Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Remodeling adds less to home resale values than it used to - Dec. 18, 2009

Remodeling adds less to home resale values than it used to - Dec. 18, 2009

Posted using ShareThis

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

City of Peekskill Brushes Up Definition of Artist

Peekskill may widen eligibility criteria for artists’ housing.

WITH Westchester County’s real estate market a challenge these days, Peekskill is doing its part by rethinking the criteria for eligibility for its artists’ housing.

The city’s live-work rentals were developed over the last two decades in the downtown historic district. Peekskill created an artists’ zone in this eight-block area by allowing the conversion of empty space over storefronts as part of a revitalization project. In all, 49 rental units have been built on the upper floors of commercial buildings, along with 28 units in a co-op built with city, county and state funds.

Peekskill Art Lofts, a 28-unit work/live residential
co-operative for Peekskill certified artists.

Published: December 4, 2009


Tuesday, August 25, 2009

NYS Historic Preservation Tax Credit Bill Signed

July 29, 2009


Program Will Create Jobs and Draw Private Investment to New York’s Historic Main Streets Enhancements Will Make Tax Credits More Effective in Preserving Historic Structures

Governor David A. Paterson signed legislation to strengthen the New York State Historic Preservation Tax Credit, improving a program that will stimulate investment in urban neighborhoods, create jobs, increase property values and revitalize historic areas.

The Governor held a ceremonial bill signing at the Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society and was joined by members of the Senate, Assembly and community.

The rehabilitation tax credit program provides incentives to developers, municipalities, businesses and residents to make investments in distressed areas by rehabilitating historic properties that are listed on the State and National Registers of Historic Places.

“New York has a wealth of historic properties, particularly in our small cities, that are falling into disrepair or are underutilized. The enhanced Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit will breathe new life into the State’s historic downtown areas while creating jobs and revitalizing the economy,” said Governor Paterson. “

As we move forward toward the New Economy, it is critical that we continue to use our State resources to leverage private investment dollars to take our distressed historic areas and return them to vibrant centers of commerce and culture.”

Historic preservation efforts play an important role in smart growth community renewal. Preservation efforts have proven to create jobs, attract small business, increase property values and promote affordable housing. In addition, historic preservation works to enhance the quality of life in historic urban neighborhoods by maintaining the distinctive culture and character of the area.

The enhancements signed by Governor Paterson will provide the following tax incentives for qualified historic properties:

Gradually increase over five years the cap on the commercial credit value from $100,000 to $5 million and the residential credit value from $25,000 to $50,000;

Target the credit in “distressed” areas -- those located within a Census tract identified at or below one hundred percent of the median family income;

Increase the share of qualified rehabilitation costs that commercial property owners can claim for the credit from 6 percent to 20 percent; and

Offer the Preservation Tax Credit as a rebate for lower income homeowners to provide them with a stronger financial incentive with relatively smaller tax liability.

The program will apply to taxable years beginning January 1, 2010, and will sunset in five years on December 31, 2014.


Sunday, August 2, 2009

Construction Site Weather Forecasting

Construction Site Weather Forecasting

Flag Still = Calm
Flag Moving = Light Wind
Flag Blowing in Breeze = Heavy Wind
Flag Wet = Light Rain
Flag Dripping = Heavy Rain
Flag Dry = Sunny
Flag White = Snow
Flag Still & Cold = Icy
Flag Invisible = Fog
Flag Gone = Hurricane

Friday, July 3, 2009

Considering an Addition, Renovation, Alteration

Send me your pictures, sketches, floor plans of the location
your considering renovating, adding on to, or alterating for
a free quote and/or critique

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Wanted: Home Renovation Salvage

Do You Have These Items To Sell?

Hudson Valley HistoricsCustomers Want To Buy Them! http://www.hudsonvalleyhistorics.com/

During the past few weeks, our customers have requested quite a few items -- so many, in fact that we decided to list them and see if any of *you* have these items and are interested in selling them:

Newel Post:43" post for a renovation in Brooklyn. Antique in dark wood if possible.Cast Iron

Enamel Sink:Double Sink Requested, but will look at anything. Needs to fit into a 36" base cabinet.

Porch Post:Antique turned wood, 6" in diameter, 90"-96" tall for a renovation in Long Island.

Sliders. French Doors or Oversized Windows:Addition being planned for a house in New Jersey. Rear wall will be mostly glass, and hopefully will have a slider of french door (or two) as a centerpiece.

Kitchen Cabinets:New/Unused kitchen cabinets, white preferred, but will consider wood.

Feel free to forward this post to any friends, homeowners, contractors, builders or architects you know. Perhaps you can help them sell something that they've been holding on to waiting for the right person to use it. If you have something to sell, let us know, and if you have specific product needs, send us an email!

As always, we'll handle all the negotiations, payment, pick-up and delivery of any of the items we sell for you.Thanks in advance for reading this email and to helping us repurpose building materials.

Matt Kovner
Hudson Valley Historics

Monday, June 15, 2009

AGC: Construction unemployment reaches 19.2%

Building Design and Construction
June 5, 2009

Unemployment in the construction sector climbed to a “horrendous” 19.2 percent (not-seasonally adjusted) as an additional 59,000 construction workers lost their jobs in May according to new federal data, said construction economist Ken Simonson today.

Simonson, who discussed the significance of the new jobs data during a media conference call with contractors from across the country, said that construction employment has declined by 990,000 jobs, or 14 percent, in the past year while overall nonfarm employment has declined by 4 percent.

