5 World Trade Center Gets Approved, and Other News

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5 World Trade Center by Kohn Pedersen Fox. (Photo: DBOX for KPF)

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The final development in the rebuilding of the World Trade Center complex gets approved.

Last week, the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation (LMDC) and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey finally agreed on a plan for 5 World Trade Center, which replaces a Deutsche Bank Building that was heavily damaged in the September 11 terrorist attacks and demolished in 2011. The board voted to give the project to developers Brookfield Properties and Silverstein Properties, whose proposal comprises a 1.56-million-square-foot, 900-foot-tall tower designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox. Unlike other buildings in the complex, which features primarily glassy office towers, 5 World Trade Center will bring more than 1,300 residential units (330 permanently affordable) to the neighborhood, along with office, retail, and other public amenities, and will sit next to Santiago Calatrava’s new St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church. 

“With this project, the LMDC will fulfill a central goal of its creation: to complete the rebuilding of the World Trade Center site,” Holly Leicht, LMDC chair, said in a statement. “This is the right capstone project for the campus, reinforcing Lower Manhattan as a live-work community and bringing much-needed affordable housing and a new community facility to the neighborhood.” If all goes according to schedule, construction on 5 World Trade Center will begin in 2023. 

Damien Hirst will take over one of Gagosian’s London galleries as curator for one year. /a>

The mega-gallery Gagosian is giving Damien Hirst curatorial carte blanche at its outpost on Britannia Street, London, for an entire year. The shark-entombing artist will organize the gallery’s entire roster, which will primarily consist of his own work. Kicking things off is an exhibition of his “Fact” paintings and sculptures, as well as a large canvas depicting a butterfly, replica shelves of cleaning products, and a painting of the 2019 Notre-Dame fire. “We need to do things differently at an altered time,” Gagosian director Millicent Wilner tells the Financial Times. “It’s a definite takeover.” Given the stringent lockdown measures currently in place across the U.K, it remains unclear when then exhibition will open.

Flora Bar. Photography by Glen Allsop

New York’s acclaimed Flora Bar at the former Met Breuer has permanently shuttered. 

Joining a long list of restaurant closings due to the coronavirus pandemic, chef Ignacio Mattos announced the closure of his critically acclaimed Flora Bar at the former Met Breuer in New York, one of the hardest-hit cities in terms of hospitality closures. “There will be energy and creativity in the post-pandemic dining world, of course, but it will return in all sorts of different, unexpected forms, and my guess is that it will be a good long while before you can enjoy a caviar omelette and a worldly cocktail or two at the bottom of an old uptown museum anytime soon,” New York magazine wrote in a tribute. 

Southampton landlords are reportedly refusing to fill vacant storefront spaces with art.

A recent program in Southampton, New York, is requiring landlords of vacant storefronts to mount installations by local artists. Though the new ordinance was hailed as an “amazing way to activate and reclaim space” when it was passed, few landlords are actually participating. The Southampton Press reports that only three shop owners are currently displaying art through the program, which is technically required and punishable by fines of up to $2,500. While no landlords have been fined as of this writing, a “grace period” for compliance expires this month.

Machu Picchu

The World Monuments Fund is protesting a new airport located near Machu Picchu.

The World Monuments Fund (WMF) has asked the Peruvian government to forgo the next phase of construction on the airport just outside the Andean town of Chinchero. Instead, the organization has asked to institute a heritage impact assessment (HIA) to prevent irreversible damage to historic Incan sites. “At first, an HIA was prepared, which indicated impacts to Machu Picchu, but it was disregarded” because it did not comply with UNESCO requirements, Martha Zegarra, vice president of the WMF’s Peru branch, said in a statement. The South Korean company tasked with construction then hired a U.S.-based consultant to carry out the heritage assessment. “Nonetheless, the government has publicly stated that the HIA is not binding and that they will move ahead with land removal.”

As Bitcoin soars, Andrew Yang vows to make New York City a hub for cryptocurrency.

If Andrew Yang is elected mayor of New York City, rumor has it that he’ll make cryptocurrency an official form of payment. Recently, bitcoin (BTC) reached an all-time record high after the U.S.’s oldest bank claimed it would deal the digital token. On Thursday, after Yang saw BNY Mellon tweeted it would transfer and issue BTC for institutional clients, he claimed to make New York City a global endorser of digital currencies. “As mayor of New York City—the world’s financial capital—I would invest in making the city a hub for BTC and other cryptocurrencies,” Yang recently tweeted.

L.A.’s MOCA moves toward dual leadership by appointing Klaus Biesenbach as director.

Museum of Contemporary Art is effectively moving to a dual-leadership model, with director Klaus Biesenbach taking on the role of artistic director and a yet-to-be-named executive director joining him to help oversee all aspects of the museum. “This is a natural progression of MOCA’s growth and successes, and we are excited by what the strong partnership between Klaus and the executive director will allow us to accomplish,” says MOCA board chair Maria Seferian. “Klaus has made incredible advances possible under his leadership, and this new structure allows us to invest even further in his exceptional artistic vision, his extraordinary fundraising results and his creative and dynamic development of new initiatives for the museum.”

A pool inspired by Vincent Van Gogh’s Starry Night

Today’s attractive distractions:

Denise Scott Brown’s life has been turned into a vivid manga comic.

An art collector acquires paintings done by a teenage Kanye West.

Ikea is offering Swedish language lessons to quarantining children.

Take a dip inside a swimming pool inspired by Van Gogh’s Starry Night.

All Stories