Tektonomastics - the study of building names - is a project to map and photograph the named buildings of New York City. Join us on our quest for building names!
It’s been quiet here on the blog but we’ve been collecting building names steadily — just passed 400!
Recent additions include The US Senate (yup!) on 2nd Ave in Manhattan, The Mayflower on East Broadway, and a cluster just south of Prospect Park, including Prospect Towers, The Presidio and Los Angeles.
Although the Evanston was converted to a co-op in the 1960s, the Admaston was, like most West Side buildings, a creature of the rent-regulated economy, which meant minimal maintenance, fluorescent lights in the lobby and a day-shift doorman, if that. In the mid-1980s, the Evanston decided to redo the lobby but could not afford the restoration of the deteriorated terrazzo, and covered it with thin marble applique. While intended to exude elegance, the look was down market.
The Admaston was converted to condos around the same time, but did not address its lobby until a decade later, when it laid similar marble over the terrazzo in its entry, and put up a canvas canopy, a sine qua non for a co-op.
Within the last decade, the Evanston has taken up its marble squares, and restored the terrazzo, an expensive but tasteful change. The co-op also took down its awkwardly designed canvas canopy, flooding its lobby with light.
Twins, but they don’t dress alike, June 30, 2011.
Tektonomastics will be searching for named buildings as part of the Conflux festival this weekend. Come and join us!
We have a series of short exploratory walks mapped out, covering the whole of the East Village. Join us at any of the starting points to hear about the project and to be trained in the essentials of Tektonomatology, then head out to walk your route with a spotter card in hand. Each session will take 30-60 mins, come for one or many.
Or, catch up with us any time to take a spotter card to use in your own neighborhood.
Meeting points are shown on the map below - see you there!
Tektonomastics is super excited to be featured in this week’s Urban Omnibus (for those who aren’t avid readers of UO yet, do check it out). We’re hoping to get a lot more action on the site as a result of this, and looking forward to seeing new named buildings appear in the inventory!
Tektonomastics is thrilled to be a featured event at Conflux 2010 — watch this space for more about bringing the hunt for named buildings to the East Village.
A small tweak that makes navigating the site much easier: buildings on the map and their corresponding inventory entries are obviously connected, but due to some structural issues we couldn’t link back and forth. Now you can - here’s Delphina on the map, and here she is in the inventory.
Up next is a re-design of the inventory pages - we’re gathering lots of info and displaying it nicely requires better layout. You can see our roadmap and planned changes taking shape over at trac.tektonomastics.org.
With over 120 buildings in the inventory, we’re starting to explore the data we get from the buildings. Some of the insights come directly from the map: we can identify which neighborhoods buildings are in (Crown Heights is the most common), and track how quickly we’re adding new buildings (big jump in mid-July, steady progress since then).
We’re also going deeper. The ever-excellent OASIS NYC map provides data from the City’s land use record, PLUTO. From this, we learn building age, number of floors and units, area, FAR and more. It’s striking to see how the named building are mostly from the 20s, with 1920 by far the biggest single year. Does this reflect our local bias of buildings around Crown Heights in Brooklyn, or are named buildings mostly a phenomenon of the 20s citywide?
Check out our data page for some dynamic charts generated with Protovis, a wonderful tool for making beautiful charts on the fly. We’re just getting started — we have lots of ideas for dynamic and interactive maps and charts, and are also collecting interesting and unconventional ways to analyze the buildings and how they relate. We’ll post new charts here on the blog as we develop them.
Tektonomastics depends on the crowd to spot buildings and upload photos, so it’s essential that we make that info available back to the crowd… To that end, we just switched on the tektonomastics Data page.
(Thanks Google Earth for this crazy visualization.)
We’ve got some cool stuff under development - including downloads by neighborhoods and live stats. But for now, check out our fresh Google Earth KML file: every building in the Inventory, updated all day long.