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Pratt Institute Preview

Monday, June 4th, 2012

Treasures of New York celebrates 125 years of Pratt Institute, located in the heart of Brooklyn and recognized worldwide as an influential institution of art and design.

Hosted by former Pratt student and celebrated writer Pete Hamill, Treasures of New York: Pratt Institute premieres Wednesday, June 13, 2012 at 7 p.m. on WLIW21 and Thursday, June 14, 2012 at 8:30 p.m. on THIRTEEN.

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Building Stories

Tuesday, May 8th, 2012

In collaboration with The Real Deal, Treasures of New York: Building Stories reveals the private life and the creative process of Costas Kondylis, an architect who has arguably done more to directly influence the city’s skyline than any other person currently active in New York —business tycoons, major developers and mayors included. The film follows Kondylis’ career and shows the battle between artistic expression and the bottom line, and gives a critical examination of what it takes to design a building and gain its approval in the high-powered world of New York City real estate.

The film features development moguls Donald Trump, Larry Silverstein, and Aby Rosen; founding editor of Dwell magazine, Karrie Jacobs; architecture critics and historians, James Gardner, Francis Morrone, and Kenneth Frampton; and Pritzker Prize-winning architect Richard Meier.

Building Stories is produced by Amir Korangy, directed by Toni Comas, and written by Stuart Elliott of The Real Deal magazine.

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Producer Amir Korangy on Building Stories

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012

'The Real Deal' publisher Amir Korangy. Photo by Derek Zahedi.

THIRTEEN recently spoke with Building Stories producer and publisher of The Real Deal, Amir Korangy, who explains architect Costas Kondylis’ impact on the New York City skyline and how he earned the reputation of being the “developer’s architect.”

Treasures of New York: Building Stories premieres Wednesday, May 2 at 7 p.m. on WLIW21 and Sunday, May 6 at 7 p.m. on THIRTEEN.

How did New York City influence Costas Kondylis’ work ­ in terms of factors like limited space and the grid layout?

Every building that you see built today is a result of a thousand compromises. Developers need approval from customers, city and community boards, and the best designs are not necessarily the ones that get approved.  There is little room for experimentation, but creative architects try to express themselves in the details. The way the building is angled and how the light comes in to the space and how the rooms are connected, etc. Those limitations also happen to define the architect.

How much do you think Kondylis’ career and designs were a product of the time he was working in? Would his designs be different were he starting out today?

Would Picasso’s paintings be different if he were working today? Hard to say, but probably. Costas’ designs have evolved over the years as has the discipline around him.  If you see a range of his work, you can identify every style within that spectrum. Costas’ designs from 20 years ago are selling today, with very little modifications, in China, South America and Europe. In the movie Larry Silverstein says, “Costas is capable of creating any design that the development calls for.” That’s a sign of a disciplined and skillful architect.

Actor Rodin Hamidi (Young Costas) with director Toni Comas. Photo courtesy of Toni Comas.

How did you decide on the format of the film – ­ to feature reenactments with actors and voiceover, and to incorporate Donald Trump and Kondylis himself?

We were exceptionally lucky in that all the major players – Donald Trump, Larry Silverstein, Joseph Rose and of course Kondylis – in our story still happened to be alive and in New York. They were never interviewed together, yet they recalled the stories as  though they were reading a script in the same room. It worked out perfectly. The director Toni Comas believed that the reenactments would only add to the dramatic arc, and clearly, he was right.

Kondylis is known as the “developer’s architect” because he utilized space so efficiently in his designs.  How do you think Kondylis and his work evolved over his career? Do you think he took charge of his designs to a greater degree later in his career?

Developers hired Costas because he has seen more buildings go up than the most seasoned ones. He was responsible for 65 high-rises in New York City in the 2000s alone. That’s more than Rosario Candela’s entire career. That’s a testament to his ability to be able to work and design in the toughest city in the world. His developers trusted him as Trump did with the Trump World Tower, which also happened to be the largest residential tower in the world at the time it went up.

What do you think Kondylis will be most remembered for?

