupy their apartments on September 30, 1937. The New York Times devoted at least two articles to “Moving Day,” as did the Brooklyn Eagle. As part of the operation, each tenant’s belongings were moved to a fumigation plant for sterilization near the intersection of Bushwick Avenue at Scholes Street.

 

This procedure was described as a “wise precaution against the spread of disease.” Bessie and Louis Grabkowitz were recognized by the NYCHA as the first official tenants. A week’s rent, of less than seven dollars, was paid and they were given keys to their new apartment. Two to five rooms in size, units featured steam heat, hot and cold water, as well as electric stoves and refrigerators. Residents praised their new homes, commenting on the appliances and abundant sunlight.

 

By the end of 1937, most apartments were occupied. A community newspaper, the Projector, began publishing on a semi-monthly basis in December 1937. In April 1938, the complex was completed. In addition to the twenty residential buildings, there were retail spaces, facing the north-south streets. The PWA reported:

 

To insure efficient, sanitary commercial services, 49 stores and shops within the project, distributing drugs, groceries, appliances, and general merchandise, have been leased to private individuals.

 

The storefronts were executed in a sleek Moderne style. To the north and south, they curved away from the street, recalling the streamlined designs of Erich Mendelsohn, as well as J. J. P. Oud’s Kiefhoek development of 1925. The prominent metal parapets were blue, matching the color of the apartment entrances. Despite their polished design, a significant number failed to attract and retain tenants. Consequently, in 1945 ten unleased spaces, near the corners of Maujer and Leonard Streets, and Scholes Street and Bushwick Avenue, were converted to apartments.

 

Tenants enjoyed a variety of useful services. At the center of the complex, on Graham Avenue stood the stripped classical-style William J. Gaynor Junior High School , and opposite it, Building No. 11 housed a nursery school. Incorporated into the building’s south court and featuring a large play terrace, Hamlin described its glass-fronted design as “pleasant” and “delightful.” In addition, a new Moderne-style health center was built directly across from the complex, on Maujer Street.

 

Throughout the development were “social and craft rooms.” These basement spaces were originally used for classes, clubs, and meetings and many were decorated with large colorful murals. In contrast to the majority of WPA murals that were executed in style of social realism, the Williamsburg murals were non-objective. Lescaze favored “abstract and stimulating patterns” and Burgoyne Diller who headed the Federal Art Project, wrote that:

 

The decision to place abstract murals in these rooms [of the Williamsburg Housing Project] was made because the areas were intended to provide a place of relaxation and entertainment . . . The more arbitrary the color, possible when not determined by the description of objects, enables the artist to place an emphasis on its psychological potential to stimulate relaxation.

 

Of twelve murals commissioned, at least five were installed. In the early 1990s, the deteriorated canvases were restored and moved to the Brooklyn Museum of Art. They include works by the American painters Ilya Bolotowsky, Paul Kelpe, and Balcomb Greene.

  

Critical Reception

 

The opening of the Williamsburg Houses was treated as major news and writers used the event to analyze the project and express their own views about the role of public housing and the importance of modern architecture. Some of the earliest comments came from the architect Walter Gropius, former director of the Bauhaus in Germany. On a visit to New York City in April 1937 he was interviewed by H.I. Brock in the New York Times. They traveled together throughout the city, visiting both new skyscrapers and the nearly-complete Brooklyn development. Gropius was impressed and praised the unusual plan, saying that Lescaze:

 

. . . seems to have solved the problem of space and light very successfully and economically, and it has the great advantage of being spread over enough land to make it worthwhile as a sample of planned development.

 

Lewis Mumford was the first critic to publish a substantial review in February 1938. As a persistent advocate for public housing, he used the opportunity to evaluate the “outlines of the new order of building.” He praised the PWA for eschewing “overpriced building lots” and instead assembling large sites in quieter areas where streets could be closed to traffic to create gardens and playgrounds. Considerable attention was paid to the slanted orientation. Although he described it as “a bit queer,” he liked the way it separated the residences from the street and that it gave the appearance that the architects were concerned about providing tenants with ample sunlight.

 

Talbot Hamlin published the most-detailed analysis. In this review, he addressed both PWA projects, calling them “a new vision of democracy ... they are better than the most expensive apartments on Park Avenue.” Despite such praise, he expressed mixed feelings. While he found the buildings “fresh and inventive and alive,” he was disturbed by the “shockingly low” standards of construction. He also admired the “imaginative and carefully studied detailing,” but criticized the landscaping as little more than adequate. The WPA Guide to New York City, published in 1939, shared similar views, quoting Hamlin’s review, and praising the design of the individual buildings.

 

In the years since completion, the Williamsburg Houses have been a frequent subject for architectural historians. Many, starting with the Museum of Modern Art in 1939, have placed the development within the context of European modernism. In an exhibition celebrating the museum’s 10th anniversary and the opening of its new building, it was the only architectural work represented that was located in New York City. In a brief essay on housing, the curators highlighted the “triple-size superblocks,” that form an “oasis of open space,” but criticized the adjoining school building as a lost opportunity to create a “truly important work.” Photographs of the complex were also included in Forms and Functions of Twentieth-Century Architecture , in sections devoted to city planning and concrete construction.

 

G. Holmes Perkins wrote in the city planning section that despite faults, the complex “may be held up as patterns for tomorrow.” Richard Pommer, in one of the most insightful discussions of Depression-era housing in the United States, criticized the angled plan, calling Lescaze a “versatile pasticheur” who used visual effects without logic or relation to function. Robert A. M. Stern shared this view, writing in 1980 that it “seems overrated.” Richard Plunz, in A History of Housing in New York City, credited the project as the start of a “brief but intense struggle” to determine the aesthetic direction government-built housing would take. All four editions of the AIA Guide to New York City have praised the Williamsburg Houses. The 1968 edition called it a “very successful solution to the problem of low-rent subsidized housing,” and in 2000 “the best public housing project ever built in New York.”

 

Subsequent History

 

Conveyed by the federal government to the NYCHA in 1957, the Williamsburg Houses continue to serve their original purpose, housing more than three thousand New Yorkers. Major alterations were first proposed in 1980 and significant work took place during 1985-91. At this time, the original casement windows were replaced with bronze-colored aluminum sash and the blue terra cotta that surrounded the entrances, with tan “Morocco” glazed brick.

 

In a remarkable turnaround, during the mid1990s, the facades were restored. What began as continued maintenance, soon evolved into a major architectural project, requiring an outside contractor and consultation with the Landmarks Preservation Commission. Under the supervision of Neil Cohen of the NYCHA, the elevations were completely reskinned, the parapets replaced, as well as the chimneys, railings, and terra-cotta banding. In addition, new canopies, doors, lighting fixtures, and signage were fabricated.

 

The approximately $70 million project was executed with great sensitivity; there was an article in the real estate section of the New York Times and the NYCHA was the recipient of the Lucy G. Moses Preservation Award from the New York Landmarks Conservancy , which praised the participants for restoring the complex to “better-than-new condition.” Restoration of the storefronts, except along Bushwick Avenue, was completed in 2002.

 

The high standards set by the design of the Williamsburg Houses have rarely been matched. Innovative in terms of scale, plan, and aesthetics, it remains one of the most pleasant and architecturally-distinguished housing developments in New York City.

 

Description

 

There are twenty walk-up buildings in the 23.3acre Williamsburg complex and a total of 1,620 apartments. These buildings are numbered from 1 to 20 and each entrance has its own street address, for instance, “112 Maujer Street.” Stainless steel signs, with pin-mounted numbers and letters, identify each entrance.

 

The site extends four blocks east to west, from Bushwick Avenue to Leonard Street, and three blocks north to south, from Maujer to Scholes Streets. The principal north-south artery is Graham Avenue. Between Maujer and Scholes Streets, Ten Eyck Street and Stagg Street are closed to vehicles. These winding east-west paths are called Ten Eyck Walk and Stagg Walk. They are identified by large pin-mounted stainless steel letters attached to the building facades and are visible along the north-south streets. Throughout the complex are wall-mounted cantilevered lighting fixtures. These glass and aluminum fixtures are reproductions of the originals.

 

Three of the four blocks have a tree-shaded open space at center. At present, non-historic benches, play equipment, and basketball courts are located here. Most lawns are enclosed by low iron fences. Though not original, these fences pre-date the 1990s. Pole-mounted lighting fixtures are occasionally used to illuminate these areas.

 

All buildings materials are non-historic. Each structure is four stories tall and clad in ochre-colored brick. Exterior concrete spandrel beams are exposed at each floor. To disguise patches to the concrete, the beams are coated with a grey-colored water repellency finish. The entrances are flanked by blue structural glazed facing tiles that are approximately 12 by 12 inches. Blue mortar was used to minimize the joint lines. A canopy projects in front of each entrance . Made of stainless steel, they incorporate recessed down lights. Some canopies are supported by a single pipe column. The entrance doors and sidelights are made of stainless steel.

 

Each door has a grid of four small square windows. Breezeways serve a dual purpose: reached by two sets of stairs, they provide an additional north-south passage, as well as entry to apartments. Most of the stairs are flanked by stainless steel railings. The bronze anodized aluminum windows, installed in the 1980s, are all one-over-one. Arranged as single windows or in pairs, they have concrete sills and meet the concrete spandrels above. The smaller windows light the bathrooms. Single windows and pairs are located where the facades meet, often creating triple-width openings at the cantilevered corners.

 

There are three general building configurations. All are original to the complex. They include eight buildings with “H” shaped floor plans, six with floor plans that suggest a small letter “h,” and six buildings with “T” shaped floor plans. While the “H” and “h” types alternate along Maujer and Scholes Streets , the “T” shaped buildings are located only between Ten Eyck Walk and Stagg Walk.

 

The “H” buildings are nearly symmetrical, with almost identical north and south courtyards. At the center of each court is either a projecting center section or breezeway. The apartments are reached by four distinct entrances, each with a different tile treatment. They include: corner, wide, recessed between the door and the roof, and incorporated within a breezeway. Each entrance leads to interior stairs. The windows that light the stairs are arranged in horizontal grids of six and eight panes. Except for the recessed variant, the tiles project slightly and rise above the parapet to the stair bulkhead. The opposite side of the breezeway has no tilework. Reached by stairs, each breezeway incorporates two concrete columns and a metal door. The “h” buildings are similar to the “H” buildings, except one court is partially enclosed.

 

The “T” buildings have shallow courts. The top of the ‘T” has three entrances, each framed with blue tiles. A pair of entrances are also found facing each other in one of the side courts, and occasionally on the opposite side, as well. Building No. 11, located on the east side of Graham Avenue, is unique due to the presence of a nursery school at the wider south end. To accommodate this function, the entrances were moved and the court at the south end was enclosed. The south wall of school is clad with glass blocks, many of which are original. A concrete shed, at the center of the wall, is not historic and there are plans for removal. From the south facade extends a raised play area that is enclosed by a fence. Along the east side of the building, facing Graham Avenue, a non-historic ramp with metal railings has been constructed.

 

Commercial storefronts parallel the streets and adjoin the apartment buildings in various locations. The materials are non-historic, but the new elevations closely resemble the originals. The largest storefronts are located on either side of Graham Avenue, between Maujer Street and Ten Eyck Walk . Smaller retail spaces are located along Graham Avenue ; on Leonard Street ; and on Bushwick Avenue . They have a stream-lined character and curve away from the street at both ends. One story tall, they have granite bases and are clad with stainless steel and metal that has a baked-on blue porcelain finish. Above the storefronts runs the blue metal parapet, crowned by a stainless steel roof rail. Lighting was added above the storefronts, and security gates, when the stores are open, roll up and are neatly hidden within the facades. Large glass blocks or plate glass are used throughout. Along Bushwick Avenue, the modifications are less sympathetic and a vertical grid of older decorative concrete block occasionally interrupts the facade.

 

- From the 2003 NYCLPC Landmark Designation Report

Williamsburg, Brooklyn

 

A collaborative project of the Federal Public Works Administration and the newly established New York City Housing Authority, the Williamsburg Houses are notable as one of the earliest housing developments in the United States to reflect the ideas of the modern movement in architecture. In the 1920s Williamsburg was one of the most densely populated sections of Brooklyn and nearly six hundred, mostly frame, structures were demolished to create the 23.3 acre site. Proposed in 1934, this residential complex was skillfully designed by the Williamsburg Associated Architects during 1935 and most units were occupied by 1938.

 

The partnership included Richmond H. Shreve, of Shreve, Lamb & Harmon, the architects of the Empire State Building, and William Lescaze, the Swiss-born architect who helped introduce the “International” style on the eastern seaboard. Lescaze was responsible for the design, which includes twenty 4-story structures on four “super” blocks turned at 15 degree angles to the street grid. Oriented to the sun and prevailing winds, this unusual layout produced a series of large and small courts, many of which flow into a large public space at the center of each block. A light-colored palette distinguishes the facades, executed in tan brick and exposed concrete.

 

Among the most prominent features are the entrances, marked by blue tile and projecting stainless steel canopies, and the handsome streamlined storefronts. The complex was widely discussed by contemporary critics and more than 25,000 New Yorkers applied for 1,622 apartments. During the mid-1990s, the buildings underwent an extensive restoration which included the replacement of all exterior materials. Sponsored by the Housing Authority, in consultation with the Landmarks Preservation Commission, these alterations were remarkably sensitive and in the 4th edition of the AIA Guide to New York City the “revivified” complex was called “the best public housing project ever built in New York.”

 

DESCRIPTION AND ANALYSIS

 

Housing the Masses

 

From the rowhouse to the apartment building, New York City has been a laboratory for innovative housing. Beginning after the Civil War, apartments, variously known as French Flats and tenements, were built to house the city’s surging population. Immigrants, for the most part, crowded into unregulated tenements, structures that maximized profits for developers while providing few amenities that we take for granted today, such as light, air, and private bathrooms.

 

Despite government efforts to legislate minimum standards in 1867 and 1879, initially private individuals took the most significant steps to make decent housing affordable to all. Several pioneering examples were located close to the Brooklyn waterfront, including the Home and Tower Buildings (William Field and Son, 1876-78), the Astral Apartments (Lamb & Rich, 1885-87) and Riverside (William Field and Son, 1890). The later complex surrounded a large tree-shaded courtyard incorporating a music pavilion and areas for drying laundry. Despite these, and a few innovative Manhattan developments, the majority of New Yorkers continued to live in substandard conditions.

 

The passage of the New Tenement Law in 1901 improved the situation, requiring that multiple dwellings be built on significantly larger lots, with fire escapes and separate “privies” for each family. After World War I, the garden apartment came into vogue. While most were built for the middle class, especially in Jackson Heights, a significant group were sponsored by unions and cooperative organizations that wished to provide members with inexpensive apartments. Significant examples include the Amalgamated Houses (Springsteen & Goldhammer, 1930) on Manhattan’s Lower East Side and the “Coops” built in the Bronx by the United Workers Cooperative Association (Springsteen & Goldhammer, 1925-27; Herman Jessor, 1927-29).

 

The first significant act of government intervention occurred in 1926 with the passage of the New York State Housing Law. Promoted by Governor Alfred E. Smith to encourage construction through the formation of local authorities that would sell bonds or seek federal funds, it had little impact until 1934 when the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) was established. The authority’s first project, aptly called the First Houses (Frederick L. Ackerman, 1934-36), was located in Manhattan’s East Village. Begun as a rehabilitation program involving the demolition of every third structure, due to structural problems the eight brick buildings were entirely rebuilt.

