New York City Points of Interest
from New York City Guide - Historical Guide Series
from the Federal Writers Project (1939)
New York City Major Points of Interest
NEW YORK AQUARIUM
New York Aquarium is set in the marine atmosphere of Battery Park. Housed in a circular three-story building, a converted fort, in the northwest section of the park, it is second in size among the world's forty or more great public aquaria, but first in variety and number of specimens.
In the thirty-six years ending December, 1938, more than seventy-six million visitors passed under the two gilded figures of sea horses carved above the main doorway. The average attendance is about seven thousand a day. On certain days, however, when the fleet has been anchored in the harbor, sailors on shore leave have brought the daily attendance to more than fifty thousand.
According to a recent census the exhibition comprises some 8,877 fishes, 872 invertebrates, 198 reptiles, 65 amphibians, and 12 birds. The stock, subject to frequent change and replacement, is housed in 7 large floor pools, 88 large glass-fronted wall tanks, 83 small tanks, and 29 large reserve tanks containing specimens not on exhibition.
A casual inspection of the aquarium building is sufficient to recognize its original military character and its resemblance to Castle Williams on Governors Island to the south of Battery Park. Built by the Federal Government about 1807, it was known at first as the West Battery and stood on the Capske, a cluster of rocks a short distance from the shore line of that time. It was renamed Castle Clinton after the War of 1812. When it became evident that its worth as a harbor fort was dubious, it was ceded to the city of New York. As Castle Garden it was the scene of notable public and social events. Lafayette was welcomed here in 1824, Louis Kossuth in 1851, and Edward VII then Prince of Wales in 1860. Here Professor Morse demonstrated the telegraph in 1835, and in 1850, under the sponsorship of P. T. Barnum, Jenny Lind, the "Swedish Nightingale," made her American debut. An undistinguished bust to the right of the entrance commemorates her success.
In 1855 Castle Garden became the country's chief immigrant station. Here raw Irish were recruited to fill the ranks of Meagher's brigade during the Civil War, and here landed the Italians who swarmed into Mulberry Bend and the Jews who supplied labor power for the garment and cigar lofts of the East Side. From 1855 to 1890, 7,690,606 aliens entered the United States through the Castle Garden station. In the latter year an investigation under Governor Cleveland resulted in the transfer of immigrant reception and care to a commissioner at Ellis Island, and Castle Garden was closed, to be opened six years later as the Aquarium of the City of New York.
In 1902, the operation of the aquarium was assigned to the New York Zoological Society, with the city supplying the funds. Although plans for remodeling were drawn that same year by the famous firm of architects, McKim, Mead, and White, the changes recommended were not made until the 1920's.
The original eight-foot-thick walls, massive bolt-studded doors, and gun embrasures of Castle Clinton remain. The chief change in the exterior has been the addition of a white square-fronted administration and laboratory annex, with an ornamented main entrance, which forms the east facade. The interior of the building has been converted into a gay and pleasant exhibition hall. The rotunda, aisle, and two-level ring of tanks, which follow the old circular walls, unite to form an interesting play of spaces and shapes. Even the radiators have been used decoratively as bases for the columns. The walls are decorated with Charlotte Anne Case's bright ma rine murals.
For thirty-five years Dr. Charles Haskins Townsend served as director of the aquarium. He was succeeded upon his retirement in November, 1937, by Charles M. Breder, Jr., an ichthyologist of note who had served for fourteen years as assistant director and aquarist. Breder introduced important improvements in the complex system of water circulation, aeration, and temperature maintenance necessary to the well-being of the aquarium's ten thousand-odd specimens. Behind the tanks a system of catwalks enables attendants to patrol the building, unseen by the visitor. Three circulatory systems carry 300,000 gallons daily of pure sea water, harbor water, or New York City water to the creatures, according to their various needs. Certain rare tropical varieties are brought to the aquarium in their native water, which is carefully guarded, filtered, and maintained at the temperature to which the fish are accustomed. Temperatures range from 40 F. to 90 F., the brook trout taking the coldest and the lungfish the warmest.
