Frank Gehry’s Atlantic Yards
Architectural critic Paul Goldberger’s new biography about Frank Gehry, Building Art: The Life and Work of Frank Gehry, addresses the architect’s trials and triumphs in New York City. The city represented, Golberger writes, “the unattainable, the mountain that he would try repeatedly to climb, only to find himself sliding back down.” Gehry broke this spell finally with the IAC Building on Manhattan’s west side and the residential skyscraper, New York by Gehry. But prior to these, the city seemed to always evade him, apart from the cafeteria he designed in the Condé Nast headquarters in Times Square.
Here are five projects Gehry designed for the city that were never realized:
“The Grand Washington Monument Procession.” Via Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division. Image by James S. Baillie.
On Tuesday, October 19, 1847 thousands attended a ceremony in New York’s Hamilton Square (a lost public square on the Upper East Side) to celebrate the laying of the cornerstone for a 425-foot tall Washington Monument. However the monument was never constructed and the fate of the cornerstone remains uncertain.
On that morning, which was the anniversary of the British surrender to Gen. George Washington at Yorktown, a procession marched from City Hall in Lower Manhattan a distance of over four miles to Hamilton Square on the then rural Upper East Side.
Before Whitney submission by Eric Fiss (New York, NY), 1985. “Whitney Goes Pop”
This past year, the Whitney Museum reopened in a new Renzo Piano-designed museum in the Meatpacking District, moving from its smaller space on the Upper East Side, the modernist building designed by Marcel Breuer and Hamilton P. Smith from 1963 to 1966. Space had been an issue from almost the beginning, with the Whitney opening outposts on Water Street, on Park Avenue, in Connecticut and other New York City office buildings over the decades.
Call for Submission, 1983. Image Courtesy of Storefront for Art and Architecture.
In 1983, as the centennial of the Statue of Liberty dedication approached in 1986, the Storefront for Art and Architecture launched an open call competition to reimagine the New York City landmark for the contemporary era. This type of provocative competition is part of the DNA of Storefront, founded in 1982 to present innovative work at the intersection of art and architecture. More than 30 years later, with a distinctive location at 97 Kenmare Street in Nolita, and the opening of an archive at Industry City tomorrow, Storefront continues to present cutting-edge exhibitions and serve as a resource to architects, academics, and journalists alike.
With its 24/7 transit system and a subway system that dates from 1904, New York City seems like a city of mass transportation. Its residents expect a lot, always pushing for better and increased service, more transit lines, and more bike lanes, but sometimes its worth taking a step back and remember where we came from.
In honor of Memorial Day, today we’re looking back at the history of the white marble Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument, located at 89th Street and Riverside Drive, a majestic memorial to those who fought in the Civil War. Unfortunately, few have had the chance to marvel at its serene mosaic interior. The monument has been open to the public sporadically throughout the years, most recently as part of Open House New York (though one year the key was unable to open the rusted lock and access was canceled).