The third issue of the EMRCA newsletter has been released, and while I have no further inside information to impart at this time, there is plenty of interesting news in the publication.
Featured is the story of Pritzker Prize-winning architect Jean Nouvel’s involvement with the North Adams Cultural Development Master Plan, and specifically the Wilsonian Art Hotel proposed for Main Street. The hook is the November 11th opening of Nouvel’s building for the Louvre Abu Dhabi, which arose out of the master plan for the Saadiyat Island cultural district, developed by EMRCA principal Thomas Krens in 2005, when he was director of the Guggenheim Foundation. The newsletter details the genesis of the Louvre Abu Dhabi project in a meeting between Krens and Nouvel in 2006, as well as Nouvel’s visit to North Adams in 2016.
Here are a variety of media links covering the museum opening: New York Times; Christian Science Monitor; The Guardian; W Magazine; The Art Newspaper; Official LAD museum video (arrow right for 2-minute promo); Wikipedia entry; CNN feature; BBC video. The Atlantic has a nice suite of photos. But above all, I recommend this stupendous three-minute time-lapse video. The NYT followed up with a nuanced art review of the museum itself.
In this issue’s “Heritage Park Spotlight,” the focus is on the Mount Greylock Craft Distillery, designed by architect Richard Gluckman to transform the park’s existing Buildings 5 and 6 into a showplace attraction of local craft distilling, along with dining and entertainment opportunities. It’s worth adding that Tom’s son Nick, pictured in the story about the 2006 meeting between Krens and Nouvel, is an active participant in planning for the distillery.
There are brief stories on the visit of officials of the Massachusetts legislative Committee on Tourism, Arts, and Cultural Development to EMRCA’s offices in Heritage Park, and on Krens’ keynote presentation to the annual dinner of the Berkshire Regional Planning Commission. There is also notice of a forthcoming panel in San Francisco with Krens, designated EMRCA architect Frank Gehry, and former Massachussetts governor William Weld, similar to prior well-received panels in NYC and LA, which illustrates once again Krens’ web of associations among architects and museum directors worldwide.
There are also two brief stories on other railroad-related developments in Berkshire County. One on the revival of planning for a direct rail connection between NYC and Pittsfield, and the other on the completion of track restoration for the Berkshire Scenic Railroad route from Adams to North Adams, where the terminus is adjacent to the proposed EMRCA site.
Finally, there is another feature on one of the inspirations for EMRCA, the stunningly detailed O-scale brass models of historic locomotives and railroad cars produced by Kohs & Company. A much deeper dive into the artistry and engineering of the company’s models is available on the Kohs website.
All in all, this newsletter demonstrates the many ways work is advancing on a radical transformation of North Adams into a major cultural destination.