Rediscovering New York

Tuesday, July 6, 2021
Facebook Live Video from 2021/07/06 - Modernism in New York

Facebook Live Video from 2021/07/06 - Modernism in New York


2021/07/06 - Modernism in New York

[NEW EPISODE] Modernism in New York

On this week's show we will explore the development of Modernism in New York - the new architecture based on International and Chicago models that swept up Park Avenue and redefined the New York City skyline. 

From Lever House to the Seagram Building, to Expressionist landmarks such as the Guggenheim Museum and the TWA Terminal at JFK International Airport, we will discuss the buildings that created a new era of American design.

My solo guest will be Rediscovering New York regular and the show’s Special Consultant, David Griffin of Landmark Branding, and the special consultant for Rediscovering New York.

Tune in for this fascinating conversation at or watch the Facebook Livestream by clicking here.

Show Notes

Segment 1

Today’s guest is David Griffin who is a regular of the show. He is the founder and CEO of Landmark Branding and the special consultant of Rediscovering New York. Landmark Branding provides creative sales-enhancing services. He first got interested in this industry when he was young and one of the first employees of the Park’s department in Long Island. Sometimes he got the opportunity to stay overnight in one of the old structured buildings which he loved. His mother also made it a point of concern to educate him on history. Today’s main topic is modernism which is a branch or art that symbolized revival or a new era.

Segment 2

In 1939, the Museum of Modern Art was designed by Edward Darrell Stone. He had the assistance of the trustee Phillip Godwin. It eventually moved from its former location on 5th avenue to a custom built home on W 53 Street where it still remains today. The garden was designed by the Architectural Curator named John McAndrew. All together it is found to be one of the most beautiful small scale environments in New York City. Public housing is also discussed, including the Williamsburg houses in Brooklyn. They were built during 1936-1938.

Segment 3

David founded Landmark Branding in 2013 and ever since he has offered marketing support for real estate brokers, developers, designers and architects. He also writes articles, has a blog and offers VIP tours. Next, the Lever House is brought up. It is the first building in the city to be entirely glass. Its construction took about a decade and stood as a renowned milestone for American architecture. In 1982, it was designated an official landmark. The Seagram building is also discussed. It is made of bronze and stained glass which are expensive materials. The place was designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and completed in 1958.

Segment 4

To end the show, the two banter about famous American architects. Frank Lloyd Wright was the first. He had no formal training but was still one of the best. He did not call himself a modernist architect because he did not want to put himself into a certain category. When Wright was collaborating with Solomon R. Guggenheim, Wright did not love the location being in New York at first but they settled on 5th Avenue and loved it because of its close proximity to the famous Central Park. This ended up being one of Wright’s most famous buildings.


00:00:35.340 --> 00:00:51.570 Jeff Goodman: Hello everyone, welcome to our listeners in the big apple from across the US and around the world i'm Jeff good Ben and you've tuned into rediscovering New York professionally i'm a real estate broker with brown Harris Stevens, but rediscovering New York is not a show about real estate.

00:00:52.650 --> 00:01:00.180 Jeff Goodman: shows a weekly program celebrating New York, we look at its history, its texture and its vibe and occasionally it's architecture.

00:01:00.630 --> 00:01:08.940 Jeff Goodman: And we do it through interviews with historians local business owners nonprofit organizations preservationist musicians and artists and the occasional elected official.

00:01:09.810 --> 00:01:17.970 Jeff Goodman: On some shows we bring an individual New York neighborhood to live for you, we explore its history and its current energy what makes that particular New York paper and special.

00:01:18.840 --> 00:01:25.980 Jeff Goodman: On other shows like this evenings we celebrate an interesting and vital color of the city and its history that's not focused on one particular neighborhood.

00:01:26.850 --> 00:01:32.490 Jeff Goodman: Prior episodes you've heard us covered topics is illuminating as American presidents who are from New York who who lived in New York.

00:01:33.210 --> 00:01:46.470 Jeff Goodman: we've looked at the history of women activists and the suffrage movement we've looked at the history of the LGBT rights movement in the city we've explored bicycles in cycling punk and opera our public library systems are libraries, the subway.

00:01:47.550 --> 00:02:00.540 Jeff Goodman: Trains public buildings and even bridges, just to name a few after the broadcast each show is available on podcasts you can hear us on apple spotify Amazon podcast stitcher.

00:02:01.200 --> 00:02:13.950 Jeff Goodman: And Google, as well as other services tonight it's one of those special programs we're going to be looking at a period of architecture in New York, that is all around us, thank goodness, it is modernism.

00:02:14.520 --> 00:02:27.060 Jeff Goodman: And i'm very lucky tonight to have a stalwart and an expert who's going to be on for the whole show he's also the program special consultant and i'm referring to none other than the famous David Griffin of landmark branded.

00:02:28.620 --> 00:02:36.750 Jeff Goodman: gotta read a little bit of david's bio he's a lifelong architectural enthusiast and provides creative sales enhancing services for the national real estate community.

00:02:37.380 --> 00:02:45.300 Jeff Goodman: david's the founder and CEO of a company called landmark branding his clients include architects and design firms in addition to developers brokers and marketing companies.

00:02:45.900 --> 00:02:54.900 Jeff Goodman: David also produces events, one of them is a room at the top it's i'm sorry called room at the top it's co hosted with Jennifer wallace of mason aren't New York.

00:02:55.260 --> 00:03:03.690 Jeff Goodman: it's the only ongoing networking and appreciation series and real estate to feature tours of manhattan's greatest buildings, including some of its modernist buildings.

00:03:04.380 --> 00:03:13.920 Jeff Goodman: David has a blog his latest one is called every building on fifth the documents every single building on fifth avenue from Washington square right up to where fifth avenue ends at the Harlem river right in Harlem.

00:03:14.640 --> 00:03:25.140 Jeff Goodman: david's writing has appeared in real estate weekly metropolis dwell and the national press preservation magazine David I don't know else had to say, a hearty welcome back to rediscovering New York it's always great to have you.

00:03:25.770 --> 00:03:27.810 David V. Griffin: Thanks a lot Jeff it's always great to be here.

00:03:29.700 --> 00:03:31.080 David V. Griffin: In two places, as Mr.

00:03:32.070 --> 00:03:39.540 Jeff Goodman: i'm here you're there and the station owner an engineer Sam is in his place eventually we'll go back to being in studio I can't wait for that day.

00:03:41.250 --> 00:03:56.940 Jeff Goodman: David is your regular some of our listeners knowing you or your background, but we have a growing number of listeners and some don't and tonight's topic is on architecture, how did you get interested in architectural history and in new york's architectural history in particular.

00:03:57.570 --> 00:03:58.140 well.

00:03:59.220 --> 00:04:07.350 David V. Griffin: When I was small my siblings and I were actually the first employees of the parks department out on long island.

00:04:07.680 --> 00:04:13.620 David V. Griffin: And we used to do something called the old bethpage fair the old bethpage village restoration out on long island.

00:04:13.950 --> 00:04:24.390 David V. Griffin: Where we would dress in period, clothing and demonstrate the toys of that that era now all about a failed restoration for those aren't familiar with it it's a little bit like a mini colonial williamsburg.

00:04:24.840 --> 00:04:33.150 David V. Griffin: it's a village that goes from the Dutch colonial period to around the 1850s 1860s periods around the period of the American Civil War.

00:04:33.480 --> 00:04:42.000 David V. Griffin: And it is made up of these historic buildings that were moved there, and when we were working there sometimes we would have the chance to stay overnight in one of the building.

00:04:42.570 --> 00:04:53.190 David V. Griffin: was built out his office space and I just fell in love with the idea of these old structures really began will inhabit them how does i'm kind of in the clothing of the period to was very unique.

00:04:54.150 --> 00:05:00.390 David V. Griffin: And from there, my my mother was a painter artists, she always was very visually oriented so she.

