CONSTRUCTION DETAILS The Friends of the Upper East Side Historic Districts held an awards ceremony and meeting last week at the New York School of Interior Design. The organization's president, Anne Millard, opened by thanking everyone for coming and noted that every time they meet at the New York School of Interior Design it has been stormy outside.
She announced that the Friends of the Upper East Side Historic Districts is planning a benefit for September 27 at which author Louis Auchincloss would be named Ambassador of the Upper East Side. An audience member later mentioned the date was Mr. Auchincloss's birthday.
The vice president of Friends, Rita Chu, stood next to run the election of directors and officers. She said, over the course of running the voting for many years, she had learned, "My job is to conduct the election. Your job is to agree with me."
The preservations chair, Franny Eberhart, spoke next, saying that the awards bestowed that evening were significant, since when it comes to preservation battles, "We don't win them all." She also asked that winners have one primary spokesperson accept the award "so we don't sound like the Academy Awards or Golden Globes."
She presented the Clean Sweep Award to Karim Rashid, Eva Moskowitz, and the Madison Avenue Business Improvement District for theirnew design for Madison Avenue newspaper boxes. The first one is currently at Madison Avenue and 77th Street. Ms. Eberhart said that the sleek design defers to its surroundings. The audience looked at an overhead slide showing a box and a "dreadful tangle" of newspaper boxes across the street that the new single boxes were designed to eliminate.
Ms. Moskowitz said that the project was an instance of true public-private partnership and born out of a discussion of "what can we do to make our sidewalk space more pleasing."
Next was the Restoring Modernism Award for 10 E. 87 St. for, as Ms. Eberhart said, its "subtle and successful" restoration of an original glass mosaic. Presenter Jan Hird Pokorny said it was a delight to be called to present an award for a building he designed half a century ago. He recalled finding an arrowhead on the site and said that the original client was most unusual. Mr. Pokorny said it was the only time in his career where the owner "never once asked us what the price will be." Accepting the award were Lichten Craig Architects, Chilmarks Builders, Anastos Engineering Associates, Sribala Subramanian, and Arvind Raghunathan.
The Technology Award went to the Landmarks Preservation Commission Online Permit Decisions program. Ross Sandler of the Center for New York City Law was unable to attend, and Robert Tierney of the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission accepted the award. The award presenter, a former executive director of the Municipal Art Society, Margot Wellington, said, "Wherever Ross is, something good happens." Having permit decisions available for public perusal online, Mr. Tierney said, was just one of Mayor Bloomberg's initiatives to make government processes more "open" and "transparent" to citizens.
The Restoration Award went to 998 Fifth Ave. for returning its ornamented iron-and-glass marquee to its original grandeur. This 50-foot-long canopy was sent to rural Pennsylvania for restoration of its original details and glass panels, which had been replaced with metal possibly during World War II. McKim, Mead & White designed the building. Architectural consultant Andrew Alpern and Joseph Perella, who represented the residents of the building, accepted the award.
A Restoration Award was also given to the neo-Baroque Church of St. Ignatius Loyola at 980 Park Avenue. Reverend John Kamas presented the award.
The Extra Mile Award went to 1111 Park Ave. for a restoration that included replacing 600 fractured terracotta pieces. Mr. Alpern, who presented this award, said they could have done a patchwork that was "structurally sufficient" but they "took the high road" and magnificently restored their half-block of Park Avenue.
BROOKLYN BASICS Townhouse Media, led by Publisher Joseph Mc-Carthy, has purchased BKLYN, the quarterly magazine, and hopes to publish bimonthly by fall 2005.
Mr. McCarthy, who settled in Cobble Hill in 1984, told the Knickerbocker, "Brooklyn has evolved and changed and deserves its own magazine. There have been a couple of attempts in the past to create a magazine for Brooklyn. Brooklyn is a very large and diverse community. Our goal is to create a small, highly targeted product that will attract advertising and allow us to grow organically."
For the past 14 years, Mr. Mc-Carthy has been president of Mc-Carthy Communications, which has worked with businesses and nonprofit organizations. He is also a filmmaker, having produced and directed "The Brave Man," about the Battle of Brooklyn.
About the magazine, he said, "We don't need to tell our readers how cool Brooklyn is, because they've invested in Brooklyn already: they've moved here. The people who buy houses in Brooklyn could buy houses in Montlcair, Bronxville, Westport, or wherever. Our goal is to help them get the most out of living in Brooklyn."
DECONSTRUCTIONIST DETAIL New York University's dean of the faculty of arts and sciences, Richard Foley, offered welcoming remarks at a memorial Friday for French philosopher and literary theorist Jacques Derrida (1930-2004). He described him as "Wittgenstein with a sense of humor." He said one could even tease him about his influence. Mr. Foley once told Derrida that he didn't think there was another intellectual "so opposed by so many people who have never read him." "Yes, yes," Derrida replied, adding, "but the reverse is much more dangerous" - for someone to be "widely admired and widely honored" by people who have never read the author.