Monday, January 11, 2016

Book Review: Interior Landmarks : Treasures of New York

Interior Landmarks: Treasures of New York by Judith Gura and Kate Wood
Published by The Monacelli Press
 
Although I live a mere 45-minute flight from New York City, I have only been to the metropolitan super city a handful of times. Ok, maybe two or three handful. Having grown up in Texas, I would watch movies and television shows based in New York City, and dream about the day that I could live there, among the masses shadowed and dwarfed by the buildings that reached into the clouds. On my first trip to New York City, I was amazed. I believe I actually gasped as the plane from Austin, Texas made its descent into JFK. I had never seen anything like it, and each and every time that I go back to New York City, I have that same anxious, racing heart when I see the shapes of skyscrapers from the air, miles and miles away.
 
That's why Interior Landmarks: Treasures of New York appealed to me, when published by the Monacelli Press in 2015. Not only the exterior facades of these buildings which pull more of my attention while in New York City than street signs and cross walks (not safe, by the way) but the interiors, preserved in all their intricate detail, are captured within the 200+ pages.
 
More than just pictures, Interior Landmarks: Treasures of New York tells the colorful stories of 47 interior landmarks from the grand Italianate and infamous Tweed Courthouse, the centerpiece of the largest corruption case in New York history, to the iconic Radio City Music Hall. Let's take a look at a few of my favorites from the book, shall we? 
 
Photo Credit - Larry Lederman
 
Saved from demolition in 1978, Radio City Music Hall, located in Rockefeller Center was once the leading tourist destination in the city. Finished and opened to a 6,000 seat public in 1932 the Art Deco masterpiece is a treasure, thankfully saved by the Landmarks Preservation Commission when they designated it's interiors with landmark status. 
 
Photo Credit - Larry Lederman
 
The Palm Court tea room at the Plaza Hotel is a "neoclassical fantasy" as put by Gura and Wood. The iconic Plaza Hotel has a rich history in New York City, and all of its interiors are archetypical for grand spaces throughout the world.  
 
 Photo Credit - Larry Lederman
 
The Morgan Library. Designed in 1906 by McKim, Mead & White (that name is pretty familiar for you architecture fans and Newport, Rhode Island travelers) for J.P. Morgan’s collection of very rare books and artwork, the space is considered one of the country's finest examples of neo-Italian Renaissance architecture. 

 Photo Credit - Larry Lederman
 
Manhattan Surrogates Court, originally intended to replace City Hall was constructed on a monumental scale. The lobby is all marble!

 Photo Credit - Larry Lederman
 
If you've been to New York, or anywhere along the Eastern seaboard, you have likely had an occasion to fly into LaGuardia Airport. At the Marine Air Terminal, you can view original WPA murals, which have now been uncovered after their supposed connection to Communist propaganda.

 Photo Credit - Larry Lederman

Situated in prominent Times Square, the 1,500 seat Hollywood Theatre (aka Mark Hellinger Theatre) was one of the last great movie palaces built before the depression seized the building of these massive neo-rococo gilt showplaces of the 1920's. The space now is used as the Times Square Church, an inter-denominational congregation which focuses on providing aid to the disadvantaged.
 
Photo Credit - Larry Lederman

In 2005, the 45,000 square foot Loew's Paradise Theatre received designation of Landmark status after a new owner restored the damaged building. The Paradise is one of 5 Loew's theatres total, (4 in New York City, and 1 in New Jersey). The theatres were built as movie houses, a way to escape the rigors of living in the Depression era. Now, the Paradise theatre is a venue for concerts and other live shows.

A stunning collection of photos and rich, detailed history are captured within the beautiful pages of Interior Landmarks: Treasures of New York. If you're looking for a book that provides you with beautiful pictures, insightful historical knowledge, and a reason to visit New York City and it's landmarks over and over and over again, look no further than here! Grab your copy via the Amazon link below.
 

2 comments:

  1. Those are some pretty amazing illustrations of some incredible painting! Im all in! Have a great day--and thanks for the post!!! Leslie Sinclair

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  2. Gorgeous interior design . Feeling inspired after seeing your photos .

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