School children, inquiring laymen, and amateur and professional scientists come in throngs to see varieties of fish ranging from the common fresh-water specimens to strange deep-sea monsters, from delicate minnows to frighteningly ugly 3OO-pound groupers. The electric eels, which generate enough current to light a bulb above the tank, are first in popular acclaim ; runners-up are the lacy Siamese fighting fish, hideous green and spotted morays, and grotesque toadfish. In the large pools on the ground floor graceful California sea lions bark and disport themselves before a gallery of enthusiasts. Here also are the enormous sea turtles, penguins from South Africa, seals, turtles, alligators, and crabs. In the many smaller tanks around the balcony perpetual submarine ballets are staged by minute and delicately colored tropical fishes silvery moonfish, blue or green parrot fish, fringe-tailed goldfish, and angel and butterfly fish.
The aquarium operates a fish hatchery that produces millions of tiny food and game fishes, which are deposited in the various waters of the State to grow and breed. Research is carried on in the laboratory and the thousand-volume library. The aquarium is the first stop of visiting ichthyologists from such distant points as London, Paris, and Goteborg, the marine institute at Tel Aviv, and the Australian Museum at Sydney. Director Breder is always on the alert for an advantageous swap, trading, for example, a batch of common horseshoe crabs for some exotic specimens.
The aquarium operates on an annual budget of about eighty-seven thousand dollars, with approximately sixty-seven thousand dollars provided by the city of New York and the balance by the New York Zoological Soriety. After the salaries of a staff of thirty-eight, and maintenance, heating, and repairing costs have been deducted, there is nothing left for the purchase of new specimens. The only funds available for this purpose come from the sale of booklets, post cards, and souvenirs something less than two thousand dollars a year. Wireless operators on ocean freighters obligingly carry to far-off corners of the world castoff clothes, whisky, and other goods given them by the aquarium, and barter them for rare fish to add to the aquarium's collection.
Broadway and Wall St.
The good Queen Anne, in 1705, gave to the young parish of Trinity Church a grant of land to be used "for the benefit of said Church and other pious uses." The yearly rent stipulated was thirty pounds, "a reasonable request." The farm lay west of Broadway, extending from Fulton to Christopher Street.
Thus Trinity, the first Protestant Episcopal church established in New York, came into ownership of a good section of lower Manhattan and, as a consequence, became possibly the world's wealthiest parish of that denomination.
Compared to the great cathedrals subsequently erected in New York, there is little about the century-old structure, fronting on Broadway and facing into Wall Street, that in any way suggests this great wealth. Yet, for its day it was completed in 1846 the church, designed by Richard Upjohn, one of the famous architects of the period and sponsor of the Gothic Revival mode, doubtless was considered duly impressive. The church is constructed of dark brownstone in a free rendering of perpendicular English Gothic. Although only 79 feet wide and 166 feet long, the build ing is so beautifully proportioned that it holds the attention, even in its present setting, enclosed as it is by high office buildings that would dwarf any less inspired structure. Graceful porches project beyond its side en trances. The main entrance, at the foot of Wall Street, is in the base of the rectangular tower fronting the nave. The tower is surmounted by an octagonal spire with a cross at the top. For years, the spire, attaining a height of 280 feet above the steps, served as a landmark. Both the tower and the spire are of brownstone ashlar, and are exceptionally fine in workmanship. The first "Ring of Bells," a gift from London, was received in 1797, and is the oldest in the city. Others were added and today the chimes of Trinity include ten bells. They were originally intended to be swung, but the difficulty of obtaining competent ringers, and the fact that the public preferred tunes to changes, resulted in their being made stationary. The clappers are connected to a ringing case in the room below the belfry.
Three pairs of bronze doors, at the base of the tower, to the east, north, and south, designed by Richard M. Hunt, the architect, are the gift of William Waldorf Astor as a memorial to his father, the second John Jacob Astor. They are designed with bas-relief decorations in the manner of Ghiberti's doors for the Baptistery in Florence. The main entrance panels were executed in bas-relief by Karl Bitter, and represent symbolic scenes from the Bible, as do the north doors, the work of J. Massey Rhind.
The panels in the south door, designed by G. M. Niehaus, depict Dr. Henry Barclay, second rector of the church, preaching to the Indians in 1739, the consecration of Trinity Church in 1846, and George Washington in St. Paul's Chapel following his inauguration in 1789.
Double rows of carved columns support the groined nave vaulting. Seven white marble panels above the high altar depict scenes from the life of Christ, particularly associated with the Last Supper. The reredos of Caen stone, perpendicular Gothic in style, is divided by buttress forms into three bays, in which are figures of the Twelve Apostles. The stone floor, walls, pillars, pews, and even the glass of the windows almost com pletely filling both walls, are, uniformly, of an even and mellow tone of soft yellow-brown. They have the worn, but unsoiled tint of a well-kept ancient vellum manuscript. In striking contrast to this color scheme, yet not garish, is the brilliant stained-glass window (above and behind the reredos) of burning blue and ruby. Blending harmoniously with these two effects is the warm ivory of the marble in the altar.