Trump World Tower for it’s design and engineering accomplishment and the Riverside West development, for it’s sheer size and impact on the skyline, for better or worse.

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Building Stories Preview

Wednesday, April 18th, 2012

In collaboration with The Real Deal, Treasures of New York: Building Stories reveals the private life and the creative process of Costas Kondylis, an architect who has arguably done more to directly influence the city’s skyline than any other person currently active in New York.

The film features development moguls Donald Trump, Larry Silverstein, and Aby Rosen; founding editor of Dwell magazine, Karrie Jacobs; architecture critics and historians, James Gardner, Francis Morrone, and Kenneth Frampton; and Pritzker Prize-winning architect Richard Meier.

Treasures of New York: Building Stories premieres Wednesday, May 2 at 7 p.m. on WLIW21 and Sunday, May 6 at 7 p.m. on THIRTEEN.

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Hearst Tower

Friday, March 9th, 2012

In its latest production, Treasures of New York goes on a private tour inside Hearst’s world headquarters to explore New York City’s first completed “green” office building designed by Pritzker Prize-winning Norman Foster.  Standing in Midtown Manhattan on the corner of Eighth Avenue and 57th Street, the tower is a recent iconic addition to the City’s famed skyline.  The glass-and-steel high-rise soars from the original six-story landmark structure built in 1928, conceived by Joseph Urban.

Hearst Tower redefined the modern skyscraper and pioneered a sustainable architectural vision for the 21st century. Timed with Hearst Corporation’s 125th anniversary, the film also highlights Hearst’s history and growth into one of the America’s largest diversified media and information companies.

In addition to revealing Hearst Tower’s engineering marvel, WNET gets exclusive access inside all of the Tower’s state-of-the-art spaces, including its digital photo studio, 165-seat theater, Cafe57, health club and the renowned Good Housekeeping Research Institute.

Development began right after 9/11 and Hearst Tower opened in 2006 with an innovative diagrid (diagonal grid) formed by interlocking triangles as a contemporary response and completion to the existing art deco base. The sturdy diagrid design allowed it to be the first New York City skyscraper without vertical beams. Designed by Foster, the Tower balances modernity and tradition, while looking to the future by adhering to environmental ethics. It was the first New York City office building to receive the coveted Gold rating under the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program.

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Hearst Corporation’s Lou Nowikas on the Architecture of Hearst Tower

Monday, March 5th, 2012

Lou Nowikas, Senior Director of Corporate Real Estate and Facilities Planning at Hearst Corporation

THIRTEEN spoke with Lou Nowikas, Senior Director of Corporate Real Estate and Facilities Planning at Hearst Corporation, to learn more about Hearst Tower’s unique design and history. The Tower is profiled in the fourth episode of Treasures of New York, airing Wednesday, March 7 at 7 p.m. on WLIW21, and Thursday, March 8 at 8 p.m. on THIRTEEN.

Why was the 57th Street location chosen for Hearst Tower?

This was the site of the original Hearst headquarters, the International Magazine Building, built by W.R. Hearst in the late 1920s. Hearst owned the air rights above the landmarked building, so it made perfect sense to erect the Tower above the original base, a place that has been Hearst’s home for nearly 100 years.

What’s your favorite green feature of the Tower?

While this might be considered a cop out, I don’t have a “favorite.” The fact that Hearst Tower has achieved both LEED Gold for New Construction and LEED Platinum for Existing Buildings speaks to the overall commitment to sustainability. My favorite aspect of the Hearst building is that our culture is to continually raise the bar. We are always asking, “what’s next?”

Nowikas provides a look at one of Hearst Tower’s greenest features, its storm water tank:

What was the most challenging aspect of building Hearst Tower?

The most challenging aspect of building the Tower was the actual construction. The logistics of demolishing the interior of the old building and constructing a modern skyscraper within the footprint of the original building, all while painstakingly restoring the landmark façade, was very challenging for all involved.

Besides Hearst Tower, what other skyscrapers in the world do you like?

