New York Scraps a Monument to Essential Workers, and Other News

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The scrapped “Circle of Heroes” in Battery Park City, Manhattan

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Manhattan’s planned monument to essential workers will be moved after community backlash.

New York governor Andrew Cuomo has scrapped plans to build a $3 million monument to essential workers at Nelson A. Rockefeller Park in Battery Park City, Manhattan, following widespread community backlash. Somewhere during the planning process, the team behind Circle of Heroes skipped public hearings to gauge the community’s feedback to the planned design. It instantly drew outrage when initially unveiled, with Battery Park City residents claiming to be blindsided by the prospect of losing more community green space to another monument that they claimed to feel like little more than a gesture. 

Amazon commits more than $300 million to develop affordable housing in three U.S. cities.

The investment is part of a $2 billion Housing Equity Fund the tech giant pledged to preserve and create 20,000 affordable housing units in cities it calls home. The initial $300 million will provide more than 3,000 new homes for families in Puget Sound, Washington; Arlington, Virginia; and Nashville. In Arlington, Amazon is partnering with the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority to build affordable housing on property owned by Metro in order to ensure the communities have access to rail stations and other transit sites. $25 million will be allocated strictly for minority developers as part of the fund’s stated goal to support minority-led businesses and organizations. 

Paulo Mendes da Rocha outdoor furniture for Ovo

Ovo introduces an outdoor furniture line by the late architect Paulo Mendes da Rocha.

One of Paulo Mendes da Rocha’s final projects was the SESC 24 de Maio—a cultural center that comprises a theater, library, rooftop pool, and gallery spaces in São Paulo, Brazil. His furniture can be found throughout, most notably seating defined by a pair of metal sheets bent to in angular formations to become chairs and beaches. Now, the Brazilian furniture brand Ovo will launch the series as an outdoor furniture collection that celebrates, as Mendes da Rocha put it, “the virtues of metal.” Included in the collection are a dining chair, low and high armchairs, a bench, and a side table available in a variety of colors. 

The FBI seized a fully built Lego set of the U.S. Capitol from the alleged Jan. 6 riot leader.

Investigators seized a fully constructed U.S. Capitol Lego set from Robert Morss, an alleged leader of the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, along with a notebook with instructions on how to create a “hometown militia,” court records published by the Smoking Gun revealed. Morss allegedly was responsible for leading rioters in one of the fiercest and longest clashes against law enforcement, and his militia to-do list included preparations like “Ambush” and “Battle Drills.”

The Brooklyn Museum repatriates more than 1,300 Pre-Columbian artifacts to Costa Rica. 

The Museo Nacional de Costa Rica has received 1,305 Pre-Columbian artifacts from the Brooklyn Museum in a bulk repatriation that would significantly increase its holdings. The Brooklyn Museum originally obtained the works from Minor Cooper Keith, a 19th-century tycoon whose wealth came from exploitative banana-trading and railway businesses in the Central American country. His wife donated around 4,500 works to the museum in 1934 after his death. Some of the artifacts will go on view in a gallery devoted to Pre-Columbian art that’s currently undergoing renovation. 

Glossier New York

Glossier raises $80 million ahead of retail expansion, valuing the company at $1.8 billion.

After recently announcing a plan to reenter the physical retail market, the direct-to-consumer beauty brand Glossier has buffered its coffers with an $80 million Series E—raising its valuation to $1.8 billion. The new round will fund the build-out of the brand’s retail network from scratch—it shuttered flagships in New York and L.A. during the pandemic—beginning with a massive mushroom-themed outpost in Seattle this August and expanding to additional locations throughout the U.S. Currently, 80% of the company’s revenue is driven by e-commerce. 

The Smithsonian acquires Nancy Holt’s archives and may complete her unrealized works.

A vast archive of more than 50,000 of the late Land Art pioneer Nancy Holt’s writings and publications are heading to the Smithsonian Institution’s Archives for American Art. The documents span more than four decades of her art and personal life, including how she secured the legacy of her husband and fellow artist Robert Smithson, as well as several unrealized works that the foundation may realize in the future. The collection, which will soon be digitized, “provides a substantive record for Holt’s interior and exterior world,” says interim director Liza Kirwin. It will also broaden research around women in Land Art, which has long had a reputation as a male-dominated arena. 

Fibonacci House by Twente Additive Manufacturing, available for rent on Airbnb

Today’s attractive distractions:

This new AI camera scans piles of Legos and suggests what you can build. 

Mark Hage peeks inside the abandoned storefronts shuttered by Covid-19.

Would you stay in the world’s first 3D-printed home to be listed on Airbnb?

A bass guitar smashed at a Clash concert enters the Museum of London.

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