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Thread: Empire State Building - 350 Fifth Avenue @ 34th Street - by Shreve, Lamb and Harmon

  1. #376

    Default Big moon

    Did anyone else notice?!

  2. #377
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    NYC - Downtown


    It was a beauty. Saw it setting down beyond the WTC site late late Thursday -- or actually early early Friday.

  3. #378
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    west village


    lots of folks are in the shadow of the king of all skyscrapers

    taken from the esb saturday morning...

  4. #379
    NYC Aficionado from Oz Merry's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002


    Overhead, a Lobby Is Restored to Old Glory


    Bill Mensching of EverGreene Architectural Arts under an Empire State Building mural. It is a reproduction of an original that was covered in the 1960s.

    Every day, people walk into Grand Central Terminal and look up at the vaulted ceiling over the main concourse, with its star constellations and zodiac signs. It helped make the station “a triumphant portal to New York,” in the words of one of its architects, Whitney Warren.

    People who walked into the Empire State Building have done their looking up outside, craning their necks to see the top, 1,250 feet above the street. As they made their way to the observation deck, they had little reason to look up in the cathedral-like lobby.

    Now there is something to look up at. The ceiling in the lobby has undergone a $12.5 million renovation that has brought back two shiny Art Deco murals that disappeared from view in the 1960s. They are to be unveiled on Wednesday.

    The murals were left to deteriorate more than 35 years ago after being covered with white plastic panels and fluorescent light fixtures, which were the latest things for office buildings in those days.

    Anthony E. Malkin, the president of Malkin Holdings, which owns the building, said the lobby had become “a real letdown,” in contrast with the lobbies of two other famous skyscrapers of similar age, the Chrysler Building and 30 Rockefeller Plaza. Mr. Malkin wanted the lobby to be more of a triumphant portal than a utilitarian passageway for tourists on the way to the observation deck and workers on the way to their offices.

    So as part of a $550 million project to upgrade the entire building, Mr. Malkin and a team of architects and designers set out to make the lobby as impressive as it was when the building opened in 1931. Frank J. Prial Jr., an architect with Beyer Blinder Belle who worked on the lobby restoration, said the idea was “to take the most famous building of the 20th century back a few steps to prepare for the 21st.”

    That made the murals a priority. Like the mural on the ceiling in Grand Central Terminal, the ones in the Empire State Building show the sky. But this sky was imagined when the building was on the drawing board in the 1920s, when assembly lines were humming and people dreamed of the ultimate symbol of the machine age: the car.

    The sun and the planets on the ceiling look like gears and wheels and cogs.

    “It’s like you’re looking inside a watch,” Mr. Prial said, albeit a giant watch. The murals cover more than a third of the square footage of a football field.

    Bill Mensching, a vice president of EverGreene Architectural Arts, which copied the originals, said they had 15,000 square feet of aluminum and 1,300 square feet of 23-karat gold leaf.

    Because the original murals, designed by an artist named Leif Neandross, were damaged, reproductions were installed. Mr. Mensching said more than 50 artists, site painters and installers worked on them.

    Despite the Wall Street crash in 1929, the murals’ design was unchanged for the building’s opening. The result, Mr. Malkin said, was a ceiling that “is not trying to find hope in the depths of the Depression — it was created before that. You don’t have that labor and toil and struggle feeling that you have in Rockefeller Center.”

    In the 1960s, large acrylic panels showing eight wonders of the world were installed at eye level in the lobby: the seven wonders in the history books and — no surprise — the Empire State Building.

    The panels were completed in 1964, in time for the World’s Fair, and remained in the lobby until last year, when the renovation team put them in storage. Mr. Prial said they would eventually be put in a ticketing area on the way to the observation deck. They were replaced by marble panels from as far away as Italy and as close as a warehouse in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. The panels’ colors and patterns are strikingly similar to that of the original marble in the lobby.

    Two other changes have made the lobby more faithful to the building’s original plans. The clock over the information desk in the Fifth Avenue lobby was replaced by what was originally called for: an anemometer, which measured wind speed where dirigibles were supposed to dock.

    And then there are the two chandeliers beside the pedestrian bridges. They differ from the chandeliers shown in early photographs; those were taken out in the 1960s.

    The new ones, based on the original plans, were fabricated by the successor to the company Neandross worked for when he designed the murals.

    Why were the chandeliers that were planned never installed? “Our theory,” Mr. Prial said, “was they were in a hurry, they had to open, and they ran out and got two chandeliers.”

  5. #380
    NYC Aficionado from Oz Merry's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002


    What a fabulous photo :

    Circa 1957


    Nikita S. Khrushchev and wife meeting the press on the roof of the Empire State building. September 1959

  6. #381


    The Empire State Building showed many faces in shots taken over three years.
    Published: November 27, 2009

    Nearly every day for the past three years, Adam Stoltman, a photojournalist, has captured the scene outside his north-facing window in the Chelsea neighborhood on the West Side of Manhattan. The Empire State Building is at the center of his unchanging yet dynamic view from Eighth Avenue and West 24th Street. The scene, Mr. Stoltman says, has “almost an infinite capacity for visual wonder.” Online, a slide show of the photographs, at all times of day and all seasons of the year:

    I remember a member here at Wired NY posting a photograph of this sky earlier this year.


    Copyright 2009 The New York Times Company
    Last edited by brianac; November 29th, 2009 at 10:04 AM.