“Construction continues to bear a disproportionate share of the pain from the recession,” Simonson, the chief economist for the Associated General Contractors of America, said. “Simply put, the unemployment rate for construction in May was horrendous.”

Simonson said that the construction employment figures would likely have been worse if not for the stimulus. “The stimulus is doing its job putting men and women back to work,” and, “It is boosting opportunity and generating economic activity in an increasingly broad geographic area.”

Read Simonson's remarks at: http://www.agc.org/galleries/news/May%20Jobs%20Remarks.pdf.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Peekskill 12th Annual Open Studios

Peekskill 12th Annual Open Studios

Sat & Sun, June 6 & 7, Noon - 5pm

100+ artists 12+ exhibiton 25+ artists' studios
Art all around the town!


Free Guided Tours from the Gazebo at 1 pm and 3 pm both days or pick up the map and walk on your own.

George Dubinsky, Eclectic ImagesThe Field Library
Drawn Group show of PAC membersStandard House thru July 26
Off the Beaten Track--Peekskill artists Westchester Community College
Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art, Free admission during Open Studios
Openings and Artist's Receptions
Peekskill Youth Bureau Paint-In at the Field Library during Open Studios
Free Shuttle Bus-to the Standard House, the Hat Factory, HVCCA and the Gazebo
Free parking through out downtown

PARTICIPATING ARTISTS (updated) Scarlett Antonia, Joanna Astor, Andrew Barthelmes, Bob Barthelmes, Brian Beaton, Deborah Beck, Curt Belshe, Kelli Bickman, Leela Bora, Lisa Breznak, Jo-Ann Brody, Chris Burke, Ed Burke, Larry D'Amico, Jeanne Demotses, Dana DeVito, Inge Dube, Jessica Dubin, George Dubinsky, Marcy B. Freedman, Wendie Garber, Laura Gillen, Howard Goodman, Nadine Gordon Taylor, Elana Goren, Lorraine Gregus, Sarah Haviland, Anne Johann, Carla Rae Johnson, Barbara Jones, Kevin Kall, Adele Kamp, Cheolhwan Kim, Thomas Kuehl, Leslie Lew, Brook Maher, Stephen Mancusi, Bill Maxwell, Sherry Mayo, Wilfredo Morel, Roshi Newman, Joanne Oechsner, Bohdan Osyczka, Gene Panczenko, Berenice Pliskin, Bob Pliskin, Lisa Prown, Leah Quinn, Sheilah Rechtschaffer, Derek Reist, Susan Roecker, Marilyn R. Rosenberg, Donna Rossi, Calvert Schlick, Ilse Schreiber Noll, Phyllis Senghaas, Barbara Smith, Joe Squillante, Peg Taylor, Sone Tower, Leigh Trifari, Keren Valentin, Patty Villanova, Anthony Volpe, Carol Wax, Lavinia Wiggins, Linda Winters, Maureen Winzig, Yardena Donig Youner, Judy Zabar & others

For further information call
Larry D'Amico at 734-1292
Jo-Ann Brody at 737-1646
Peekskill Arts Council
P O Box 2268
Peekskill, New York 10566

For further information
Click this link to our web site

Galleries, Museums and Exhibitions
Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art, Paramount Center for the Arts, Steel Imaginations, The Gallery at Westchester Community College, The Field Library Gallery, The Standard House, The Art Lot, The Garden Gallery at the Hudson River Health Care Center, The Bean Runner Cafe, Flat Iron Gallery, Driftwood Gallery, Peekskill Coffee House Open Studios is sponsored by the Peekskill Arts Council, Arts Westchester, the City of Peekskill & local businesses.


At the Gazebo Park & Division Sts.
Lauren Michelle & Paolo demonstrate Swing Dance
Saturday 2-3:30 Jazz singer Papahawk Goldberg
Sunday 3-5pm Jazz duo: Bert Rechtschaffer & Frank Paul Pierangelo

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Builders say demand for front porches rising

By Mary Beth Breckenridge mcclatchy-tribune

A front porch is more than a shelter from the elements. It's a friendly face on a home, a comfortable bridge between our private lives and our public selves. And almost by its very presence, it conveys neighborliness.

That's a big part of the reason housing experts believe the front porch is regaining its importance in home construction.

Increasing demand for front porches in new homes was projected by most of the 60 builders, architects, designers and other specialists who were surveyed for the National Association of Home Builders' Home of the Future study in 2007.

Among the panelists, 70 percent predicted front porches would become popular in new homes of about 2,400 square feet, while 79 percent expected it to be a desired feature in upscale homes of 3,000 feet or more. The experts aren't talking about porches intended primarily for decoration, noted Steve Melman, the association's director of economic services.

"This is something where you could actually sit out," a covered space big enough to accommodate a swing or a table and chairs. Melman thinks the movement has several roots.

Front porches fit with the trend toward traditional home design, and they meet homeowners' desire for a more casual lifestyle, he said.

What's more, Melman said, porches feed people's desire to belong. A front porch is an icon of the American neighborhood, and its presence helps create a sense of community almost instantly".

For more go to ......

Thomas M. Leigh, Architect is currently designing a front porch addition for a 1970's home in Cortlandt Manor, NY; a Hudson River Town.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Definition: Architecture and Architects


“The practice of the profession of architecture is defined as rendering or offering to render services which require the application of the art, science, and aesthetics of design and construction of buildings, groups of buildings, including their components and appurtenances and the spaces around them wherein the safeguarding of life, health, property, and public welfare is concerned. Such services include, but are not limited to consultation, evaluation, planning, the provision of preliminary studies, designs, construction documents, construction management, and the administration of construction contracts.”

