Seven compelling visions for the future of the Grand Concourse edged out nearly 200 other proposals to be selected as finalists in an ideas competition were presented at the Bronx Museum of the Arts and the Center for Architecture for the Grand Concourse: Beyond 100 project.
The Grand Concourse was
conceived during the height of the City Beautiful Movement as the residential
Champs Élysées of the Bronx, a broad promenade intended to inspire harmonious
social order through grand design. Designed as a wide, tree-lined thoroughfare
with carriage drives, bridle paths and sunken cross-streets, it was conceived
in 1870 by engineer Louis Risse as a means to connect Manhattan to the parks of
the Northern Bronx.
Built in 1909, the Concourse stretches 4 miles in length and measures 180 feet across, with tree-lined dividers separating it into three distinct roadways. Today, the Grand Concourse hosts the largest collection of Art Deco and Art Moderne style buildings in America. The buildings were–and still are–grand, with elaborate ornamentation, large lobbies, landscaped courtyards, elevators, large windows and many amenities that older Manhattan apartments lacked.
Mirroring the tumultuous history of the Bronx itself, the Concourse has survived the ravages of arson, dramatic shifts in population, and an overall decline in the quality of life since the 1970s. After decades of decline, the borough’s social, economic and environmental infrastructure are poised for rebirth. Now is the time to make sure that the Bronx’s omnipresent dynamism, occasional radicalism, and enduring creativity find expression in its public realm.
This competition challenged
entrants to answer these questions:
Seven compelling visions for the future of the Grand Concourse edged out nearly 200 other proposals to be selected as finalists in an ideas competition co-organized and presented by The Bronx Museum of the Arts and Design Trust. Green footbridges traverse the Concourse’s “art deco cliffs” as streetcars zoom below; a series of windmills generate energy while creating new public spaces; farm plots and farm stands weave in and out of playgrounds and public plazas; and a boulevard-long audio-visual nervous system connects people along the Concourse with each other and the world: these are among the compelling concepts for a 21st century New York City that made it to the penultimate round of the competition.
“This competition comes at an extraordinarily opportune time. While good work has been done in recent years in the Bronx, by both city agencies and the private sector, a clear plan for the borough as a whole and the Concourse specifically has yet to emerge,” says Marton.
Christina Belton, Taewook Cha, Brenda Curtis, Lia Kelerchian, Gentry Lock, Erika Matthias and Shachi Pandey of EDAW-NYC
New York, NY, USA
From Speedway to Mainstreet
Vincent Lavergne, Jeremy Nadau, Mathieu Lavergne, Remi Mendes of Nadau Lavergne Architects
The Grand Resource
Jason Austin, Aleksandr Mergold of Austin+Mergold LLC
Philadelphia, PA, USA
Brooklyn, NY, USA
p.U.M.p. (First Prize Winner)
Dongsei Kim, Jamieson Fajardo of Columbia University
New York, NY, USA
Point by Point Development
Christopher Ryan of Harvard University
Cambridge, MA, USA
Revisioning the Bronx Grand Concourse: A Community-Centered Approach
Emily Osgood, Alejandra Diaz, Laura Keller, Megan Gibbons, Lisa Woodley of MISI Company; Itir Sonuparlak of Columbia University
New York, NY