1926. Special. Art Deco takes Manhattan
Hello friendly! Here we are again in this count of the evolution of the skyscrapers of New York, throught 20th Century. Today we are on 1926. The year that Art Deco arrive to New York with two important buildings: The Barclay-Vessey Building and the Paramount building.
But, what is Art Deco??
In a general definition, according with the painter Don Black, Art Deco as "an abreviation of 'Exposition des Arts Decoratifs et industriels', a Parisian Design Fair of 1925. In general usage Art Deco almost entirely refers to the traditional sense of objects d' art or artistic artifacts ranging from clothes, fabrics, jewelry, and furniture to advertising, books, and appliances. Indeed, every artifact of daily use came under its design auspices" (Vlack, Don. Art Deco Architecture In New York 1920-1940. New York. Icon Editions. Harper & Row. 1974. Page 5).
The Wikipedia have a more amplied definition:
"Art Deco was a popular international art design movement from 1925 until the 1940s, affecting the decorative arts such as architecture, interior design, and industrial design, as well as the visual arts such as fashion, painting, the graphic arts, and film. At the time, this style was seen as elegant, glamorous, functional, and modern.
The movement was a mix of many different styles and movements of the early 20th century, including Neoclassical, Constructivism, Cubism, Modernism, Art Noveau, and Fururism. Its popularity peaked in Europe during the Roaring Twenties and continued strongly in the United States through the 1930s.Although many design movements have political or philosophical roots or intentions, Art Deco was purely decorative" (Art Deco. From Wikipedia. The Free Encyclopedia. Search this page web: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Art_deco. Review on July 24. 2009).
The Wikipedia continue says:
"The structure of Art Deco is based on mathematical geometric shapes.[It was widely considered to be an eclectic form of elegant and stylish modernism, being influenced by a variety of sources. Among them were the so-called "primitive" arts of Africa, Ancient Egypt, and Aztec Mexico. It also drew on Machine Age or streamline technology, such as modern aviation, electric lighting, the raio, the ocean liner and the skyscraper for inspiration.It is in streamline modern styles that this technology fully manifests itself and, although it is not antithetical to Art Deco, it is now considered to be a separate architectural style.
Art Deco design influences were expressed in the crystalline and faceted forms of decorative Cubism and Futurism. Other popular themes in Art Deco were trapezoidal, zigzagged, geometric, and jumbled shapes, which can be seen in many early pieces" (Art Deco. From Wikipedia. The Free Encyclopedia. Search this page web: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Art_deco. Review on July 24. 2009).
In New York, the Art Deco style was a very popular between the years 1926-1940. The Art Deco was a style with great acceptance in New York to 1926 until 1940. The reason is that this new style perfectly adjusted to the appearance and the character of the city like a modern metropolis, an own style of the Capital of 20th Century. An important data is that the escence of New York as metopoli of the Machine Age were representated in the Fritz Lang's film Metropolis, where the machines dominated a skyscrapering Art Deco city of future.
The architecture historian, Cervin Robinson says about New York's Art Deco:
"(...) Stated most briefly, the occasion for Art Deco in New York City was a building boom that started in 1925 and lasted until 1931; and the intention of New York architects was to unite several separate ideas in the design of the skyscrapers called for in the boom years. The buildings they designed were marked by European decorative influences but were also affected by certain ideas from Chicago, by the theater, and by an image of a future New York that had long had popular currency. The carrer of this architecture was probably also determined by the fact that its journalism was weak. Finally, it was maked, and perhaps most significantly, by the training that New York architects has recived" (Robinson Cervin. Haag Bletter, Rosemarie. Skyscraper Style. Art Deco New York. New York. Oxfrod University Press. 1975. Pages 4 and 5).
The first Art Deco skyscraper were influenced for a Pre-columbian art, overall, in Mexico's Aztec and Mayan structures and art. The first Deco's skyscrapers in Manhattan were build in 1926. In this year the New York Telephone (Barclay-Vessey) and Paramount buildings were completed.
New York Telephone Building or also called Barclay Vesey Building. (Voorhees, Gmelin and Walker, 1926)
The Pre-Columbian style Paramount Building (Raap and Raap, 1926).