 

Throughout the early Depression, government-subsidized housing remained a controversial issue. Consequently, it was first promoted as worker relief, organized to create jobs but not compete with the commercial market. The first federal agency to involve itself with housing was the Reconstruction Finance Corporation (RFC) which was created in 1932 to provide low-interest loans to limited-dividend housing corporations. Of the two loans it made, one was toward the construction of Knickerbocker Village (John S. Van Wart & Frederick L. Ackerman, 1933). Built for the Fred F. French Company, this Chinatown-area development consists of two 12-story buildings, both enclosing an interior courtyard.

 

In mid-1933, as part of Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal, the Housing Division of the Public Works Administration (PWA) was established. What made this agency different from its predecessor, the RFC, was that it would be directly involved in the planning and construction of low-income housing. The program was a great success and over the next three and half years it collaborated on the design and construction of 51 projects in 36 cities, including the Harlem River Houses and the Williamsburg Houses.

 

The passage of the Wagner-Steagall Bill (aka U.S. Housing Bill) by the United States Congress in September 1937, strengthened the federal government’s commitment to housing, but shifted greater control to local authorities. The first New York City housing project to be financed under this program was the Red Hook Houses (Electus Litchfied, chief designer, 1938-39) in Brooklyn. Future construction, which would amount to more than half a million low-rental units nationwide by 1957, would be funded primarily through low-interest loans.

 

Site

 

The Williamsburg Houses are located in northwestern Brooklyn, approximately one mile east of the Williamsburg Bridge and two blocks south of Grand Street, a lively commercial thoroughfare. Founded as part of the town of Bushwick in the mid17th century, Williamsburg was incorporated as a village in 1827. The community prospered and by 1852 it was the 20th largest city in the nation. Three years later, Williamsburg became part of Brooklyn and was commonly referred to as the Eastern District. Although ferry service was important to the area’s development, it was the planning and construction of a second East River crossing, the Williamsburg Bridge, that caused the most dramatic growth.

 

Proposed in 1883, the bridge was completed with much fanfare in 1903, serving pedestrians, bicycles and horse-drawn vehicles. In subsequent decades, Williamsburg rivaled the Lower East Side in population and density. The Brooklyn Eagle claimed in 1920 that the bridge was part of the busiest traffic center in the nation and that a single block north of it was the most crowded in the world. Conditions in the neighborhood continued to deteriorate throughout the decade, so much so that the population began to decline.

 

In October 1933, the Federal Works Administration (PWA) established a slum clearance committee to study conditions throughout New York City. Richmond H. Shreve, who would later serve as chief architect of the Williamsburg Houses, was named director. Based on the committee’s recommendations, $25 million was set aside for a housing program in New York City. Under the direction of the NYCHA, a more comprehensive study was undertaken in 1934, focusing on fourteen neighborhoods, including Williamsburg. The PWA reported:

 

When the study was completed the blighted slum area of the Williamsburg section stood out as the best example where the most good could be done in wholesale clearance work.

 

Of 93 blocks studied, a grid of 12 was identified for redevelopment in Williamsburg. These blocks were chosen because property values were relatively low and the owners were willing to sell. Most of buildings were mixed-use, incorporating retail spaces at ground level and apartments above. Each lot was carefully documented: 90% of the structures were at least forty years old, 70% were built of wood, 78% had no central heating, and 67% had no private toilets. Such statistics were used to paint an extremely bleak picture of life there:

 

But the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn, according to official surveys, is unique in that its slums bear the stamp of dull listlessness and despair . . . Laissez faire, exploitation, and land speculation have robbed the community of its natural potentialities for development and orderly urban life.

 

Public amenities were also in short supply; there were few schools and there were almost no parks.

 

Architects

 

Five architects were appointed to the NYCHA’s architectural board in May 1934: Richmond H. Shreve (1877-1946) of Shreve, Lamb & Harmon, Matthew W. Del Gaudio (1889-1960), William Lescaze (1899-1969), Arthur C. Holden (18901993), and James F. Bly. As members of the board, their initial role was advisory. They would act as the authority’s chief architect, overseeing the design and construction of municipal housing citywide.

 

In June 1934 an open competition was held to choose the architects who would work on the Williamsburg Houses and other NYCHA projects. The program guidelines did not specify the location, but the grid chosen closely resembled the long blocks where the Williamsburg Houses would be built. Of 278 architects who participated, 5 of the 22 selected were assigned to the Brooklyn project: Samuel Gardstein, of Holmgren, Volz & Gardstein, G. Harmon Gurney (b. 1896), of Gurney & Clavan, John W. Ingle Jr., Paul Trapani (1887-1974), and Harry Leslie Walker (1877-1954).

 

In June 1935, a contract was signed with the Williamsburg Associated Architects. The partnership consisted of ten men: the five architects selected by jury, as well as the five members of the architectural board. Among them, Shreve had the most experience with large projects, having worked on a succession of major Manhattan skyscrapers, most notably, the Empire State Building (Shreve, Lamb & Harmon, 1931).

 

A graduate of the College of Architecture at Cornell University (1902), he began his career as a member of the school’s faculty and later joined the firm of Carrére & Hastings in New York City where he distinguished himself as having a “genius for the solution of operational and administrative problems.” Whereas prior to the Depression he mainly worked on office buildings, in his later years Shreve was associated with residential developments, most notably the Vladeck Houses (1940) on the Lower East Side, and Parkchester (1938-42), a development with more than twelve thousand apartments in the Bronx. During the late 1930s, he also served as a member of the board of design for the New York World’s Fair.

 

Design

 

Of the three initial projects built by the NYCHA and the PWA, the Williamsburg Houses were the most innovative. Shreve appointed Lescaze as the chief designer, responsible for the plan and elevations. In the 1930s, he was at the height of his career, profiled in publications read by professionals and the layman. Born near Geneva, Switzerland, in 1896, he studied in Zurich with the architect Karl Moser in 1915-19 and for a brief period worked in Paris with Henri Sauvage, an important designer of apartment buildings. Lescaze moved to the United States in 1920 and after working in Cleveland and New York City, formed a partnership with George Howe, a Philadelphia architect, in 1929.

 

Their association lasted four years and produced one architectural masterpiece, the Philadelphia Savings Fund Society building, completed in 1932. During the mid-1930s, he was extremely active, working on unrealized plans for the Museum of Modern Art, the Brooklyn Museum, and the Brooklyn Children’s Museum, as well as building three of the earliest modern-style townhouses in Manhattan, his own house and studio, completed in 1934, as well as the Raymond C. and Mildred Kramer (1934-5) and Edward and Dorothy Norman (1940) houses. He also designed, with Albert Frey, the Chrystie-Forsyth Houses. Planned in 1931, this unrealized proposal was included in the Museum of Modern Art’s so-called “International Style” exhibition of 1932.

 

One of the most unique aspects of the Williamsburg Houses is the plan. To create the 23.3 acre complex, twelve blocks were acquired by the city, and the two east-west streets (Stagg and Ten Eyck) were closed to traffic to create four “super” blocks. All but one extend three full blocks from north to south, except part of the block between Manhattan and Graham Avenues that was set aside for a new junior high school and play area.

 

The development of New York City was closely tied to its gridiron. Introduced in 1811, it resulted in a city of predictable intersecting streets and avenues. In 1835, a similar plan was approved for Brooklyn and by the early 1850s the streets that cross through the site of the Williamsburg Houses had opened.

 

Most were named for area residents, such as Daniel Maujer, a lawyer and alderman, John and James Lorimer Graham, land jobbers, and James Scholes, a local land owner. The impact of this approach is visible throughout New York City, establishing blocks and lots of equal size and dimensions. Residential developers benefitted immensely, commissioning rowhouse and tenement designs that could be repeated without regard to location.

 

By the end of the 19th century, there was relatively little open space in Manhattan and Brooklyn. As part of the City Beautiful movement, various attempts were made to loosen the grid’s hold, first through the passage of the Small Parks Act in 1887, which focused on tenement neighborhoods, and later, by situating major civic structures in plazas. Similar ideas shaped the development of garden apartments which came into vogue after 1910. One of the primary characteristics of this type of multiple dwelling was reduced site coverage.

 

In most cases, such as in the Jackson Heights Historic District, the buildings were set around the perimeter of each block, enclosing large private gardens, but in other situations, such as at the Harlem River Houses, a “crankshaft” arrangement was adopted, creating a mixture of interior and exterior courts.

 

Lescaze borrowed freely from both the garden apartment tradition and architects associated with European modernism. In his earliest design, each block incorporated six U-shaped structures arranged around a narrow central court. A later design was considerably more irregular. Turned at an angle to the street, there were fewer but larger buildings.

 

Many aspects of this proposal were integrated into the final design. The Williamsburg Houses are configured in three ways, with footprints suggesting a capital “H,” small “h,” and “T.” All have small spurs and extensions, resembling crossbars. By adding this feature the number of courtyards was significantly increased. Within each block are six buildings (except north of the school); at the north and south are the “H” and “h” configurations, and in the middle, the “T”s.

 

The decision to turn the buildings at a 15 degree angle to the street grid proved controversial. PWA accounts described it in functional terms, explaining that the orientation would provide tenants with more sun and take advantage of the prevailing northwest breezes. During the previous decade, many architects and planners experimented with similar ideas. One of the earliest built examples “to deviate from the geometry of the New York gridiron” was the Mesa Verde apartments (1926) in Jackson Heights. Designed by Henry Atterbury Smith and based on an earlier proposal from 1917, the development featured two rows of six “closed L buildings” set at 45 degree angle to the surrounding streets.

 

Lescaze, however, was more likely to have been influenced by European sources. During the 1920s, he frequently returned to Europe, a period when leading architects were involved in the design of social housing. Many favored the “tower in the park” approach in which free-standing high-rise structures stood in continuous open space. Writing in English in 1935, Walter Gropius concluded that apartment blocks should “command a clear view of the sky, over broad expanses of grass and trees which separate the blocks and serve as playgrounds.”

 

Another source of inspiration might have been Ernst May who oversaw the design and construction of many low-rise housing estates in Frankfurt. In his Bruchfeldstrasse development of 1926-27, designed with C. K. Rudloff, one section was arranged in an overlapping zig-zag configuration. As in Williamsburg, each unit had corner windows, providing tenants with uninterrupted views of a central garden.

 

Many writers were skeptical about the benefits of Lescaze’s plan. Hamlin argued that the layout would convert the courts “into perfect channels for Project for a group of factories. our most vicious northwest winds.” He was told that

 

the arrangement had, in fact, been chosen for aesthetic reasons, to “break up the street facades” and “allow the feeling of space to weave in and out on the street fronts. This goal was definitely achieved, producing an environment that was new and distinctive. The flowing spaces that Lescaze planned are less monumental and more intimate than those experienced in most housing projects, juxtaposing wedge-shaped lawns with semi-enclosed courtyards and large open plazas. As originally built, no fences interrupted the spaces and the areas adjoining the curving concrete walks were paved with cobblestone.

 

The Elevations

 

Equally modern were the elevations. Lescaze was attracted to the expressive and aesthetic qualities of modern materials. Particularly unusual was the decision to use a light-colored palette. Built from reinforced concrete, the walls were originally enclosed with a sand-cast brick that was variously described by observers as bright tan, yellowish, pinkish, and grayish warm pink. One of the most notable features was the exposed concrete floor plates which express the structure and division between the floors while giving the complex a strong horizontal appearance. Talbot Hamlin observed:

 

The effectiveness of the buildings is undoubted. The striping of brick and concrete and the contrast of the light walls which front the stair towers make a vivid picture . . .

 

Prior to the mid-1930s, red brick was the most frequently used material in housing developments, used throughout Jackson Heights and in the First Houses and Harlem River Houses. The proposal to break with this tradition generated considerable debate. While the general scheme was approved in June 1935, it was not until October that specific materials were selected. Presumably, the PWA wished to standardize the building process and reduce costs. Frederick Ackerman, technical director of the NYCHA, defended Lescaze’s proposal. He wrote the authority’s chairman, Langdon W. Post:

 

. . . the “effect” of the Project will depend very largely upon the texture and quality of the exterior wall. Unless the exterior wall possesses a greater intrinsic interest than one made of common brick then the resultant effect is certain to be a bleak, barren and unusually forbidding mass of building:

 

One might readily mistake the At Williamsburg, the buildings stand as freestanding objects, finished on all sides and approachable from multiple directions. No facade dominates and the apartment entrances face both the streets and courtyards. For those unfamiliar with the layout, the angled plan may have been somewhat disorienting. To make it easier to navigate, signs were installed throughout the complex and Lescaze skillfully designed the entrances, making dramatic use of color and form. Like Le Corbusier, he was an “accomplished” painter and frequently used color, especially blue, to enliven wall surfaces. Another possible model was May’s housing development at Praunheim (1926-29) where contrasting colors were used to give the projecting stair towers a distinctive appearance.

 

Within the courtyards are as many as five entrances. Each is sheltered by a small cantilevered aluminum marquee and is flanked by square blue terra-cotta tiles. The entrances that are located at the far end of the larger courtyards are set at a angle. In these instances, the tiles spread onto the adjoining walls and extend above the parapet to the stair bulkhead. Other tile treatments project slightly forward, or are recessed above the doors to the roof. An entrance is also located in the covered breezeway. Reached by a short flight of stairs connecting both the street and courtyard, the more public street facade had an asymmetrical character, incorporating projecting blue tiles to one side and a wide aluminum marquee.

 

Construction

 

To prepare the site for construction, 568 buildings were demolished on 349 lots and approximately 5,400 people were relocated. A 1935 report described the population as divided equally between American born, Italian born, and other nationalities. Most were semi-skilled workers, employed in manufacturing, or as clerks, truck drivers, and construction workers.

 

Demolition commenced in June 1935 as PWA supervisor Elizabeth Ross dug a crowbar into the facade of 197 Manhattan Avenue, near Ten Eyck Street. In the months that followed:

 

Steam shovels and picks played a tune to rival that of the pipes of the Pied Piper of Hamlin. From every dank basement and crumbling wall rats fled in droves. Backyards disgorged an assortment of rusted cans, trash, filth and litter that would have discouraged the most voracious goat.

 

Ground was broken on January 3, 1936. Following a brief ceremony in the rain, public officials addressed an audience of five hundred at Public School 196. During April 1936, the first foundations were poured at the southwest corner of Manhattan Avenue and Stagg Street. Mayor Fiorello H. LaGuardia was in attendance, followed by “a few hundred interested onlookers and an army of schoolboys.”

 

As the foundations neared completion, the PWA solicited bids for construction. Starrett Brothers & Eken was awarded the $7. 5 million contract for the first 18 buildings in October 1936. A subsequent contract, for construction of buildings No. 5 and 18, was signed in late April 1937.

