The Luminous Louis Armstrong Center Opens in Queens, and Other News

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The Louis Armstrong Center. Photography by Nic Lehoux

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The Luminous Louis Armstrong Center Opens in Queens

Perched on a quiet residential street in Queens is a swooping building that carries the legacy of America’s most enduring Black popular music icon. The newly opened Louis Armstrong Center is a vibrant hub housing the late jazz musician’s 60,000-piece archive as well as a 75-seat venue and community educational facilities. Local firm Caples Jefferson Architects conceived the 4,000-square-foot building to seamlessly blend with Corona’s scale of modest two-story houses—it’s located next to Armstrong’s own home and garden—while shining as a cultural beacon at night. “We wanted to keep the building in the scale of its surroundings while creating an urban precinct that notes the singular work of the man whose music underlies so much of what we listen to today,” say architects Sara Caples and Everardo Jefferson. “The center simultaneously fits in and stands out—a paradox reflecting Armstrong’s life and work.” —Ryan Waddoups

The Berkeley Space Cneter at Silicon Valley’s NASA Research Park. Image courtesy of HOK

HOK will help design a futuristic space center at Silicon Valley’s NASA Research Park.

A team of master planners, including architecture studio HOK, has unveiled plans for an expansive office and research complex situated within the NASA Research Park in Silicon Valley. Spanning 1.4 million square feet, the Berkeley Space Center project involves the University of California, Berkeley, developer SKS Partners, HOK, and landscape architecture studio Field Operations. The development, located on a wedge-shaped plot at NASA’s Ames Research Center, will feature glass-clad low-rise buildings for research and retail, alongside green spaces. This innovative project aims to foster collaboration and support research in aeronautics, computing, and climate science while pioneering low-carbon design and construction practices, such as solar power and phytoremediation.

A judge dismisses several copyright allegations that artists filed against AI companies.

This week, California federal court judge William Orrick dismissed multiple claims made by artists Sarah Andersen, Kelly McKernan, and Karla Ortiz against AI text-to-image generator developers Stability AI, Midjourney, and DeviantArt. The judge ruled all allegations against Midjourney and DeviantArt were dismissed, but left open the possibility for the artists to file an amended complaint against them, focusing on their use of Stability’s Stable Diffusion text-to-image software. Orrick also dismissed copyright infringement claims from McKernan and Ortiz, while allowing Andersen to pursue her core claim that Stability’s use of her artworks to train its AI-image generator model constitutes copyright violation. The artists’ attorneys, Joseph Saveri and Matthew Butterick, intend to file the amended complaint next month.

Image courtesy of The 1916 Company

WatchBox, Govberg Jewelers, and more are expanding to form The 1916 Company.

A new watch conglomerate called The 1916 Company has emerged through the collaboration of WatchBox, Govberg Jewelers, Hyde Park Jewelers, and Radcliffe. The name pays homage to Govberg Jewelers’ founding year in 1916. The founders aim to create a one-of-a-kind collecting experience with a global customer focus, offering education, media experiences, and community engagement. The company will include multi-brand salons and boutiques across various locations, offering both new and pre-owned timepieces, and plans to participate in Rolex’s Certified Pre-Owned program. The transition to The 1916 Company will occur gradually, with full rebranding expected in Q1 of the following year.

British codebreaker Alan Turing will soon receive a public art installation in the UK.

British codebreaker Alan Turing, a pioneer in artificial intelligence, is set to be honored with a permanent public art commission in Bletchley. Three artists are shortlisted to create the tribute as a global AI summit takes place at Bletchley Park. The artists in contention include Amsterdam-based creative studio affect lab, Yorkshire-based arts organization Mediale in collaboration with London-based artist Matthew Rosier, and London-based composer and sound designer Nick Ryan. Milton Keynes city council is partially funding the project, with the winning entry to be revealed in December. Each artist will receive £2,000 ($2,423) to develop their projects, which should reflect Turing’s work at Bletchley Park and involve the community.

Philadelphia selects Alvin Pettit to create a Harriet Tubman statue outside City Hall.

Philadelphia has selected Alvin Pettit as the winning artist to create a Harriet Tubman statue outside City Hall, following criticism over the initial choice of a white artist without competition. Pettit’s design, titled A Higher Power: The Call of a Freedom Fighter, features a nearly 14-foot bronze statue of Tubman as a military leader and freedom fighter. This statue will be the first in the city’s public art collection depicting a Black woman who is a historical figure. The $500,000 project is slated for completion by 2025 and includes artist payment, site work, modeling, engineering, materials, and fabrication costs funded by the city’s operating budget.

The perfume organ at the Museum of Scent. Photography courtesy of Mandy Aftel/Abbeville Press

Today’s attractive distractions:

Paleontologists have discovered 337 million-year-old shark fossils in Kentucky.

ChatGPT may have induced some missteps in this rendition of Artificial Flavors

Keith Houston shares five insights from his new book about pocket calculators.

California has its very own museum of scent headed by perfumier Mandy Aftel.

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