NYS Education Law, Article 147, Architecture § 7301

Practice of architecture and use of title "architect".

Only a person licensed or otherwise authorized to practice under this article shall practice architecture or use the title "architect".

NYS Education Law, Article 147, Architecture § 7302


Saturday, May 23, 2009

The Peekskill Arts Council is now on LinkedIn.com

The Peekskill Arts Council nonprofit organization founded in 1995 after the successful creation of an artist district project which brought professional artists to live and work in the downtown area of Peekskill, New York.

The Peekskill Arts Council's mission is to educate the general public about the arts and serve as community resource for the artists and arts community, and to pursue the initiation of arts related projects. The resource of professional artists in the City of Peekskill encouraged and nurtured many new exciting community arts and cultural projects.

That mission is fulfilled by developing artistic events and installations, establishing public gallery space, strengthening arts in education in the local schools, promoting and disseminating information on the arts and supporting the needs of artist in the community.

The Peekskill Arts Council not only showcases artists, but involves the entire community with many innovative programs. Hundreds of community children have benefited from PAC sponsored events, including the annual Creative Arts Summer Camps run in cooperation with the Peekskill Parks & Recreation Department, in school, after school and vacation arts workshops and the Children's Arts Festival.

Over the past 10 years, thousands of people have participated in the annual Peekskill Open Studio events. The PAC works with the Peekskill Business Improvement District, the City of Peekskill, the Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art, and the Paramount Center for the Arts to serve all members of the community.



Friday, May 22, 2009

HUD Energy Retrofits Grants for Multifamily Housing


Press Release from HUD Headquarters for your information. HUD NEWS U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development - Shaun Donovan, Secretary Office of Public Affairs, Washington, DC 20410

HUD No. 09-061 FOR RELEASE Brian Sullivan Thursday (202) 708-0685 May 14, 2009 http://www.hud.gov/news/index.cfm


Grants and loans intended to create 'green collar jobs' and reduce energy costs

WASHINGTON - Approximately 25,000 apartment units will become more energy efficient as the result of approximately $250 million in grants and loans being offered today by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The funding, being made available through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act), which was signed into law by President Obama on February 17, is designed to create thousands of 'green collar jobs' as workers retrofit older federally assisted multi-family apartment developments with the next generation of energy efficient technologies.

HUD's new Green Retrofit Program for Multifamily Housing ,will offer up to $15,000 per residential unit to reduce energy costs, cut water consumption, and improve indoor air quality.

Eligible applicants must already be HUD assisted, either through Section 8 project-based rental assistance or the Department's Section 202 (elderly) and Section 811 (disabled) programs. Applications for funds are being accepted beginning June 15, 2009.

"The funding that we make available today will not only improve our housing stock, but will lower energy costs and create green jobs in the process,"

said HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan.

"This Administration is working overtime to ensure that Recovery Act funding will not only jump start America's economy, but will also put us on a path toward energy independence while improving living conditions for tens of thousands of lower income families."

Grants and loans provided through this program will help private landlords and property management companies to cut heating and air conditioning costs by installing more efficient heating and cooling systems and to reduce water use by replacing faucets and toilets.

These Recovery Act funds will also produce other environmental benefits by encouraging the use of recycled building materials, reflective roofing, and low-VOC products to reduce potentially harmful 'out gassing.'

Initially, applicants will be assessed based on their financial health prior to more thorough underwriting and an physical evaluation of the property itself.

The Recovery Act includes $13.61 billion for projects and programs administered by HUD, nearly 75% of which was allocated to state and local recipients only eight days after President Obama signed the Act into law.

The remaining 25% of funds will be awarded through a competitive grant process in the coming months.

HUD is committed to implementing Recovery Act investments swiftly and effectively as they generate tens of thousands of jobs, modernize homes to make them energy efficient, and help the families and communities hardest hit by the economic crisis.

In addition, Secretary Donovan and the Department are committed to providing the highest level of transparency possible as Recovery Act funds are administered. It is vitally important that the American people are fully aware of how their tax dollars are being spent and can hold their federal leaders accountable.

Every dollar of Recovery Act funds HUD spends can be reviewed and tracked at HUD's Recovery Act website< http://www.linkedin.com/redirect?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Ehud%2Egov%2Frecovery&urlhash=am2l&_t=disc_detail_link >.

The full text of HUD's funding notices and tracking of future performance of these grants is also available at HUD's Recovery Act website< http://www.linkedin.com/redirect?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Ehud%2Egov%2Frecovery&urlhash=am2l&_t=disc_detail_link >.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

AIA Westchester/Mid-Hudson Chapter is now on LinkedIn

Thomas M. Leigh, AIA LEED AP has been added as a Manager of the LinkedIn group, AIA Westchester/Mid-Hudson.

Chartered by the American Institute of Architects on October 22, 1936, AIA Westchester / Mid-Hudson represents over 600 local members.

The chapter works to achieve a more humane built environment and a higher standard of professionalism for architects throughout Westchester County and the Hudson Valley region of New York State.

Chapter website: http://www.aiaarchitect.net/site/index.php

Lets connect!: http://LinkedIn/in/TMLeigh

Federal Historic Preservation Tax Incentive Seminar

City of Peekskill Federal Historic Preservation Tax Incentive Seminar

Westchester Community College- Peekskill Extension 27 N. Division Street Tuesday, May 19, 2009 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

RSVP Required! Registration to next week’s Federal Historic Tax Incentive Seminar.

The doors of Westchester Community College will open at 8:30 a.m. for registration, a light continental breakfast, and networking. The program will begin promptly at 9:00 a.m. and should conclude no later than 11:30 a.m.