 

Founded by Paul Starrett (1866-1957) and William Aiken Starrett (1877-1932) and Andrew J. Eken (1882-1965) in 1922, the firm was responsible for such high-profile buildings as the New York Life Insurance Company Building (1925), Bank of Manhattan Building (1929-30), McGraw-Hill Building (1930-31), and Empire State Building (1930-31, all are designated New York City Landmarks). The Starrett Brothers worked closely with Shreve on the Empire State Building and it is likely that this relationship helped secure the contract for the Williamsburg Houses. William Starrett acknowledged the importance and complexity of this issue when he said:

 

It is the hope of people who are discussing this (slum) problem that those same brains that put together the great skyscrapers . . . will turn toward this.

 

Starrett Brothers & Eken later built Parkchester (Richmond H. Shreve, chairman of the board of design, 1938-42), Stuyvesant Town (Irwin Clavan and Gilmore Clarke, 1943-49) and Peter Cooper Village (Irwin Clavan and Gilmore D. Clarke, 1947) for the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company.

 

The cornerstone was laid in October 1936. It contained an aerial view of the site, a copy of the federal act creating the PWA, as well as an autographed copy of Jacob Riis’s timeless account of slum conditions, How the Other Half Lives, donated by his widow. Construction progressed rapidly, and aside from minor walk-outs by metalworkers and painters, the first six buildings were ready for occupancy with a year, in September

 

Publicity

 

The Williamsburg Houses was the largest and costliest project built by the PWA. With 1,622 apartments, it was more than twice the size of the Harlem River Houses. The approximate cost was $12.8 million. It was described by the PWA as part of “demonstration program” and numerous public events were held. In a letter to Post, Shreve stated:

 

As this project is the beginning of what, in a way, is a housing community experiment and as the public attitude toward housing will be largely controlled by the success or failure of such an experiment, it is of importance that every effort be made to make the first experiment successful.

 

In this context, how the project was perceived was of the utmost importance. Once the design had been approved, a scale model was built by the PWA and exhibited at banks in Brooklyn Heights and Williamsburg during late 1935 and 1936. This presentation was accompanied by a series of posters documenting the site, including photographs of earlier buildings and their demolition, as well as projected floor plans. The New York Times reported the model:

 

. . . throws into graphic relief the application of the new principle of multiple housing, providing more air, sunlight and recreational facilities and involving a departure from the solid-block construction.

 

The idea of using public funds to create low-income housing was relatively new and much of the language used in speeches and press releases heralded it as a major advance. At the site, signs were posted, calling Williamsburg the “Largest Low Rental Development in the USA.” At the ground-breaking, public officials evoked the memory of Alfred T. White, whose Brooklyn developments were among the first attempts to improve low-income housing in the nation.

 

Mayor LaGuardia thanked the President, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, for his support, as did Harold L. Ickes, Secretary of the Interior, who described slums as a “vicious project of that old order whose passing, we hope, is at hand.” While some critics equated the federal housing program with socialism, most speakers saw it as a defense of democracy.

 

In November 1935, Post had contacted the PWA, requesting that the complex be called the “Ten Eyck” Houses. No explanation was given, but it is likely that the request was made to distinguish the new development from the larger surrounding neighborhood.

 

Ten Eyck Street was one of two east-west streets closed to create the site and it was probably named for the Dutch family whose Brooklyn lineage extended back to at least the 18th century. In the immediate area also lived William Ten Eyck, who during the mid-19th century served as the deacon of the Reformed Church of South Bushwick (1853, a designated New York City Landmark). Post’s request was quickly approved. The new name, however, was not widely used and a 1938 PWA publication refers to the development as the Williamsburg Houses.

 

On October 28, 1936, the construction site was briefly visited by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Eleanor Roosevelt. According to the New York Times, ten thousand school children and five thousand adults “cheered the President’s passage through the streets bordering the housing project.”

 

Three “model” apartments were opened for public view in July through August 1937. Furnished with loans from various Brooklyn department stores, they were presented at 180 Maujer Street. Post was an early visitor and he described the apartments as a “demonstration of what can be done, this is the most valuable contribution to social progress that the New Deal has made.” An average of 1,200 persons a day visited. In September 1937, a second group of apartments opened at 176 Maujer Street, including one decorated entirely with “reconditioned furniture.” In a related development, during April and May 1938, the WPA created an exhibit in a storefront office at 212 Graham Avenue. Organized by William Friedman of the art teaching division, the display was changed periodically to demonstrate different apartment layouts and decoration. Nine experts spent five months preparing the exhibit, hoping that it would influence local residents and provide a model for future public housing developments. A music branch, at 176 Maujer Street, also provided lessons in theory, voice, and various instruments.

 

Tenants

 

According to the Brooklyn Eagle, the Williamsburg Houses were “one of the most perfect home sites in the word . . . an eagerly sought spot to live.” Income and need formed the basis of selection and no tenant could earn more than five times the annual rent. Preference was also given to former residents of the site.

 

The first tenants began to occupy their apartments on September 30, 1937. The New York Times devoted at least two articles to “Moving Day,” as did the Brooklyn Eagle. As part of the operation, each tenant’s belongings were moved to a fumigation plant for sterilization near the intersection of Bushwick Avenue at Scholes Street.

 

This procedure was described as a “wise precaution against the spread of disease.” Bessie and Louis Grabkowitz were recognized by the NYCHA as the first official tenants. A week’s rent, of less than seven dollars, was paid and they were given keys to their new apartment. Two to five rooms in size, units featured steam heat, hot and cold water, as well as electric stoves and refrigerators. Residents praised their new homes, commenting on the appliances and abundant sunlight.

 

By the end of 1937, most apartments were occupied. A community newspaper, the Projector, began publishing on a semi-monthly basis in December 1937. In April 1938, the complex was completed. In addition to the twenty residential buildings, there were retail spaces, facing the north-south streets. The PWA reported:

 

To insure efficient, sanitary commercial services, 49 stores and shops within the project, distributing drugs, groceries, appliances, and general merchandise, have been leased to private individuals.

 

The storefronts were executed in a sleek Moderne style. To the north and south, they curved away from the street, recalling the streamlined designs of Erich Mendelsohn, as well as J. J. P. Oud’s Kiefhoek development of 1925. The prominent metal parapets were blue, matching the color of the apartment entrances. Despite their polished design, a significant number failed to attract and retain tenants. Consequently, in 1945 ten unleased spaces, near the corners of Maujer and Leonard Streets, and Scholes Street and Bushwick Avenue, were converted to apartments.

 

Tenants enjoyed a variety of useful services. At the center of the complex, on Graham Avenue stood the stripped classical-style William J. Gaynor Junior High School (1936-37), and opposite it, Building No. 11 housed a nursery school. Incorporated into the building’s south court and featuring a large play terrace, Hamlin described its glass-fronted design as “pleasant” and “delightful.” In addition, a new Moderne-style health center was built directly across from the complex, on Maujer Street.

 

Throughout the development were “social and craft rooms.” These basement spaces were originally used for classes, clubs, and meetings and many were decorated with large colorful murals. In contrast to the majority of WPA murals that were executed in style of social realism, the Williamsburg murals were non-objective. Lescaze favored “abstract and stimulating patterns” and Burgoyne Diller who headed the Federal Art Project, wrote that:

 

The decision to place abstract murals in these rooms [of the Williamsburg Housing Project] was made because the areas were intended to provide a place of relaxation and entertainment . . . The more arbitrary the color, possible when not determined by the description of objects, enables the artist to place an emphasis on its psychological potential to stimulate relaxation.

 

Of twelve murals commissioned, at least five were installed. In the early 1990s, the deteriorated canvases were restored and moved to the Brooklyn Museum of Art. They include works by the American painters Ilya Bolotowsky, Paul Kelpe, and Balcomb Greene.

  

Critical Reception

 

The opening of the Williamsburg Houses was treated as major news and writers used the event to analyze the project and express their own views about the role of public housing and the importance of modern architecture. Some of the earliest comments came from the architect Walter Gropius, former director of the Bauhaus in Germany. On a visit to New York City in April 1937 he was interviewed by H.I. Brock in the New York Times. They traveled together throughout the city, visiting both new skyscrapers and the nearly-complete Brooklyn development. Gropius was impressed and praised the unusual plan, saying that Lescaze:

 

. . . seems to have solved the problem of space and light very successfully and economically, and it has the great advantage of being spread over enough land to make it worthwhile as a sample of planned development.

 

Lewis Mumford was the first critic to publish a substantial review in February 1938. As a persistent advocate for public housing, he used the opportunity to evaluate the “outlines of the new order of building.” He praised the PWA for eschewing “overpriced building lots” and instead assembling large sites in quieter areas where streets could be closed to traffic to create gardens and playgrounds. Considerable attention was paid to the slanted orientation. Although he described it as “a bit queer,” he liked the way it separated the residences from the street and that it gave the appearance that the architects were concerned about providing tenants with ample sunlight.

 

Talbot Hamlin published the most-detailed analysis. In this review, he addressed both PWA projects, calling them “a new vision of democracy ... they are better than the most expensive apartments on Park Avenue.” Despite such praise, he expressed mixed feelings. While he found the buildings “fresh and inventive and alive,” he was disturbed by the “shockingly low” standards of construction. He also admired the “imaginative and carefully studied detailing,” but criticized the landscaping as little more than adequate. The WPA Guide to New York City, published in 1939, shared similar views, quoting Hamlin’s review, and praising the design of the individual buildings.

 

In the years since completion, the Williamsburg Houses have been a frequent subject for architectural historians. Many, starting with the Museum of Modern Art in 1939, have placed the development within the context of European modernism. In an exhibition celebrating the museum’s 10th anniversary and the opening of its new building, it was the only architectural work represented that was located in New York City. In a brief essay on housing, the curators highlighted the “triple-size superblocks,” that form an “oasis of open space,” but criticized the adjoining school building as a lost opportunity to create a “truly important work.” Photographs of the complex were also included in Forms and Functions of Twentieth-Century Architecture (1952), in sections devoted to city planning and concrete construction.

 

G. Holmes Perkins wrote in the city planning section that despite faults, the complex “may be held up as patterns for tomorrow.” Richard Pommer, in one of the most insightful discussions of Depression-era housing in the United States, criticized the angled plan, calling Lescaze a “versatile pasticheur” who used visual effects without logic or relation to function. Robert A. M. Stern shared this view, writing in 1980 that it “seems overrated.” Richard Plunz, in A History of Housing in New York City, credited the project as the start of a “brief but intense struggle” to determine the aesthetic direction government-built housing would take. All four editions of the AIA Guide to New York City have praised the Williamsburg Houses. The 1968 edition called it a “very successful solution to the problem of low-rent subsidized housing,” and in 2000 “the best public housing project ever built in New York.”

 

Subsequent History

 

Conveyed by the federal government to the NYCHA in 1957, the Williamsburg Houses continue to serve their original purpose, housing more than three thousand New Yorkers. Major alterations were first proposed in 1980 and significant work took place during 1985-91. At this time, the original casement windows were replaced with bronze-colored aluminum sash and the blue terra cotta that surrounded the entrances, with tan “Morocco” glazed brick.

 

In a remarkable turnaround, during the mid1990s, the facades were restored. What began as continued maintenance, soon evolved into a major architectural project, requiring an outside contractor and consultation with the Landmarks Preservation Commission. Under the supervision of Neil Cohen of the NYCHA, the elevations were completely reskinned, the parapets replaced, as well as the chimneys, railings, and terra-cotta banding. In addition, new canopies, doors, lighting fixtures, and signage were fabricated.

 

The approximately $70 million project was executed with great sensitivity; there was an article in the real estate section of the New York Times and the NYCHA was the recipient of the Lucy G. Moses Preservation Award from the New York Landmarks Conservancy (1999), which praised the participants for restoring the complex to “better-than-new condition.” Restoration of the storefronts, except along Bushwick Avenue, was completed in 2002.

 

The high standards set by the design of the Williamsburg Houses have rarely been matched. Innovative in terms of scale, plan, and aesthetics, it remains one of the most pleasant and architecturally-distinguished housing developments in New York City.

 

Description

 

There are twenty walk-up buildings in the 23.3acre Williamsburg complex and a total of 1,620 apartments. These buildings are numbered from 1 to 20 and each entrance has its own street address, for instance, “112 Maujer Street.” Stainless steel signs, with pin-mounted numbers and letters, identify each entrance.

 

The site extends four blocks east to west, from Bushwick Avenue to Leonard Street, and three blocks north to south, from Maujer to Scholes Streets. The principal north-south artery is Graham Avenue. Between Maujer and Scholes Streets, Ten Eyck Street and Stagg Street are closed to vehicles. These winding east-west paths are called Ten Eyck Walk and Stagg Walk. They are identified by large pin-mounted stainless steel letters attached to the building facades and are visible along the north-south streets. Throughout the complex are wall-mounted cantilevered lighting fixtures. These glass and aluminum fixtures are reproductions of the originals.

 

Three of the four blocks have a tree-shaded open space at center. At present, non-historic benches, play equipment, and basketball courts are located here. Most lawns are enclosed by low iron fences. Though not original, these fences pre-date the 1990s. Pole-mounted lighting fixtures are occasionally used to illuminate these areas.

 

All buildings materials are non-historic. Each structure is four stories tall and clad in ochre-colored brick. Exterior concrete spandrel beams are exposed at each floor. To disguise patches to the concrete, the beams are coated with a grey-colored water repellency finish. The entrances are flanked by blue structural glazed facing tiles that are approximately 12 by 12 inches. Blue mortar was used to minimize the joint lines. A canopy projects in front of each entrance (except on one side of the breezeways). Made of stainless steel, they incorporate recessed down lights. Some canopies are supported by a single pipe column. The entrance doors and sidelights are made of stainless steel.

 

Each door has a grid of four small square windows. Breezeways serve a dual purpose: reached by two sets of stairs, they provide an additional north-south passage, as well as entry to apartments. Most of the stairs are flanked by stainless steel railings. The bronze anodized aluminum windows, installed in the 1980s, are all one-over-one. Arranged as single windows or in pairs, they have concrete sills and meet the concrete spandrels above. The smaller windows light the bathrooms. Single windows and pairs are located where the facades meet, often creating triple-width openings at the cantilevered corners.

 

There are three general building configurations. All are original to the complex. They include eight buildings with “H” shaped floor plans, six with floor plans that suggest a small letter “h,” and six buildings with “T” shaped floor plans. While the “H” and “h” types alternate along Maujer and Scholes Streets (except next to the school where both are “H” shaped), the “T” shaped buildings are located only between Ten Eyck Walk and Stagg Walk.

 

The “H” buildings (Nos. 1, 6, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, and 20) are nearly symmetrical, with almost identical north and south courtyards. At the center of each court is either a projecting center section or breezeway. The apartments are reached by four distinct entrances, each with a different tile treatment. They include: corner, wide, recessed between the door and the roof, and incorporated within a breezeway. Each entrance leads to interior stairs. The windows that light the stairs are arranged in horizontal grids of six and eight panes. Except for the recessed variant, the tiles project slightly and rise above the parapet to the stair bulkhead. The opposite side of the breezeway has no tilework. Reached by stairs, each breezeway incorporates two concrete columns and a metal door. The “h” buildings (Nos. 2, 5, 19, 13, 16 and 19) are similar to the “H” buildings, except one court is partially enclosed.