The Theatre historian Ken Bloom says about the Paramount:
"The 35-story building, thought classically inspired has a decided art-deco style. As it rises, the building employs a series of setbacks, culminating in a ziggurat upon which stands the magnificent clock tower. The apex of the entire structure is the 20-foot glass globe that was meant to be illuminate. the globe was perhaps inspired by the London Coliseum, which is also topped by a lighted globe, creating a beacon in London's West End"(Bloom, Ken. Broadway. An Encyclopedic Guide to the History, People and Places of Times Square. New York. Facts On File. 1991. Page 277).
Bloom continued says:
"The Paramount Building had an auspicious opening tied to the opening of the Paramount Theatre over which it towered. It was built to house the New York offices of Famous Players-Lasky Corporation, the parent of Paramount Pictures. Stanley's Restaurant in the Putnam Building was demolished to make way for the 35-floor office building" (Bloom. 1991: Page 277).
The building also contained and observation tower at its roof where sightseers could look over Manhattan for only a quarter" (Bloom, Ken. Broadway. An Encyclopedic Guide to the History, People and Places of Times Square. New York. Facts On File. 1991. Page 277).
We countinue our trip over Manhattan Skyline evolution.
The Paramount Building opening avertising. 1926.
1918's Bush Building looking west from Bryant Park Building. June 1926
The Beaux-Art Style At&T Building on Broadway, near St. Paul Chappel. September 1926.
In 1927, New York concentrating its skyscrapers in the Financial District, but, Building Boom were changed quickly the face of Midtown Manhattan: more a more tall skyscrapers were build here, overall in Times Square, Grand Central area and the Pennsylvania Station surroundings. The city skyline already showed to ampliamentos the effects of 1916's Zoning Law in its new buildings, that were on Wedding-Cake shape.
This a vew of Manhattan Island on 1926. This view show many new buildings: In Lower Manhattan can see the Barclay-Vessey Building, the new Transportation Building near Woolworth Building and the Standard Oil Building.
Manhattan looking southwest from East River. 1927
The Barclay-Vesey Building, home of the New York Telephone. 1927. Check on far right of the Building, the Washington Market (in this site the World Trade Center towers were built on this site 40 years after).
Times Square looking southwest from Loews State Theater's Building show the Times Tower and Paramount Building. March 1927.
The old 1880's New York Herald Building, on Herald Square (Broadway, Sixth Avenue between 35th to 36th Streets) when it was nearby to its demolition. March 1927. The McAlpin Hotel, on 34th Street can see in the background.
Trinity Church. May 1927
Paramount Building from Broadway and 42nd Street. May 1927
Park Avenue looking south from 56th Street. May 1927. Luxurius High-rise residential building were built on the avenue on the last 15 years. Look the garden style blocks in the middle of the avenue.
Another of the first Art Deco's skyscrapers and one of the first tall skyscrapers of the Fifth Avenue: Fred F. French Building (Fred F. French Company and Sloan and Robertson. 1927). May 1927. The 36-story building to today is very famous for its Aztec style Deco crown masonry on the top.
Glittering Great Way Way. Times Square on june 1927 looking north.
The Paramount Building. June 1927
Lower Manhattan looking northeast from the Bay. July 1927. Many wedding-cake skyscraper were build in Financial District: The Woolworth Building (on far left, at background) dominate the panorama, but the new 43-story Transportation Building makes company to the Woolworth. At the center of the picture can see the Morgan Building under construction, behind the new Standard Oil Building.
Another aerial view of the Financial District, now over Battery Park. July 1927
And aerial view of the Park Row Area looking west. July 1927. Can see the Barclay-Vesey, Transportation and Woolworth Buildings on backgound. The Municipal Building can see on foreground.
The new 30 story Savoy Plaza Hotel, opposite Grand Army Plaza. August 1927.
Aerial view of Midtown Manhattan looking northwest. September 1927. Many new skyscrapers begun to change the skyline in Midtown. In the center can see the site for the future Rockefeller Center. The site, in these time were occupied by old tenement buildings. Photo: Fairchild Aerial Surveys.
Ely Jacques Kahn's Art Deco 2 Park Avenue Building. Park Avenue between 32nd to 33rd Streets. December 1927.
The Barbizon Plaza on Lexington Avenue and East 63rd Street: December 1927
The next week I have more of the city of 1920s, and going to talk about the New York on late 20s and the start of the 1928-1931 race for the Sky (from Chanin Building to Empire State Building).
For the bloggers: Are you have any picture that illustred the city skyline of 1926-27, the Paramount and Barclay-Vessey Buildings? Show here!!!