Entries Tagged as 'art deco'

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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Cleveland’s Streamline Station Survivor

March 6th, 2015 · 4 Comments · Beyond Gotham, Columns and Features

Let’s play word association: Think of the word “Greyhound.” Chances are, the terms “sleek,” “aerodynamic,” and “futuristic” are not likely to jump to mind. Decades ago, however, they may well have. Not too long after the automobile and road travel gained wider public acceptance, Greyhound was one of the forward-looking companies seeking to captivate those […]

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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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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 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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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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Wanna Buy an Art Deco Gem? Ask AIG

March 20th, 2009 · 11 Comments · Explore New York

When corporate kingdoms fall, they often lose their castles. That may well be the case with AIG. The bailout-dependent conglomerate that has made “bonus rage” a media catchphrase said Wednesday that it’s considering the sale of its legendary 66-story headquarters at 70 Pine Street in Lower Manhattan, Bloomberg confirmed. Like other assets that the American […]

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Architects With the Right Touch

October 28th, 2008 · 3 Comments · Explore New York

H. Douglas Ives once placed swarms of bees in the midst of midtown Manhattan, but to inspire, not to sting. High above the thousands who scurry and stroll along Fifth Avenue sit two beehives surrounded by buzzing bees. But they’re not live – they’re part of the dazzling decoration atop the Fred F. French Building […]

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