There are several downtown public parking lots available within walking distance of the classrooms. These lots are all metered, so please bring appropriate change for the meter. You should be aware that North Division Street and Main Street are presently undergoing a significant renovation. So there is very limited street parking on North Division and Main Street. The best opportunity for parking will be in the James Street or Nelson Avenue garages.

CONTACT: Christopher Marra Economic Development Specialist City of Peekskill 840 Main Street Peekskill, NY 10566 (T) 914-293-0916 (F) 914-737-2688 www.cityofpeekskill.com www.artalongthehudson.com



RECEPTION HOSTED BY Cunneen-Hackett in Poughkeepsie, NYMay 28, 2009 6 – 8pm

Art Along the Hudson – 7 Cities, 7 Celebrations kicks off the 2009 summer season with a reception at Cunneen-Hackett, 9 Vassar Street, Poughkeepsie, NY 6:00 to 8:00 pm. In its sixth year, Art Along the Hudson continues to celebrate the arts in Kingston, Beacon, Catskill, Poughkeepsie and Newburgh plus new venues of New Paltz and Peekskill. As part of the Hudson Quadcentennial, we are celebrating 400 years of art in these seven cities with a growing new and contemporary art scene.

The reception includes light refreshments, live music and new this year, an art show by the artists from the seven cities. A program about the seven cities is scheduled for 6:45 pm. The event provides an opportunity to meet the artists and creators of this regional initiative, along with city officials actively working to revitalize their cities through the arts.

Art Along the Hudson celebrations are anchored by rotating Saturdays that spotlight each of the cities.

Kingston celebrates First Saturdays;
Beacon has Second Saturdays;
Catskill and New Paltz celebrate Third Saturdays; and
Newburgh highlights Last Saturdays, plus
Poughkeepsie and Peekskill have various art celebrations.

Although activities happen year-round in all of the participating communities, a focus of one Saturday each month helps to strengthen and build awareness of each city’s arts initiatives.

Programs feature a variety of art forms - from gallery and museum exhibits to music, dance, theatre and poetry. Special events range from sculpture exhibits, street fairs and parades, to art and history tours.

Please rsvp to info@artalongthehudson.com by May 22nd if you would like to attend the event on May 28th.For more information on this regional initiative, please visit http://www.artalongthehudson.com/

An eye-catching, four-color brochure lists the participating venues in each city, and will be available at the reception. It will be widely distributed to tourism sites throughout the Hudson Valley and beyond.

The History of Roofing

It's been 50 years since James McCawley published the second edition of Roofing – Estimating-Applying-Repairing (Shelter Publications, 1959). This was a major work, solidifying our understanding of roofing systems, and it contained chapters on membrane roofing, steep roofing, and metal roofing.....

In terms of shaping the roofing industry and giving insight as to where we are today, McCawley may not be a household name. But, in his time, he made important contributions to the roofing industry, including this text.....

As McCauley describes in the foreword to his 1959 text, this was to be "a practical handbook describing the mechanics of shelter and the application of roof coverings of asbestos, asphalt, coal tar, metal, slate, tile, and thatch, prepared for the roofing and sheet metal trades, and as a guide for the architect and builder."....


Wednesday, May 13, 2009


Peekskill Arts Council's Exhibition "OFF THE BEATEN TRACK"

The Gallery at Westchester Community College

For artists whose studios are beyond the "Artist District" or who cannot open for Open Studios

CALENDAR (This show will be open during Open Studios weekend)
EXHIBITION DATES: June 6 - July 31.
ARTISTS' RECEPTION: Thursday, June 11, 5:30-7:30 pm.
DROP OFF: Mon-Fri, Week of May 25-29. Fri closes at noon.
CONTACT: Lisa Prown at WCC. 914-606-7304

Artist Submission: 1 piece of actual work.
At: Westchester Community College, 27 North Division Street, 914-606-7304

Suggested size: Aprox. 22x30" or smaller for wall hung pieces.
If you wish to show a larger piece, please also bring a smaller one in case the larger one doesn't fit.

All works must be ready for display: (ie 2-D properly wired and/or framed, 3-D with base if needed, video must come with appropriate equipment and directions.)

Developers seek Government-backed loans for buyers

Owners rush to sign on with Federal Housing Authority-backed mortgage program, considered by some to be the best deal in town because it offers 96.5% financing.

New York City developers are seeking to help buyers qualify for federal government-backed loans that allow them to put down less cash, just 3.5%, on a unit. Buildings across the city are applying with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for approval in the Federal Housing Authority mortgage-backed program.

When buildings are FHA-approved, qualified buyers have access to financing of up to 96.5%—something unheard of in these credit markets. Even Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have tightened their lending standards. FHA-insured loans provide certain lender protections during defaults.....


Monday, May 11, 2009

Get Your Home Published in the New York Times!

Greetings Preservationists,

PreservationDirectory.com is pleased to be working with Sarah Maslin Nir, reporter for The New York Times, to spread the word about an upcoming article she is writing for The New York Times. She is seeking input for a soon-to-be-published article (note - urgent deadline of Thursday, May 14, 2009), and we are happy to assist.

Below is an overview of the article - please contact Sarah Maslin Nir directly at sarah.maslin.nir@gmail.com to participate or to receive additional information about the article.

"I am looking for homeowners who love their historic or stunning house, even though it is in a neighborhood that you wouldn't usually find this type of home in. Perhaps the neighborhood has changed from what it was like when the house was built, and now it doesn't really fit it.

