Entries Tagged as 'architecture'

Upcoming Walks of Kingston’s Rondout

October 10th, 2017 · 4 Comments · Beyond Gotham

If one personified Kingston’s Rondout neighborhood as a storyteller, you might well be inclined to pull up a chair and listen for many hours. In this compact Hudson Valley neighborhood of city blocks and winding streets, hills and paths, architectural gems and eye-catching details, and waterfront setting, you can see, sense, and discover a microcosm […]

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Victory in Saving an Underground RR Site

June 3rd, 2017 · No Comments · Be a Mindful Activist

In a win for those seeking to preserve the history of an abolitionist’s house where escaped slaves found safe passage, the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) decided early last week that the owner must abandon plans for a fifth-floor addition and restore the building to its original height. In a city of 8 […]

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A Subway Powerhouse Speaks To Today

March 11th, 2017 · 4 Comments · Beyond Gotham

Sometimes a message of resilience can come in an instant, and often not predictably. The IRT Powerhouse on 11th Avenue isn’t giving a speech or waving a flag, and it’s not a talking head seeking to shout a point of view at passersby or boast of its strength. Yet, the sight of this 1904 building […]

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A Newburgh Church Embodies Resilience

August 26th, 2016 · No Comments · Beyond Gotham

In the center of Newburgh is the oldest church building in the city. In good times and bad, particularly through the turmoil of the 1960s and the demolition of more than a thousand buildings in the city for so-called urban renewal in the early 1970s, St. George’s Episcopal Church on Grand Street has remained steadfast. […]

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Sacred Sites Open for Exploration

May 20th, 2016 · 2 Comments · Explore New York

New York’s sacred places of worship possess countless life stories and historical chapters as well as inspiring and magnificent art, architecture, and design. Jacob Riis, the social reformer and photographer whose works brought to light the suffering of the poor living in New York City tenements, was one of the early parishioners of the Church […]

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Art Deco’s Wisdom of the Ages, Part II

January 29th, 2016 · 4 Comments · Explore New York

How many schoolchildren over the decades glanced above the doorway to see a woman reading to a boy while a girl nearby is working on an abacus? It is a simple, beautifully sculpted panel, attentive to detail, as the architectural historian William Rhoads writes, “down to the shoelaces.” The scene is one of two on […]

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Symbol and Story in Art Deco Panels

November 18th, 2015 · 2 Comments · Beyond Gotham

Buildings possess energy that can at times elevate or depress the people who view and inhabit them. Like other art, architecture can both be in and rise above its times. Talking about the stock market crash of 1929 and the Great Depression, bandleader and jazz singer Cab Calloway once said that people really needed entertainment […]

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A Message in a Lobby

January 26th, 2015 · 8 Comments · Columns and Features, Explore New York

It was just before Christmas, and thousands were in the mad rush and jostling along Fifth Avenue, with their cameras and shopping bags, to see the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree. The shoppers lined up at the boutiques and gift shops in Midtown Manhattan. Just south, however, is a building that doesn’t make a list of […]

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A Sweet Statement of Deco in Newburgh

October 1st, 2014 · 2 Comments · Beyond Gotham

Buildings have a way of speaking to people. Such expression can come through their design, materials, condition, or decorative elements – and ultimately in their presence. In the middle of the long, wide expanse of Broadway in Newburgh, 121-123 Broadway is a forgotten but beautiful small building. Its Art Deco elements and design suddenly draw […]

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A Peek Inside Dazzling 29 Broadway

June 20th, 2014 · 6 Comments · Explore New York

It’s hard to quantify the exuberance of Art Deco. Its energy can make an immobile decorative element feel like it’s about to move. Its images jump off of flat surfaces. Its zigzags, lines, and circles seem to dance. Such is the quality of the lobby of 29 Broadway, a lesser-known beauty in New York’s Art […]

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Joseph Mitchell’s Regard for Ornament

April 18th, 2014 · 6 Comments · Explore New York

Joseph Mitchell possessed a lifelong fascination with New York City’s survivors, both its characters and its buildings, especially ones that often escaped notice. For some 26 years, from 1938 to 1964, his essays in The New Yorker portrayed the city’s inhabitants from the bearded Lady Olga of circus sideshows and the stout Germans carrying their […]

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Pennsylvania Station: Its Glory and Death

February 18th, 2014 · 9 Comments · Explore New York

If ever a hallowed place existed for the travel of the common man and woman, it was New York’s original Pennsylvania Station. Yet a magnificent, soaring station that Alexander Cassatt and the Pennsylvania Railroad built for the ages and opened in 1910 lasted barely over a half-century. Two days after workers started tearing down the […]

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Art Deco Jazz in Brooklyn Heights

January 19th, 2014 · 12 Comments · Explore New York

Naomi Fatouros, one of three children of architect H.I. Feldman, once wrote that her father “had no pretensions about being artistic.” Still, architects and builders had high regard for Feldman for creating building plans that minimized construction costs and that provided renters and buyers with good views and high-quality apartment layouts, she said in the […]

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The Enduring Wonder of the Rookery

December 30th, 2013 · 1 Comment · Beyond Gotham

One could be forgiven for thinking that one of the crows in terra cotta on Chicago’s Rookery building depicts a current leader of the U.S. Congress. Some of our greatest buildings possess an expressiveness that speaks not only of the time period in which architects and builders created the structure but also to today. The […]

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The Art Deco Pleasures of 29 Broadway

November 15th, 2013 · 6 Comments · Explore New York

Their names are unknown, but the fine results of their craftsmanship remain today. On an evening in late February, 1931, the New York Building Congress gave awards and gold buttons to 26 craftsmen for their outstanding work in constructing 29 Broadway. The awards went to William John Delaney, a stonecutter; Louis Materossi, a cement mason; […]

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What Is the Future of Midtown East?

May 31st, 2013 · 2 Comments · Be a Mindful Activist, Explore New York

One person’s “beautiful” is another person’s “dowdy,” and someone’s pronouncement of “architectural significance” is another’s “obsolescence.” These are the terms people are using in a clash over zoning and related plans that will likely shape a historic part of New York City for the future. Consider the character and skyline of Manhattan’s Midtown East, where […]

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Grand Central’s Gems at 100, Part II

March 27th, 2013 · 1 Comment · Explore New York

If children were to design and build a train station, it might well turn out to be Grand Central Terminal. It’s big, and it has all kinds of cubbyholes, caverns, and passageways; a magical ceiling full of stars; places with models, books, and toys; great food from hot dogs and chili to all kinds of […]

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The Treasures of Grand Central at 100

January 31st, 2013 · 9 Comments · Explore New York

For many, it may be hard to grasp that where Grand Central Terminal stands today we could have had massive office towers and no magnificent train station. But it’s important to never forget. In the 1950s and 1960s on separate occasions, developers and Penn Central Railroad launched plans that would have destroyed Grand Central. Ultimately, […]

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Splashy Art Deco on a Staid Block

December 6th, 2012 · 11 Comments · Explore New York

Some musical riffs can suddenly elevate the mood. So, too, can a jazzy building. It can bring your senses alive, make you perk up and pay attention, if even for a short time. Buildings aren’t passive entities; the very good ones generate an active engagement. The best architects know this to the core. In a […]

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Redeemer Lutheran’s Staying Power

October 5th, 2011 · 13 Comments · Beyond Gotham

When we behold a beautiful historic house of worship, we may well find a sturdy and durable congregation that has also withstood the test of time. Both materials and people become a study in resilience. Redeemer Lutheran Church in Kingston is a sweet and brightly warm church set within the Rondout neighborhood of this Hudson […]

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