00:05:00.810 --> 00:05:08.040 David V. Griffin: kind of made it sort of part of our task and educating us to sort of see cities buildings as physical things.

00:05:08.430 --> 00:05:18.930 David V. Griffin: And I just grew more and more interested in that sort of fun side of things and went on to a major in art history and English double major at vassar, which is also I know your Alma mater.

00:05:19.560 --> 00:05:27.900 David V. Griffin: And went from there into the art world for about 17 years but always kept up a interest in writing on architecture as the subject now.

00:05:29.760 --> 00:05:35.970 Jeff Goodman: And, thank goodness, you have done that, because if you hadn't you wouldn't be the expert that we are relying on tonight to take us through modernism but.

00:05:36.810 --> 00:05:48.960 Jeff Goodman: Before we get to the actual fun part the building, so I want to talk about modernism as a as a period in general, most periods of art and architecture given name sometimes during a period, sometimes after it.

00:05:50.010 --> 00:05:56.040 Jeff Goodman: Was modernism called modernism is it was going on as it started and and what is modernism actually let's start with that what is modern.

00:05:56.250 --> 00:06:08.790 David V. Griffin: modernism can be thought of as a rejection of the revival style, and the reason why it was called modernism is because it was a branch of architecture that tempted simply to represent the materiality.

00:06:09.270 --> 00:06:17.790 David V. Griffin: The new technological era, prior to the rise of modernism is sort of what we now think of the basic architecture of our time.

00:06:18.750 --> 00:06:30.060 David V. Griffin: Almost all architecture was a revival, it was Greek revivals Gothic revival romantic revival, it was Mediterranean revival tutor revival This revival that revival The other thing and.

00:06:30.960 --> 00:06:39.660 David V. Griffin: It was just a way that you know architects became almost marciel archaeologists going back and looking at some of the great older buildings of civilizations.

00:06:39.930 --> 00:06:46.470 David V. Griffin: And then recreating from here recreating from then stitch it all together in order to house what were your modern buildings for their times.

00:06:47.190 --> 00:06:51.060 David V. Griffin: There we have to be sort of aware of the fact of modernism has a very.

00:06:51.510 --> 00:07:00.600 David V. Griffin: long history in architecture and that a lot of it started here in the United States modernism is not a European import, although a lot of people seem to think that it is.

00:07:01.470 --> 00:07:07.170 David V. Griffin: It started with people like Lewis Henry Sullivan and James john well born route out of Chicago.

00:07:07.530 --> 00:07:16.830 David V. Griffin: that's where I would say the true anticipates American modernism come from architects, such as green and green and pasadena urban Gill, who wants to Los Angeles and San Diego.

00:07:17.130 --> 00:07:30.660 David V. Griffin: and frank went right, of course, he was probably the greatest film American architect around the world, starting in the 1880s 1890s period in the suburbs of Chicago and in and around the Midwest York state of California so.

00:07:31.350 --> 00:07:38.370 David V. Griffin: modernism is simply an architecture that is not based on a precedent in response to fight in response to climate.

00:07:39.030 --> 00:07:47.910 David V. Griffin: It follows certain innovative forms of technology and in terms of construction that's, particularly the use of class steel and reinforced concrete.

00:07:48.570 --> 00:07:59.370 David V. Griffin: The idea that form should fall a function is from Lewis Sullivan, as I said, an American architect in communities, a 90s, he says form forever follows function and what he meant is that the.

00:08:00.090 --> 00:08:09.870 David V. Griffin: shape of rebuilding should be expressive of what it is for and not as symbolic representation of something else Lewis mumford the American architectural critic once.

00:08:10.200 --> 00:08:19.500 David V. Griffin: caution against the excesses of the board so that we love those buildings to building, such as grand central he said insolvent and right we have architecture.

00:08:19.860 --> 00:08:30.060 David V. Griffin: In the confections of the beaux arts, we have literature, we have historical documentation so there's an idea that modernism also is someone.

00:08:30.300 --> 00:08:37.830 David V. Griffin: And this, this is, this is a very interesting idea it's kind of anti narrative it's about what's going on now it's not about what went on before and it's not about.

00:08:37.830 --> 00:08:38.100 Jeff Goodman: one.

00:08:38.310 --> 00:08:48.840 David V. Griffin: Going in the future it's about actually the present, and for that reason, I think a lot of the greatest monitors buildings are very appealing once you're in them once you're experiencing them.

00:08:49.170 --> 00:09:01.230 David V. Griffin: But they can sometimes be alienating if they're seen in photographs and they don't necessarily lend themselves to the kind of romantic station that same old Victorian mansion does or Greek revival plantation down south.

00:09:01.560 --> 00:09:09.060 David V. Griffin: Now you also know that those houses, the victorians in the Greek revivals have very negative cultural connotations, for some people.

00:09:09.510 --> 00:09:24.900 David V. Griffin: Whereas modernism is an attempt to basically represent people at a kind of a sort of face to face level it's sort of it, except audiences for who they are, at that point so there's a lot going on in that in that term, and I have to think modernism is maybe a little bit of a.

00:09:26.250 --> 00:09:35.880 David V. Griffin: Wrong term to use for these buildings but i'm not quite sure what I would substitute have more it so yeah modernism kind of comes out of all of that.

00:09:36.390 --> 00:09:42.690 Jeff Goodman: And speaking of buildings, accepting people for who they are that's that's really the story of modern New York right now um.

00:09:43.230 --> 00:09:59.910 Jeff Goodman: Was New York a pioneer I mean you talk about Sullivan in Chicago in the 1880s and 90s was New York a pretty much a pioneer in modernist architecture or hadn't really taken hold substantially in other places before so many modernist buildings were built here in the city.

00:10:00.360 --> 00:10:10.980 David V. Griffin: I think New York is at the forefront of modernism for much of its built existence and for reasons that don't have anything to do with things that people associate with modernism.

00:10:11.400 --> 00:10:18.720 David V. Griffin: New York wasn't necessarily utopian, but it was a city that saw itself as quote unquote democratic, it was a city that was supposed to be.

00:10:19.020 --> 00:10:22.410 David V. Griffin: You know, built for everyone, this wasn't supposed to be a city of.

00:10:22.770 --> 00:10:29.310 David V. Griffin: Being the graceful ovals and ellipses of London squares that's why we don't have any ovals that's why we don't have any.

00:10:29.550 --> 00:10:40.560 David V. Griffin: Any round features and a lot of New York City, because those were actually associated with the aristocracy so there's sort of like the grid is the grid everybody gets the same chance to build on a certain amount of land.

00:10:41.310 --> 00:10:50.100 David V. Griffin: The skyscraper is an early form of modernism whether it's dressed up as Gothic or classical or whatever, have you because it's about technology it's about skeleton.

00:10:50.370 --> 00:11:00.600 David V. Griffin: About elevators about the setbacks so there's a lot of zoning initiatives and a lot of engineering initiatives going on in New York, that really are at the height of what then becomes modernism.

00:11:01.620 --> 00:11:07.860 David V. Griffin: But aren't necessarily expressed stylistically as foreigners if that makes sense, so yeah.

00:11:08.100 --> 00:11:08.490 Jeff Goodman: New York.

00:11:08.700 --> 00:11:18.660 David V. Griffin: New York has always been sort of a head of many of the great European cities, because even though you know they went in for a little bauhaus there and a little you know little glass building here and always.

00:11:20.220 --> 00:11:29.310 David V. Griffin: You know, there were some great social building projects that happened in the in the 2030s and 40s period, for example, or a post World War Two I should say, particularly but.

00:11:30.120 --> 00:11:40.170 David V. Griffin: You know you don't think of Paris is a modern looking city, think of New York is a modern city, and I think the very bones of New York support modernism.

00:11:40.710 --> 00:11:47.520 David V. Griffin: It was it wouldn't work as well and that's why, when I look at london's modernism i'm always like this is incoherent.

