E. 42nd Street: Looking Back at the End of the Line
Well, this is the end of our little E. 42nd Street architectural tour – it was fun to pretend to be an architect for a while*. Actually, from what I’ve learned along the way just taking photos on this one stretch of Manhattan and following that up with some reading, I believe I’m prepared to be a pretty mediocre Romanesque Revival architect; I think I’ve got that pier-and-spandrel, arches at the base and crown thing down.
Just to top it off with one last photo for this series of posts, here is a view from Tudor City looking back west on 42nd Street. Just past the sylvan edges of Tudor City, high above E. 42nd Street, we can see the Chrysler Building, just a few blocks away, dominating the skyscape. At the right and closest to us is the Ford Foundation Building, completed in 1968. The designers, Kevin Roche and John Dinkeloo, managed to create a design that, while boxlike, was quite unlike the tiresome glass-and-steel slabs so prevalent at that time.
In this building, essentially a square 200 feet on a side, Roche and Dinkeloo placed all the offices around the perimeter, reserving almost the entire center of the building as an atrium to house a conservatory-like winter garden that soars towards a glass roof. Weathering steel and pink granite cladding provided an appealing exterior that looks fresh even after 40 years.
So I’ll give the NYC architecture a rest for now, but more to come later this summer. Next will come more bucolic photos, including New York’s Central Park, and I won't forget Philly, either.
* "Jerry you know I always wanted to pretend to be an architect!" - George Costanza