The house might be next to something unusual like an airport or power plant. Or they are in a neighborhood that was once residential and is now a mall or an urban center etc.

Two caveats: 1) the neighborhood should not be "up and coming", rather a place that is going to stay as it is, but the home buyers love the house anyway. 2) The house is NOT for sale. These can be recently moved-in residents or long time owners, but no one who is selling the house currently.

I'm looking for people who love their home where others might not give the same house a second glance. Thanks so much I look forward to your e-mails."

Please contact Sarah Maslin Nir, Reporter, The New York Times at sarah.maslin.nir@gmail.com.

Note - deadline of Thursday, May 14, 2009.

About PreservationDirectory.com:PreservationDirectory.com is a primary online resource for historic preservation, building restoration and cultural resource management in the United States & Canada.

Our goal is to foster the preservation of historic buildings, historic downtowns and neighborhoods, cultural resources and to promote heritage tourism by facilitating communication among historic preservation professionals and the general public.

Founded in 1999 and headquartered in Portland, Oregon, PreservationDirectory.com has continually expanded and evolved to cover a comprehensive array of topics and resources of most interest to the historic and cultural resource community.

Tim Cannan, PresidentPreservationDirectory.com7017 N. Alma AvePortland, OR 97203503-223-4939info@preservationdirectory.comhttp://www.PreservationDirectory.com

Friday, May 8, 2009

Power of RE* Concepts

Being an Architect, I have a natural inclination to be creative and to use my talents and intuition to make something useful.

Intially the "Power of RE*" was conceptualized as the goals of a corporation I was considering starting which was based on the premises and dictionary descriptions of:

RE* abbr. Real estate.

Re•al estate: n. Land, including all the natural resources and permanent buildings on it.

De•vel•op: Verb To elaborate by the working out of rhythmic and harmonic changes in the theme. To work out the possibilities of, To make active, or promote the growth of. To make available or usable. To make suitable for commercial or residential purposes. To move from the original position to one providing more opportunity for effective use. To expand by a process of growth. To cause to grow and differentiate along lines natural to its kind. To acquire gradually. To go through a process of natural growth, differentiation, or evolution by successive changes.

De•vel•op•er n. One that develops. A person who develops real estate, especially by preparing a site for residential or commercial use.

Unfortuanately, the corporate name was taken by another entity; however the concepts still exist and can be expanded on.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Sustainable Highway Art

Allegheny College students helped create a striking example of the role art plays in Meadville, Pennsylvania. It truly is striking, because as you enter the city on U.S. 6/322 you see hundreds of feet of recycled road signs lining the side of the highway. You wouldn't know the art was recycled highway road signs unless you got out of your car and took a closer look.


Benefits, Risks and Liabilities of Green Roofs

A must read short and informative piece by leading green building and sustainable development attorney Geoff White of Frost, Brown Todd LLC. Go to http://www.consilienceblog.org .

There are two basic types of green roofs, (i) an extensive roof, which has a few inches of soil cover and (ii) an intensive roof that has two feet or more of soil for a variety of grass, trees, bushes and shrubs. Green roofs are used in a multitude of buildings, including industrial facilities, commercial offices, retail properties and residences. The benefits of a green roof include reduced storm-water runoff, absorption of air pollution, reduced heat island effect, protection of underlying roof material from sunlight, reduced noise, and insulation from extreme temperatures. A green roof can thus be a critical design element for a green building.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Outside-the-box Tip for LinkedIn Power Users

When I look at various LinkedIn personal profiles, I can tell who the avid users are, and who are fill-in-the-blank types. Here is a tip for improving your personal profile for you detail-oriented people.

Under your Profile [Edit] page, you will see a blue link called Websites. In most profiles, and you know who you are, have one, two, or three bullet points, which read “My Website”.

You filled out the blank and inserted your URL that links to your website.

That’s it your done. Do not continue reading.

However, are you done?

What is the name of you website or company or portfolio, etc.?

Why should I click on your “My Website” link that could drive traffic to your website and generate more business for you?

The Answer

There is a way that you can insert the name of your website in this location, and it is simple to do. Click on the blue Websites link, another page will come up called Additional Information. This is the same page where you originally inserted your URL address.

Click on the pull down menu where it says “My Website”. It gives you a choice of 5 items and “Other”.

Choose “Other”:

Two new text fill boxes will open up instead of the text box that says insert URL address for “My Website”.

Now Insert:

Now insert the name of your company, your website, the name of your resume, the name of your favorite pet, etc. where it says Website Title.

Then in the box below it, you insert your URL address links just as you did when you originally filled out the form.

The Result:

You have just answered the two questions!

What is the name of my website, organization, etc. that you want me to click on and the URL address for that site.

You now own a link that sets you apart from everyone else that has not identified “My Website” or answered the two questions that could drive business to your website.

Send me comments or invitations if this works for you.

Friday, May 1, 2009

LEED for Neighborhood Development - Public Comments Wanted

The LEED for Neighborhood Development Rating System integrates the principles of smart growth, urbanism and green building into the first national system for neighborhood design. LEED certification provides independent, third-party verification that a development's location and design meet accepted high levels of environmentally responsible, sustainable development. LEED for Neighborhood Development is a collaboration among USGBC, the Congress for the New Urbanism and the Natural Resources Defense Council.

The pilot program, which began in the summer of 2007 and tested nearly 240 projects, is wrapping up. The pilot experience and further discussion about the rating system led to the creation of a 1st Public Comment Period Draft.

The period to comment on this draft ran from November 17, 2008 through January 5, 2009. Over 5,000 comments were received.