 

The “T” buildings (Nos. 3, 4, 11, 12, 17, 18) have shallow courts. The top of the ‘T” has three entrances, each framed with blue tiles. A pair of entrances are also found facing each other in one of the side courts, and occasionally on the opposite side, as well. Building No. 11, located on the east side of Graham Avenue, is unique due to the presence of a nursery school at the wider south end. To accommodate this function, the entrances were moved and the court at the south end was enclosed. The south wall of school is clad with glass blocks, many of which are original. A concrete shed, at the center of the wall, is not historic and there are plans for removal. From the south facade extends a raised play area that is enclosed by a fence. Along the east side of the building, facing Graham Avenue, a non-historic ramp with metal railings has been constructed.

 

Commercial storefronts parallel the streets and adjoin the apartment buildings in various locations. The materials are non-historic, but the new elevations closely resemble the originals. The largest storefronts are located on either side of Graham Avenue, between Maujer Street and Ten Eyck Walk (Nos. 8 and 9). Smaller retail spaces are located along Graham Avenue (near Scholes Street, No. 13); on Leonard Street (near Maujer Street, No. 1); and on Bushwick Avenue (between Maujer and Stagg Walk, No. 16). They have a stream-lined character and curve away from the street at both ends. One story tall, they have granite bases and are clad with stainless steel and metal that has a baked-on blue porcelain finish. Above the storefronts runs the blue metal parapet, crowned by a stainless steel roof rail. Lighting was added above the storefronts, and security gates, when the stores are open, roll up and are neatly hidden within the facades. Large glass blocks or plate glass are used throughout. Along Bushwick Avenue, the modifications are less sympathetic and a vertical grid of older decorative concrete block occasionally interrupts the facade.

 

- From the 2003 NYCLPC Landmark Designation Report

Cloud-based approaches allow us to chart new dynamic ways to educate and learn that aligns with the way we think, share, study and collaborate within and beyond the classroom.

  

Plenary Session

  

9:15-9:30 Welcome

Konstantinos Doukas, CEO Doukas School (Conference Opening)

Konstantinos I. Doukas has been the CEO of Doukas School since 2006. He served as President of the Board of Directors of the Information Society S.A. initiatives between 2004-2010. He holds a diploma in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA) and an M.S. degree from the Dept. of Communication and Technology in Education, Columbia University (New York, USA). He served as a research assistant at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Massachusetts (M.I.T.), during the Project Athena. He has coordinated and served as invited speaker in many national and international conferences. He is responsible for a number of Greek and European research projects in the new technologies in Education. A former international athlete of the Greek National Handball team, he still practices on an amateur basis, reaping overall benefits for his professional and personal life.

9:30-9:50 Invited Speaker

Marietta Giannakou, Member of the European Parliament, Head of the Greek European People’s Party Delegation, former Minister of National Education and Religious Affairs

Marietta Giannakou graduated from the Faculty of Medicine, University of Athens, with a specialization in Neurology and Psychiatry. She was a founding member of ONNED (youth segment of the New Democracy, N.D., party). In 1989 she became Head of the EP Delegation of N.D. and a member of the EPP Political Bureau. Between 1990-1991 she served as Minister of Health, Welfare and Social Security. Between 1992-1996, she served as the International Secretary of N.D. In 1992, she became Vice-President of EUCD. Between 1992-2004, she served as the National Coordinator of the European Commission against Drugs. She had the following positions with N.D.: Secretary of International and European Affairs, Member of the Executive Committee, Head of the N.D. Delegation. Member of the European Convention on the Future of Europe, representing the Hellenic

Parliament. Between 2004 – 2007, she served as a Member of the Hellenic Parliament and as Minister of National Education and Religious Affairs. She has been honored by the Republic of Chile for her contribution to the re-establishment of democracy, by the Federal Republic of Germany; by the Republic of Italy; by the European People’s Party, for her contribution as Member of the European Parliament for European integration, by the Republic of Poland, and the Republic of France. . MEP in 1984-1990, 1999-2000. MEP since 2009.

9:50-10:30 Keynote Speakers

Prof. Kostis Koutsopoulos, European Association of Geographers, “SoC: Towards a new education paradigm”

Professor Koutsopoulos was born in Volos, Greece. After completing his B.S. degree at the University of Athens, he got his M.S. and Ph.D. from the Departments of Geography and Civil Engineering. He taught at the University of Iowa until 1980, after which time he was elected as Chair of Geography at the National Technical University of Athens. He has been Director of the Geography and Spatial Analysis Lab, Chairman of the Geography and Regional Planning Department, Director of the Graduate Program “Environment and Development” and Dean of the Rural and Surveying Engineering School. He has organized numerous congresses, meetings and seminars and has participated as keynote speaker, invited speaker, session chair and conveyor in many others. He has presented 155 papers in various meetings; he has published 50 papers in refereed journals, written 61 books and authored 100 other publications. He has been serving in various capacities in scientific and academic boards and associations in Greece and abroad.

Karl Donert, Innovative Learning Network, “Cloud-based Education: the State-of-the-Art”

Karl Donert is a Geographer with a national and international profile, a strong track record in initiating innovative projects, as well as leading major networking activities. He is Director of the European Centre of Excellence: digital-earth.eu and adjunct faculty at the Centre for GeoInformatics at Paris Lödron University, Salzburg. Karl is President of EUROGEO (European Association of Geographers) and a UK National Teaching Fellow. He is a member of the Council of Europe groups on Education & Culture and Landscapes and Climate Change, a former Hon. Vice President of the Geographical Association, a Fellow of Academia Europea, the European scientific and Research Academy, the Royal Canadian Geographical Association and Royal Geographical Society-Institute of British Geographers. He has extensive experience in major educational developments. He was coordinator of the HERODOT Thematic Network for Geography in Higher Education, initiator of the digital-earth network on geo-media and participated in more than 100 other international projects mainly concerned with the innovative uses of ICT and education. He is Director and Chief Executive of Innovative Learning Networks Ltd, a UK company specialising in professional and academic networking, developing research & development partnerships and project management. An inspirational speaker, and a European leader in learning and teaching geography acts as a consultant to many organisations, working in this context to raise the profile and quality of learning and teaching activities and research in geographic media.

10:30-11:30 Conference Speakers

Prof. Demetrios G Sampson, University of Piraeus, “Cloud-based Digital Technologies for Opening Up Education: Keep Learning Beyond the Physical Classroom at the Digital Cloud”

Demetrios G. Sampson received his degree in Electrical Engineering from the Democritus University of Thrace, Greece in 1989 and a Ph.D. in Electronic Systems Engineering from the University of Essex, UK in 1995. He is a Full Professor of Digital Systems for Learning and Education at the Department of Digital Systems, University of Piraeus, Greece, a Research Fellow at the Information Technologies Institute (ITI), Centre of Research and Technology Hellas (CERTH), and an Adjunct Professor at the Faculty of Science and Technology, Athabasca University, Canada. He is the Founder and Director of the Advanced Digital Systems and Services for Education and Learning (ASK) since 1999. He has been a Visiting Professor at a number of universities including National Sun Yat-sen University, Taiwan (2011), the University of Tunis (2012, 2013), Beijing Normal University, China (2013), Peking University Beijing, China (2013), and the University of North Texas, USA (2013). He is the co-author of more than 325 publications in scientific books, journals and conferences .He is a Senior and Golden Core Member of IEEE and was the elected Chair of the IEEE Computer Society Technical Committee on Learning Technologies (2008-2011). He is the recipient of the IEEE Computer Society Distinguished Service Award (July, 2012). He is a member of the ICT Advisory Board of the Arab League Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organisation (ALESCO) since March 2014. He is Co-Editor-in-Chief of the Educational Technology and Society Journal.

Bart Verswijvel, European Schoolnet, “Teaching and Learning in the 21st Century”

Bart Verswijvel is a Flemish (Belgian) educator who was a Dutch teacher (mother tongue) in a secondary school for about 30 years. Since 2011, he has a part-time job at the Flemish National Support Service for eTwinning in Brussels. Since March 2012, Verswijvel has worked for European Schoolnet as a Pedagogical Adviser, and he is involved in several projects like the Future Classroom Lab, iTEC, eTwinning and Living Schools Lab. He is especially interested in the integration of ICT in education and in project work. He is a freelance speaker, leader of workshops, prize winner in several competitions like eTwinning Awards and Microsoft Innovative Teachers, and a Microsoft Expert Educator. In 2010, Bart was awarded the Queen Paola Prize for Education.​

 

16:15-17:00 Round Table: The Cloud today and perspectives on the future

 

Tasos Pagakis manages Ericsson Brand, Internal, Marketing and PR Communications in Southeastern Europe. He has worked as a Corporate and brand communicator on and offline as of 1988 in global agencies, pitched for hundreds of businesses, shaped creative standards and created strategic plans for more than 370 globally accredited companies in 57+ market categories. He is a writer of numerous articles in international media, a Startups supporter and a believer of change towards sustainable business models. His achievements: 2010 Serbian Gold PR corp comms, 2009 Ermis Gold PR corp governance, 2009 Ermis Silver PR CSR, 2006 Gold EFFIE for retail, 2005 Gold TV award NY, 3 Gold Effies, 71 creative awards in NY, Epica, Montreaux, Eurobest, AdAge, Ermis Festivals (2000-2009). He has been a Saatchi&Saatchi strategy team member that created the European VISA campaign “Love every day”. He has been Project Manager of the VISA International 2004 Athens Olympics Brand presence plan. When in Lowe Worldwide, he designed and launched the “Insight Mining” strategic planning tool. He is an active supporter of the NGO’s Arcturos and Actionaid.

 

Dimitris Raftopoulos is Project Manager, EU Projects Consultant and Chair of Finances and European Projects Working Group at the European Centre for Women and Technology (ECWT). He focuses on Strategic Human Resources Management and Gender Issues specializing in implementing, managing and evaluating European Projects. Holding an MBA, he has dedicated his professional experience to human and entrepreneurial development. His knowledge is in the fields of: combating gender issues in the work environment, promotion of employability, strengthening of professional skills as well as EU-funded programmes related to local development, employment, education, social exclusion, mental health, relevant legislation, economics and social policies. He interacts well in multicultural environments and has gained excellent communication skills through his work experience. Additionally, he has held the position of Human Resource Manager for the Olympic Games of Athens 2004 and worked as a consultant for several organizations in the Greek public sector. Other positions he has held: Commercial Director and Development Director for ICT startups. He has been involved in many EU projects and has solid knowledge of managerial issues, building teams and on stimulating communications.

  

Workshops Summaries

 

Cloud Applications – Implementations

(conducted in parallel for 90 min. 12:00-13:30)

 

“Planet School”: blended learning for inclusive classrooms

“Planet School” is the most important blended learning platform for schools in Germany. But it is still not accessible and usable for everyone. The evaluation and further advancement of “Planet School” for inclusive education is the main focus of the study. The goal is to offer variable content. The revised version of “Planet School” addresses different types of learners with accessible and usable materials, including movies, television broadcasts, interactive learning content, etc. I expect enormous enhancement in the European and the international discourse on the participation of persons with disabilities at ICT and a big step towards anchoring in practice.

 

Ingo K. Bosse is a professor at the Technical University of Dortmund (Germany) in the Special Education program. He leads the department for Motor and Developmental Disabilities. His research interests lie in the field of special and inclusive education with the main focus on inclusive media education, the use of information and communication technologies for learning and assistive technologies. He is also interested in researching educational aspects for students with special needs in augmentative and alternative communication. Currently he is finalizing a project that investigated the potential of the blended learning platform “planet school”. Ingo Bosse takes part in the research cluster Technology for Inclusion and Participation (TIP) at the Technical University of Dortmund that initiates, supports, and coordinates interdisciplinary research projects that investigate new ways to improve the inclusion, participation and wellbeing of individuals with disabilities, impairments or disadvantages.

Prof. Dr. Ingo Bosse, Dortmund University of Technologies

“Putting away the umbrella”: What will you do when the Cloud comes?

 

Alan will talk about his use of Cloud based tools to support his work in a range of contexts from classrooms, to teacher support and training. Alan has presented hundreds of workshops in many European countries, and tries to provide ideas which can be used immediately, but also others which can be developed further over a longer period of time.

Alan will talk about his use of mobile devices, work with the Open University and ESRI and refer to opportunities for work outside the classroom. Alan is a Geographer, but ideas arerelevant for other subjects too.

 

Alan Parkinson is an experienced and award-winning teacher and author. He has worked across the UK and EU with the Geographical Association and as a freelance geography consultant. He is a Chartered Geographer and Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society. He is Education Director of Explorer HQ, creators of Mission: Explore. He teaches Geography at King’s Ely School. He blogs at livinggeography.blogspot.com

 

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Le-MATH: Learning Mathematics through new communication factors

In the workshop we will discuss the preliminary guidelines for the two methods developed by the Le‐MATH project that is the MATHFactor and the MATHeatre. The guidelines are developed based on the collection and study of good practices in more than 10 European countries. We will see on-line video of actual implementation and discuss and analyze the video samples. This will give a clear overview and hands‐on to the participants and will help them understand the two methods and how these could improve the learning of mathematics as well as the change of attitudes towards mathematics. Participants are expected to teach mathematics to pupils in the age group 9‐18. The method can be used by other disciplines, so participants could be from different fields. Some participants will have the opportunity to play the role of pupils for few minutes and others will become evaluators.

 

Gregory Makrides holds a Ph.D. in Applied Mathematics from the IIT, USA. Since 1986, he has taught at Roosevelt University of Chicago, at the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT), USA, at the University of Nicosia, Cyprus, at the Cyprus Pedagogical Institute of the Ministry of Education and Culture of Cyprus. Since 2006 is the Director of Research and International Relations Service at the University of Cyprus and in parallel, he is also the Executive Director of the European Office of Cyprus, since 2007. He has publications in refereed journals, conference proceedings and in public press. He is an editor of the Mediterranean Journal for Research in Mathematics Education and the Editor of the Mathematics Magazine of the Cyprus Mathematical Society. He is the coordinator of several European funded projects and he has been a partner in several other EU funded projects as well as an external evaluator. He has chaired the organizing committee of more than 40 conferences since 1997 and has organized more than 100 National and Multinational competitions since 1995. He is the President and he has important posts in several organizations (CMS EAEC EACG MASSEE THALES etc).

  

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English Attack! Platform: A Web 2.0 Platform for English language learners

English Attack! platform (www.english-attack.com), is an English-language learning service specifically designed for the digital generation that uses short-session online entertainment to encourage frequent digital immersion in real everyday English. English Attack! is an innovative learning method that combines interactive exercises based on hundreds of videos. The platform also offers a number of online games, thematic visual dictionaries, a number of Web 2.0 social features for the global community of English language learners, all in the context of a system of rewards and motivational games.

 

Ionela Lungu is a Project Manager professional specialized in the IT&C industry. She is holding a Bachelor of Computer Engineering and Automatic Control Degree from the Gheorghe Asachi University of Iasi. Currently she is coordinating the development team of ASSIST Software, a software development and outsourcing company from Suceava, Romania. She brings value to the company by constantly supporting the team members to update their knowledge, conquer new areas of expertise, and adhere to the quality management system of the company. She was also actively involved in the management team within European projects – FP7 and Eurostars.