  7. #382

  8. #383
    Forum Veteran Daquan13's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    East Boston, MA.


    I got to go visit that icon! Haven't been there yet.

  9. #384
    NYC Aficionado from Oz Merry's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002


    Empire State of Signs

    Empire State Building's new branded signage is return to Depression-era form

    No building looms larger over New York City than the Empire State Building, not only in size and stature but also in style. The tower’s bespoke art deco detailing speaks to the fashionable spirit of many New Yorkers, from its rainbow and stainless-steel crown to its gleaming marble lobby. Even the storefronts fit the character, down to the stylized, 1920s-era font that comprises retailers’ signage.

    A special font was devised for signage in 2007,
    but the building's owner now favors branded fonts.
    Logos and symbols, such as the Jamba Juice Swirl, are not allowed.

    But those quaint signs are about to enter the 21st Century. Last month, the Landmarks Preservation Commission approved a modification to the Empire State Building’s masterplan that will allow retailers to use their "branded" fonts instead of the art deco-inspired signage that has been the standard since the building became a landmark 28 years ago. The move is part of owner W&H Property's remodeling of the entire building, from refurbished interiors to new green features.

    While some may view the changes as so much consumerism flying in the face of history, Richard Metsky, the Beyer Blinder Belle principal overseeing the building’s restoration, argues that it is actually a return to form from an invented past only a few decades old. As he explains it, the building had no uniform signage when it opened in 1930. As retail occupancy took off in the ‘40s and ‘50s, all manner of signs proliferated, many of them tastefully rendered—an inspiration to what the designers are now proposing.

    In the following decades, neon began to dominate, and the signage became more crass, a mini–Times Square. Only once the building was designated a landmark in 1981 did calm return to its storefront facade. A masterplan was developed, calling simply for small, 8 inch-high aluminum letters affixed to a black glass band. The preferred font was Broadway, created in 1928 by prolific typographer Morris Fuller Benton. Metsky said the font was popular with preservationists of the era and the postmodern stylings that were increasingly in vogue. “It’s an overreaction to all the signage,” Metsky said.

    "It cleaned the building up, but the problem is the font is rather generic and had nothing to do with the building."

    In 2007, when Beyer Blinder Belle was undertaking renovations to the entire structure, they sought to create more historically appropriate signage. As a solution, the architects teamed up with graphic designers from Two Twelve Associates and created their own font for use throughout the building.

    Their inspiration was a towering bronze plaque that dominates the lobby, which had the names of the project’s various designers and artisans etched in it in a distinctly deco font with no clear provenance. This new font, which was approved previously by the Landmarks Preservation Commission, was deployed for all signage, inside and out.

    Though it remains in place for all interior signage, the font never caught on, at least not with retailers. Some preservationists have questioned whether “branded” signage is really the key to leasing more retail space at the Empire State Building, but Andrew Goldberg, an executive vice president at CB Richard Ellis in charge of retail at the building, insists it is an important part of the equation.

    “It was about getting national retailers there,” Goldberg said, “and one of the things they want is good visibility and the ability to show the brand and show it in the best light.” Goldberg points out that the branded fonts of FedEx, Starbucks, or Walgreens—three of the building's current tenants—are as much logos as words."A lot of times, you recognize the sign before you can read it," he said.

    Certain restrictions remain, including a ban on logos and “logo letters” such as the "swirl" between "Jamba" and "Juice" and Strawberry's use of its eponymous fruit in place of the "a" in its name. In many cases, Metsky said, the signage will actually be smaller and more compact than before. And he notes that other landmarks, such as the Chrysler Building and Rockefeller Center, have similar arrangements. (Beyer Blinder Belle worked on those as well.)

    The Landmarks Commission was generally supportive of the move, as were preservationists. “It’s a good precedent for no logos, no colors, and all the other things we ask people to observe,” commission chair Robert Tierney said at a November 10 hearing, during which the changes were unanimously approved.

    In an interview, Nadezhda Williams, a CKpreservation associateCK at the Historic Districts Council, said she saw no problem with the changes. “I think it’s uniform enough that it won’t look like a shopping mall, but people can still express themselves,” she said.

    Matt Chaban

  10. #385

  11. #386
    Forum Veteran Tectonic's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    New York City


    I swear that first photo almost made me faint.

  12. #387


    Looks like roy rogers latter on in his life (but that's no trigger)

  13. #388
    Forum Veteran MidtownGuy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    East Midtown


    “It was about getting national retailers there,” Goldberg said, “and one of the things they want is good visibility and the ability to show the brand and show it in the best light.”
    Screw "national retailers". I would rather see a NY style independent restaurant or diner and other businesses evocative of local character and flavor. Is Heartland Brewery still there? You can be local AND attractive to tourists. The chain malling of New York is unfortunate, not a goal to be worked toward.

  14. #389


    Gene Autry"World's Greatest Cowboy"


    Champion, "World's Wonder Horse"

    Autry and Champion would appear at special attractions, parades, children's hospitals and orphanages. He was even a featured attraction at Madison Square Gardens in New York City and is the only horse ever to visit the top of the Empire State Building.

  15. #390


    I thought that too but I know Gene's Horse "Champion"
    was a sorrel with a blaze and 4 white stockings-
    he had a few other horses to stand in for champion-
    all with the same basic markings.

    I did find this on the web :
    "Other horses, for which we have no documentation at this time, served as doubles for movie stunts and personal appearances."
    so if that's Gene- it's NOT Champion with him

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