A second public comment period opened on May 1, 2009 and will close on June 14th at 11:59 Pacific Time. Submit comments today. The post-pilot version of the rating system, which will be available to the public, is expected to launch in late summer.

Benefits of Developing a LEED for Neighborhood Development Community

Encourage healthy living LEED for Neighborhood Development emphasizes the creation of compact, walkable, vibrant, mixed-use neighborhoods with good connections to nearby communities. Research has shown that living in a mixed-use environment within walking distance of shops and services results in increased walking and biking, which improve human cardiovascular and respiratory health and reduce the risk of hypertension and obesity.

Reduce urban sprawl

In order to reduce the impacts of urban sprawl, or unplanned, uncontrolled spreading of urban development into areas outside of the metropolitan region, and create more livable communities, LEED for Neighborhood Development communities are: locations that are closer to existing town and city centers. areas with good transit access. infill sites. previously developed sites. sites adjacent to existing development.

Typical sprawl development, low-density housing and commercial uses located in automobile-dependent areas, can harm the natural environment in a number of ways. It can consume and fragment farmland, forests and wildlife habitat; degrade water quality through destruction of wetlands and increased stormwater runoff; and pollute the air with increased automobile travel.

Protect threatened species

Fragmentation and loss of habitat are major threats to many imperiled species. LEED encourages compact development patterns and the selection of sites that are within or adjacent to existing development to minimize habitat fragmentation and also help preserve areas for recreation.

Increase transportation choice and decrease automobile dependence.

These two things go hand-in-hand; convenient transportation choices such as buses, trains, car pools, bicycle lanes and sidewalks, for example, are typically more available near downtowns, neighborhood centers and town centers, which are also the locations that produce shorter automobile trips.

Benefits to Project Developers of LEED for Neighborhood Development Communities

Potentially reduced fees or waiting periods Increasingly, municipalities are reducing fees or review periods associated with the approval process for community projects that can demonstrate a commitment to sustainability. Successfully completing the first stage of LEED for Neighborhood Development certification (pre-review approval) may assist projects that are still in the planning stages to gain the necessary approvals as expediently and cost-effectively as possible.

A good impression on your neighbors

A LEED for Neighborhood Development certification can help projects explain the environmental and community benefits of a project to residents and businesses in nearby areas. The rating system also encourages projects to work collaboratively with the existing neighborhood to make sure their needs are taken into account.

Higher tenancy rates

Rising demand for housing and commercial space in highly walkable or transit-accessible areas can result in higher tenancy rates.


Hudson Valley Wind Power Initiative launched

Written by Administrator Friday, 01 May 2009 09:33

The Hudson Valley Center for Innovation Wednesday announced a region-wide effort to create a wind power initiative to concentrate on research, testing and certification.“The Hudson Valley is suited to become the global epicenter of distributed wind energy development,” said Donald Perry, a green strategist and consultant to the project.

The Wind Power Initiative plans to conduct wind turbine training, testing and analysis at selected community colleges in the Hudson Valley, including Sullivan, Orange and Ulster, along with its primary academic partner, the Polytechnic Institute of NYU.

Perry said the wind power system being constructed now at Sullivan County Community College was as the result of his efforts to bring the players together.

By the end of the year, a commercial wind power facility will be constructed and online in Westchester County, he said, with others to follow.

Placing turbines at colleges will provide students with “real world experience working with real wind energy systems and help them become expert in their design, installation, testing and maintenance, as well as helping the push the technology envelope further and create new wind turbine generators of even greater power production, efficiency and cost competitiveness,” said Les Neumann, managing director of HVCFI.

The project will also provide “an excellent introduction to the potential of the Hudson Valley as a location which is in close proximity to the largest concentration of end-users – New York City and the Northeast corridor,” he said.


Creating Business Incubators

During one the Peekskill Charette Sessions, the subject of creating business incubators came up.
The following article link by Martin Zwilling is a good read on this topic.

Business incubators were all the rage back in the days of the dot-com bubble (700 for profit, many more non-profit). Then they turned into cash incinerators about the time the bubble burst, and more than 80% of them disappeared. Now they are coming back, but I find that most startup founders don’t even know what they are.By way of a definition, a business or startup incubator is a company, university, or other organization which provides resources to nurture young companies, helping them to survive and grow during the startup period when they are most vulnerable. The goal of all business incubators is to produce healthy firms that create jobs and wealth, strengthen the economy, commercialize new technologies and revitalize communities.....


Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Successful remodeling contractor marketing techniques

Business Results Survey: Repeats and Referrals

Repeats and referrals dominate in the remodeling industry

Jonathan Sweet, Senior EditorApril 1, 2009

Professional Remodeler

Repeats and referrals continue to be the most reliable source of leads for most contractors, accounting for almost 80 percent of lead activity.

Remodelers use a variety of tactics to get the word out, with the most popular being job/truck signs (74 percent), company Web site (58 percent), organization membership/networking (48 percent), print advertising (48 percent), direct mail (39 percent) and Yellow Pages (35 percent).

Conversely, this means that many remodelers are ignoring two of the basics of marketing: 24 percent of companies don't use job site or truck signage and 42 percent don't have Web sites, including 21 percent of those with revenues over $3 million.


Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Monday, April 27, 2009

Building Permits Doink (Chart)


Privately-owned housing units authorized by building permits in March were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 513,000.

This is 9.0 percent (±4.1%) below the revised February rate of 564,000 and is 45.0 percent (±4.1%) below the March 2008 estimate of932,000.

