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Thursday, May 7, 2009

QBB Cultural Center With Pedestian Access To Queensboro Bridge From Roosevelt Island Proposed By Columbia University Transportion Study

Below is an aerial view of what the area underneath the Queensboro Bridge on Roosevelt Island currently looks like. You can see the Bridge, Tram Station, Steam Plant and Tennis Bubble. The scene can best be described as drab, worn and shabby.

All slides are from the Columbia University Transportation Study of Roosevelt Island

But, according to the recently presented Columbia University Urban Planning Transportation Study (PDF File from Main Street WIRE), this area can be transformed into a 21st Century Queensboro Bridge Cultural Center including a direct connection to the the Bridge from the building thereby permitting pedestrian access to and from Roosevelt Island - a long sought transportation option for some residents.


The idea is similar to one first proposed in 1916 for a food mart with a bakery and butcher shop that would include roof top pedestrian access to the Bridge at the same Roosevelt Island site.

Below are several slides from the Columbia presentation describing the advantages of their proposal




The bureaucratic critics and naysayers raise several objections to the proposal, other than its cost, advising that the landmark status of the Bridge and subway tunnels underneath preclude building such a structure on the site.

If the proposed QBB Cultural Center is not new construction but a modernization of the existing buildings on site, perhaps the subway tunnels underneath would not prohibit its construction - just like the new Tram Station. As to landmark status and other concerns, Streetsblog has some answers:
... Landmark Status: While it's great that the Queensboro Bridge has achieved landmark status, this status should not override legitimate security and public health priorities. Rather it should ensure that any alteration harmonizes with the structure's aesthetics -- you know, the way the building that connected the island to the bridge for four decades did....
And don't forgot those windmills on top of the Queensboro Bridge either.

It doesn't hurt to dream.

2 comments :

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the positive article about University of Columbia's idea
of a Cultural center possibly con-nected to the bridge. It is better to try (and maybe fail) than not to try at all.Times change and it may be possible to circumvent pre-vious obstacles.

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