00:11:47.910 --> 00:11:55.020 David V. Griffin: Because the grid the street plan of London is something that's organic and medieval it's not it's cloistered.

00:11:55.290 --> 00:12:03.390 David V. Griffin: it's not something that's planned out so there's no rationality, so you can't really impose a rational form on it that way you can on New York New York just makes sense for modern.

00:12:04.140 --> 00:12:10.770 Jeff Goodman: and actually bring up an interesting point because downtown Manhattan is sort of reminiscent Wall Street a little bit of.

00:12:10.950 --> 00:12:19.920 Jeff Goodman: London because street corner just cropped up, but the great modern buildings, the structures that we're going to discuss I don't think any of them around downtown and maybe there's a reason for that.

00:12:21.240 --> 00:12:21.780 David V. Griffin: Yes.

00:12:22.200 --> 00:12:29.580 Jeff Goodman: And that brings us to my favorite part what's going to be my favorite part of this discussion, which are the buildings and i'm sure yours as well.

00:12:30.150 --> 00:12:37.860 Jeff Goodman: we're going to be talking about specific buildings instructions, I want to start off with a foreign inspired building on that was built in New York.

00:12:38.550 --> 00:12:47.190 Jeff Goodman: Not Manhattan actually before the Second World War, and this was a European inspired building right here in the city and that was for the world's fair of 1939 you want to talk about that.

00:12:47.550 --> 00:12:56.850 David V. Griffin: Yes, the finished pavilion by all of our all tiles for the New York world's fair 1939 it's not extant in its original form.

00:12:57.300 --> 00:13:07.260 David V. Griffin: But the competition was in 1937 and the pavilion itself was built by auto who was one of Finland great modernist architects from 1932 1939.

00:13:07.770 --> 00:13:21.720 David V. Griffin: It was 52 feet high and consistent for stories and there was an interior That was really quite remarkable, a kind of a wavy interior that almost suggests a form of timber corduroy if you will.

00:13:22.290 --> 00:13:30.600 David V. Griffin: And they were covered with photographs that kind of woven into these curves the uppermost series of pictures showed the country of feminine.

00:13:30.930 --> 00:13:38.550 David V. Griffin: The next the people of Finland, the third somewhat lower down was the industry of Finland people at work and, finally, the bottom series.

00:13:38.820 --> 00:13:48.630 David V. Griffin: depicted the results of the above three factors which were the sort of new products and technologies that are being developed in Finland as part of you know finish modern culture.

00:13:49.080 --> 00:13:55.080 David V. Griffin: So the interior finished wasn't void, with different profiles, so it was formed almost like a step ziggurat.

00:13:55.470 --> 00:14:04.350 David V. Griffin: inverted almost like the form of the Whitney museum of American art if you can sort of pick that it telescope outwards, as it as it got taller in the room.

00:14:04.920 --> 00:14:09.720 David V. Griffin: And it was wanting to create a kind of a harmonic rhythm of materials and photographic presentations.

00:14:10.140 --> 00:14:14.280 David V. Griffin: And the materials used construction of the wall surfaces are treated as objects.

00:14:14.580 --> 00:14:22.050 David V. Griffin: And exhibition, as opposed to platforms on a space, so they kind of had it almost three the sensibility if you really think about it.

00:14:22.350 --> 00:14:29.670 David V. Griffin: photograph it's curving around you are kind of hovering above you becomes something quite new and quite kind of.

00:14:30.090 --> 00:14:38.490 David V. Griffin: Interesting it engages with the actual space itself, and whether the flat photograph obviously wouldn't the roof tools uses an exhibit area.

00:14:39.150 --> 00:14:45.270 David V. Griffin: There were airplane propellers the press would have finished specialty that churned the air to kind of sort of like a.

00:14:45.900 --> 00:14:58.800 David V. Griffin: A sort of a atmosphere expand kind of going on and then summer nights as both a display and a source of ventilation, so it had it had a certain amount of playful with it almost a steampunk sensibility.

00:14:59.340 --> 00:15:09.810 Jeff Goodman: what's their functionality, that the design was meant to in toner represent, I mean the things you're talking about it almost seems like they were they were purposes behind everything and not just one not just one imitation.

00:15:09.990 --> 00:15:15.210 David V. Griffin: Yes, although himself wrote about the pavilion and i'm quoting here from the architect.

00:15:15.750 --> 00:15:24.630 David V. Griffin: quote an exhibition should be what, in the early days it used to be a general store and which all possible objects are grouped together in a dense display.

00:15:25.080 --> 00:15:33.030 David V. Griffin: Whether it be fish cloth or cheese, therefore, in this pavilion I have attempted to provide the densest possible concentration of display.

00:15:33.300 --> 00:15:45.810 David V. Griffin: A space film where's next two and above and beneath each other agricultural and industrial products, often just few inches apart, it was no easy work composing these individual elements into one symphony.

00:15:46.560 --> 00:15:56.160 David V. Griffin: And you know we may think of this approach as being perhaps a little bit materialistic and sort of like oh here's a bunch of products, but we also have to think we're in the middle of a worldwide global depression.

00:15:56.940 --> 00:16:03.360 David V. Griffin: So the idea that there was technology that was kind of easing things that were new forms producing things that could.

00:16:03.780 --> 00:16:13.980 David V. Griffin: You know, serve the population in terms of comfort and health, those are very important things for an audience in 1939 both in New York City and around the world, so altos.

00:16:14.520 --> 00:16:23.340 David V. Griffin: You know sort of idea of creating and sort of just a mercantile display of things that could be had, I think, was an important kind of progressive message for that time period.

00:16:23.640 --> 00:16:35.160 Jeff Goodman: mm hmm great well we're going to take a short break and when we come back we're going to continue this special episode I think it's 121 about modernism in New York, will be back in a moment.

00:18:50.250 --> 00:18:58.380 Jeff Goodman: we're back and you're back to rediscovering New York and our engineer pointed out that I made a mistake about something it's episode 122 921.

00:18:59.670 --> 00:19:07.860 Jeff Goodman: it's good to be here for 122nd time my guest on this program about modernism in New York is the famous David Griffin of landmark branding.

00:19:08.280 --> 00:19:12.720 Jeff Goodman: David we're going to talk about landmark branding after the next break but let's go back to the buildings.

00:19:13.260 --> 00:19:22.950 Jeff Goodman: We talked about the Finnish pavilion and the world's fair in Queens in 1939 let's go to another famous building in New York, that was designed before the war, the Museum of modern art.

00:19:23.670 --> 00:19:36.300 David V. Griffin: Yes, so the Museum of modern art is designed in 1939 open, so it opens actually the year of the world's fair by Edward dirrell stone, with the assistance of the trustee Philip godwin.

00:19:36.960 --> 00:19:47.460 David V. Griffin: And in May of 1939 after a decade of functioning out of Rentals faces from its first exhibition or an office, building on fifth avenue and I mentioned least by the Rockefeller family.

00:19:48.210 --> 00:19:54.630 David V. Griffin: The museum of modern art move into a custom built home on West 53rd street, which is where we know it today.

00:19:55.020 --> 00:20:01.590 David V. Griffin: This flagship was designed and collaboration between godwin, who was a museum trustee and Edward girls stone.

00:20:02.220 --> 00:20:10.650 David V. Griffin: The garden was designed by mama's architecture curator john mcandrew and moments director Alfred H barge in here and it's often thought to be one of the.

00:20:11.070 --> 00:20:22.110 David V. Griffin: most beautiful small scale environments in New York City, it has of course been extensively renovated with the massive addition to the museum space to the west of the original building.

00:20:23.490 --> 00:20:31.170 David V. Griffin: The involvement of stone came about as the director of the museum points for the addition of an architect, with a distinctly modern approach.

00:20:31.590 --> 00:20:40.800 David V. Griffin: using new materials and minimal ornamentation to counterbalance good guidelines predilection for more traditional bow art styles.