  

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ESRI’s Cloud in Education

GIS technology provides the education community with tools to develop a greater understanding of our world through geospatial data analysis. With GIS, students and faculty can integrate and evaluate data from many sources to develop new theories and knowledge. This helps prepare students to meet the demands of the twenty-first-century workforce, whether they are involved in science, government, or business. Libraries, museums, schools, and universities are also increasingly using GIS for resource management, facilities management, and advanced research. ArcGIS Online, ESRI’s Cloud platform, allows you to easily create maps, visualize your fieldwork data and share this content with anyone you choose. It is a great way to start using GIS and introduce key spatial concepts to your students (www.marathondata.gr)

 

Iro Giannakou, GIS Analyst at Marathon Data Systems (ESRI’s official distributor in Greece and Cyprus)Adonis Kontos, President at Marathon Data Systems (ESRI’s official distributor in Greece and Cyprus)

  

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Cloud Applications by ICT Companies (Apple and Microsoft)

Increasing collaboration and communication in the classroom and the institution with Microsoft Office 365 and Microsoft Partners in Learning Program.

 

Microsoft has a global strategy in education and with programs such as the Microsoft Partners in Learning Program, we aim to help educators and school leaders connect, collaborate, create, and share so that students can realize their greatest potential. In this workshop, we will be presenting the Microsoft global strategy in education and the different programs and resources that we provide to the educator community for free as well as the local programs of Greek Partners in Learning. In this context, we will showcase the Microsoft Office 365 Education, an online platform that can provide staff, faculty, and students at a school with free email, sites, online document editing and storage, IM, and web conferencing. Microsoft Office 365 platform that offers a holistic group of collaboration and communication tools is offered free for academic and education institutions. Our local partners will then present a complete Learning Management System based in Office365 that provides students, teachers, and staff with the enterprise-grade communication and productivity services they need with the power and flexibility each individual institution requires.

  

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Workshops: “Hands-On the Cloud”

(conducted in parallel for 90 min. 14:30-16:00)

Collaboration Snacks: Learn how to implement web 2.0 tools to organize communication and collaboration activities. In this workshop the participants explore Web 2.0 tools that can be used in the teaching practice. The tools will support different types of classroom activities. They can be implemented in different types of educational interaction like frontal teaching, group work or independent learning. The majority of the tools are web based and free to use. They can be used on a wide range of devices and support the idea of Bring Your Own Device. Participants are kindly requested to bring their own device for their successful participation in the workshop.

 

Bart Verswijvel, European Schoolnet is a Flemish (Belgian) educator who was a Dutch teacher (mother tongue) in a secondary school for about 30 years. Since 2011 he has a part time job at the Flemish National Support Service for eTwinning in Brussels. Since March 2012 Bart Verswijvel has worked for European Schoolnet as a Pedagogical Adviser, and he is involved in several projects like the Future Classroom Lab, iTEC, eTwinning and Living Schools Lab. He is especially interested in the integration of ICT in education and in project work. He is a freelance speaker, leader of workshops, prize winner in several competitions like eTwinning Awards and Microsoft Innovative Teachers, and a Microsoft Expert Educator. In 2010 Bart was awarded the Queen Paola Prize for Education.​

  

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Tablets use in School Classroom

“1:1 educational computing” describes the educational practice where each student has their own computing device. These devices are mobile and are equipped with a wireless connection. They also come in various forms (Smartphones, iPads, tablets, etc.) and have varying possibilities. This 1:1 practice, primarily as a methodology, offers many benefits. Some of them are as follows:

- The student becomes an active participant in his own learning and educational activities;

- The teacher becomes a partner and mentor. He or she organizes, inspires and creates experiential activities, releases the potential in the classroom, fosters initiative and critical thinking;

- computer technology makes numerous diverse tools available to the student. Technology enables teaching to become individualized, reinforces the role of multiple representations and promotes research and the quest for information.

Smart and mobile devices, with their user-friendly educational software, contribute effectively to learning. They create appropriate learning environments with opportunities for interdisciplinary instruction. Mainly, they cultivate 21st century competences, by combining skills, knowledge, attitudes and values. In this workshop, by working with tablets, we highlight the importance of the Cloud environment for the pedagogical framework we are presenting.

 

Vassilis Economu is IT Manager at Doukas School since 1994. From 2004, he is head of the Doukas School “1:1 Computing Team”, which aims to introduce and develop the Student Personal Computer into the educational procedure. From 2006, he is member of Doukas School “Quality Research Team”. He is a certified Validator specialized in the evaluation of companies according to the standards of the European Foundation for Quality Management – “Commitment to Excellence”. He has participated as researcher and analyst-programmer in more than 20 projects concerning ICT in Education and in Special Education as well. He has participated in the development of ICT software (more than 50 software titles). He continues to train hundreds of teachers to develop ICT in educational practice. He has developed various Management Information Systems in several programming environments. He has published articles and studies in educational magazines and has presented several papers in scientific conferences related to the “introduction of ICT in educational procedure” and “quality in education”.

  

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Collaboration in the Cloud with Linoit

Do you want to collaborate in a colorful cloud-environment? Than follow our sticky note-workshop about Lino. Lino is an online sticky notes service. Here, you can freely post, see and peel off sticky notes, memos, pictures and videos you make with your device, and even annex files on a canvas. Sticky notes posted while you’re offline will appear once you log on. You can organize your memos and ideas by changing the colors of your sticky notes, moving them and adding an icon on them. Lino is an ideal tool to share your ideas. You can create your own group to collaborate. Lino is also available as an app on your Smartphone or tablet.

 

Nicole Vandeborne, Basisschool Zavelberg

  

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Cloud computing and mobile devices for teachers

The computer is a useful utility inside and outside the classroom. This course aims to address a range of services available on Internet, considered of interest, usefulness and applicability for the teacher. The mentioned services are oriented to the organization of tasks and application in classroom context. The contents includes information management and e-mail, scheduling and events, storage and files synchronization, sharing data and settings between electronic devices. The adopted methodology wants to create skills and methodologies that helps to learn, search for, select and adopt the best options to increase efficiency and quality to the teacher’s work. Participants are kindly requested to bring their own device for their successful participation in the workshop.

 

Telmo Costa, 41 years old, graduated in 1995. Master in e-Learning Management and Production at the Carlos III University, Madrid. Teacher at Horácio Bento Gouveia School. School Coordinator of European Projects and coordinator of two Comenius Multilateral Partnerships. Trainer in ICT and Educational Technologies. 2008-2011: Teaching associate professional, coordinating ICT projects streamlined in the Madeira Region Education System. Training Portfolio: Cloud computing and mobile devices, School in the Cloud – Web 2.0 in the personal and professional Organization, Interactive Whiteboards, E-Portfolios, Evaluation of learning in ICT, School 2.0 – Web 2.0 in the Classroom Organization, Illustration of Contents, Multimedia presentation on education, Publications: Interactive Whiteboards, Training Support Book.

  

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Digital Media in the EFL Classroom

Enhancing all four language skills (listening, speaking, reading, and writing) has always been a challenging task for most EFL teachers. The main purpose of this workshop is to provide some tips that can be useful to teachers of English as a foreign language in the information age. Participants will leave with a better understanding of how tools and services on the cloud can help them achieve the educational objectives of activities that enhance all four language skills. Also, they will examine possible ways of improving their own teaching through the use of cloud technology.

 

Bessie Mitsikopoulou is Associate Professor at the Department of Language and Linguistics, Faculty of English Language and Literature, University of Athens. She holds a PhD in Critical Discourse Analysis (University of Athens), an MA in Applied Linguistics (University of Reading), a Postgraduate Specialist Diploma in Computers in Education (Institute of Education, University of London) and a BA in English Language and Literature (University of Athens). Her research interests are in the areas of critical discourse analysis, educational linguistics, new media and applications of new technologies in education, critical and academic literacies. Since January 2004, she has been Thematic Consultant of English Literacy for the Second Chance Schools in Greece, and a member of the Scientific Committee for Second Chance Schools. She has also been the Coordinator of the English Group for the Digital Platform Project of the Greek Ministry of Education. She has participated in several research and EU-funded projects in the areas of language education, curriculum reform, genre analysis and ICTs. Her recent book Rethinking Online Education: Media, ideologies, and Identities is published by Paradigm Publishers (2013).

 

Smaragda Papadopoulou holds a ΒΑ degree in Greek Language and Literature from the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens and an MSc in Technology Education and Digital Systems from the University of Piraeus. Her scientific interests lie primarily in the fields of technology-enhanced learning, e-learning and online training. So far she has worked as a language editor and proofreader of study guides for primary and secondary education students. She has also participated as an instructional material designer in e-learning projects concerning adult training in Information Communication Technologies (ICT). Since September 2011 she has been working as en eLearning specialist at the Research Centre for Language Teaching, Testing and Assessment and has developed the e-training programme for Primary EFL teachers.

 

Georgia Gyftoula, Centre of Self-Access Learning & Materials Development, University of Athens, has been a state Primary School English teacher since 1993. She holds a MEd in ELT by the Hellenic Open University and a MEd in Education Management and Administration by the University of Thessaly. She has been interested in implementing projects of Environmental Education, e-twinning and other European programmes as well as integrating ICT in her teaching. She is currently teaching at the 3rd Primary School of Zografou.

 

Ms. Chryssanthe Sotiriou has obtained a BA in English Literature from the English Department of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens and a postgraduate diploma with distinction in Translation from the University of Mons-Hainaut in Belgium, being a scholar of the ‘Alexander Onassis’ Foundation. She has been involved in the Leonardo da Vinci Sectoral Programme: “Mobile and Wireless Technologies for Technology-Enhanced Language Learning (ΜW-TELL)” and in “Digital School”: Greek Ministry of Education. Her research interests include Project Based Learning (PBL), Game Based Learning (GBL) and the use of social media in Education. She has given lectures in seminars and conferences for teaching and the use of technology to teachers of primary and secondary education. She has many years of teaching experience, working as an EFL teacher at Doukas School in Athens, since September 1995; recently holding the position of Language Coordinator in High School.

Elinda Gjondedaj, Centre of Self-Access Learning & Materials Development, University of Athens

  

Organized by Doukas School - Website: www.schoolonthecloud.eu

Dharavi (Hindi and Marathi: धारावी; also spelled Daravi, Darravy, Dorrovy) is a slum in Mumbai, India. It is one of the largest slums in the world.

 

Dharavi slum was founded in 1880s during the British colonial era. The slum grew in part because of expulsion of factories and residents from peninsular city center by colonial government, and from rural poor migrating into urban Mumbai (then called Bombay). Modern day Dharavi came to be founded in the 1940's once the British left India, and once the majority property holders of the area, Shantilal Nemchand and Co sold off there property holdings allowing houses to be built. It is currently a multi-religious, multi-ethnic, diverse settlement. Dharavi's total population estimates vary between 300,000 to about 1 million.

 

Dharavi has an active informal economy in which numerous household enterprises employ many of the slum residents. It exports goods around the world. Leather, textiles and pottery products are among the goods made inside Dharavi by the slum residents. The total annual turnover has been estimated at over US$500 million.

 

Dharavi has suffered through many incidences of epidemics and other disasters. It currently covers an area of 217 hectares.

 

HISTORY

In the 18th century, Dharavi was an island. In February 1739, Chimnaji Appa attacked Bassein. Before that, he took possession of Dharavi. The area of present-day Dharavi was predominantly mangrove swamp before the late 19th century, inhabited by Koli fishermen. Dharavi was then referred to as the village of Koliwadas.

 

COLONIAL ERA

Mumbai has been one of the centers of India's urbanization for 200 years. At the middle of the 19th century, after decades of urban growth under East India Company and British Raj, the city's population reached half a million. The urban area then covered mostly the southern extension of Mumbai peninsula, the population density was over 10 times higher than London at that time. Most parts of Mumbai faced an acute shortage of housing and serious problems with the provision of water, sanitation and drainage. Residential areas were segregated in Mumbai between European and 'native' residential quarters. Slums were heavily concentrated in areas meant for 'native' Indian population, and it attracted no planning or London-like investment for quality of life of its inhabitants. Unsanitary conditions plagued Mumbai, particularly in the so-called Native Town, the segregated section where Indians lived. In 1869, as with 19th century epidemics in European slums, bubonic plague spread in Mumbai and then across most of India. The epidemic killed nearly 200,000 people in Mumbai and 8 million in India. In 1880s, concerned about epidemics, the British colonial government expelled polluting industries and many Indian residents of the Native Town, away from the peninsular part of the city, to a distant edge of the city in the north in the village of Koliwadas. Thus was born Dharavi.

 

The most polluting industries were tanneries, and the first tannery moved from peninsular Mumbai into Dharavi in 1887. People who worked with leather, typically a profession of lowest Hindu castes and of Muslim Indians, moved into Dharavi. Other early settlers included the Kumbars, a large Gujarati community of potters (another polluting industry). The colonial government granted them a 99-year land-lease in 1895. Rural migrants looking for jobs poured into Mumbai, and its population soared past 1 million. Other artisans, like the embroidery workers from Uttar Pradesh, started the ready-made garments trade. These industries created jobs, labor moved in, but there was no effort to plan or invest in any infrastructure in or near Dharavi. The living quarters and small scale factories grew haphazardly, without provision for sanitation, drains, safe drinking water, roads or other basic services. Dharavi's first mosque, Badi Masjid, started in 1887 and the oldest Hindu temple, Ganesh Mandir, was built in 1913. A large influx of Tamil migrants came in the 1920s. Bombay's first Tamil school and Dharavi's first school was constructed in 1924.

 

POST INDEPENDENCE

At India's Independence from colonial rule in 1947, Dharavi had grown to be the largest slum in Mumbai and all of India. It still had a few empty spaces, which continued to serve as waste dumping grounds for operators across the city. Mumbai, meanwhile, continued to grow as a city. Soon Dharavi was surrounded by the city, and became a key hub for informal economy. Dharavi's Co-operative Housing Society was formed in the 1960s to uplift the lives of thousands of slum dwellers by the initiative of Shri. M.V. Duraiswamy, a well-known social worker and congress leader of that region. The Dharavi co-operative housing society promoted 338 flats and 97 shops and was named "Dr. Baliga Nagar". By late 20th century, Dharavi occupied about 175 hectares, with an astounding population density of more than 2900 people per hectare.

 

DEMOGRAPHICS

The total current population of Dharavi slum is unknown, and estimates vary widely. Some sources suggest it is 300,000 to about a million. With Dharavi spread over 200 hectares, this corresponds to an average population density estimate between 1500 and 5000.

 

About 33% of the population of Dharavi is Muslim, compared to 13% average population of Muslims in India. The Christian population is estimated to be about 6%, while the rest are predominantly Hindus (60%), with some Buddhists and other minority religions. Among the Hindus, about 20% work on animal skin production, tanneries and leather goods. Other Hindus specialize in pottery work, textile goods manufacturing, retail and trade, distilleries and other caste professions - all of these as small scale household operations. The slum residents are from all over India, people who migrated from rural regions of many different states. The slum has numerous mosques, temples and churches to serve people of Islam, Hindu and Christian faiths; with Badi Masjid, a mosque, as the oldest religious structure in Dharavi.

 

LOCATION & CHARACTERISTICS

Dharavi is situated between Mumbai's two main suburban railway lines, the Western and Central Railways. To its west are Mahim and Bandra, and to the north lies the Mithi River, which empties into the Arabian Sea through the Mahim Creek. To its south and east are Sion and Matunga. Both its location and poor drainage systems make Dharavi particularly vulnerable to floods during the wet season.

