Hurricane Sandy is bearing down on New York and New Jersey, and the current 55 to 60 mile an hour wind gusts tearing through Central Park have already taken their toll on Manhattan’s starchitecture, partially collapsing the construction crane at Christian de Portzamparc’s supertall One57 tower on West 57th Street.
|Chris Payne: One Steinway Place|
|Bonni Benrubi Gallery
41 East 57th Street
Through September 29
South Street Seaport Museum
One Steinway Place, the address of the venerable Steinway & Sons piano factory in Astoria, Queens, is also the title of photographer Chris Payne‘s latest show at the Bonni Benrubi Gallery in midtown Manhattan. The series of large-format photographs are the result of his days and weeks spent in the factory, to which Steinway gave him full access. Payne captures the unexpected and striking forms, patterns, and textures that emerge when he turns his lens to pianos-in-the making. “A piano is something we all think of and love as a whole, but like anything complex, it is really just a kit of parts, built up gradually out of raw, messy materials. And yet, the deeper I look into its construction, the more I revere it as one of the supreme accomplishments of the human hand and imagination,” said Payne.
On September 13 at the South Street Seaport Museum, Payne will speak about his Steinway project as well as his photographic series about North Brother Island. The lecture (6:30-8pm) is hosted by Open House New York. For information and tickets, click HERE.
A good portion of our editorial staff just boarded an airplane headed for the Venice Biennial, so AN headquarters is pretty quiet this afternoon. For your Friday afternoon enjoyment, check out this time-lapse video of the Manhattan skyline viewed from the Empire State Building being drawn with amazing detail by illustrator Patrick Vale. [h/t E Minor]
There’s a scene in Edith Wharton’s 1913 novel Custom of the Country, where the wicked vixen Undine Spragg insists on speeding across the High Bridge in a “horseless carriage” before making her grand entrance at a party so as to rouge her cheeks with a cold snap of air whipping up from the Harlem River. The romantic fascination accorded the then-65-year-old bridge quietly slipped from New York’s consciousness as bigger engineering marvels usurped its quiet dignity.
Now approaching 165 years, renovations are about to get underway to finally restore the bridge to its former glory as a 1,200-foot-long pedestrian bridge, uniting neighborhoods of High Bridge and Washington Heights in the Bronx and Manhattan. New Yorkers for Parks stopped by the span Monday afternoon to document current conditions before construction is in full swing, giving us a hint of Undine’s views. Though controversial netting integrated into the design might mildly disrupt the vista, Monday’s photos show it the way it was, albeit slightly overgrown.
The U.S.S. Intrepid looks visibly pregnant, and it seems as though she still hopes to give birth to an offshoot of the museum in a parking lot directly across the street. About nine months ago, New York’s Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum revealed that it had its eye on a prime parcel owned by New York State adjacent to the museum on 12th Avenue to house its newest attraction, the Space Shuttle Enterprise.
Most of the recent attention on the shuttle has focused on the herculean effort to get it onto the deck, where it rests in a temporary pavilion that sits on the bow looking like a bulbous balloon about to burst. A spokesperson for City Planning said that the city’s zoning laws extend out to piers but requirements for permanently docked structures are a bit nebulous.
The hanging gardens inside the atrium of Jean Nouvel’s 100 Eleventh Avenue sound idyllic: “From planting boxes built into the structure, trees soar upward and plants cascade down the walls, lending their scent to the atmosphere,” states the building’s website. But the smell may not be so sweet. A source familiar with the project told AN that the huge suspended planters lack proper drainage, leading to standing water and the early onset of rust. Maybe Nouvel can argue that he’s taking a cue from the Cor-ten laden High Line next door?
Design studio Diller Scofidio+Renfro (DS+R) has certainly had a very good week. As we noted yesterday, the firm’s designs for the Columbia University Medical and Graduate Education Building in Washington Heights have just been released, and now today, the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum has announced that DS+R will be working with museum staff on the redesign of the museum’s exhibition spaces that are currently under renovation on Manhattan’s Upper East Side.