00:20:41.160 --> 00:20:46.740 David V. Griffin: God when was interested in modern art, but he wasn't necessarily that taken with what you thought of as part of architecture.

00:20:47.010 --> 00:20:51.600 David V. Griffin: We also have to remember that the makeup of West 53rd street when moma was built.

00:20:51.930 --> 00:21:10.950 David V. Griffin: was entirely beaux arts, it was some of the most lavish townhouses built to the west of New York City Unfortunately, none of those remain, but if you look at the obviously St thomas's church at the corner of 53rd street Western 35th avenue gives you some idea of the ornamentation level.

00:21:12.870 --> 00:21:19.320 David V. Griffin: So bard actually helped to bring in a prominent European modern architect, particularly nice amanda row.

00:21:19.830 --> 00:21:25.920 David V. Griffin: And resigned from the building committee after stone was selected without his final approval, however, I do think stone produce.

00:21:26.340 --> 00:21:35.100 David V. Griffin: One of the great buildings of his career, I also think stone in general is a kind of a misrepresented and, in some ways a.

00:21:35.670 --> 00:21:45.690 David V. Griffin: unfairly maligned architect, I think that he's a lot better than people were willing to give them credit for, and I think that the early his early buildings are actually shockingly good.

00:21:46.080 --> 00:21:54.000 David V. Griffin: And they really pick up on the tenants of certain types of European modernism but translate them quite effortlessly into an American.

00:21:54.420 --> 00:22:02.190 David V. Griffin: vernacular, if you will, they unfold things that are immediately recognizable was darkened and moma with it sort of.

00:22:02.790 --> 00:22:18.300 David V. Griffin: Strange porthole cornices and it's it's kind of very bright tight kind of very lucid hallucination of the grid is very much a building that would be as home in Chicago say or a midwestern city of modernism as it would anywhere else.

00:22:18.750 --> 00:22:19.710 Jeff Goodman: or on a college campus.

00:22:20.070 --> 00:22:26.460 David V. Griffin: Exactly well yeah actually I think I think mama is one of the few buildings that really works as a neighbor.

00:22:27.030 --> 00:22:36.690 David V. Griffin: You know it doesn't demand that there's a space around, and it was always a facade and it always worked well with an even the context of those early beaux arts townhouses so I.

00:22:37.260 --> 00:22:51.480 David V. Griffin: I encourage the reader of our listeners to actually go and Google old historic images that building So you can see how it kind of rested in its site it's a very interesting sort of local boy, you can see how how new, it must have appeared during the time.

00:22:52.920 --> 00:23:04.110 Jeff Goodman: Well let's take a little detour we don't usually think of public buildings, especially public housing has been exemplary in new architectural styles, but we do have one in New York don't wait.

00:23:04.680 --> 00:23:12.660 David V. Griffin: We actually have several and we could almost do an entire show on public housing and its design and architecture, I think i've actually been very interesting.

00:23:13.140 --> 00:23:21.360 David V. Griffin: But the one that I find most interesting of all is the williamsburg house, and these are outer ones for brooklyn.

00:23:22.050 --> 00:23:33.750 David V. Griffin: they're called the 10 houses and they're a public housing complex built and operated by the New York City housing authority and the williamsburg neighborhood of brooklyn, as I said, consisting of 20 buildings.

00:23:34.560 --> 00:23:52.290 David V. Griffin: The williamsburg houses actually predate both the pavilion by also at the world's fair and the Museum of modern art, this is one instance where public architecture was more of at the forefront of modernism then was say you know arch and entertainment separate so forth, so.

00:23:52.500 --> 00:23:57.390 Jeff Goodman: We can partly thank the radical Socialists of the New Deal for coming up with the resources.

00:23:57.900 --> 00:23:59.910 Jeff Goodman: To give us some of this great architecture that we had.

00:24:00.150 --> 00:24:03.300 Jeff Goodman: Absolutely obviously i'm joking I don't think FDR was a radical social.

00:24:04.710 --> 00:24:14.460 David V. Griffin: The way his warehouse were built in 1936 1938 under the auspices of the housing division of the public works which was started, of course, by a few hours penetration.

00:24:15.360 --> 00:24:23.850 David V. Griffin: The chief architect of the project was Richmond Sri now Richmond shreve is not a name that kind of trip slightly off the tongue or comes up to a year.

00:24:24.090 --> 00:24:40.020 David V. Griffin: But he is one of the three architects responsible for building that happen not much earlier but which is far more famous the empire state building what's the architects are careful Parker shreve harmon and lamb that created that structure in 1932 1931.

00:24:41.640 --> 00:24:46.020 David V. Griffin: The design team of nine other architects was led by a Swiss American modernists.

00:24:46.620 --> 00:24:56.250 David V. Griffin: So this is, this is a sort of a moment where America monitors them in European models and neat and work together and that was William less cars was based in Philadelphia, who created.

00:24:56.550 --> 00:25:03.810 David V. Griffin: The pss building, which is a really a kind of a Titanic structure of early international style and Philadelphia.

00:25:04.140 --> 00:25:10.680 David V. Griffin: That construction contract was where to start brothers were also modernists have their own sort of sort the star brothers.

00:25:11.430 --> 00:25:20.820 David V. Griffin: Where are the successful from a fan star who had created new forms of departments for architecture and skyscraper architecture in the 1890s hundreds period.

00:25:21.750 --> 00:25:30.870 David V. Griffin: The designs call to the inclusion of modern art permission through the federal arts project, and there were numerous literally dozens of distinguished artist.

00:25:31.170 --> 00:25:36.930 David V. Griffin: Who were approached to be part of this project and, unfortunately, almost none of the work that they planned for it.

00:25:37.200 --> 00:25:47.700 David V. Griffin: Either was installed, or if it was installed it survives, I think there are two minerals left that has been uncovered and restored on site and any other artwork has been shipped off to various museums.

00:25:48.240 --> 00:25:57.930 David V. Griffin: Or was never actually commissioned and completed, but if the if the if the buildings have risen to plan, this will be almost as important as moma itself.

00:25:58.710 --> 00:26:05.310 David V. Griffin: to experience the American modern to start of that period yeah it was really a very ambitious project.

00:26:05.940 --> 00:26:09.450 David V. Griffin: New York City Council politician rosie Mendez grew up in the development.

00:26:09.990 --> 00:26:20.670 David V. Griffin: And the williamsburg houses have been designated in New York City landmark and can thousand three and were added to the national register of historic places in 2021 so just very recently.

00:26:21.480 --> 00:26:26.790 David V. Griffin: it's a fascinating complex of buildings, every time i've gone past because I used to live a lion's pride.

00:26:27.120 --> 00:26:38.070 David V. Griffin: I always want to cash that looks kind of interesting it's sort of art DECO but it's not quite art DECO look at all the lawns and gardens and things it could definitely stand some of keep the buildings unfortunately haven't been.

00:26:39.660 --> 00:26:45.450 David V. Griffin: maintained the way that they should be, but they're also they're very handsome and I think the people who live there.

00:26:45.750 --> 00:26:57.750 David V. Griffin: you realize what a kind of a break it was from the tenant architecture that kind of slum architecture that they were placing very, very much I think of a major major work of modernism in American history.

00:26:58.140 --> 00:27:05.430 Jeff Goodman: Well, the 10 I causes I believe we're New York city's second public housing project, the first, which were the first houses and each village.

00:27:05.760 --> 00:27:13.770 Jeff Goodman: between first and second avenue and second and third street they actually have a very, very different look about them, they ECHO, although they're not tenements they they ECHO.

00:27:14.280 --> 00:27:22.560 Jeff Goodman: More of that look of houses on the blocks in the east village so something substantial happened in a year or two that had the city go.

00:27:23.040 --> 00:27:29.190 Jeff Goodman: decide that it was going to build something that's that that really was was almost revolutionary in terms of its design.

00:27:29.910 --> 00:27:39.840 Jeff Goodman: um let's move to a building now the firm of which that designed, it might surprise people because many apartment buildings built by its namesake.