 

Dharavi has a high population density, and as with other worldwide slums, overcrowded. It is mostly low rise structures surrounded by Mumbai city. In most large cities, the floor space index (FSI) varies from 5 to 15 in the Central Business District (CBD) to about 0.5, or below, in the suburbs. Dharavi's FSI is very low. Still, in expensive Mumbai, Dharavi provides a cheap alternative where rents were as low as US$4 per month in 2006.

 

There is a disagreement if Dharavi is the largest slum in Mumbai. Some sources claim other slums in Mumbai have grown to become larger than Dharavi. Other sources disagree, and rank Dharavi as the largest slum in India.

 

ECONOMY

In addition to the traditional pottery and textile industries in Dharavi, there is an increasingly large recycling industry, processing recyclable waste from other parts of Mumbai. The district has an estimated 5000 businesses and 15,000 single-room factories.

 

Dharavi exports goods around the world. The total (and largely informal economy) turnover is estimated to be between US$500 million, over US$650 million per year, to over US$1 billion per year. The per capita income of the residents, depending on estimated population range of 300,000 to about 1 million, ranges between US$500 to US$2000 per year.

 

REDEVELOPMENT PLANS

There have been many plans since 1997 to redevelop Dharavi like the former slums of Hong Kong such as Tai Hang. In 2004, the cost of redevelopment was estimated to be INR5000 crore (US$810 million). Companies from around the world have bid to redevelop Dharavi, including Lehman Brothers, Dubai's Limitless and Singapore's Capitaland Ltd. In 2010, it is estimated to cost INR15000 crore (US$2.4 billion) to redevelop.

 

The latest urban redevelopment plan proposed for the Dharavi area is managed by American-trained architect Mukesh Mehta. The plan involves the construction of 2,800,000 square metres of housing, schools, parks and roads to serve the 57,000 families residing in the area, along with 3,700,000 square metres of residential and commercial space for sale. There has been significant local opposition to the plans, largely because existing residents are due to receive only 25.0 square metres of land each. Furthermore, only those families who lived in the area before 2000 are slated for resettlement. Concerns have also been raised by residents who fear that some of their small businesses in the "informal" sector may not be relocated under the redevelopment plan. The government has said that it will only legalize and relocate industries that are not "polluting".

 

SANITATION ISSUES

Dharavi has severe problems with public health, due to the scarcity of toilet facilities, due in turn to the fact that most housing and 90% of the commercial units in Dharavi are illegal. As of November 2006 there was only one toilet per 1,440 residents in Dharavi. Mahim Creek, a local river, is widely used by local residents for urination and defecation, leading to the spread of contagious diseases. The area also suffers from problems with inadequate drinking water supply.

 

EPIDEMICS & OTHER SISASTERS

Dharavi has experienced a long history of epidemics and natural disasters, sometimes with significant loss of lives. The first plague to devastate Dharavi, along with other settlements of Mumbai happened in 1896, when nearly half of the population perished. A series of plagues and other epidemics continued to affect Dharavi, and Mumbai in general, for the next 25 years, with high mortality rates. Dysentery epidemics have been common throughout the years and explained with the high population density of Dharavi. Other epidemics reported include typhoid, cholera, leprosy, amoebiasis and polio, through recent years. For example, in 1986, a children cholera epidemic was reported, where most patients were residents of Dharavi. Typical patients to arrive in hospitals were in late and critical care condition, and the mortality rates were abnormally high. In recent years, cases of drug resistant tuberculosis have been reported in Dharavi.

 

Fires and other disasters are common. For example, in January 2013, a fire destroyed many slum properties and caused injuries. In 2005, massive floods caused deaths and extensive property damage.

 

GUIDED TOURS THROUGH DHARAVI

A few travel operators offer guided tours through Dharavi, showing the industrial and the residential part of Dharavi and explaining about problems and challenges Dharavi is facing. These tours give a deeper insight into a slum in general and Dharavi in particular.

 

MEDIA DECIPTION

- Dharavi has been depicted in a number of Hindi films produced by the Mumbai film industry. These include Salim-Javed films such as Deewaar (1975), Mira Nair's Salaam Bombay! (1988) where several child actors were from the Dharavi slum, Vidhu Vinod Chopra's Parinda (1989), Sudhir Mishra's Dharavi (1991), Ram Gopal Varma's "Indian Gangster Trilogy" (1998–2005) and Sarkar series (2005–2008), Vikram Bhatt's Footpath (2003), Anurag Kashyap's Black Friday (2004) and No Smoking (2007), Madhur Bhandarkar's Traffic Signal (2007), Rajeev Khandelwal's Aamir (2008), and other films based on the Mumbai underworld.

- Dharavi has been depicted in films from other Indian film industries, particularly the Tamil film industry. Several films by Mani Ratnam based on the experiences of Tamil immigrants to Mumbai have depicted the Dharavi slum, including Nayagan (1987) and Bombay (1995).

- Dharavi features prominently in Danny Boyle's 2008 film Slumdog Millionaire, where several of the child actors in the film are from the Dharavi slum.

- The movie Mankatha was shot here starring Ajith kumar.

- The movie Businessman was shot here starring Mahesh Babu.

- In Kaminey, the 2009 Hindi movie, starring Shahid Kapoor.

- In the 2009 Swiss/German documentary Dharavi, Slum for Sale of director Lutz Konermann.

- In a programme aired in the United Kingdom in January 2010, Kevin McCloud and Channel 4 aired a two-part series titled Slumming It which centered around Dharavi and its inhabitants.

- The poem "Blessing" by Imtiaz Dharker is about Dharavi not having enough water.

- For The Win, by Cory Doctorow, is partially set in Dharavi.

Singapore Zoo

Coordinates: [show location on an interactive map] 1°24?15.9?N 103°47?28.1?E? / ?1.404417°N 103.791139°E? / 1.404417; 103.791139

Date opened 23 June 1973

Location Singapore

Land area 28 hectares

Number of animals 2530

Number of species 315

The Singapore Zoo (Chinese: ?????? ; Malay: 'Taman Haiwan Singapura'; Tamil: ??????????? ????????? ????????????), formerly known as the Singapore Zoological Gardens and commonly known locally as the Mandai Zoo, occupies 28 hectares (0.28 km?) of land on the margins of Upper Seletar Reservoir within Singapore's heavily forested central catchment area. The zoo was built at a cost of S$9m granted by the government of Singapore and opened on 23 June 1973. It is operated by Wildlife Reserves Singapore, who also manage the neighbouring Night Safari and the Jurong BirdPark. There are about 315 species of animal in the zoo, of which some 16% are considered threatened species. The zoo attracts about 1.4 million visitors a year.

 

From the beginning, Singapore Zoo followed the modern trend of displaying animals in naturalistic, 'open' exhibits, i.e. with hidden barriers, behind moats and shrubbery etc. It also houses the largest captive colony of orangutans in the world. In 1977, primatologist Dr Francine Neago lived inside a cage with eighteen orangutans for six months to study their behavior and communication.

1 History

2 Present

o 2.1 Education and conservation

o 2.2 Rides

o 2.3 Friends of the Zoo

o 2.4 Organizing events

* 3 Incidents

* 4 Trivia

* 5 Awards

* 6 Gallery

* 7 See also

* 8 References

* 9 Notes

* 10 External links

* 11 Public Bus Services

 

History

Hamadryas baboons by a waterfall

The conception of the Singapore Zoo dates from 1969. At the time, the Public Utilities Board (PUB) decided to use some of its land holdings around reservoirs for parks and open recreational facilities. The then Executive Chairman of PUB, Dr Ong Swee Law, set aside 88 hectares of land for the construction of a zoological garden.

 

In 1970, consultants and staff were hired, and in 1971, the construction of the basic 50 enclosures started. Animals were collected from dealers and donated by sponsors. The Director of the Colombo Zoo in Sri Lanka, Lyn de Alwis, was hired as a special consultant to work out problems inherent in tropical zoos.

 

On 23 June 1973, the Singapore Zoo opened its gates for the first time with a collection of 270 animals from over 72 species, and a staff of 130. By 1990, 1,600 animals from more than 160 species lived in social groups, housed in 65 landscaped exhibits with boundaries conceived to look as natural as possible.

Present

A pair of white tigers

Today, the zoo is a model of the 'open zoo' concept. The animals are kept in spacious, landscaped enclosures, separated from the visitors by either dry or wet moats. The moats are concealed with vegetation or dropped below the line of vision. In the case of dangerous animals which can climb very well, moat barriers are not used. Instead, these animals are housed in landscaped glass-fronted enclosures.

The zoo has not expanded beyond the original 28 hectares. However, 40 hectares of secondary forest were later developed into the Night Safari. The remaining undeveloped land has been kept as wooded land. This and the waters of Upper Seletar Reservoir contribute to the Zoo, giving it a sense of natural, unrestricted space.

Among various attractions that the zoo offers,one highlight is the "Breakfast with an Orangutan" programme that allows visitors to meet and interact closely with the orangutans in the zoo, amongst which includes the famous primate matriarch Ah Meng, (died on February 8, 2008) who was an icon of the Singapore tourism industry. Animal shows, as well as token feedings coupled with live commentaries by keepers, are also the daily staple in the Singapore zoo.

 

Education and conservation

The Wildlife Healthcare & Research Centre was opened in March 2006 as part of the zoo's efforts in wildlife conservation. The centre further underscores Singapore Zoo and Night Safari’s commitment to conservation research, providing the infrastructure for the parks and overseas zoological partners to better execute their research programmes.

The zoo also embarked on various rescue and conservation efforts to protect wildlife.

Rides

White rhinos

The zoo also offers various modes of rides available within the premises: trams, animals, boat, pony and horse carriage rides. Additional modes of transportation which can only be rented include: strollers, wagon and wheelchairs.

Friends of the Zoo

The zoo also has a "friends of the zoo" programme, where people can sign up for a yearly pass which grants them special privileges such as:

* Free and unlimited entry to Singapore Zoo for whole year

* Free Zoo tram rides and parking

* A free quarterly "Wildlife wonders" magazine

* 10% discount at some participating retail outlets

Organizing events

Elephant show and the trainers

There are three event venues available in the zoo, Forest Lodge, Pavilion-By-the-Lake and Garden Pavilion. There are also three cocktail venues, Elephants of Asia, Tiger Trek and Treetops Trail. The Singapore Zoo also facilitates birthday parties and weddings.

 

Incidents

On 13 November 2008, two of three white Bengal tigers mauled a zoo cleaner to death after the man jumped into a moat surrounding their enclosure.[2]

Trivia

Lists of miscellaneous information should be avoided. Please relocate any relevant information into appropriate sections or articles. (September 2008)

* In 2002, teams of The Amazing Race 3 also came to the Singapore Zoological Gardens as part of a detour.

* Steve Irwin, the animal activist and conservationalist known as "The Crocodile Hunter", admired the Singapore Zoo greatly, adopting it as the 'sister zoo' to the Australia Zoo. He was at the Singapore Zoo in 2006 to officiate the opening of the Australian outback exhibit.

* The Singapore Zoo is the first zoo in the world to breed a polar bear in the tropics. Inuka was conceived on 26 December 1990.

Shopping online has benefits and drawbacks, much like other activities in everyday life. To be able to increase the positive things about shopping online and lower the not so good things, it is essential which you become knowledgeable around the proper ways of shopping by doing this. These piece will provide you with suggestions to make online shopping more effective.

 

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O'Connell Street - Dublin - Ireland

University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ Jul 26, 2011 — There's no two ways about it, Tucson is one beautiful place. In the foreground is University Boulevard, a fun place for students to spend their mad money. In the background are the Santa Catalina Mountains. You can navigate Tucson just by noting the location of the various mountain ranges around. The building in the center houses some of the departments I would love to study. Journalism is one such department.

 

Louise Foucar Marshall was the first woman professor at the University of Arizona. She and her husband developed this area in the 20s and the area became the first suburban shopping center. Later on she became one of the first people to plead quilty to murder by reason of temporary insanity. The jury only needed 30 minutes to deliberate and acquitt her. She used her life to dedicate her life to the work of the Marshall Charitable Foundation.

 

I hand-held multiple exposures then converted five images to tiffs using Lightroom. I used Photomatrix to tone-map the HDR image. I spruced-up the image using the Topaz plug-ins DeNoise, Detail, Adjust, and Remask then touched-up the image using Photoshop.

  

PENTAX K-5

SMC PENTAX-DA* 50-135mm ƒ2.8 ED [IF] SDM

ISO 100-200, ƒ7, 1/640-100

jimpurcell.com

  

Dharavi (Hindi and Marathi: धारावी; also spelled Daravi, Darravy, Dorrovy) is a slum in Mumbai, India. It is one of the largest slums in the world.

 

Dharavi slum was founded in 1880s during the British colonial era. The slum grew in part because of expulsion of factories and residents from peninsular city center by colonial government, and from rural poor migrating into urban Mumbai (then called Bombay). Modern day Dharavi came to be founded in the 1940's once the British left India, and once the majority property holders of the area, Shantilal Nemchand and Co sold off there property holdings allowing houses to be built. It is currently a multi-religious, multi-ethnic, diverse settlement. Dharavi's total population estimates vary between 300,000 to about 1 million.

 

Dharavi has an active informal economy in which numerous household enterprises employ many of the slum residents. It exports goods around the world. Leather, textiles and pottery products are among the goods made inside Dharavi by the slum residents. The total annual turnover has been estimated at over US$500 million.

 

Dharavi has suffered through many incidences of epidemics and other disasters. It currently covers an area of 217 hectares.

 

HISTORY

In the 18th century, Dharavi was an island. In February 1739, Chimnaji Appa attacked Bassein. Before that, he took possession of Dharavi. The area of present-day Dharavi was predominantly mangrove swamp before the late 19th century, inhabited by Koli fishermen. Dharavi was then referred to as the village of Koliwadas.

 

COLONIAL ERA

Mumbai has been one of the centers of India's urbanization for 200 years. At the middle of the 19th century, after decades of urban growth under East India Company and British Raj, the city's population reached half a million. The urban area then covered mostly the southern extension of Mumbai peninsula, the population density was over 10 times higher than London at that time. Most parts of Mumbai faced an acute shortage of housing and serious problems with the provision of water, sanitation and drainage. Residential areas were segregated in Mumbai between European and 'native' residential quarters. Slums were heavily concentrated in areas meant for 'native' Indian population, and it attracted no planning or London-like investment for quality of life of its inhabitants. Unsanitary conditions plagued Mumbai, particularly in the so-called Native Town, the segregated section where Indians lived. In 1869, as with 19th century epidemics in European slums, bubonic plague spread in Mumbai and then across most of India. The epidemic killed nearly 200,000 people in Mumbai and 8 million in India. In 1880s, concerned about epidemics, the British colonial government expelled polluting industries and many Indian residents of the Native Town, away from the peninsular part of the city, to a distant edge of the city in the north in the village of Koliwadas. Thus was born Dharavi.

