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Thread: New York Ornamentation

  1. #1
    Forum Veteran MidtownGuy's Avatar
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    Default New York Ornamentation

    Hi, These are pics I took of ornamented treasures all around the city.

















    Last edited by MidtownGuy; January 26th, 2010 at 10:57 PM. Reason: the pics I posted 4 years ago are better when viwed at a smaller size

  2. #2
    Forum Veteran MidtownGuy's Avatar
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    Default











    Last edited by MidtownGuy; January 26th, 2010 at 11:05 PM.

  3. #3

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    NY has an unending sea of great, old buildings with heavy ornamentation. By contrast, cities like Chicago have relatively few. I was looking at a book yesterday entitled "Chicago: Yesterday and Today," and it was sad to see how many very nice buildings from the early 1900's were razed there and replaced with lifeless, Meisian boxes. Chicago would be a much nicer city if these buildings were saved. There was another book of the same title about Denver, and the same holds true there.

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    Forum Veteran MidtownGuy's Avatar
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    Yup, we are so lucky to have these. Now, if more of the new stuff they are putting up could be interesting in a cutting-edge way, NYC could boast the best of the old and the new, side by side.

  5. #5

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    Form follows function?

  6. #6
    Forum Veteran MidtownGuy's Avatar
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    Not as slave.

  7. #7

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    ^ Form is best when it doesn't follow function.

    Except if you're doing unadorned structure.

    That will give you the best form of all.

    All the best architects know this.

    But only a few dare put it into practice.

    Those are the greatest.

  8. #8

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    I propose we fire New York's landmark commission and replace it with londonlawyer, MidtownGuy and Zippy the Chimp.

    Just think how much things would improve!

  9. #9

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    After reading about 145 Hudson, I'm sure we'd do a better job. I always thought that addition was added long before the area was landmarked. It compliments the building.

    Reminds me of another sometimes ridiculous city agency, the Bureau of Standards and Appeals. I have a story, but need a photo.

  10. #10

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    Wouldn't it be awesome if the Ansonia's old roof spires could be rebuilt? I never knew they existed until I saw old pictures of the building in a great book about NYC apartment houses. Actually, even what is left of the Ansonia's roof looks pretty tired right now, although the beauty of the whole structure overcomes it.

  11. #11
    Forum Veteran MidtownGuy's Avatar
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    Thanks for the nomination I'd take my responsibility very seriously!


    Streetlover, I found these at http://www.nyc-architecture.com/UWS/UWS031.htm





    It sure would be nice to have those spires back on. Completes the look.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Zerlina's Avatar
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    Default I agree

    I agree with ablarc!
    Would somebody tell me where I can find some NY pics of 1950/60?
    Thanks in advance!

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by ablarc
    Form follows function?
    Define function. Is the function of a roof to keep rain off my head? Mainly, yes. But just as the function of a suit is not merely to keep me from freezing but also to adorn my person, so the function of a roof is also to meet the sky. To tell passers-by what is in that builkding, who built it and perhaps even why. And that function is best served by a form that does not look like this.

    -----------------------------------------------

    I would say that the 'form' of the old Woolwort building does follow its function, since its function as never merely to contain some desks or to show pedestrians that steel beams were use din tis cosntruction (who cares).

  14. #14

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    ^ That's a broad enough use of the term to render it virtually unusable. Among architects of a modernist bent, the cant went much as follows:

    1. The arrangement of use-based adjacencies comes first. This is called a bubble diagram, and shows a set of relationships without regard to structure or form. This is called "Function" by modernists and "Commodity" by Vitruvius.

    2. The bubble diagram jells into building form when structure's regularizing demands are plugged in. This is called "Structure" by modernists and "Firmness" by Vitruvius.

    3. The building acquires a rigorously minimal skin stretched over or between the massing of the structured bubble diagram. If fancy stuff accompanies this process the architect is obviously an immoral degenerate, say modernists. This is called "Beauty" by modernists and "Delight" by Vitruvius.

    This is how you get the Bauhaus, the Boston City Hall, the Pompidou Center, and Lloyd's HQ. This is not how you get the TWA Terminal, though Saarinen may have mumbled allegiance to functionalism, using your oceanic definition. This is also not how you get Gehry, who omits step 2, or rather denies structure's regularizing function. Structure remains enslaved to form, as you can see from the construction photos of IAC.

    The temporal sequence in modernism's design process is required to be 1-2-3; that is how you get the term "follows."

    In Vitruvian classicism (and in the work of Louis Kahn, who reintroduced its principles), all three are considered simultaneously, and a form is chosen that at the same time provides commodity, firmness and delight.

    ,
    Last edited by ablarc; June 12th, 2006 at 01:11 PM.

  15. #15

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    "Ornament is crime." --Adolf Loos, early modernist architect.

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