00:27:40.320 --> 00:27:46.650 Jeff Goodman: were built almost in a different architectural area, even though they were only a couple of decades before this this important building went up.

00:27:47.370 --> 00:28:00.900 David V. Griffin: Yes, the look building, this is a 488 Madison avenue, it is just one block North on Madison avenue of the rear of St patrick's Cathedral potentially one of the greatest Gothic revival buildings in New York City.

00:28:01.860 --> 00:28:09.540 David V. Griffin: it's a 25 story office building in midtown Manhattan and it's between 31st and 22nd speeds on the Western side.

00:28:09.900 --> 00:28:16.620 David V. Griffin: And it was designed by emory Roth and sons now most people who know emery Roth and sons or every Roth actually are.

00:28:16.980 --> 00:28:26.310 David V. Griffin: conversing with them, because of the magnificent apartment houses that he designed throughout the Opera neighborhoods York City and occasionally in places like park slope brooklyn.

00:28:27.360 --> 00:28:37.380 David V. Griffin: Huge sort of Spanish Baroque and art DECO fantasy architecture things like the sand Lima, for example, or the majestic apartments for the century building.

00:28:38.190 --> 00:28:46.110 David V. Griffin: Building that kind of had this weightless verticality to them, I think that you could you could definitely count something like the century, for example as.

00:28:46.980 --> 00:28:51.330 David V. Griffin: Being indicative of a kind of American modernism, although we tend to slot into art DECO.

00:28:51.690 --> 00:29:03.030 David V. Griffin: But with the look building the the form of the structure really takes over the detailing become the details, become the detailing if it well, and it is really a remarkable.

00:29:03.480 --> 00:29:12.750 David V. Griffin: sort of symphony of light brick it's got a wonderful series of setbacks that create a cascading kind of waterfall effect that was copied and imitated quite.

00:29:13.050 --> 00:29:27.960 David V. Griffin: A number of times, particularly in the West streets west of fifth avenue you'll see smaller buildings that have this kind of cascading waterfall look that were built in the early 1950s, or so and that kind of take their cues from the the treatment at the look going.

00:29:29.070 --> 00:29:29.490 David V. Griffin: So.

00:29:30.810 --> 00:29:31.440 David V. Griffin: Yes.

00:29:31.560 --> 00:29:40.140 Jeff Goodman: i'm now i'm just there's so much for us to cover that I want to make sure that we get to the main buildings that you picked out.

00:29:41.220 --> 00:29:52.920 Jeff Goodman: i'd like to move before we take a break to one of new york's most famous buildings, David and one that's known almost as well as any in New York and that's the United Nations, and specifically the secretariat, building on the UN sprawling you side campus what.

00:29:53.160 --> 00:30:03.210 David V. Griffin: about that for from absolutely so this building was designed by the Brazilian architect asked him the mayor and the sweats and the Swiss French are typically corby say.

00:30:03.540 --> 00:30:13.080 David V. Griffin: Was Harrison was the American sort of contact in architect and built by the architectural front of Harrison and abramowitz and that's a lot of cooks during in a pot.

00:30:14.040 --> 00:30:23.970 David V. Griffin: It goes up in 1950 and it's not really the first true curtain wall building, because it does have a masonry sort of book ends on either side.

00:30:24.330 --> 00:30:31.230 David V. Griffin: But it is the first instance of an all glass wall one facing these forever one face to 22nd speed midtown.

00:30:31.590 --> 00:30:38.640 David V. Griffin: And I really think it's remarkable and it's one of those buildings that I think really shocked people and stirred them and kind of excited them when they first saw.

00:30:39.000 --> 00:30:44.700 David V. Griffin: And now there's been so many buildings and have sort of you know, written in his coattails it's hard it's kind of hard to see.

00:30:45.450 --> 00:30:57.450 David V. Griffin: For what it must have been like back in the you know the very early 1950s and the idea that it offers a window on to New York and a window onto the world itself, I think, is in fact quite symbolic.

00:30:57.870 --> 00:31:04.530 David V. Griffin: And indicative of the kind of program at the United Nations, which was to create architecture that was neutral.

00:31:05.070 --> 00:31:18.120 David V. Griffin: So its architecture that's not really trying to make a lot of bells and whistles happen it's sort of a drawing back of something and I think there's something very subdued and something very serene about.

00:31:18.930 --> 00:31:27.030 David V. Griffin: The United Nations as a whole and I almost feel like you know, every time I see the secretary, and I think of it as like a great sale on a ship.

00:31:27.420 --> 00:31:40.320 David V. Griffin: sort of just kind of popped out and just gliding along over the world's oceans So yes, a very, very progressive very harmonious sensibility to it that's that's not about one thing or the other.

00:31:40.740 --> 00:31:46.890 Jeff Goodman: We can thank one of new york's great philanthropic families, the Rockefellers for donating the land on which the United Nations was built.

00:31:48.510 --> 00:31:58.620 Jeff Goodman: we're gonna take a short break and when we come back we're going to continue our discussion with David Griffin of landmark branding on modernism and modernist architecture in New York, will be back in a moment.

00:34:28.710 --> 00:34:37.740 Jeff Goodman: we're back and you're back to rediscovering New York support for the program comes from our sponsors Christopher Pappas mortgage specialist to TD bank.

00:34:38.250 --> 00:34:48.390 Jeff Goodman: To find that have Chris can help you with all your residential home mortgage needs and tailor a mortgage that's right for you please give Chris a call at 203-512-3918.

00:34:49.320 --> 00:34:55.980 Jeff Goodman: and support also comes from the law offices of Thomas the aca focusing on wills estate planning probate and inheritance litigation.

00:34:56.490 --> 00:35:07.680 Jeff Goodman: Tom and his staff can be reached at 212-495-0317 you can like the show on Facebook and you can also follow me on instagram and Twitter my handles on all three are Jeff good been nyc.

00:35:08.250 --> 00:35:14.190 Jeff Goodman: If you have comments or questions if you'd like to get an A mailing list, please email me Jeff at rediscovering New York that nyc.

00:35:15.090 --> 00:35:21.030 Jeff Goodman: One of the note before we continue our fascinating conversation with David, even though rediscovering New York is not sure about real estate.

00:35:21.510 --> 00:35:27.720 Jeff Goodman: When i'm not on the air, I am indeed a real estate agent now amazing city where I help my clients buy sell lease and rent property.

00:35:28.320 --> 00:35:39.690 Jeff Goodman: If you or someone you care about is considering a move into edible within New York I would love to help you with all those real estate needs, you can reach me and my team at 646-306-4761.

00:35:40.560 --> 00:35:53.070 Jeff Goodman: our guests for the entirety of this show on modernism is David Griffin of landmark brandy David do you want to tell us a little bit about landmark branding and the work that you do for for business and architects.

00:35:53.460 --> 00:36:04.020 David V. Griffin: Sure thing Jeff so I founded the company back in 2013 and since then I have provided support marketing support for real estate brokers, such as yourself.

00:36:04.350 --> 00:36:17.970 David V. Griffin: But also developers designers and architects I do everything from web text bios corporate histories individual listings I write articles for magazines, such as ground stoner and we asked a weekly.

00:36:18.540 --> 00:36:26.130 David V. Griffin: And I have a blog every building on fifth, which is the history of every single building on fifth avenue, as you mentioned, from.

00:36:26.490 --> 00:36:39.540 David V. Griffin: Washington square park up to the great armory at Harlem at 125th street so it's about 500 buildings all told fascinating kind of look I think at new york's history in terms of building by building development.

00:36:40.170 --> 00:36:50.730 David V. Griffin: I you mentioned out of the room at the top series of chatter for wallace Jennifer and I are definitely hoping to get that back up and running it's a wonderful kind of way to experience buildings in New York City.

00:36:51.630 --> 00:37:03.060 David V. Griffin: I do things like VIP tours, for example, I designed special events and i've been doing a series of illustrated talks with them you aren't adventure club on global architecture and on certain trends.