All Saint's Chapel, at the west end of the north aisle, is a fine example of the English Gothic style that flourished during the latter half of the fourteenth century. It was designed by Thomas Nash, who also designed the baptistery (near the northeast corner of the chancel). In the latter is a fourteenth-century altarpiece.
The parish came into existence during the reign of King William III, when on May 6, 1697, the charter was signed by Governor Fletcher. Episcopalians in the colony, however, had been holding religious services since the English acquisition of New Amsterdam in 1664, worshiping in a chapel of the fort that stood near the Battery.
The first church, opened in 1698, was destroyed in the fire of 1776. It lay in ruins until 1787, when the church was reconstructed. More than a half century later it was replaced.
From the beginning Trinity numbered among its parishioners the city's most distinguished personages, some of whose descendants still worship there. Many of those early parishioners lie buried in the churchyard which surrounds the building on the north, west, and south sides. Carved in the weathered slabs are inscriptions naming such honored dead as Alexander Hamilton, Robert Fulton, Captain James ("Don't Give Up The Ship") Laurence, Albert Gallatin, William Bradford, founder of the city's first newspaper, the Gazette, and earliest champion of the freedom of the press, and John Watts. The Martyr's Monument, a tall memorial to American patriots who died while imprisoned by the British in New York, stands near the Broadway-Thames Street corner.
Near the iron railing along Broadway on a sunken granite stone is carved the name, Charlotte Temple. Charlotte, said to have been the granddaughter of the Earl of Derby, eloped with an English officer, who brought her to America and abandoned her after the birth of her child. A popular novelist of the day (1790), Sarah Haswell Rowsan, used her story in Charlotte Temple, one of the most widely read novels in the English language.
At noon the cemetery is a retreat for workers from the office buildings of the financial district. During their lunch hour, they sun themselves on the benches along the paths, or on the steps and railings of the porticos.
Trinity is the parent of seven subsidiary chapels: these are not small annexes of the mother church, but rather they include some of the largest and most beautiful church structures in New York. One is old St. Paul's Chapel (see page 98), north of Trinity on Broadway; and another, the one most recently built, is the Chapel of the Intercession, in Trinity Cemetery.
The controlling corporation still owns about one-fifth of the original grant, estimated to be worth about ten million dollars. The remainder was given to church and educational institutions. The acquisition of these vast holdings has furnished a classic example, for reformists and economists, of the social evil of land speculation. As recently as 1938, in the Federal Theater production, ft . . . one third of a nation . . .," a play dealing with housing conditions, the church's history was recalled, from the granting of land to the young parish in 1705 to the municipal investigation of 1894. In the latter year it was revealed that tenement property acquired by the church corporation at the expiration of long term leases comprised a portion of the city's worst slums. The church has since divested itself of its tenement holdings.
Brooklyn Bridge, soaring over the East River, is the subject of more paintings, etchings, photographs, writings, and conversations than any other suspension bridge in the world. Uniting the maze of the nineteenthcentury brick and frame residences, factories, and warehouses of the Brooklyn shore and the modern skyscraper district of lower Manhattan, the majestic highway has supplied an extravagant theme to romantic and symbolic fancies. Native artists, including the noted water-colorist John Marin and the abstractionist Joseph Stella, have played many variations upon its graceful catenaries, suspenders, and granite towers; while the poet Hart Crane conceived it in his The Bridge as the dynamic emblem of America's westward march.
During more than half a century of continuous use, the bridge has retained its place as the most picturesque of the sixty-one spans that bind Greater New York into a world metropolis. It was designed in 1867 by John A. Roebling, who had built the bridge at Niagara Falls and the more remarkable one over the Ohio River at Cincinnati. While engaged in drawing the plans for Brooklyn Bridge, Roebling sustained an injury which resulted in his death from tetanus a year before construction began.
His son, Washington A. Roebling, became construction engineer, but he too was injured. From a window of a Brooklyn Heights residence he supervised the construction of the bridge, watching its progress through a telescope.