There are too many to list. I most admire those buildings that focus on the sustainability and health of the environment they both create and are surrounded by.  That said, for only the huge scale alone, I have to like the Burj Dubai – it just pushes the envelope beyond what seems reasonable.

What to you makes Hearst Tower a treasure of New York?

Hearst Tower is a metaphor for Hearst Corporation—based in a legacy rich with culture and built by William Randolph himself. Hearst is a forward thinking, progressive company that not only cares for the health and well-being of its employees, but also for the environment in which it exists. In addition, not only has Hearst been based in NYC for almost a century, but the renewed commitment to the city to build the Tower in the immediate wake of the tragic events of 9/11 speaks volumes to why Hearst Tower is a true treasure of NYC. I am proud to be a part of a company that had such courage in a time when the masses were fleeing.

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Hearst Tower: Marie Claire’s Joanna Coles

Thursday, March 1st, 2012

Joanna Coles, Editor-in-Chief of Marie Claire, discusses the magnificent views from Marie Claire’s offices in Hearst Tower.

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Hearst Tower Preview

Tuesday, February 14th, 2012

This March, Treasures of New York takes viewers on a private tour of Hearst Tower, the Hearst Corporation’s world headquarters, located on Eighth Avenue and 57th Street in Manhattan. Timed with Hearst Corporation’s 125th anniversary, the film also highlights Hearst’s history and growth into one of America’s largest media and information companies.

Treasures of New York: Hearst Tower premieres Wednesday, March 7 at 7 p.m. on WLIW21 and Thursday, March 8 at 8 p.m. on THIRTEEN.


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New-York Historical Society’s Conservation Lab

Tuesday, February 14th, 2012

Treasures of New York visits the New-York Historical Society’s conservation lab to get a closer look at the conservation process for some of their collections.

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The New-York Historical Society

Friday, December 16th, 2011

On November 11, 2011, the New-York Historical Society “reinvented” history when it unveiled a $70 million dollar transformation complete with state-of-the-art installations to connect visitors to history in more ways than ever before imagined. The 207-year-old museum joined the renaissance of cultural institutions that have recently completed full-on renovations. Treasures of New York goes behind-the-scenes for an inside look at the days leading up to the grand reopening to reveal the dramatic renovation of its landmark building on Central Park West. Viewers are invited for a tour of the museum’s latest additions including the original ceiling of Keith Haring’s Pop Shop in SoHo and to watch the New-York Historical’s staff collect “history in the making” ephemera from the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations.

Hosted and narrated by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jon Meacham, the film details the history and mission of one of the nation’s foremost research libraries and the transformation of New York’s first museum.

The New-York Historical contains an astounding collection of historical artifacts and art pertaining to American history, collected since its founding in 1804. Their art holdings comprise more than 1.6 million works including all 435 of John James Audubon’s extant preparatory watercolors for Birds of America. Their library contains three million books and a wide range of documents and photographs. The film interviews leaders from the New-York Historical Society, including Louise Mirrer, President and CEO, Jean W. Ashton, Executive Vice President and Director of the Library Division, and Linda S. Ferber, Vice President and Senior Art Historian, and Roger Hertog, Chairman. The program also follows conservators as they repair, digitize, and prepare the New-York Historical Society’s works for the reopening.

Highlights include the Keith Haring ceiling, the Lansing Notebooks, a collection of notes taken by John Lansing Jr. during the Constitutional Convention of 1787, and a specially-restored masterpiece, Louis Lang’s Return of the 69th Regiment, which will serve as the centerpiece of the new exhibit Making American Taste: Narrative Art for a New Democracy.

The New-York Historical Society also debuted the DiMenna Children’s History Museum and the Barbara K. Lipman Children’s History Library, which “make history matter” and fun for the young generation. The new facilities are devoted to teaching New York history through interactive and engaging stories and artifacts of children to show kids that they are part of history.

Major support for Treasures of New York: The New-York Historical Society is provided by Bernard and Irene Schwartz, Cheryl and Philip Milstein Family, and the Metropolitan Media Fund.

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