00:37:03.390 --> 00:37:11.550 David V. Griffin: That help build and create the architectural culture that we know around the world today, so I can be reached at D Griffin.

00:37:12.030 --> 00:37:27.240 David V. Griffin: At landmark branding calm and my website is www dot landmark branding calm the blog is linked through the website for people who are curious about that and i'm very happy to answer any questions that people may have, having listened to the show.

00:37:28.170 --> 00:37:36.330 Jeff Goodman: And you also have graciously been on some of my virtual content during the pandemic on you're discovering New York, which I am grateful for.

00:37:37.350 --> 00:37:39.360 Jeff Goodman: You know we're talking about modernism and.

00:37:40.230 --> 00:37:52.620 Jeff Goodman: Probably what exemplifies that as we've talked about is a function over form, so the next group of buildings actually are really talk about function and not form and nothing that you might think of is having a lot of form.

00:37:53.160 --> 00:38:00.420 Jeff Goodman: One is a soap company that built its headquarters in New York and a consumer packaged goods company right on park avenue let's talk about lever has.

00:38:00.510 --> 00:38:08.160 David V. Griffin: Yes, so leave her house is, of course, by skidmore owings and Merrill Gordon bunshaft it's built during the same time as United Nations.

00:38:10.290 --> 00:38:22.830 David V. Griffin: And it is probably a more pure version of what we consider the curtain wall and that it is the first building in New York City to be entirely glass wall, in other words it's entirely transparent on every side.

00:38:24.030 --> 00:38:26.190 David V. Griffin: And in fact I would say.

00:38:27.240 --> 00:38:31.020 David V. Griffin: Jeff that lever house is actually extremely formula stick in a way.

00:38:31.380 --> 00:38:40.920 David V. Griffin: And that it takes a certain slab and it bounces that over a billion of sorts and then creates a hollow for court for the pavilion with a kind of a garden area on top.

00:38:41.160 --> 00:38:46.560 David V. Griffin: And a place for sculpture on the bottom so there's actually quite a bit going on with lever house.

00:38:47.340 --> 00:38:53.400 David V. Griffin: The idea also is that it's sort of creating a certain set back so that, although the pavilion fills the block.

00:38:53.700 --> 00:39:01.770 David V. Griffin: The tower that rises above, it is not something that is set facing the road it's actually set facing kind of the horizontal if you will.

00:39:02.130 --> 00:39:11.820 David V. Griffin: And is so people and leave her house really have fantastic views in and out of it and there's a lot of natural light that comes down into that roof garden so it's actually a very.

00:39:12.180 --> 00:39:18.570 David V. Griffin: delicate kind of presence on park avenue it's something that's not meant to be overwhelming or monumental in a particular way.

00:39:19.140 --> 00:39:23.070 David V. Griffin: So yeah it's it's an idea intersecting masses, which I think is very dynamic.

00:39:23.580 --> 00:39:30.840 David V. Griffin: And within only a decade of its construction, the initial enthusiasm for lever House gave way to kind of a recognition.

00:39:31.170 --> 00:39:41.370 David V. Griffin: of how important this was an American architecture, this was the first all glass office building and whenever we think of the ones that began to march up certain city avenues down the other side.

00:39:42.030 --> 00:39:50.010 David V. Griffin: This one was really a very delicately handled on talk and in 1982 the New York City landmarks preservation Commission.

00:39:50.400 --> 00:39:54.690 David V. Griffin: designated to leave her house and official landmark which was actually quite remarkable.

00:39:55.080 --> 00:40:06.270 David V. Griffin: Considering the fact that you know there wasn't a affection for modernism of that time period that there is now I think you know 40 years later, a lot more people are more interested in things like house.

00:40:06.720 --> 00:40:11.490 Jeff Goodman: One thing I love about lever houses you actually can walk into the sculpture garden from the street, and you know the.

00:40:11.550 --> 00:40:20.130 Jeff Goodman: Yes, it's and you know, one of the great things about about what we're talking about today is almost every single building that we're talking about is still there, and you can go and see it.

00:40:20.520 --> 00:40:28.740 Jeff Goodman: and experience it and you know that's a you know i'm a little bit older than you I was born in 1960 and I, my mother first started taking me around town in the 60s.

00:40:29.070 --> 00:40:37.530 Jeff Goodman: And it was it was a striking environment to grow up and to see all this, all this modern architecture just all this, these clean surfaces, and all this glass.

00:40:38.160 --> 00:40:48.450 Jeff Goodman: Well i'm talking about functionality let's move from soap to booze right across the street in fact across park avenue and i'm referring to the famous seagram building.

00:40:48.930 --> 00:41:00.540 David V. Griffin: Yes, so this is the only of work of architecture in New York City by living means van der rohe was a German born architect you later took American citizenship, he fled Germany because of the Nazis.

00:41:00.930 --> 00:41:07.590 David V. Griffin: He moves to Chicago and he becomes the kind of diane along with skidmore owings and Merrill also based in that city.

00:41:07.980 --> 00:41:15.120 David V. Griffin: of a new form of architecture that is called the second Chicago school and gels something that is called the international style.

00:41:15.630 --> 00:41:23.400 David V. Griffin: And the second Chicago school takes the first Chicago school, which is listening Sullivan on one more route Daniel H burn.

00:41:23.700 --> 00:41:40.110 David V. Griffin: People of that caliber of people who are creating the very first skyscrapers it takes their rationality, it takes their proportions it takes their materials it shakes all the residual ornaments off and it continues so it's sort of like a new meeting of the first Chicago school.

00:41:41.160 --> 00:41:45.300 David V. Griffin: So in this case of what makes this building kind of remarkable is the fact that.

00:41:46.770 --> 00:41:49.140 David V. Griffin: It is made of bronze.

00:41:50.190 --> 00:42:04.110 David V. Griffin: that's an incredibly expensive material or a skyscraper of the story, and the glasses that you see were used to thinking about tinted glass that is stained glass and it's a particular type of amber yellow that is created for the secret building.

00:42:05.520 --> 00:42:12.060 David V. Griffin: My once had a architectural professor at vassar we took the tour of buildings on park avenue with him.

00:42:12.450 --> 00:42:18.480 David V. Griffin: And he pointed out that if you really go up to the columns of The seagram building now they may have been refinished since we did this.

00:42:18.900 --> 00:42:25.140 David V. Griffin: But they had almost kind of a bloom there was all sorts of you know as as as the Bronze patents.

00:42:25.590 --> 00:42:32.010 David V. Griffin: It almost looked like tiny little mosses we're growing over the surfaces of the building so that's sort of a very.

00:42:32.490 --> 00:42:38.910 David V. Griffin: very, very delicate way to look at this building up close it's a building that actually rewards close examination.

00:42:39.420 --> 00:42:54.150 David V. Griffin: And I think a lot of people might pass by it's a another class barks whatever it's not that at all, and it also it kind of does something very interesting it installs a public pavilion in front of itself, so it doesn't have to rise and setbacks.

00:42:55.170 --> 00:43:08.640 David V. Griffin: And for those unfamiliar with a setback was 1916 as building to hire people were becoming concerned about things like air quality of life, quality, so they made a law which said that the building had to be set back.

00:43:09.390 --> 00:43:16.170 David V. Griffin: And the higher got the more setbacks that had to have it can only fulfill a certain portion of its building envelope.

00:43:16.470 --> 00:43:17.790 Jeff Goodman: If you wanted to go up high you.

00:43:18.210 --> 00:43:18.360 David V. Griffin: know.

00:43:18.420 --> 00:43:20.520 Jeff Goodman: High end CAP it lower and not have setbacks.

00:43:20.520 --> 00:43:27.690 David V. Griffin: So what leave her house in the senior building do as they say right we're going to go up high and we're not going to step back the actual structure.

