The former first floor entrance of a building in Bushwick. Image via Instagram user senorwingleton
Have you ever noticed those fixtures of a building which serve no purpose? Like a staircase with no door, or shutters without a window? These architectural relics are named Thomassons, after the baseball player Gary Thomasson, who missed so many balls he was nicknamed the “Electric Fan.”
You see tile everywhere around you — from the walls of your subway station to the floor of your bathroom. But do you ever really consider just how old tile is (dates back to ancient Egypt), or the incredible fact that the there are still limitless architectural possibilities for the material? Join the Museum of the City of New York and the American Institute for Architecture on July 7th at 6:30 p.m. to hear a panel discussion moderated by Suzanne Stephens, deputy editor of Architectural Record, about the use, design, and manufacture of modern tiles. Panelists include Carla Swickerath, CEO and Principal at Studio Daniel Libeskind, Franz Prinsloo, architectural designer at Kohn Pedersen Fox, and Matthew Karlin, the third-generation president of the Nemo Tile Company. (more…)
The Rose Center’s great cube is made of water white glass, which lacks the usual greenish tint.
Architect James Polshek has written his memoir, Build/Memory (Monacelli Press), with all the substance, drive, and élan that made him famous in the first place. His buildings aren’t just structures standing quietly, waiting for something to happen. Instead, they live vigorously in their neighborhoods, engaging with their surroundings and landscape, changing with the light, evolving with the seasons. While you may not have heard of his name yet, you’ll definitely recognize some of his buildings, like the Brooklyn Museum and the Rose Center for Earth & Space at the American Museum of Natural History. Here are some of his favorites—and ours. (more…)
For the architectural historian and Modernism enthusiast, the quasi-abandoned beachfront resort of Futuro and Venturo structures just north of Taipei is an essential and little-publicized pilgrimage. Located in the picturesque coastal Wanli district, the complex offers a glimpse into a bygone era’s optimistic futurism all the more bittersweet considering the site’s current dilapidated condition.
Typical mid-century homes in Covington, Virginia
What is a “mill town“? A town near the type of old-fashioned gristmill you see on postcards or oil paintings at a flea market? Not really, though in their time, these would have probably qualified, too. The mill towns of the twentieth century through the current day are moderate-sized (sometimes large) cities built around one or more factory that forms the basis of the local economy.
This week we’re continuing from our last installment of Don’t Forget to Look Up, where we walked from 5th Avenue at Washington Square Park to 34th Street. This section of the avenue passes through bustling midtown, and we see a complete shift from the upscale residential buildings of lower Fifth Avenue to this intensely commercial area populated by both massive department stores and chic boutiques. When you need a break from block after block of window shopping, just take a look at these buildings’ upper floors and you will be amazed by what you see.
350 Fifth Avenue, the Empire State Building