Single-family authorizations in March were at a rate of 361,000; this is 7.4 percent (±3.5%) below the revised February figure of390,000. Authorizations of units in buildings with five units or more were at a rate of 132,000 in March.


TML - If we could have the growth we had from 1992 to 2007 all over again, that would be nice.

AIA Compiled Guide to Stimulus Funds

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) that was signed into law in February has just now begun releasing tax dollars into the economy. The AIA estimates that the ARRA contains up to $130 billion that can be used for the design and construction of buildings. AIA has compiled a list of where much of this money is going.


Architecture Firm Billings Show Signs of Change

The AIA's Architecture Billings Index (ABI) improved significantly in March, easing to its highest level since August 2008 with a score of 43.7. This means that while business conditions at architecture firms still remain weak, the number of firms reporting declining firm billings is fewer than it has been in the last several months.......


The Federal Historic Preservation Tax Incentives Program

Starts: Tuesday May 19, 2009, 08:30AM
Ends: Tuesday May 19, 2009, 11:30AM

Event Type: Training/Seminar

Westchester Community College
Peekskill Extension Center
27 N Division St
Peekskill, NY 10566

Price: Attendance is free, but registration is necessary

Website: http://www.cityofpeekskill.com/

Industry: Architecture & Planning

Intended For: An owner of property located within a Historical District on the National Register of Historic Places, Architects, Accountants, Attorneys, Contractors, Building Inspectors, Historical Review Board Members

Organization: City of Peekskill

The Federal Historic Preservation Tax Incentives program encourages private sector rehabilitation of historic buildings and is one of the nation’s most successful and cost-effective community revitalization programs. It has been used as a stand alone resource for the rehabilitation of commercial structures. Additionally, once you qualify for the Federal Tax Credit, you will automatically eligible to receive a 6% NY State Historic Tax Credit. The basics of these programs will be discussed along with several examples where they have been used as a part of the project financing package.

Sunday, April 26, 2009


Peekskill Open Studios 2009
June 6 & 7, 2009
Noon to 5 pm

Open your studio and put it on the map.
Storefront display windows from local shopkeepers.
Bus to/from downtown, riverfront, HVCCA, Hat Factory
Member show "DRAWN" at Standard House Gallery
Map with participating artists, contact info
Manned info booth at the Gazebo
Guided tours
Post cards

For further information call
Larry D'Amico at 734-1292
Jo-Ann Brody at 737-1646
Peekskill Arts Council
P O Box 2268
Peekskill, New York 10566

Friday, April 24, 2009

Lower South Street/Louisa Street Charrette


Lower South Street/Louisa Street Charrette

Friday April 24, 2009 7:00pm to 9:00pm
Saturday, April 25, 2009 9:00 am to 3:00 pm

Bus Tour of Area on Saturday at 8:00 am

Centennial Hose701 Washington StreetPeekskill, NY 10566

Anthony J. Ruggiero, AICP
Director of Planning
City of Peekskill
840 Main Street
Peekskill, New York 10566
Telephone: 914.734.4212
Fax: 914.737.2688

Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art

Sunday, May 17, 2009 12:00 – 5:00pm

Artists are invited to bring their portfolios for review. These one on one constructive critiques with leading gallerists and collectors offer artists the chance to identify their strengths and weaknesses. Each review is 20 minutes and reservations are required. Portfolios should include 10-20 examples of your best work. Artists are encouraged to bring in laptops and high quality images. HVCCA provides no equipment.

The panel includes: -Caren Golden, Caren Golden Fine Art, NYC -Stefan Stux, Stux Gallery, NYC -Peter Surace, Owner, RARE Gallery, NYC-Skarlet Smatana, Director, L&M Art, NYC-Emilio Steinberger, Director, Haunch of Venison, NYC-Joel and Zoe Dicterow, collectors, NYC-Marc and Livia Straus, collectors, Founders, HVCCA


There is a high correlation between online video ads watchers and an increase in web site traffic.

There is a high correlation between online video ads watchers and an increase in web site traffic. Online video watchers are more likely to act after watching web video ads. This is according to an online survey conducted by Google and AOL, as part of larger effort to get marketers to move their ad budgets from other mediums such as television to online video advertising.

- 78% of respondents said that online video ads provide as much or more of an opportunity to learn about an advertiser than television.
- 64% of respondents indicated they have taken action after seeing an online video.
- 44% went to a company's Web site after watching an online video ad.


Thursday, April 23, 2009

Artists Work / Live Lofts For Sale

We currently have several work/live lofts available for sale. The buyer would be purchasing shares in the overall cooperative ownership corporation and paying a monthly maintenance expense consisting of the underlying mortgage, real estate taxes, insurance and operating expenses. The value of the monthly maintenance is based on the size of the unit and the value of the subsidized construction cost based on a 30-year period. Buyers need to certified as artists by the City of Peekskill.

For full details, see our website at http://www.peekskillartlofts.com/

Thomas M. Leigh, AIA, LEED-AP
President and Acting Treasurer
Peekskill Art Lofts

Volunteer Design Charettes Facilitators Needed

Volunteer Design Charettes Facilitators Needed

Subject: City of Peekskill Charrette Facilitator Hello,

I am writing to invite you to become a facilitator for an upcoming charrette. As you may be aware, the City of Peekskill is organizing a charrette to determine the future of the Lower South Street corridor between Welcher Avenue and Louisa Street.

A charrette is essentially an extended public hearing and public input process where citizens provide feedback as to what they would like to see developed in an area. Because a charrette involves extensive public input, facilitators are necessary to attend meetings and collect feedback.

