The New York Public Library’s semi-famous row of old phone booths in the basement
With the imminent demise of New York City’s pay phones in 2014, it seems miraculous that the wooden phone booths of fifty or sixty years ago still survive in private spaces. We’ve rounded up seven of the last stragglers, most of which are tucked away in bars and restaurants throughout the city.
1. New York Public Library (the main branch, or Stephen A. Schwarzman Building) in Midtown, Fifth Avenue at 42nd Street. The basement has a rather famous row of wooden phone booths, pictured above. Library employees have been known to use these booths for privacy––to make calls on their mobile phones.
The latest Banksy is a play on the gallery in an outdoor space under the High Line at West 24th Street. It appears to be a collaboration with Brazilian twins Os Gemeos, whom we previously covered for his massive mural in Boston.
Are you the sort of person who enjoys going to art galleries, but wished they had more gravel in them? Then this temporary exhibition space is for you. Housing just two paintings but also featuring a bench, some carpet and complimentary refreshments. Opens today through Sunday 11am til midnight.
This should have really been a Daily What?! but we were too excited about it to wait until tomorrow morning. Vanishing New York and Atlantic Cities have both reported about a Getty gas station that’s been converted into an art gallery with rolling hills in Chelsea on 10th Avenue and 24th Street. It’s the future site of a high-rise condo (no surprise) but in the meantime, the Paul Kasmin Gallery and real-estate mogul Michael Shvo have gotten creative with the unused space. And there’s going to be fake sheep soon!!
Chelsea Piers today might be known for its recreational and entertainment facilities, but long before that, it was a passenger ship terminal. In 1910, the “hodgepodge of rundown waterfront structures” on the west side of Manhattan was replaced by new piers designed by architectural firm Warren and Wetmore (the firm was also working on Grand Central Terminal at the time). Today, the neoclassical facades of Chelsea Piers are remembered only in vintage photographs.
New York City has five hundred miles of coastline, yet we tend to forget that the shores along the Hudson River used to be a working waterfront. In the early 20th century, there were many factories, warehouses, and distribution facilities along the Hudson, and battle ships docked on the Upper West Side until the 1950s. Of course, construction of new buildings, including such major architectural landmarks as the future home of the Whitney Museum and the Freedom Tower, will continue well into the future. Last week, we joined Openhousenewyork for an architectural cruise up the Hudson River narrated by Tom Mellins, architectural historian and curator, and Bill Miller, maritime historian and author, where we learned a host of facts and fun stories about notable architecture along the Hudson. Here are thirteen of the most interesting and “untapped” buildings, bridges and landmarks. (more…)