Michael Friedlander, longtime NYC Sanitation Department architect, dies at 63

Michael Friedlander, a Cooper Union-educated architect whose 40-calendar year occupation with the New York City Department of Sanitation (DSNY) yielded workaday municipal structures like rubbish truck garages and street salt storage sheds that had been playful, attractive, and community-bettering when they simply did not will need to be, has died. As noted in his New York Occasions obituary, Friedlander, a lifelong New Yorker lifted in the East Village, passed absent on March 21 from difficulties of an infection. He was 63.

Colleagues and contemporaries have taken to social media to pay tribute to Friedlander given that information of his dying became public. They include former DSNY commissioner Kathryn Garcia, architect James Timberlake, and Claire Weisz, principal of WXY architecture + city design and style, who stated: “Michael Friedlander was tenacious in building and supporting a voice for architecture as essential to DSNY.”

Friedlander—acting as in-residence architect for the DSNY— and WXY alongside with Dattner Architects, previous Town Scheduling Commission chair Amanda M. Burden, and James S. Polshek of the New York City Public Design and style Commission (PDC), are credited by the NYT as getting amid the “many moms and fathers” liable for conceiving the Spring Street Salt Drop, a sculptural DSNY storehouse concluded in 2015 together Manhattan’s West Aspect Freeway which is crystalline type serves as a monumentally cheeky giveaway as to the contents inside. Per the Instances, Friedlander himself referred to the $20 million building as an “architectural folly.”

Inspite of fierce initial opposition to the Spring Road Salt Get rid of and the DSNY’s adjacent rubbish truck garage by movie star-stuffed nearby local community teams, the singular project received above naysayers at its completion and quickly grew to become the heavily-feted architectural toast of the city, a utilitarian civic structure doubling, very unexpectedly, as a local landmark. In addition to racking up myriad accolades and awards (the AIA New York Architecture Honor Award, the AIA New York Point out Design and style Award for Excellence, and the NYC Art Commission Design and style Award 2011 amongst them), the mimetic 6,300-square-foot street salt repository even played host to a big trend clearly show in 2016.

“The DDC [New York City Department of Design and Construction] sees every single assignment as an possibility to provide architecturally impactful, sustainable and resilient buildings,” mentioned previous DDC Commissioner Feniosky Peña-Mora at the time. “This party demonstrates how a utilitarian making can add to one particular of the most glamorous situations in our metropolis.”

In addition to the Spring Street Salt Lose and neighboring, eco-friendly roof-topped DSNY garage, other lauded initiatives overseen by Friedlander all through his long and impactful tenure at the DSNY incorporate a visually arresting sanitation rubbish that spans from 55th to 57th Street alongside 12th Avenue in Manhattan and a salt storage shed in Considerably Rockaway Queens included in “translucent tent fabric,” as the NYT wrote in a 2007 profile of a then-50-12 months-aged Friedlander. At the time, he experienced just been bestowed with a special award from the PDC (then acknowledged as the Artwork Fee) for “the excellent of design that he consistently provides to the Department of Sanitation’s cash assignments.”

“Typically, individuals really don’t want a sanitation garage — they have a knee-jerk reaction,” Friedlander informed the NYT in 2007. “But if it is developed properly, it is not likely to be objectionable. If you go a little further and genuinely carry some treatment and awareness to the making, it goes a long way towards incorporating something to the neighborhood.”