Empire Mooring Station

wiki: ”the building’s Art Deco spire was designed to be a mooring mast and depot for dirigibles. An elevator between the 86th and 102nd floors would carry passengers after they checked in on the 86th floor. The idea proved impractical and dangerous, due to the powerful updrafts caused by the building itself, as well as the lack of mooring lines tying the other end of the craft to the ground.”

Absolutely true and downright crazy, something right out of Les Cités obscures by François Schuiten. Imagine for a moment living in a universe where, instead of the subway, dirigibles were a regular means of public transport; and, instead of holes in the ground, masts of skyscrapers played the role of mooring stations 100 floors above ground. Going to work with the head in the clouds  – how much more fun that would be!

November 19th, 2016

Sears Roebuck & Co.

With rows of red brick family houses and small apartment buildings, modest and slightly rundown, this part of Beverly Road is not particularly pretty.

But, then, one comes across this marvelous Artdeco tower on the edge of a seemingly triangular structure. Later, I found out that it is a department store, opened in 1932 with Eleanor Roosevelt being the guest of honour, keynote speaker and first customer in what was to be Ms. Roosevelt’s last public appearance before her husband became President.

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Beverly Road, Flatbush, Brooklyn

More reading about Sears here.

October 6th, 2016

Another end, another new beginning

Until then, a few snapshots from the legendary, ultra chic Waldorf Astoria that closed on 28th February for renovation. Its new owners, a Chinese insurance company, intend to convert most of its rooms to luxury condominiums. While the exterior is entirely landmarked, this is not the case with some interior parts. Hopefully, all public spaces and their exquisite ArtDeco elements including the hotel’s extensive archive of photographs, menus and other historical paraphernalia will be preserved.

Waldorf Astoria
Park Avenue

June 5th, 2014

The magnificent Chrysler lobby

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How is it to work here every weekday? Can staff still pose in admiration at the elegant art deco murals, marquetry and brass details? Surely there comes a time when the excitement of the first encounter fades, wielding to a seen-it-all-before blasé spirit. When the eye looks but forgets to see. I’m glad I don’t work in the Chrysler Building. Wish I will never have enough of this magnificent lobby.

August 30th, 2016

PS: Surprisingly little information can be found on the internet about the artist of the mural that covers the entire ceiling and upper parts of some walls – quite dissapointing given that, when created in 1930, it was considered the largest in the world.

After some research, this is all I could find:

Edward Trumbull, American (1884 – 1968)

Edward Trumbull was born in Michigan and raised in Connecticut. He attended the Art Students’ League of New York and studied in London under the noted muralist, Frank Brangwyn. Trumbull’s style as a muralist was traditional, and he was best known for his ease of bright and varied colors. A long time resident of Pittsburgh, Trumbull painted panels for the Heinz Administration Building in Pittsburgh and used “The Three Rivers” that converge at the city as the theme for the ceiling of the lobby of the Chrysler Building in New York. Two of his murals, located in the South Office building of the Pennsylvania Capitol Complex, are smaller versions of the murals he painted for buildings in Pittsburgh.

Good Heavens

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The weight of heaven on his shoulders for eternity: such was the punishment of Titan Atlas by Zeus for leading the Titans (elder gods) against the Olympians (young generation of deities) in what was essentially a power struggle between generations.

Carry Uranus (the sky) on his shoulders to prevent him from reuniting with Gaia (the earth) which would lead back to chaos, Atlas was essentially ”condemned” to be the keeper of the Balance of our Cosmos.

Atlas.
Bronze statue by Lee Lawrie and Rene Paul Chambellan, installed in front of Rockefeller Center in 1937.

24th September, 2016