a further focus on an urban view

Last September, in reclaiming the urban memory , myurbanist profiled legendary photographer Burton Holmes, his dramatic imagery, international travelogue presentations and the implications of his work for today’s urbanism.

Perhaps not surprisingly, Holmes’ urban chronicles also had a domestic element, which centered on the New York skyline, and his classic, breathtaking city view.

Bearing an apt explorer’s moniker, his New York apartment on the west side of Central Park was called “Nirvana”. Not unlike his depictions of urban scenes abroad, Holmes once described–and photographed– the “wondrous” perspective on city life looking out from his home base:

Some day I will attempt a lecture on New York City, a subject no lecturer possessed of half an eye or half a tongue could really fail to put across to an audience.

Thinking thus, I gaze from my own apartment windows which look down on Central Park. I see beyond that spacious playground…

Who in all the world could not be thrilled by such a sight as all this.

–Burton Holmes, as quoted by Genoa Caldwell in The Man Who Photographed the World, 1977

Under copyright of the Burton Holmes Historical Collection (BHHC), here is Holmes’ photo, surveying Central Park South, and, by special permission from BHHC, newly enhanced with dimensions of music and motion.

Our goal? To complement Holmes’ already remarkable words, images and urban portrayals, in order to further focus the senses on all that a city can be.

Original photograph ©2006 BHHC, enhanced by myurbanist. Restricted use. Do not copy.

walkable urbanism–four renderings

Abstractions often send messages and inspiration for change.

Here are four stylized renderings based on myurbanist photographs, commissioned to further contemporary dialogue about urban experience by foot, and to enhance our sense of the possible.

In each case, the artist has responded to the original imagery in ways that emphasize native interaction with public space. Click on each image for more detail.

mayoral urbanist, part 5 (confessions of a transitional ambassador)

As noted in the post below, Seattle’s Mayor-elect McGinn is holding three town halls this week, beginning tonight. The Mayor-elect’s “open source transition” is predicated on such inclusionary outreach, with three questions in mind. Prior to the town halls, several “ambassadors” parlayed these questions to representative groups throughout the city. Selected myurbanist alter-egos served as a bridge to largely “downtown” interests, as well as non-governmental organizations and peer professionals involved in land use issues. Here’s what we heard: