Wednesday, August 6, 2008


I really need this today.

Yup - you can consider this puppy approved! Our expediter finally got the paper work filed and tomorrow we can have Vinny go out and pull the permit - we'll get the perf set and the microfilm and at that point we're so close to a green light that I can taste it.

We still need HPD to sign off on our structure before we can really get to it, however. Today the developer tried to help and put some pressure on them to finish the review quickly, and it sounds like they might have actually gotten somewhere. We've been told we can get on to the site friday to do more layout and steel prep (painting) but no steel until we get the go ahead.

Soooo . . . we're close. Real close. But not quite there.

Sadly though, all this paperwork-ness has put us past the point of completing this project on time. We have to start deciding what is going to get cut, what NCS might have to hire someone else to complete during the fall, and what we can somehow speed up. If we can begin Steel construction on monday (still a big If I'm afraid) I think we can still get the pavilion up, the gardens in, and the moss-wall constructed. I think we'll have to sub-out the electric, the PV installation, a lot of the finish work on the planter slatting, completing the water collection and any punch-listing. If we can't start the steel on monday then I think we need to start looking a giving up on steel construction and letting someone else put together the pavilion at a later date. I think we'd get the footings and the girders in. Then we'd stack all the steel in the center and focus all our energy on completing the planters, mosswall, decking and toolshed.

Its going to be so hard to walk away from a half-completed project, and I really feel bad that we'll be letting NCS down. They have been so great to work with and we are all so committed to building this for them. But it just isn't possible anymore, given all the limitations on us. I've been pretty down about this stuff for the past day or so, but I'm getting over it, and now I'm ready to get back to work.

While its really to hard to accept that this project won't be what we wanted because of paperwork problems, I suppose that its all part of the game. Thats what makes architecture more fun than sculpture after all - you have to navigate all these different external pressures, whether its money stuff, client's desires, environmental concerns, the building context, what materials and local building knowledge are available, or all the other crazy fun stuff. So its art, but its art that is part of the world - not outside of it. Our building is ours, but its not only ours: its also part of the larger building culture of NYC, and that includes lots of regulation, and reviewing, and participation by lots of people in any project, even one as small as ours.

So, it is what it is. We'll work as hard as we possibly can, and we'll try our absolute hardest, and we'll have as much fun as we can until they drag us off that roof kicking and screaming August 29th.

We'll all just have to find out what we can get done by then. ;)

We were up on site Tuesday laying out footings and painting some of the steel. Star, Johnny and I got 4 out of 5 located. We're so ready to get going - please just let us get to work people!

Star and I laying out.

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