 

The most polluting industries were tanneries, and the first tannery moved from peninsular Mumbai into Dharavi in 1887. People who worked with leather, typically a profession of lowest Hindu castes and of Muslim Indians, moved into Dharavi. Other early settlers included the Kumbars, a large Gujarati community of potters (another polluting industry). The colonial government granted them a 99-year land-lease in 1895. Rural migrants looking for jobs poured into Mumbai, and its population soared past 1 million. Other artisans, like the embroidery workers from Uttar Pradesh, started the ready-made garments trade. These industries created jobs, labor moved in, but there was no effort to plan or invest in any infrastructure in or near Dharavi. The living quarters and small scale factories grew haphazardly, without provision for sanitation, drains, safe drinking water, roads or other basic services. Dharavi's first mosque, Badi Masjid, started in 1887 and the oldest Hindu temple, Ganesh Mandir, was built in 1913. A large influx of Tamil migrants came in the 1920s. Bombay's first Tamil school and Dharavi's first school was constructed in 1924.

 

POST INDEPENDENCE

At India's Independence from colonial rule in 1947, Dharavi had grown to be the largest slum in Mumbai and all of India. It still had a few empty spaces, which continued to serve as waste dumping grounds for operators across the city. Mumbai, meanwhile, continued to grow as a city. Soon Dharavi was surrounded by the city, and became a key hub for informal economy. Dharavi's Co-operative Housing Society was formed in the 1960s to uplift the lives of thousands of slum dwellers by the initiative of Shri. M.V. Duraiswamy, a well-known social worker and congress leader of that region. The Dharavi co-operative housing society promoted 338 flats and 97 shops and was named "Dr. Baliga Nagar". By late 20th century, Dharavi occupied about 175 hectares, with an astounding population density of more than 2900 people per hectare.

 

DEMOGRAPHICS

The total current population of Dharavi slum is unknown, and estimates vary widely. Some sources suggest it is 300,000 to about a million. With Dharavi spread over 200 hectares, this corresponds to an average population density estimate between 1500 and 5000.

 

About 33% of the population of Dharavi is Muslim, compared to 13% average population of Muslims in India. The Christian population is estimated to be about 6%, while the rest are predominantly Hindus (60%), with some Buddhists and other minority religions. Among the Hindus, about 20% work on animal skin production, tanneries and leather goods. Other Hindus specialize in pottery work, textile goods manufacturing, retail and trade, distilleries and other caste professions - all of these as small scale household operations. The slum residents are from all over India, people who migrated from rural regions of many different states. The slum has numerous mosques, temples and churches to serve people of Islam, Hindu and Christian faiths; with Badi Masjid, a mosque, as the oldest religious structure in Dharavi.

 

LOCATION & CHARACTERISTICS

Dharavi is situated between Mumbai's two main suburban railway lines, the Western and Central Railways. To its west are Mahim and Bandra, and to the north lies the Mithi River, which empties into the Arabian Sea through the Mahim Creek. To its south and east are Sion and Matunga. Both its location and poor drainage systems make Dharavi particularly vulnerable to floods during the wet season.

 

Dharavi has a high population density, and as with other worldwide slums, overcrowded. It is mostly low rise structures surrounded by Mumbai city. In most large cities, the floor space index (FSI) varies from 5 to 15 in the Central Business District (CBD) to about 0.5, or below, in the suburbs. Dharavi's FSI is very low. Still, in expensive Mumbai, Dharavi provides a cheap alternative where rents were as low as US$4 per month in 2006.

 

There is a disagreement if Dharavi is the largest slum in Mumbai. Some sources claim other slums in Mumbai have grown to become larger than Dharavi. Other sources disagree, and rank Dharavi as the largest slum in India.

 

ECONOMY

In addition to the traditional pottery and textile industries in Dharavi, there is an increasingly large recycling industry, processing recyclable waste from other parts of Mumbai. The district has an estimated 5000 businesses and 15,000 single-room factories.

 

Dharavi exports goods around the world. The total (and largely informal economy) turnover is estimated to be between US$500 million, over US$650 million per year, to over US$1 billion per year. The per capita income of the residents, depending on estimated population range of 300,000 to about 1 million, ranges between US$500 to US$2000 per year.

 

REDEVELOPMENT PLANS

There have been many plans since 1997 to redevelop Dharavi like the former slums of Hong Kong such as Tai Hang. In 2004, the cost of redevelopment was estimated to be INR5000 crore (US$810 million). Companies from around the world have bid to redevelop Dharavi, including Lehman Brothers, Dubai's Limitless and Singapore's Capitaland Ltd. In 2010, it is estimated to cost INR15000 crore (US$2.4 billion) to redevelop.

 

The latest urban redevelopment plan proposed for the Dharavi area is managed by American-trained architect Mukesh Mehta. The plan involves the construction of 2,800,000 square metres of housing, schools, parks and roads to serve the 57,000 families residing in the area, along with 3,700,000 square metres of residential and commercial space for sale. There has been significant local opposition to the plans, largely because existing residents are due to receive only 25.0 square metres of land each. Furthermore, only those families who lived in the area before 2000 are slated for resettlement. Concerns have also been raised by residents who fear that some of their small businesses in the "informal" sector may not be relocated under the redevelopment plan. The government has said that it will only legalize and relocate industries that are not "polluting".

 

SANITATION ISSUES

Dharavi has severe problems with public health, due to the scarcity of toilet facilities, due in turn to the fact that most housing and 90% of the commercial units in Dharavi are illegal. As of November 2006 there was only one toilet per 1,440 residents in Dharavi. Mahim Creek, a local river, is widely used by local residents for urination and defecation, leading to the spread of contagious diseases. The area also suffers from problems with inadequate drinking water supply.

 

EPIDEMICS & OTHER SISASTERS

Dharavi has experienced a long history of epidemics and natural disasters, sometimes with significant loss of lives. The first plague to devastate Dharavi, along with other settlements of Mumbai happened in 1896, when nearly half of the population perished. A series of plagues and other epidemics continued to affect Dharavi, and Mumbai in general, for the next 25 years, with high mortality rates. Dysentery epidemics have been common throughout the years and explained with the high population density of Dharavi. Other epidemics reported include typhoid, cholera, leprosy, amoebiasis and polio, through recent years. For example, in 1986, a children cholera epidemic was reported, where most patients were residents of Dharavi. Typical patients to arrive in hospitals were in late and critical care condition, and the mortality rates were abnormally high. In recent years, cases of drug resistant tuberculosis have been reported in Dharavi.

 

Fires and other disasters are common. For example, in January 2013, a fire destroyed many slum properties and caused injuries. In 2005, massive floods caused deaths and extensive property damage.

 

GUIDED TOURS THROUGH DHARAVI

A few travel operators offer guided tours through Dharavi, showing the industrial and the residential part of Dharavi and explaining about problems and challenges Dharavi is facing. These tours give a deeper insight into a slum in general and Dharavi in particular.

 

MEDIA DECIPTION

- Dharavi has been depicted in a number of Hindi films produced by the Mumbai film industry. These include Salim-Javed films such as Deewaar (1975), Mira Nair's Salaam Bombay! (1988) where several child actors were from the Dharavi slum, Vidhu Vinod Chopra's Parinda (1989), Sudhir Mishra's Dharavi (1991), Ram Gopal Varma's "Indian Gangster Trilogy" (1998–2005) and Sarkar series (2005–2008), Vikram Bhatt's Footpath (2003), Anurag Kashyap's Black Friday (2004) and No Smoking (2007), Madhur Bhandarkar's Traffic Signal (2007), Rajeev Khandelwal's Aamir (2008), and other films based on the Mumbai underworld.

- Dharavi has been depicted in films from other Indian film industries, particularly the Tamil film industry. Several films by Mani Ratnam based on the experiences of Tamil immigrants to Mumbai have depicted the Dharavi slum, including Nayagan (1987) and Bombay (1995).

- Dharavi features prominently in Danny Boyle's 2008 film Slumdog Millionaire, where several of the child actors in the film are from the Dharavi slum.

- The movie Mankatha was shot here starring Ajith kumar.

- The movie Businessman was shot here starring Mahesh Babu.

- In Kaminey, the 2009 Hindi movie, starring Shahid Kapoor.

- In the 2009 Swiss/German documentary Dharavi, Slum for Sale of director Lutz Konermann.

- In a programme aired in the United Kingdom in January 2010, Kevin McCloud and Channel 4 aired a two-part series titled Slumming It which centered around Dharavi and its inhabitants.

- The poem "Blessing" by Imtiaz Dharker is about Dharavi not having enough water.

- For The Win, by Cory Doctorow, is partially set in Dharavi.

Singapore Zoo

Coordinates: [show location on an interactive map] 1°24?15.9?N 103°47?28.1?E? / ?1.404417°N 103.791139°E? / 1.404417; 103.791139

Date opened 23 June 1973

Location Singapore

Land area 28 hectares

Number of animals 2530

Number of species 315

The Singapore Zoo (Chinese: ?????? ; Malay: 'Taman Haiwan Singapura'; Tamil: ??????????? ????????? ????????????), formerly known as the Singapore Zoological Gardens and commonly known locally as the Mandai Zoo, occupies 28 hectares (0.28 km?) of land on the margins of Upper Seletar Reservoir within Singapore's heavily forested central catchment area. The zoo was built at a cost of S$9m granted by the government of Singapore and opened on 23 June 1973. It is operated by Wildlife Reserves Singapore, who also manage the neighbouring Night Safari and the Jurong BirdPark. There are about 315 species of animal in the zoo, of which some 16% are considered threatened species. The zoo attracts about 1.4 million visitors a year.

 

From the beginning, Singapore Zoo followed the modern trend of displaying animals in naturalistic, 'open' exhibits, i.e. with hidden barriers, behind moats and shrubbery etc. It also houses the largest captive colony of orangutans in the world. In 1977, primatologist Dr Francine Neago lived inside a cage with eighteen orangutans for six months to study their behavior and communication.

1 History

2 Present

o 2.1 Education and conservation

o 2.2 Rides

o 2.3 Friends of the Zoo

o 2.4 Organizing events

* 3 Incidents

* 4 Trivia

* 5 Awards

* 6 Gallery

* 7 See also

* 8 References

* 9 Notes

* 10 External links

* 11 Public Bus Services

 

History

Hamadryas baboons by a waterfall

The conception of the Singapore Zoo dates from 1969. At the time, the Public Utilities Board (PUB) decided to use some of its land holdings around reservoirs for parks and open recreational facilities. The then Executive Chairman of PUB, Dr Ong Swee Law, set aside 88 hectares of land for the construction of a zoological garden.

 

In 1970, consultants and staff were hired, and in 1971, the construction of the basic 50 enclosures started. Animals were collected from dealers and donated by sponsors. The Director of the Colombo Zoo in Sri Lanka, Lyn de Alwis, was hired as a special consultant to work out problems inherent in tropical zoos.

 

On 23 June 1973, the Singapore Zoo opened its gates for the first time with a collection of 270 animals from over 72 species, and a staff of 130. By 1990, 1,600 animals from more than 160 species lived in social groups, housed in 65 landscaped exhibits with boundaries conceived to look as natural as possible.

Present

A pair of white tigers

Today, the zoo is a model of the 'open zoo' concept. The animals are kept in spacious, landscaped enclosures, separated from the visitors by either dry or wet moats. The moats are concealed with vegetation or dropped below the line of vision. In the case of dangerous animals which can climb very well, moat barriers are not used. Instead, these animals are housed in landscaped glass-fronted enclosures.

The zoo has not expanded beyond the original 28 hectares. However, 40 hectares of secondary forest were later developed into the Night Safari. The remaining undeveloped land has been kept as wooded land. This and the waters of Upper Seletar Reservoir contribute to the Zoo, giving it a sense of natural, unrestricted space.

Among various attractions that the zoo offers,one highlight is the "Breakfast with an Orangutan" programme that allows visitors to meet and interact closely with the orangutans in the zoo, amongst which includes the famous primate matriarch Ah Meng, (died on February 8, 2008) who was an icon of the Singapore tourism industry. Animal shows, as well as token feedings coupled with live commentaries by keepers, are also the daily staple in the Singapore zoo.

 

Education and conservation

The Wildlife Healthcare & Research Centre was opened in March 2006 as part of the zoo's efforts in wildlife conservation. The centre further underscores Singapore Zoo and Night Safari’s commitment to conservation research, providing the infrastructure for the parks and overseas zoological partners to better execute their research programmes.

The zoo also embarked on various rescue and conservation efforts to protect wildlife.

Rides

White rhinos

The zoo also offers various modes of rides available within the premises: trams, animals, boat, pony and horse carriage rides. Additional modes of transportation which can only be rented include: strollers, wagon and wheelchairs.

Friends of the Zoo

The zoo also has a "friends of the zoo" programme, where people can sign up for a yearly pass which grants them special privileges such as:

* Free and unlimited entry to Singapore Zoo for whole year

* Free Zoo tram rides and parking

* A free quarterly "Wildlife wonders" magazine

* 10% discount at some participating retail outlets

Organizing events

Elephant show and the trainers

There are three event venues available in the zoo, Forest Lodge, Pavilion-By-the-Lake and Garden Pavilion. There are also three cocktail venues, Elephants of Asia, Tiger Trek and Treetops Trail. The Singapore Zoo also facilitates birthday parties and weddings.

 

Incidents

On 13 November 2008, two of three white Bengal tigers mauled a zoo cleaner to death after the man jumped into a moat surrounding their enclosure.[2]

Trivia

Lists of miscellaneous information should be avoided. Please relocate any relevant information into appropriate sections or articles. (September 2008)

* In 2002, teams of The Amazing Race 3 also came to the Singapore Zoological Gardens as part of a detour.

* Steve Irwin, the animal activist and conservationalist known as "The Crocodile Hunter", admired the Singapore Zoo greatly, adopting it as the 'sister zoo' to the Australia Zoo. He was at the Singapore Zoo in 2006 to officiate the opening of the Australian outback exhibit.

* The Singapore Zoo is the first zoo in the world to breed a polar bear in the tropics. Inuka was conceived on 26 December 1990.

Designed in 1924 as a Lodge for the Order of the Elks, the building remains as one of the finest examples of the neo-classic revival style that grew in popularity during the 1920s. After the Elks left the building it operated as the Henry Clay Hotel for almost 40 years, then as a YWCA until 1988. This building was restored by City Properties and now has retail shops, condos, office space and rental space for events. This building is a great example of the adaptive reuse of a building, combining all the different uses into one property.

 

I took this photo of the latest hot lot of processor chips of various sizes at the spook shop summit (InQTel CEO Summit). Pretty shiny bling.

 

I am in the D-Wave board meeting now, and we just got a peek of next week's TIME Magazine cover (below). And it made the Charlie Rose show.

 

Here are some excerpts:

 

"The Quantum Quest for a Revolutionary Computer

 

The D-Wave Two is an unusual computer, and D-Wave is an unusual company. It's small, just 114 people, and its location puts it well outside the swim of Silicon Valley. But its investors include the storied Menlo Park, Calif., venture-capital firm Draper Fisher Jurvetson, which funded Skype and Tesla Motors. It's also backed by famously prescient Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and an outfit called In-Q-Tel, better known as the high-tech investment arm of the CIA. Likewise, D-Wave has very few customers, but they're blue-chip: they include the defense contractor Lockheed Martin; a computing lab that's hosted by NASA and largely funded by Google; and a U.S. intelligence agency that D-Wave executives decline to name.

