Art Deco today can refer to anything from saltcellars to skyscrapers, produced anywhere in the world during the early decades of the last century, using abstract, stylized floral, geometric, or streamlined design. In New York, Art Deco evolved through a series of Manhattan skyscrapers into the city's chief architectural language. Following a massive reawakening of interest during the 1970s, New York's Deco buildings today survive as prized remnants of a distant-yet-modern past that still helps to define the city's visual identity.
This lecture covers the great skyscrapers of architects Raymond Hood, William Van Alen, Ely Jacques Kahn, and Ralph Walker, including the Daily News, Empire State, Irving Trust, General Electric, American Radiator, Barclay-Vesey and RCA Buildings. It then traces the adaptation of this "skyscraper style" through apartment buildings on the Bronx's Grand Concourse, airport terminals at LaGuardia, the Central Park West residential skyline, automated midtown parking garages, diners, hotels, department stores, banks and theaters like Radio City Music Hall.
Funded project of the New York Humanities Council. The New York Council for the Humanities distributes federal funds from the National Endowment for the Humanities directly to notable projects created by museums, libraries, historical societies, and other cultural and educational organizations