The bridge was opened to traffic on May 24, 1883, pedestrians being charged a toll of one cent. Six days later a tragedy occurred on the crowded walk. A woman fell down the wooden steps at the Manhattan approach to the promenade, and her screams resulted in a panic in which twelve persons lost their lives and scores were injured.
Unlike the steel towers of the East River bridges that followed, the buttressed towers of this bridge, rising 272 feet above mean high water, are constructed entirely of granite. Expressing the increasing load, they become thicker as they extend downward; and the segmental arches that tie the piers together are buttressed against lateral thrust. The whole design is a superbly clear statement of the contrast between the ponderous compression in the towers and the tight-strung tension of the steel members.
The roadway platform, eighty-six feet in width, is hung on two-inch diameter steel suspenders strung, from two pairs of cables the catenaries sixteen inches in diameter. Each cable is composed of 5,296 galvanized steel wires. (The total length of wire used is 14,357 miles, a distance more than half the circumference of the earth. ) Each is capable of sustaining a live load of 12,000 tons, or a total live load equal to 48,000 tons, the weight of the structural steel in the Empire State Building.
The bridge has an over-all length of 6,0 1 6 feet, and the center of the i, 595. 5-foot channel span is 133 feet above the river at mean high water.
Until the Williamsburg Bridge was completed in 1903, with an over-all length of 7,308 feet, Brooklyn Bridge was the world's longest suspension span.
Among the ingenious methods introduced by the younger Roebling in the construction of the bridge methods which have since exerted considerable influence on engineering technic were the pulley-and-reel system for spinning the cables of the catenaries, the use of semi-flexible saddles as cable rests to provide for expansion and contraction owing to temperature changes, the employment of chains of eyebars in the anchorages and wire wrapping as protective covering for the finished cables, and the cross-lacing of suspenders with stay cables that act as bracers.
The center promenade, a board footwalk twelve feet above the floor of the bridge, is flanked on each side by elevated tracks and one-way, doublelane driveways, which accommodate both trolley and vehicular traffic. The Manhattan approach to the footwalk slopes upward from the damp, gloomy Park Row floor of the BMT terminal opposite City Hall Park. In this dark and rather vague spread, where the streetcar lines crossing the bridge curve into their terminals, are news venders, frankfurter stands, and iron gates, usually closed, leading to the elevated lines overhead. This almost subterranean atmosphere is also characteristic of the Brooklyn approach, which is graded to the Sands Street level of the sprawling BMT terminal structure.
In the Manhattan abutment are wine vaults, suggestive of Roman catacombs. Built in 1876, seven years before the bridge was opened, they were used until recently by a New York department store as a storage place for European liquors. The cellars, entered from 209 William Street, were sealed during Prohibition.
The bridge quickly became popular as a Sunday promenade. Here strolled women in Sunday ruffles, hourglass stays, bustles fringed with everything but bells, and shoes laced up to the kneecap ; gentlemen trussed in broadcloth to the Adam's apple, inquisition collars to the ears, and trousers to the toes. Foot traffic gradually waned, however, with the installation of surface cars on the bridge and with the building of the larger Williamsburg, Manhattan, and Queensboro bridges. The elevated line began operating over the bridge in September, 1883, the surface cars in 1898. The present workday traffic averages about twenty- six thousand vehicles.
The bridge affords a magnificent view of the East River, the harbor, and downtown Manhattan the buildings of the financial district changing their hues during the different hours of the day. Down below, seen from the Manhattan grade, lies the darkness of the old city markets and gloomy warehouses to the south; and on the north, slums, elevated lines, and crooked streets, where one notices horse-drawn vehicles and an old mission with JESUS SAVES painted on the walls in large white blocklettering. Knickerbocker Village, a housing development (see page 115), is set among these slums spreading north from the foot of the bridge.
The apocrypha of Steve Brodie belong among the bridge's more distinctive legends. There are men living who claim they saw Brodie's leap from the bridge in July, 1886, the rescue skiff tossing on the East River, the hero-worshipers who cheered as he climbed to the dock; on the other hand, mention of his name causes many old-time barkeepers to put their tongues in their cheeks. In any event, Brodie has entered the American idiom: to "pull" or "do a Brodie" has come to serve as a synonym for taking a high dive, whether on the stock market, in a love affair, or in the prize ring.