 

The reason D-Wave has so few customers is that it makes a new type of computer called a quantum computer that's so radical and strange, people are still trying to figure out what it's for and how to use it. It could represent an enormous new source of computing power--it has the potential to solve problems that would take conventional computers centuries, with revolutionary consequences for fields ranging from cryptography to nanotechnology, pharmaceuticals to artificial intelligence.

 

That's the theory, anyway. Some critics, many of them bearing Ph.D.s and significant academic reputations, think D-Wave's machines aren't quantum computers at all. But D-Wave's customers buy them anyway, for around $10 million a pop, because if they're the real deal they could be the biggest leap forward since the invention of the microprocessor. …

 

Physicist David Deutsch once described quantum computing as "the first technology that allows useful tasks to be performed in collaboration between parallel universes." Not only is this excitingly weird, it's also incredibly useful. If a single quantum bit (or as they're inevitably called, qubits, pronounced cubits) can be in two states at the same time, it can perform two calculations at the same time. Two quantum bits could perform four simultaneous calculations; three quantum bits could perform eight; and so on. The power grows exponentially.

 

The supercooled niobium chip at the heart of the D-Wave Two has 512 qubits and therefore could in theory perform 2^512 operations simultaneously. That's more calculations than there are atoms in the universe, by many orders of magnitude. "This is not just a quantitative change," says Colin Williams, D-Wave's director of business development and strategic partnerships, who has a Ph.D. in artificial intelligence and once worked as Stephen Hawking's research assistant at Cambridge. "The kind of physical effects that our machine has access to are simply not available to supercomputers, no matter how big you make them. We're tapping into the fabric of reality in a fundamentally new way, to make a kind of computer that the world has never seen."

 

Naturally, a lot of people want one. This is the age of Big Data, and we're burying ourselves in information-- search queries, genomes, credit-card purchases, phone records, retail transactions, social media, geological surveys, climate data, surveillance videos, movie recommendations--and D-Wave just happens to be selling a very shiny new shovel. "Who knows what hedge-fund managers would do with one of these and the black-swan event that that might entail?" says Steve Jurvetson, one of the managing directors of Draper Fisher Jurvetson. "For many of the computational traders, it's an arms race."

 

One of the documents leaked by Edward Snowden, published last month, revealed that the NSA has an $80 million quantum-computing project suggestively code-named Penetrating Hard Targets. Here's why: much of the encryption used online is based on the fact that it can take conventional computers years to find the factors of a number that is the product of two large primes. A quantum computer could do it so fast that it would render a lot of encryption obsolete overnight. You can see why the NSA would take an interest. …

 

For its first five years, the company existed as a think tank focused on research. Draper Fisher Jurvetson got onboard in 2003, viewing the business as a very sexy but very long shot. "I would put it in the same bucket as SpaceX and Tesla Motors," Jurvetson says, "where even the CEO Elon Musk will tell you that failure was the most likely outcome." By then Rose was ready to go from thinking about quantum computers to trying to build them--"we switched from a patent, IP, science aggregator to an engineering company," he says. Rose wasn't interested in expensive, fragile laboratory experiments; he wanted to build machines big enough to handle significant computing tasks and cheap and robust enough to be manufactured commercially. With that in mind, he and his colleagues made an important and still controversial decision.

 

Up until then, most quantum computers followed something called the gate-model approach, which is roughly analogous to the way conventional computers work, if you substitute qubits for transistors. But one of the things Rose had figured out in those early years was that building a gate-model quantum computer of any useful size just wasn't going to be feasible anytime soon. …

 

Adiabatic quantum computing may be technically simpler than the gate-model kind, but it comes with trade-offs. An adiabatic quantum computer can really solve only one class of problems, called discrete combinatorial optimization problems, which involve finding the best--the shortest, or the fastest, or the cheapest, or the most efficient--way of doing a given task.

 

This is great if you have a really hard discrete combinatorial optimization problem to solve. Not everybody does. But once you start looking for optimization problems, or at least problems that can be twisted around to look like optimization problems, you find them all over the place: in software design, tumor treatments, logistical planning, the stock market, airline schedules, the search for Earth-like planets in other solar systems, and in particular in machine learning.

 

Google and NASA, along with the Universities Space Research Association, jointly run something called the Quantum Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, or QuAIL, based at NASA Ames, which is the proud owner of a D-Wave Two. "If you're trying to do planning and scheduling for how you navigate the Curiosity rover on Mars or how you schedule the activities of astronauts on the station, these are clearly problems where a quantum computer--a computer that can optimally solve optimization problems--would be useful," says Rupak Biswas, deputy director of the Exploration Technology Directorate at NASA Ames. Google has been using its D-Wave to, among other things, write software that helps Google Glass tell the difference between when you're blinking and when you're winking.

 

Lockheed Martin turned out to have some optimization problems too. It produces a colossal amount of computer code, all of which has to be verified and validated for all possible scenarios, lest your F-35 spontaneously decide to reboot itself in midair. "It's very difficult to exhaustively test all of the possible conditions that can occur in the life of a system," says Ray Johnson, Lockheed Martin's chief technology officer. "Because of the ability to handle multiple conditions at one time through superposition, you're able to much more rapidly--orders of magnitude more rapidly--exhaustively test the conditions in that software." The company re-upped for a D-Wave Two last year.

 

Another challenge Rose and company face is that there is a small but nonzero number of academic physicists and computer scientists who think that they are partly or completely full of sh-t. Ever since D-Wave's first demo in 2007, snide humor, polite skepticism, impolite skepticism and outright debunkings have been lobbed at the company from any number of ivory towers. "There are many who in Round 1 of this started trash-talking D-Wave before they'd ever met the company," Jurvetson says. "Just the mere notion that someone is going to be building and shipping a quantum computer--they said, 'They are lying, and it's smoke and mirrors.'"

 

Seven years and many demos and papers later, the company isn't any less controversial. Any blog post or news story about D-Wave instantly grows a shaggy beard of vehement comments, both pro- and anti-. …

 

But where quantum computing is concerned, there always seems to be room for disagreement. Hartmut Neven, the director of engineering who runs Google's quantum-computing project, argues that the tests weren't a failure at all--that in one class of problem, the D-Wave Two outperformed the classical computers in a way that suggests quantum effects were in play. "There you see essentially what we were after," he says. "There you see an exponentially widening gap between simulated annealing and quantum annealing ... That's great news, but so far nobody has paid attention to it." Meanwhile, two other papers published in January make the case that a) D-Wave's chip does demonstrate entanglement and b) the test used the wrong kind of problem and was therefore meaningless anyway. For now pretty much everybody at least agrees that it's impressive that a chip as radically new as D-Wave's could even achieve parity with conventional hardware.

 

The attitude in D-Wave's C-suite toward all this back-and-forth is, unsurprisingly, dismissive. "The people that really understand what we're doing aren't skeptical," says Brownell. Rose is equally calm about it; all that wrestling must have left him with a thick skin. "Unfortunately," he says, "like all discourse on the Internet, it tends to be driven by a small number of people that are both vocal and not necessarily the most informed." He's content to let the products prove themselves, or not. "It's fine," he says. "It's good. Science progresses by rocking the ship. Things like this are a necessary component of forward progress."

 

Are D-Wave's machines quantum computers?

 

For now the answer is itself suspended, aptly enough, in a state of superposition, somewhere between yes and no. If the machines can do anything like what D-Wave is predicting, they won't leave many fields untouched. "I think we'll look back on the first time a quantum computer outperformed classical computing as a historic milestone," Brownell says. "It's a little grand, but we're kind of like Intel and Microsoft in 1977, at the dawn of a new computing era."

   

Minneapolis, Minnesota

 

An empty retail space in the largest mall in America.

 

0168

Tilley House in Elliston, Newfoundland. Built between 1858-1860, it has had a varied history, but is now in deteriorating condition. More information here on the building and the community of Elliston. I'm a little confused about the part that says a restoration took place.

 

Allan Ryder of Bonavista designed and built the three-storeyed, pine and hemlock Tilley House between 1858 and 1860 for use as a retail outlet. He built the store for the first merchant planters in Bird Island Cove (Elliston), Robert Tilley and his son Arthur.

 

The Methodist minister, Rev. Charles Lench, changed the name of the community from Bird Island Cove to Elliston in the early years of the twentieth century in honour of the first Methodist missionary to the community, Rev. William Ellis.

 

The Tilley family, who originally owned the structure, were at the centre of life in Elliston in the latter half the nineteenth century. It is said that their account books provide a nominal census of the community. Besides business dealings, the family was heavily involved in the religious and social life of the community. They partially paid the St. Mary's Anglican Church, which was consecrated in 1872. They were also heavily involved in local education, the distribution of fishing berths, and road construction in the area from 1882-1885.

 

The Royal Society of London awarded Arthur Tilley a medal for his actions in saving the crew of a sealing vessel, Eric, during a fierce storm in 1878 at Muddy Brook (Mayberly).

 

After the demise of the Tilley operations, the family leased the building to Bonavista merchants James Ryan and Phillip Templeman. At different times both merchants tried to expand their operations into other communities, including Elliston.

 

In 1910 Arthur Tilley converted the second floor into a residence. Eventually William M. Tilly converted the first floor into a home, where he lived until his death in 1956. Following this the house remained vacant until 1984 when William's son Robert began restoration work, which was completed in fall 1987.

 

The building is an important landmark; in fact, the community of Elliston appears to have been built around the structure. Inshore fishermen traditionally used it as a reference for locating their fishing berths.

 

It was declared a Registered Heritage Structure in December 1985.

     

In an effort to improve its overall shopping experience, Oakbrook Center has undergone the largest renovation in its history; enhancing its common areas and expanding them to accommodate special events and social gatherings.

 

One of the Center’s noteworthy additions is a new vortex inspired water feature located at one of the complex’s main entrances. The fountain’s innovative design creates multiple effects with a single jet. The basin alternatively drains and fills, building up to form a bubbling pool before gradually ebbing away, revealing brightly illuminated columns of water arranged within the spiral. Over 50 of Crystal’s nozzles and LED lights entertain shoppers throughout the day.

via WordPress connorrenwickblog.wordpress.com/2017/04/28/design-milk-tr...

 

Don’t be fooled. Despite its Old World architecture, cobblestone streets, and century-old facades, Montréal is a bustling hub of culture, design, art, food… the list goes on. Only a train ride away from New York City (and a gorgeous one at that), Montréal also happens to be the second largest French-speaking city in the world! Due to the intriguing juxtaposition of old and new world, Montréal has its own romantic charm that distinguishes it from Paris and any other city, at that. Get a glimpse of that certain je ne sais quoi that both residents and visitors alike describe when visiting this glittering metropolis.

 

WHERE TO STAY

 

Hotel Gault lobby

 

Hotel Gault: This boutique hotel focuses on creating a design-oriented experience with outstanding customer service. Choose from four different atmospheres to suit your tastes — maybe you prefer an airy loft, a generous suite, a room with a terrace view, or a cozy apartment that’s like home. Of course you can’t miss snapping a picture in their lounge, with the statement sofa designed by Francesco Binfaré.

 

Hotel St. Paul: Luxurious jewel-toned tufted sofas, opulent facades, and even a decadent Black Suite, this hotel is a perfect example of Old World architecture merged with modern day design. For those who seek an experiential stay in a hotel, then the St. Paul is for you.

 

Hotel Chez Swann: For those who desire a more out-of-the-box experience, the Hotel Chez Swann is a hotel, art gallery, and a show at the same time. Steering away from the typical, this hotel is a flurry of color, art, texture, and light. None of the 23 rooms in the hotel are the same. Each room has furnishings commissioned from different local artisans, immersing the guest in the full Montréal experience.

 

WHERE TO PLAY

 

Biosphere

 

The Biosphere: The only museum of its kind in North America. Having survived through an epic ice storm and raging fire, this steel and acrylic dome was designed by architect Buckminster Fuller. Take a stroll inside to see its green roofs, indoor garden, and wind turbines, keeping it a truly green building. It also has different technology and multisensory installations rotating through the museum.

 

Au Sommet Place Ville Marie: Get a sweeping 360 degree view of the Montreal Skyline from the observation deck at Au Sommet Place Ville Mari. Then, enjoy the rooftop garden on the 44th floor, or head to the photography gallery on the 46th floor. Either way, you’ll get epic views that span the entire city. Place Ville Marie was designed by I.M. Pei (designer of the Louvre Pyramid) along with Henry N. Cobb.

 

The Village at Pied-du-Courant: The Village of Pied-du-Courant is a space built for the people, by the people. It is meant to be a gathering spot of sorts — where residents and tourists alike can come to enjoy the true spirit of Montréal. It is also a platform for emerging local artists and creatives to share their work. Large geometric pyramids, recycled wood furniture, sandboxes and colorful shipping containers keep the boardwalk interesting for people of all ages and backgrounds.

 

Never Apart: Familiarize yourself with established and emerging artists at Never Apart, an art and cultural hub. Whether it’s music, art installations, panel discussions or workshops, Never Apart aims to bring about “social change and spiritual awareness” through different mediums in its creative space.

 

The opening of JON RAFMAN at Arsenal

 

Arsenal: This edgy industrial space in the Griffintown district of Montréal highlights contemporary local and international artists. With looming ceilings of steel and concrete, the space is large enough to even hold its own sculpture gardens and interactive installations. A must-visit for anyone who is interested in contemporary art.

 

The Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal: The Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal (MAC) brings together modern art from artists around the world in one space. Founded by the Québec government, its mission is to create unexpected and fresh new experiences to visitors. From avant-garde artistic performances to educational events, the MAC is non-stop contemporary art inspiration.

 

Palais des congrès de Montréal

 

Palais des congrès de Montréal: The Palais is an environmentally-friendly venue with a colorfully bold facade that’s recognizable immediately. When the light hits the colored glass walls, it immediately creates a striking kaleidoscope effect in its shadows unlike any other. The interior houses an ultra-modern space with cutting edge technology, making it perfect for digital art installations and any other similar event. It was originally designed by architect Victor Prus, then updated by several architectural firms under the supervision of Mario Saia.

 

WHERE TO SHOP

 

Philippe Dubuc Flagship Store Designed by Saucier Perrotte

 

Philippe Dubuc: Though mostly focused on menswear, the beloved Québec designer has also dabbled in the performing arts, jewelry, and even food. His eponymous store features a minimal black and white palette with flashes of bold yellow. It looks more like an art gallery than a menswear store.

 

Frank + Oak: With a massive space of over 5,000 square feet, the Frank + Oak flagship store is full service — with a cafe, barber shop, bar and event space along with their retail space. What differentiates Frank + Oak is that they’re all about personalization and customer service, where stylists are available in person, or online 24-7. They aim to bridge the gap between online and offline, by streamlining the shopping process as much as possible.

 

Lambert et Fils: We’ve featured Lambert et Fils’ sculptural lighting here before, so it’s no surprise that their showroom is on our city guide. See their architectural lighting in all its glory at their showroom that’s perfectly close to Little Italy and Mile-Ex, the hip neighborhood of Montréal.

 

Want Apothecary

 

Want Apothecary: Parquet flooring, ample natural light, and matte black accents mark Want Apothecary as the place to find a carefully edited collection of style and beauty products. Rather than buying into trends, the brand aims to bring quality, timeless products to their shoppers.

 

Anywhere we missed? Tell us in the comments below.

 

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Cool girl holding a mirror and getting ready for a party