Grand Central Terminal
Grand Central Terminal - Restoration and Redevelopment
The restoration of Grand Central Terminal was nothing less than miraculous. It was awarded the 2010 Award for Design Excellence by President Clinton due to the transformative achievement. Doug McKean was the Project Director for the restoration and retail redevelopment. The cleaning of the "Sky Ceiling" (all but one small patch left as a reminder of how bad things had gotten) was funded by a federal grant and is perhaps the most noticeable change that people remember. McKean says "Before the restoration people used to scurry through the Main Concourse looking straight ahead or downward, however now people look up and let their eyes wander to view the gold-leafed constellations and their twinkling lights." Another one of the remarkable changes was the removal of the non-original space covering the ramps to the Oyster Bar. Now when people walk down the ramps to the Lower Concourse they can see the Sky Ceiling and enjoy the light from the Main Concourse chandeliers. The morning that they were opened up for the first time Doug stood at the top of the ramp as commuters were coming up from the Lower Concourse and were awestruck - about which he notes "one man stopped, dropped his briefcase, and just stood there looking up for the longest time." Doug still gives tours of the magnificent building ten years after the project was completed.
Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts
Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts - Redevelopment Plan
Another iconic project in Doug McKean's portfolio is the Redevelopment Plan for Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. He served as Project Director for the program refinements for each constituent, including infrastructure improvements, programmatic improvements, and special projects that would entail a substantial alteration or construction of additional facilities. This assemblage of buildings and plazas designed and built in the mid-20th century needed renovations to continue to be the pre-eminent venues for each program, as well as to maintain the landmark quality facades. Doug notes that "as with the original design and construction of Lincoln Center, many architects (including Frank Gehry) were involved in the redevelopment, which was part of the challenge of managing the project, but made for a more exciting plan overall."
Rockefeller Center - Master Plan and Retail & Public Space Redevelopment
Rockefeller Center is one of America's most significant urban spaces. However, its public and retail spaces had been underutilized and underperforming. In the Center's greatest revitalization since it was built in the 1930s, exterior "shop fronts" (of a bygone merchandising era) were converted to modern day "storefronts" - with approval of the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission - and the Lower Concourse was transformed from an office workers shopping area to a tourist retail destination, with an exciting mix of specialty and signature retail, restaurants, tourist attractions, and entertainment spaces to insure a long and prosperous future for this beloved landmark. As Project Director, Doug McKean's role was to manage the myriad of consultants that were necessary for projects like the conversion of a parking garage into the new showcase location of Chrystie's.
Shanghai Cultural Plaza
Shanghai Cultural Plaza
An international competition was held for the redevelopment of a large site in Shanghai's largest historic preservation area, the former French Concession. This development is one of the signature projects undertaken by the Chinese government for the 2010 World Expo showcasing Shanghai as a world class city. In addition to the new 2,000 seat theater and public park, the project also included the preservation and adaptive reuse of six historic buildings and a long-span space frame structure (shown in the rear of the photo), which was the largest of its kind when built during the mid-20th century. The crystalline glass and steel funnel that flows out of the sky (the roof) to the ground (the lobby floor) reinforces the importance of water in the Chinese culture and development of Shanghai. Doug's primary role on the project was to negotiate the fees and contract - which he notes "started with a blank sheet of paper" (instead of from a standard contract as is the custom in the US) without his knowing a single word of Chinese - as well as to set up the staffing / management plan for the project.