00:43:27.990 --> 00:43:36.210 David V. Griffin: And we're going to push the structure back and install public spaces in front of it that will protect the light and air I don't give more space for the city.

00:43:36.450 --> 00:43:42.270 David V. Griffin: And we can go up higher and we don't have to do that sweater inverted boxy thing the empire state building, for example, does.

00:43:42.570 --> 00:43:54.120 David V. Griffin: So the secret building is entirely a slab but it's a faces very beautifully designed pavilion of travertine and green marble with fountains staircases African of these people kind of set or stay.

00:43:55.050 --> 00:44:08.190 David V. Griffin: And this was kind of the case throughout the 1960s, and it really wasn't until the 1970s, that that just was overwritten it's like Okay, you want a tall building put up tall building no public facilities necessary.

00:44:09.270 --> 00:44:12.120 David V. Griffin: And I think we've been the poor, for it to be perfect.

00:44:13.770 --> 00:44:21.150 Jeff Goodman: Well let's move to the world of banking and a very striking building also because part of its function is writings front window.

00:44:21.450 --> 00:44:33.000 David V. Griffin: Yes, 10 feet away from fifth avenue, one of the largest safes in New York City, the manufacturers trust company building a 510 fifth avenue, it is a block north of.

00:44:33.420 --> 00:44:39.660 David V. Griffin: The New York public library and bryant park it's on the West side of fifth avenue on West 53rd street.

00:44:39.960 --> 00:44:56.490 David V. Griffin: And it's a very small little kind of jewel box, with a building this is not a skyscraper it's not a monumental building it's an Anti monumental away also designed by skidmore owings and Merrill with Gordon bunshaft serving as the chief designer very important work at bar this firm.

00:44:57.510 --> 00:45:06.960 David V. Griffin: Design in 1954 it's only five stories tall, now that is unheard of for new construction in that town Manhattan try to find me the five stories tall building.

00:45:07.470 --> 00:45:11.340 David V. Griffin: Building in New York, these days, anywhere near Min counts it's just not going to happen.

00:45:11.790 --> 00:45:22.020 David V. Griffin: If he does clear glass window walls, then pause alumina millions dark Gray facing some some ways it's kind of a riff on the static founded leave her house.

00:45:22.740 --> 00:45:30.480 David V. Griffin: And the transparency articulation of the skeletal structure of the building lead architectural forum to praise it as quote the first big building.

00:45:30.720 --> 00:45:43.890 David V. Griffin: Truly to fulfill architects immaculate drafting born idea of glass as an invisible material so, and so my sister the building kind of melts away it's almost a billion, you can imagine it a kind of a garden sensibility.

00:45:44.520 --> 00:45:52.590 David V. Griffin: It has a tremendous interior it's actually one of the best modernist terriers in New York, that is mostly intact, except for changes in signage.

00:45:53.220 --> 00:46:03.990 David V. Griffin: There are alterations to the last 43 43rd street entrances, but it has a tremendously beautiful screen by the Chicago based artist Harry Potter.

00:46:04.680 --> 00:46:13.980 David V. Griffin: I love her toy, I am a tremendous or twice a fan, and this screen, which is kind of a very whimsical very delicate kind of almost like a holly heart that i'm.

00:46:14.250 --> 00:46:20.310 David V. Griffin: A field of wheat, something that you could definitely see frank Lloyd Wright enjoying the fact right, first of all for Chicago archetype.

00:46:21.120 --> 00:46:26.970 David V. Griffin: is installed on the wars and on the lower floor is that massive safe.

00:46:27.840 --> 00:46:32.490 David V. Griffin: which they decided we're going to put it in the window we're not going to hide it away, this is what a bank is for.

00:46:32.820 --> 00:46:40.620 David V. Griffin: So it kind of goes against the Greek temple nobility of those old farts banks which I also happen to really, really like but says no.

00:46:41.370 --> 00:46:49.800 David V. Griffin: Finances transparent I transactions are all public people can see what we're doing where everything's aboveboard everything is stable We live in a very safe environment.

00:46:50.070 --> 00:46:56.700 David V. Griffin: we're not afraid of COPs and robbers and all that sort of stuff no one's going to come breaking in here, we all know, we're so.

00:46:57.030 --> 00:47:07.200 David V. Griffin: We are so committed to the idea of American culture is being at its apex we're gonna hide your money in a glass box, I mean just think about what a revolutionary message that is.

00:47:07.200 --> 00:47:07.740 Jeff Goodman: Yes.

00:47:07.770 --> 00:47:08.700 David V. Griffin: yeah though yeah.

00:47:09.300 --> 00:47:13.830 Jeff Goodman: And that's also very emblematic of the of the message and image of New York, beginning in 1960 so.

00:47:15.030 --> 00:47:24.600 Jeff Goodman: we're going to take a short break and when we come back we're going to continue our conversation with David Griffin of landmark branding about modernism in New York architectural will be back in a moment.

00:48:29.220 --> 00:48:29.730 hosted the.

00:49:54.750 --> 00:50:01.860 Jeff Goodman: we're back and you're back to rediscovering New York and episode 122 our program tonight is about modernism in New York architecture.

00:50:02.550 --> 00:50:10.920 Jeff Goodman: My guest is the great David Griffin of landmark branding and you know, David, unfortunately, like so many other great topics we talked about.

00:50:11.280 --> 00:50:21.840 Jeff Goodman: there's so much to talk about we're running short on time, so I want to focus on three buildings of the rest that we have on the list that I think are fantastic two of them and museums.

00:50:22.350 --> 00:50:28.680 Jeff Goodman: And one of them is the guggenheim on fifth avenue and speaking of america's greatest architect frank Lloyd Wright.

00:50:30.180 --> 00:50:42.060 David V. Griffin: Yes, so frank Lloyd Wright, as you say, one of the greatest architects of all time i'm one who actually had no formal architectural training in terms of going to an architectural school he.

00:50:42.330 --> 00:50:51.060 David V. Griffin: was taught his craft through the offices of Solomon who actually was a student of the Academy of arts in Paris back in the 19th century.

00:50:52.410 --> 00:50:58.170 David V. Griffin: Wait didn't really call themself a modernist architects, he was very much Sue generis.

00:50:59.190 --> 00:51:00.960 Jeff Goodman: didn't like labels I don't he just you know he.

00:51:01.470 --> 00:51:02.820 Jeff Goodman: He was him, he was himself.

00:51:03.120 --> 00:51:08.340 David V. Griffin: He did like labels he liked the label that read frank Lloyd Wright was the label that he really liked.

00:51:08.730 --> 00:51:14.670 David V. Griffin: So, in some ways, you know frank Lloyd Wright is the first kind of celebrity architecture architect in America.

00:51:15.030 --> 00:51:25.080 David V. Griffin: And I feel he threw himself into his craft, for various reasons, I am fascinated personality, I think his work is you know stupendous the best of it is.

00:51:25.980 --> 00:51:37.800 David V. Griffin: Just it's never been quite matched the guggenheim museum it's interesting because it represents a kind of a compromise between rights ideals and those of his clients and, in this case.

00:51:38.310 --> 00:51:56.640 David V. Griffin: The great philanthropist Solomon our guggenheim and, as Mr guggenheim is curating her Hillary Bay, who was from Europe and who had a very distinctive sensibility and these three very, very powerful personalities often were at odds with one another about the development of.

00:51:58.320 --> 00:52:08.310 David V. Griffin: June 1923 right received a letter from hello, who was guggenheim art advisor before she was the curator asked him to design a new building the House the collection.

00:52:08.640 --> 00:52:13.470 David V. Griffin: The Google emma's building of what it was called non objective art, in other words.

00:52:14.070 --> 00:52:24.660 David V. Griffin: We now call it abstract art but back then, it was sort of something where they're like we don't know what to call it, and a lot of this work was things like, for example, can didn't see Paul clay.