Due to your experience and expertise in public affairs, planning or an art-related field, Staff feels that you would be an excellent candidate for a facilitator. The time commitment, while significant, would not be onerous.

Facilitator training would be at 7pm on Tuesday March 3, 2009. The visioning workshop will be held one week later from 7pm to roughly 10pm on Wednesday March 11, 2009. The charrette itself has not been scheduled but is expected to take place over one evening and one full day (most likely a weekend) sometime in April.

Please consider joining us as a facilitator. This is a great opportunity to serve your City as well as get an ‘inside view’ of how contemporary planning occurs. Unless I hear from you beforehand, I will contact you individually over the next several days to discuss this further.

Kind regards,
Tom Marotta

Thomas Marotta Assistant City Planner
City of Peekskill
840 Main Street
Peekskill, NY 10566
p: (914) 293-0914 f:
(914) 737-2688
tmarotta@ cityofpeekskill.com

Attract investment by creating zones for artist work / live lofts.

Attract investment by creating zones for artist work / live lofts.

Community Builders Handbook on Creating Artist lofts and Arts District in the City of Peekskill, NY. Contemporary artists revtalize a historic downtown. Attract investment by creating zones for artist work / live lofts.


Using Icynene Spray Foam insulation in existing construction.

Using Icynene Spray Foam insulation in existing construction.

It has a 60:1 expansion ratio.

I just saw a trade video by Icynene Insulation using spray insulation application in new construction, but, even a better application of pour in spray insulation that expands at a 60:1 ratio in existing wall cavities of say a older victorian home which might not be insulated at all and have just plaster walls. That is a tremendous opportunity for work.


Definition: Architecture and Architects

Definition: Architecture and Architects


“The practice of the profession of architecture is defined as rendering or offering to render services which require the application of the art, science, and aesthetics of design and construction of buildings, groups of buildings, including their components and appurtenances and the spaces around them wherein the safeguarding of life, health, property, and public welfare is concerned. Such services include, but are not limited to consultation, evaluation, planning, the provision of preliminary studies, designs, construction documents, construction management, and the administration of construction contracts.”

NYS Education Law, Article 147, Architecture § 7301

Practice of architecture and use of title "architect".

Only a person licensed or otherwise authorized to practice under this article shall practice architecture or use the title "architect".

NYS Education Law, Article 147, Architecture § 7302


Thomas M. Leigh, Architect is licensed and registered to practice Architecture in New York State.

Hudson Rise Urban Planning Video

The interesting use of multimedia to discuss urban planning issues.


5O Strategies to Green your Environment

The 50 strategies represent readily available and effective tools and techniques that will have an immediate impact on architects’ ability to achieve significant carbon reduction. They span a spectrum from broad-based site and planning objectives to specific, building-based concepts.

Each strategy includes an overview of the subject, typical applications, emerging trends, links to information sources, and important relationships to other carbon reduction strategies.


Does green building make cents?

It depends. Two new studies offer conflicting views Much of the savings that advocates of green measures tout is compared with older buildings, those erected to minimum standards or ones with different uses, not with similar, recently built structures,


Insurers Find Potential and Risk in Green Buildings

Insurers Find Potential and Risk in Green Buildings
[Source: www.insurancenetworking.com, March 4, 2009]

While some may dismiss the move toward green building and sustainability as a fad, insurers of buildings think otherwise. In fact, says Stephen Bushnell, senior director, emerging industries, commercial insurance at Novato, Calif.-based Fireman’s Fund Insurance Co., today’s green buildings are a harbinger of the future. “Energy efficiency and green building are not just about the environment,” Bushnell said, speaking at a recent Web seminar. “We believe they have a profound economic advantage that has captured the attention of many segments of the business community. We see some indications from retailers like Wal-Mart that sales improve in green buildings.”

"The Home Inspection Professional Licensing Act." in New York State.

Home Inspection: General Information http://www.dos.state.ny.us/LCNS/homeinspector.htm

Effective December 31, 2005, the real property law is amended by adding a new Article 12-B, "The Home Inspection Professional Licensing Act." While you are not currently required to be licensed as a home inspector to perform home inspections, licensure will be required effective December 31, 2005.

What is Home Inspection?

Home Inspection is defined as the process by which a home inspector observes and provides a written report of the systems and components of a residential building including but not limited to:
A. Heating System
B. Cooling System
C. Plumbing System
D. Electrical System
E. Structural Components - foundation, roof masonry structure, exterior and interior components or any other related residential building component recommended by the Home Inspection Council and implemented by the Department through the regulatory process.

Who must apply for a license?

Persons engaged in performing home inspections of residential buildings for compensation.

What do you mean by residential buildings?

A Residential Building means a structure consisting of 1 to 4 dwelling units and their garages and carports, but shall not include any such structure newly constructed or not previously occupied as a dwelling unit.

Who is excluded from licensure?

1. A person regulated by the state or a political subdivision thereof as an architect who is acting within the scope of his or her profession; or
2. A person regulated by the state or a political subdivision thereof as an engineer who is acting within the scope of his or her profession; or
3. A person who is employed as a code enforcement official by the state or a political subdivision thereof when acting within the scope of that government employment; or
4. A person making home inspections for the purpose of meeting the requirements of § 444-e (b)(i)&(ii) of this article to qualify for licensure as a home inspector. That is home inspections performed in the presence of and under the direct supervision of a licensed home inspector, registered architect or licensed professional engineer, who oversees and takes full responsibility for the inspection and inspection report. The sole purpose of these inspections is to gain the experience necessary to qualify for a license as a home inspector.