Palaces for the People: Guastavino and the Art of Structural Tile

Discover the Guastavinos’ contribution to some of America’s greatest public spaces.

Throughout the five boroughs are more than 200 long-overlooked marvels of engineering and architectural beauty—the interlocking tile vaults built by Spanish immigrants Rafael Guastavino, Sr. (1842-1908), and his son, Rafael Jr. (1872-1950). The system of structural tile vaults developed by the Guastavinos—lightweight, fireproof, low-maintenance, and capable of supporting significant loads—was used by leading architects of the day, including McKim, Mead & White and Carrere &Hastings. Ellis Island’s Registry Room, Carnegie Hall, the Bronx Zoo’s Elephant House, and Grand Central Terminal all contain Guastavino vaults.

Palaces for the People: Guastavino and the Art of Structural Tile is a major exhibition exploring the innovations the Guastavino Fireproof Construction Company (1889-1962) brought to the science and art of building. It was originally organized by MIT’s John Ochsendorf, who is a MacArthur Fellow; it is substantially expanded here to include some 20 key Guastavino spaces in the five boroughs.

Event

Event Details:


  • When: 

    Wednesday, March 26, 2014
    10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.

  • Where: 

    Museum of the City of New York
    1220 Fifth Avenue
    New York, NY

  • More information: 

    Event website.

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