00:52:25.200 --> 00:52:33.750 David V. Griffin: mondrian are artists, that I think most Americans are familiar with, and you know, there are, it was meant to represent sort of states of mental consciousness.

00:52:34.080 --> 00:52:45.360 David V. Griffin: and ways of perceiving reality some of condensed he's worked for be tied into certain metaphysical theories of consciousness of the development of the human spirit so.

00:52:46.020 --> 00:52:55.470 David V. Griffin: The one requirement that guggenheim had of right was that the building should be unlike any other museum and the world is like i'm building an art collection like no neither I want to building like not another.

00:52:56.280 --> 00:53:03.510 David V. Griffin: Right wasn't really happy with guggenheim choice of New York City, as the location, he said in a letter you know.

00:53:04.170 --> 00:53:07.410 David V. Griffin: I can think of it doesn't places that will be better he wasn't fond of New York.

00:53:07.770 --> 00:53:21.090 David V. Griffin: But he proceeded with his wishes, he settled on the presence side on fifth avenue between 88 and 89 streets they actually took down the guggenheim museum that was there in order to build a guggenheim match rather That was their work to build the museum.

00:53:22.110 --> 00:53:34.440 David V. Griffin: And he loved it because of its proximity to central Park, so he creates this amazing sort of spiral plan I kind of a harboring plan of circles spheres.

00:53:35.040 --> 00:53:40.860 David V. Griffin: in which the guest is taken up to the top of the museum via elevator very futuristic very modern.

00:53:41.280 --> 00:53:48.930 David V. Griffin: And then you walk down this long continuous ramp viewing the paintings and other works of art until you are at the bottom.

00:53:49.290 --> 00:53:57.900 David V. Griffin: Where the founder and kind of symbolizes the close of this episode of culture and, if you look up you see that vast rotunda floating above you.

00:53:58.170 --> 00:54:06.060 David V. Griffin: And it's sort of like opening up the I it was it was sort of everything was kind of gear and it's a psychological process, not just the way to look at art.

00:54:06.600 --> 00:54:15.660 David V. Griffin: And you know they argued back and forth about what the actual shape should be should this go here go there right wanted the guggenheim to become faced in marvel.

00:54:16.590 --> 00:54:22.590 David V. Griffin: He wanted it to be the color, as he said, have a lobster Bisque obviously that didn't happen, none of those things happen.

00:54:23.430 --> 00:54:29.880 David V. Griffin: So, in some ways, this is, this is one of rights was famous buildings but it's also a case where the client really put their foot down and said no.

00:54:30.210 --> 00:54:38.280 David V. Griffin: we're doing it our way not your way and I think that gives the guggenheim museum kind of a certain tension within rights sort of field of works.

00:54:38.880 --> 00:54:46.590 David V. Griffin: That is in fact key to making it the provocative building that remains you go into that building it's alive in a way that so many other spaces on.

00:54:46.980 --> 00:54:54.270 David V. Griffin: Whatever you think of the exterior whatever you think of the experience of trying to do, art and if no one will ever forget going in there and looking up into that go.

00:54:55.440 --> 00:55:02.070 Jeff Goodman: All right, alright well David we're almost at a time, but we can't talk about modernist architecture in New York.

00:55:02.490 --> 00:55:07.080 Jeff Goodman: Without talking about one of my favorite buildings on the program tonight we're going to take a little trip.

00:55:07.500 --> 00:55:15.300 Jeff Goodman: To an outer borough and specifically along the North sorry the south eastern portion of the city that's very close to the wetlands i'm referring to JFK airport.

00:55:15.870 --> 00:55:23.100 Jeff Goodman: There is a monumental building right there monumental terminal you want to talk about the TWA terminal and the minute I have we have left.

00:55:23.400 --> 00:55:29.400 David V. Griffin: by your House Aaron and 1962 Raymond glow you have a great designer does some of the interiors.

00:55:30.210 --> 00:55:38.220 David V. Griffin: Thankfully it has been restored now as a hotel so it's a place that people can go and visit notice the transworld flight Center TWA flight Center.

00:55:39.060 --> 00:55:49.350 David V. Griffin: built banking 62,001 operated well that's where it's operated as a terminal rather adaptive we refer for 2017 as part of the give you a hotel.

00:55:49.950 --> 00:56:04.950 David V. Griffin: And it really is an exquisite building it's sort of a revival of a European style of expression in which building actually becomes a kind of a formal sculpture, and in some sense, this was the the total the total.

00:56:06.240 --> 00:56:11.970 David V. Griffin: Anti architecture of Lewis Solomon Solomon said form follows function Simon says yeah.

00:56:13.320 --> 00:56:23.160 David V. Griffin: symbolism, we need symbolism here, so he creates this kind of swooping glorious kind of structure that is reminiscent of a bird of seal say about to take flight.

00:56:24.390 --> 00:56:29.340 David V. Griffin: it's the only work of architecture, I can think of in New York, where you think I hope that doesn't dump on my head.

00:56:30.390 --> 00:56:32.460 David V. Griffin: But it is really kind of a kind of a mix of.

00:56:32.460 --> 00:56:33.960 Jeff Goodman: Japan and building maybe but that's.

00:56:33.960 --> 00:56:35.550 David V. Griffin: Out there for different reasons.

00:56:36.630 --> 00:56:44.460 David V. Griffin: So it is it really is quite a striking building and one that i'm very glad to have and it's something that really kind of throw a spanner in the works.

00:56:45.360 --> 00:56:45.810 David V. Griffin: No.

00:56:46.350 --> 00:56:48.990 David V. Griffin: we're not going to be about rationality we're not going to be about the Korean.

00:56:49.350 --> 00:57:01.500 David V. Griffin: we're not going to be about elegance refined tiny little details, you have to seek out what big bold things we want theatricality, we want a certain grand year we want to kind of an intellectual opulence and.

00:57:01.890 --> 00:57:19.920 David V. Griffin: I think the TWA terminal more than any other single building in New York, really, although it is a modern building it breaks down modernism all the sudden architecture has to start thinking about other things, and you know that's led us in a direction that i'm not 100% happy with personally.

00:57:21.090 --> 00:57:32.550 David V. Griffin: You know the rise of the stark attack the rise with the art architecture is bobble but yeah it's it's where we are and it is due in part to the really kind of glorious designer the heavyweight terminal.

00:57:32.940 --> 00:57:42.420 Jeff Goodman: And it's gorgeous and I have to say I pleasantly flew through that a number of times that it really doesn't town what the what the structure is supposed to be David we're out of time.

00:57:42.450 --> 00:57:43.650 Jeff Goodman: Thanks so much.

00:57:44.730 --> 00:57:53.640 Jeff Goodman: we'll have you back we'll have you back well we've just finished this week's expiration everyone on post modern architecture in New York, my guest has been David Griffin of landmark branding.

00:57:54.210 --> 00:58:00.450 Jeff Goodman: If you have comments or questions about the show if you'd like to get on our mailing list, please email me Jeff at rediscovering New York ny say.

00:58:00.960 --> 00:58:09.540 Jeff Goodman: You can like us on Facebook and follow me on instagram and Twitter and i'd like to thank our sponsors Chris Pappas, of TD bank and law offices of Tom sciatica.

00:58:10.140 --> 00:58:16.710 Jeff Goodman: One more thing, before we sign off from Jeff Goodman a real estate agent or brown Harris Stevens in New York City and whether you're selling buying leasing or renting.

00:58:17.130 --> 00:58:26.400 Jeff Goodman: My team and I provide the best service and expertise in New York City real estate to help you, with your real estate needs, you can reach us at 646-306-4761.

00:58:27.090 --> 00:58:42.090 Jeff Goodman: Our producers Ralph story or our engineer this evening is the great Sam leibowitz our production assistants Eric Nelson our special consultant is David Griffin our guest tonight of landmark brandon coffee talk at eight with Kevin barbera fellows.

00:58:42.390 --> 00:58:44.190 Jeff Goodman: Thanks for listening we'll see you next time.

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