Daily digest: Longaberger Basket Company moves to Hudson Yards, retired BART cars transformed into retro arcades, and more

West Side Wicker

Daily digest: Longaberger Basket Company moves to Hudson Yards, retired BART cars transformed into retro arcades, and more

A rendering of the Longaberger Basket Company’s Big Basket headquarters in Hudson Yards. The company is relocating from Newark, Ohio, to the Manhattan development this spring. (Micud Dermann)

Good afternoon and welcome back to another midday roundup. It’s Friday, and it’s the first day of April, which means we are just weeks out from Aperol Spritz season.

Here’s what you need to know today:

Famed Ohio picnic basket maker to move its iconic HQ to New York’s Hudson Yards

The Longaberger Company announced today that it will be moving its national headquarters from Newark, Ohio, to New York’s Hudson Yards later this spring. In anticipation of the move, the picnic accessory purveyor is building a custom flatbed convoy to haul its NBBJ-designed basket office to the megadevelopment on Manhattan’s West Side.

“The State of Ohio is buying all these billboards in New York to try and get people to move west, so we thought, ‘hey, let’s bring a little Ohio to the Big Apple,’” company spokesperson Bass (Kit) Weaver told AN.

Renderings depict the Basket Building on the site of the erstwhile Vessel, the 150-foot-tall climbable sculpture that closed last year. The controversial structure may be gone, but not forgotten: part of its custom steel exterior will be incorporated into the base of the building. “Adding some New York glitz and glamor to our HQ will let us blend in perfectly with our surroundings,” Weaver said. “We want to help the people of Gotham discover the joy of picnicking with a Medium Market Basket™ in the middle of Manhattan’s coolest neighborhood.”

H/t to April Fools’ Day

Renderings revealed for Lever House’s new tenant amenities

Developers WatermanClark and Brookfield Properties have revealed renderings of the third-floor amenity spaces at historic Lever House, the suave glass curtain wall tower at 390 Park Avenue in Midtown East.

The renderings depict a hotel bar–like interior lounge designed by Los Angeles-based Marmol Radziner. Dubbed Lever Club, the offerings on the floor include rentable conference rooms, a dining room, and cafe. Tenants will be able to access a landscaped 15,000-square-foot third-floor roof deck, as well.

In addition to Marmol Radziner, the developers tapped original Lever House architect SOM and preservation consultants Higgins Quasebarth & Partners for the $100 million near-gut renovations. The upgrades will address dated exteriors and improve the building’s performance.

H/t to New York YIMBY

Chicago critic Blair Kamin and photographer Lee Bey have a book on the way

Today former Chicago Tribune architecture critic Blair Kamin and photographer and writer Lee Bey took to Twitter to announce their new book, Who Is the City For? Architecture, Equity, and the Public Realm in Chicago. The book, published by The University of Chicago Press, features 55 of Kamin’s columns with all-new photos by Bey. It will be on bookshelves this November, just in time to send to the hardcore Chicago architecture fans on your gift list. The announcement comes hot on the heels of news that Bey, a former architecture critic for the Chicago Sun-Times, will return to the architecture beat for a monthly column at the paper.

The new Eames Institute of Infinite Curiosity will help empower new designers

A new organization calling itself the Eames Institute of Infinite Curiosity aims to share the insights and work of Ray and Charles Eames so that individuals may be inspired to think like them by using design to solve problems. Backed by Airbnb co-founder Joe Gebbia, the project is run by President and CEO John Cary and Chief Curator Llisa Demetrios, who is the Eames’ granddaughter. The Institute is based out of the Eames Ranch, a working farm in Petaluma, California, built in the 1990s by Charles Eames’ daughter and Demetrios’ mother, Lucia Eames. (William Turnbull of Sea Ranch fame designed the compound.) While the property is still used as a farm, it also contains an extensive archive of prototypes, materials, and drawings that are being displayed in public for the first time.

“I learned so much living here with my mother for twenty years, and got to see the wonder on people’s faces when they would experience this material first-hand,” said Demetrios in a statement. “With the Institute and our new website, it’s so exciting to think about how many more people will get to share that experience, and for the legacy of my grandparents to evolve in surprising and delightful new directions.”

Eight retired BART cars to become venues around the Bay Area

Back in 2020, Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) put out a call for the adaptive reuse of eight out-of-service rail cars. This week the agency revealed the winners of the BART Fleet of the Future competition, which include a retro video game arcade, a craft beer bar, a diminutive coworking space, and a Rapid Transit History Center.

A rundown of the winning projects can be viewed on BART’s website.

H/t to SFist