The promenade still draws its visitors, lyrical, noisy, or inarticulate. In the famous "view" of the bay and sky line, tourists encounter the original of a long-familiar picture post-card panorama; while the high arched towers and vast curving cables of the bridge itself are rediscovered daily by amateur camera artists. On summer days old ladies, invalids, Sunday morning strollers, unemployed men, and wandering boys and girls absorb here the indolence of space, sun, and water. Employees of downtown office buildings seek at the bridge during lunch time and after work a session with the outer world. At twilight, the conventional beauty of the setting attains such intensity that even the wisecracks of up-to-date lovers are sublimated. And in the wastes of night, so passionate is the contrast between the deserted and melancholy bridge entrances and the moonlit altitude of the passage itself, that the solitary pedestrian feels himself drawn into association with all the extravagances of the poets.
One of the twenty-six municipal institutions under the supervision of the Department of Hospitals, Bellevue is the oldest general hospital on the North American continent. Probably no other hospital in the world admits so many patients and treats such a diversity of ailments. Contagious cases, however, are transferred to the near-by Willard Parker Hospital. The number of cases for 1938 totaled more than the population of San Francisco: 65,352 admissions and births, 634,242 outpatient visits, and 28,253 ambulance calls.
A city complete in itself, Bellevue covers approximately twelve square city blocks. Its twenty-five buildings contain 102 wards and cost more than twenty-three million dollars. The massive eight-story Psychiatric Hospital at the northwest corner, of clean red brick trimmed with natural gray stone, exemplifies the hospital's program of modernization. A new Administration Building with three chapels is under construction (1939).
Bellevue serves a heavily populated area of the East Side between East Houston and Forty-second Streets, east of Sixth Avenue. Hospitalization, medical care, and clinical treatment are provided without cost to anyone who is unable to pay for them, investigation as to ability to pay being made after, and not before, admission is granted and treatment begun. Bellevue is a free, not a charity, hospital, and according to a city law, it must accept any applicant who resides in its district and requires medical treatment.
The ambulance service operates on a twenty-four-hour basis, and an ambulance and doctor can be dispatched within thirty seconds after a call for aid has been received. Bellevue' s morgue, the official mortuary for New York County, is in the Pathological Building on Twenty-ninth Street. The same building also houses the Medical Examiner's office, where New York's official autopsies are performed, and the headquarters of the Mortuary Division of the city Department of Hospitals. About twenty thousand bodies pass each year through Bellevue's morgue, eighty-five hundred of which are never claimed. All unclaimed bodies are photographed, described, and a docket entered for them at the Police Department's Bureau of Missing Persons. After reposing for two weeks or more in refrigerated vaults of the morgue, some of the cadavers are given to private embalming schools whose students practice in a room adjoining the vaults, and a cer tain number are allotted to medical schools for dissection. The remainder, about 170 a week, are placed in plain, wooden coffins and carried on a barge, up the East River to Potter's Field on Hart's Island (see page 551).
In the new Psychiatric Hospital, the alcoholics, the sexually unbalanced, the hysterical, and the alleged insane are under care. The Psychiatric Division of Bellevue has become a laboratory for the medical and social-service professions in the United States. The "disturbed," or violent, wards utilize none of the old-fashioned, inhumane methods that some hospitals still employ for pacifying psychotics. Though overcrowding detracts from the desired effect, the new building, with its pleasant murals, minimizes the sense of confinement. The Psychiatric Hospital, originally planned to care for 630 patients, was pathetically overcrowded only six months after it was opened in 1936.
The medical departments of three outstanding universities are affiliated with Bellevue: Columbia, Cornell, and New York. A fourth group of doctors and internes not connected with these particular schools is included in an open division. Bellevue's 550 staff doctors, 200 internes, and 400 clinic physicians are, for the most part, either faculty members of these schools or regular hospital employees who are selected by the schools. New York Training School for Nursing, established in 1873 by Bellevue, was the first of its kind in the United States. Its standards have since served as a norm for other schools. The hospital also maintains the Mills Training School for Male Nurses.
Bellevue's list of contributions to medicine is a long and notable one. Its ambulance service, inaugurated on a horse-and-buggy basis in 1869, was the first in the world. Doctors Valentine Mott, James R. Wood, William H. Van Buren and F. H. Hamilton brought the hospital fame through their medical and surgical discoveries. At Bellevue, Dr. Herman Biggs founded the first bacteriological laboratory in the United States, Dr. Lewis A. Sayre pioneered in orthopedics, and Dr. William H. Welch established America's first pathological laboratory. