This past Sunday's visit to the Queens Museum of Art highlighted an interesting exhibit that recently opened. The museum is in a building in Flushing Meadow Park that dates back to the 1939 Worlds Fair as the New York City building and also was in use during the 1964-65 Worlds Fair in the same role. As a bit of trivia, the building served as United Nations headquarters from 1946 to 1950 before the current UN building was constructed.
In any case, an large scale relief map was constructed for the 1939 Worlds Fair intended to be used in this very building, but was never used - a relief map showing the 2 water systems and 2 water tunnels serving New York City - the 2 systems being the Croton and Delaware watersheds. It was put in storage for many years and recently rediscovered in a city warehouse and is now on display 60 years after its intended use in the very same building. More photos at: http://www.kodakgallery.com/edp128128/main/090308_queens_museum_and_flushing
A poster indicating what you
are actually looking at.
Wide view of the display; you can see the Croton system in Westchester and Putnam counties, and the Delaware watershed in the upper right in the Catskills.
Indication of the 2 city water tunnels in existence in 1939 (Water Tunnel 3 is partially open as of 2009). On the left is Westchester, Bronx, Manhattan - on the right is Lower Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, and Staten Island.
More trivia - in the 1964 World's Fair, the Vatican displayed the actual Pieta. To commemorate this, on display in the museum, facing the Unisphere, is a plaster cast.
Also on display artifacts from the 1964-65 World's Fair. Technological wonders - touch tone phone and IBM Selectric Typewriter.
1964 'JPEG' file made with ASCII characters; Lyndon Johnson on the right, but I cannot figure out who is on the left.
Louis Comfort Tiffany had his glass studio in Corona, Queens, near the current museum, and the museum therefore has a permanent display of Tiffany glass.
Finally, although this has appeared in prior 'cultural activities', it is always interesting and fun to visit the New York City Panorama, also made for the 1964 Worlds Fair. It is accurate up to 1992, and as such, the twin towers appear.
A stop afterward in central Flushing, which has evolved into the city's largest Chinatown. This is looking down a side street near Main St. and Roosevelt Avenue.
The educational architecture of C.B.J. Snyder 2009-03-14
This is what you would call a 'niche' subject. A local historian, who is also a teacher in New York City school system, has done research into the architecture and design of New York City public schools design by C.B.J. Snyder in the early 20th century. As per http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C._B._J._Snyder .
"Charles B. J. Snyder (1860-1945) was a prolific American architect, architectural engineer, and mechanical engineer in the field of urban school building design and construction. He is widely recognized for his leadership, innovation, and transformation of school building construction process, design, and quality during his tenure as Superintendent of School Buildings for the New York City Board of Education between 1891 and 1923."
The architectural historian, Jean Arrington, had this article about this topic in the Times a few months ago ...
He designed many schools throughout the city; this walk on Saturday covered the area of downtown Brooklyn, Fort Greene, and Williamsburg.
More photos at http://www.kodakgallery.com/edp128128/main/090314_snyder_schools_brooklyn
Ornate details of PS 15 and PS 148.
1907 Building Plaque
CBJ Snyder, Architect
Common architectural elements in these schools; seal of the City of New York (Dutch settler and Indian with windmill); blank open book (seal of the former NYC Board of Education); owls for wisdom.
George Westinghouse High School - ornate Gustavino tile, such as can be seen on the lower level of Grand Central Terminal.
Eastern District High School (note the EDHS architectural element), also now a yeshiva.
Some other unrelated cultural highlights on this walk included:
Still functioning 1885 New York State National Guard armory in the heart of Williamsburg.
Paramount Theater, now the basketball court of Long Island University, featured in a prior 'cultural activitiy' for its restored theater organ.
Apparently the first self service dog wash in New York City in Fort Greene.
Fort Green Park Prison Ship Martyr's Monument. Continental Army prisoners were held on British prison ships in the area near the current Navy Yard under deplorable conditions. Many died, and this monument was erected in 1907 as a memorial. As I understand it, some remains are buried underneath it.
Sabbath scenes in the Chasidic portion of Williamsburg. On right, the terraces are staggered so they can be used on Sukkos, the harvest holiday in the fall, which requires that the Sukkah open out to the sky.
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