Daily digest: RIBA will slash more jobs, an endowment to preserve historic Black churches, and more

Cutting Back

Daily digest: RIBA will slash more jobs, an endowment to preserve historic Black churches, and more

RIBA headquarters at 66 Portland Place. While the corner office block is safe, 76 Portland Place down the street is now up for sale as the organization tries to close its budget deficit. (Philafrenzy/Wikimedia Commons/Accessed under the CC BY-SA 4.0)

Good afternoon and welcome back to another roundup of daily news. Here’s what’s going on today:

RIBA announces further layoffs, will move ahead with renovations

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) will cut more than 20 jobs as it seeks to further reduce a lingering deficit, even as the English institution moves ahead with plans to refresh its London headquarters at 66 Portland Place. RIBA’s plans to sell off 76 Portland Place, a seven-story, 1950s-era office building next to its headquarters, are officially moving ahead as well, but the institute demurred when the ArchitectsJournal asked if pay cuts for senior staff were under consideration.

H/t to the Architects’ Journal

The National Trust for Historic Preservation prepares a $20 million fund to preserve Black churches

In a period defined by economic, racial, and societal upheaval, the National Trust for Historic Preservation has announced a new plan to preserve historic Black churches across America, traditionally supportive centers of Black communities that are now at risk. Thanks to the $20 million Preserving Black Churches initiative, those vulnerable historic sites will be provided grants for upkeep and maintenance, a Rapid Response & Emergency Grant Fund will be created to address imminent threats to Black churches, stewardship and preservation assistance will be provided, and digital documentation and storytelling services will help keep the stories of each church alive.

What’s going on with the rest of the Second Avenue subway extension?

The Second Avenue subway would, as originally envisioned when it was first proposed in 1929, stretch all the way up to East 125th Street in Manhattan; 93 years later, that obviously hasn’t happened yet and the Q train stops at 96th Street. But thanks to the $1 trillion federal infrastructure bill that passed last year, New York Governor Kathy Hochul expects federal funding to cover half of the $6.3 billion required to complete the remaining 29-block stretch.

Funding is, and remains, the project’s biggest obstacle even with political will behind the extension, and as the New York Times notes, the Second Avenue project was previously the first place New York policymakers went to take money from when needed.

H/t to the New York Times

An 820-foot-long red carpet cuts across a public park in Moscow

Malevich Park is still expanding in Moscow, and the latest installation in the art-heavy park recalls the fabric experiments of Christo and Jeanne-Claude. Sculptor Gregory Orekhov has lain an 820-foot-long red polypropylene “carpet” out across the park’s snowy expanse that both begins and ends nowhere in particular—hence the project’s name, Nowhere.

H/t to Designboom

Shell’s experimental carbon-capture prototype emitted more than it stopped

A pilot project by oil and gas giant Shell to capture carbon emissions at its Scotford oilsand refinery in Alberta, Canada, was scuttled because it was actually emitting more greenhouse gasses than it was capturing, according to a report from group Global Witness. The Quest plant, which was extracting hydrogen from traditional fossil fuel sources for “clean” burning later, actually only captured 48 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions while the project was operational from 2015 to 2019, nearly half of the 90 perfect efficacy Shell had promised. Of the 12.5 million tons of greenhouse gases produced at the plant, 4.8 million were captured while 7.7 million were emitted, a resounding failure.

H/t to Dezeen