Tag Archives: Architecture

Architecture: The Guggenheim

 

Frank Lloyd Wright thought New York was a bad choice for the Guggenheim Museum. Too crowded, too many buildings for his masterpiece to stand out. But Mr. Guggenheim prevailed, and those who love NYC are delighted he did. Uploaded by fanpop.com.

Isn’t it odd how a unique building can divide people initially, then later be revered as one of the country’s greatest works of architecture? That’s the story of The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, usually called The Guggenheim. It was Frank Lloyd Wright’s last major design, and it polarized the New York creative crowd. Several artists even signed a letter, saying their works couldn’t be properly displayed in such a limited space.

Uploaded by thedesignfiles.net.

There’s no question that this isn’t The Metropolitan Museum. Wright worked on the drawings for 15 years before settling on the design. Unfortunately, neither Mr. Guggenheim nor Mr. Wright survived to see the building open. When it entertained its first visitors in October, 1959, it transformed the block at 89th Street and 5th Avenue on which it’s situated. And the amazing thing is that it doesn’t look dated at all. It could have been created today, and been just as beautiful and startling as it did more than a half century ago.

But, as I said earlier, this success didn’t come without significant opposition. Many expressed concern that the building would overpower the art inside. Wright answered, “On the contrary, (the purpose) was to make the building and the painting an uninterrupted, beautiful symphony such as never existed in the World of Art before.”

Travel: Rockefeller Center

For architecture, for entertainment, for panoramic views, for the best people watching in the world, nothing beats Rockefeller Center. Uploaded by wikimedia.org.

On your first visit to New York City, it’s a must. Rockefeller Center is the very heart of midtown Manhattan, encompassing 19 buildings between 51st and 48th Streets (north-south), and Sixth and Fifth Avenues (east-west). Here you’ll find great art deco architecture, incredible views at Top of the Rock, and world-class entertainment at Radio City Music Hall. Plus, some of the most fascinating people watching on the planet.

Rockefeller Center is actually two building complexes – 14 original art deco buildings completed during the 1930s, and four towers built during the 1960s and 70s. Because construction occurred during the depression, John D. Rockefeller, Jr. financed the entire project by himself. The land on which the project was built belonged to Columbia University until 1985, when it was sold for $400 million.

Uploaded by me.veronikapechova.cz.

What’s now called the GE Building was originally the RCA Building. You know that famous photograph of workers sitting on a skyscraper under construction, eating lunch? That was the RCA Building. The NBC Radio Studios were in the building from the start, so the whole Center had the nickname “Radio City” at first, and that’s how the theater came to be called Radio City Music Hall.

Now you can tour all of Rockefeller Center, Radio City Music Hall, and NBC Studios. You can go to the top of the GE Building and get a panoramic view of the city from the Top of the Rock observation deck. You can be on television in the crowd at the Today Show. At the right time of year, you can ice skate or view the gigantic Rockefeller Center Christmas tree. You can shop at more than 100 stores, and dine at any of 40 restaurants. And you can see the statue of Atlas, along with the remarkable architecture all around you.

Rockefeller Center is something every visitor to New York should see. Chances are you’ll find yourself coming back on every visit to the Big Apple.

The Arts: Fallingwater

uploaded by american-architecture.info

uploaded by american-architecture.info

It was the perfect marriage of client and architect. The Kaufmann family of Pittsburgh appreciated modern art and architecture, and owned a beautiful piece of property in the mountains. Frank Lloyd Wright loved nature, and this site with its waterfall was his perfect canvas.

The Kaufmanns thought their new vacation lodge would have a beautiful view of the waterfall. They were startled, looking at the plans, to findĀ  the falls were to be part of their home. They’re visible only from the top level, but the sound of rushing water is a constant reminder of Wright’s amazing design.

Frank Lloyd Wright created so many remarkable buildings that people disagree about his masterpiece. But the combination of organic design, exceptional innovation, and natural harmony makes Fallingwater my choice. It’s an undeniably great American thing.