Colonial Pictures’ recreation of the CBS Newsroom circa November 22, 1963, the day Walter Cronkite broke the news to the nation that John F. Kennedy had been assassinated. Courtesy of Colonial Pictures.
The CBS Newsroom is in a frenzy. Phones ring and jangle the metal desks, pencils scribble down notes for the upcoming News Bulletin, chalk flies across the blackboard recording reporters and place, cigarettes are lit, inhaled, and then the smoke is expelled, adding to the frenetic haze, and two clocks tick on the wall – one displaying Eastern Standard Time, the other Central Standard Time.
If it were 1963, in the center of it all would have sat the man, Walter Cronkite, who would break the news to the nation that John F. Kennedy was dead. But this is 2013 and not the CBS Newsroom. Instead, we are in a classroom at the General Society of Mechanics & Tradesmen on West 44th Street. The room has been transformed into a replica of the CBS Newsroom circa Cronkite’s fated words by Colonial Pictures. Headed by writer/producer/director Alastair Layzell, who considers himself lucky to have worked with Cronkite at the end of his career, the reconstruction serves as the set centerpiece for Colonial Pictures’ upcoming film, One PM Central Standard Time. (more…)
Save for the doorman’s greeting of a soft smile, nod, and hello, the Library of the General Society of Mechanics and Tradesmen reverberates a calm-quiet. The marble tiled mosaic floors and marble wainscoting of the entry atrium zap any acknowledgement of an architectural world post-1903. It is here, beneath the original geometric patterned stained glass window, the rectangular coffered ceiling, and the bronze arm and hammer sculpture – the General Society’s symbol – that we begin our tour of the second oldest library in New York City, listed in the National Register of Historic Places. (more…)
Source: The New York Times
Tucked a few blocks away from the crowds and flashing lights of Times Square, you can find The Library of the General Society of Mechanics & Tradesmen, a treasure trove of tomes, with gilded faux marble pillars, ornately filigreed iron banisters encasing the second floor, and wooden bookshelves stocked with over 100,000 volumes. For the Society’s spring “Artisan Lectures and Labor, Literature and Landmarks Series,” cultural commentator and author John Strausbaugh showcased his new book, The Village: 400 Years of Beats and Bohemians, Radicals and Rogues, a rapid-paced romp of a history lesson chronicling just how and why Greenwich Village became, at one point, “The Most Famous Neighborhood in the World” from its meager beginnings as a Dutch pastoral colony in the early 1600s. (more…)