The Chrysler Building, the Waldorf-Astoria, Rockefeller Center—these are among the hundreds of Art Deco monuments that during the 1920s and ‘30s helped create the image of New York City as the world’s modern metropolis. 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 in them during the 1970s, New York’s Deco buildings survive today as prized remnants of a distant yet modern past that still help define the city’s visual identity.
This lecture will cover 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 will trace 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, night-clubs, hotels, department stores, banks, and Radio City Music Hall.