Daily digest: France bans short flights, Theodore Roosevelt’s statue is leaving the Museum of Natural History, and more

Taking The Train

Daily digest: France bans short flights, Theodore Roosevelt’s statue is leaving the Museum of Natural History, and more

The eastern entrance of the American Museum of Natural History. The controversial statue of Theodore Roosevelt that has sat in front of the building for 72 years has finally come down, but activists want it melted, not relocated to North Dakota. (Ajay Suresh/Wikimedia Commons, accessed under CC BY 2.0)

Greetings and welcome back to another middle-of-the-week news roundup, spanning projects big and small from around the world.

Here’s what you need to know today:

France will ban plane trips that could be taken by rail

France is moving ahead with plans to ban flights that could be replaced by 2.5 hours or less by train, both to bolster the rail sector but also cut back on carbon emissions. Flying the same route reportedly produces 77 times more emissions than taking a train, and the French Parliament has already backed the ban.

H/t to Fast Company

You can sleep in a Spanish Art Nouveau masterpiece for only $1 a night

If you feel comfortable traveling again, why not try Barcelona? Airbnb has listed the extravagantly gaudy Casa Vicens for $1 a night starting July 12. Designed by Antoni Gaudí in 1885 as the Spanish architect’s first project, the Unesco World Heritage Site makes ample use of vibrant colors, organic shapes, and repeating textures and patterns that lend a tactile depth to each room. The lucky visitors will also get a private tour from the museum that has called the building home since 2017.

H/t to Hyperallergic

The controversial statue of Theodore Roosevelt is leaving the American Museum of Natural History

On Monday, June 21, the New York City Public Design Commission (PDC) unanimously voted to remove the statue of Theodore Roosevelt that’s sat on the steps to the American Museum of Natural History since 1940. The bronze sculpture, which shows Roosevelt atop a horse and flanked by a Native American and Black man on either side (in a clear position of superiority over the two), was targeted for removal in 2018 but ultimately spared after Mayor Bill de Blasio weighed in. Now that the PDC is unified on moving the sculpture, it will be relocated to a new cultural institution focused on Roosevelt’s legacy, although no specifics have been announced yet… including when the statue will come down.

H/t to ArtNet News

Claudia Wieser will install tile sculptures in DUMBO

The Berlin-based artist Claudia Wieser will make her public art debut on July 29 with Rehearsal, a series of five sculptures set for the Brooklyn side of the Manhattan Bridge. Commissioned by the Public Art Fund, the outdoor exhibition will hold “five distinct large-scale geometric sculptures clad with hand-painted glazed tiles, panels featuring photographs of New York City and Roman and Greek antiquities, and mirror polished stainless steel.” Rehearsal will be on display through April 17, 2022, at the end of Washington Street in DUMBO.

HOK announces recipients of its grants for BIPOC design students

HOK announced today that it had handed out eight $10,000 scholarships to BIPOC design students for the first iteration of its HOK Diversity x Design Scholarships program. The winners are:

  • Gabriela Gonjon, an undergraduate student at City College of New York sponsored by HOK’s New York and Philadelphia studios.
  • Tracy Eteh-Benissan, a graduate student at Howard University sponsored by HOK’s Washington, D.C., Atlanta and Tampa studios.
  • Fathima Rizna Rafi Maalouf, a graduate student at University of Illinois at Chicago sponsored by HOK’s Chicago and Columbus, Ohio, studios.
  • Roodza Pierrelus, an undergraduate student at Tuskegee University sponsored by HOK’s St. Louis studio.
  • Darius Mathis, a graduate student at University of Kansas sponsored by HOK’s Kansas City studio.
  • Brooke Meshack, an undergraduate student at Prairie View A&M University sponsored by HOK’s Houston and Dallas studios.
  • Misbah Mamoon, an undergraduate student at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo sponsored by HOK’s San Francisco and Seattle studios.
  • Daniela Vargas, an undergraduate student at California Polytechnic State University, Pomona sponsored by HOK’s Los Angeles studio.

Los Angeles breaks ground on a rail line to LAX, but will it matter in the long run?

In Los Angeles, the Airport Metro Connector that will link up with LAX’s new people mover finally broke ground on Monday, gearing up for the monumental task of delivering passengers to-and-from the city during the 2024 Summer Olympics. While public transportation activists are hopeful the new connector will help jumpstart rail development in the city, the Los Angeles Times digs into how the connector will fit into overall rail strategy and why L.A. has been so slow to expand its systems.

H/t to the Los Angeles Times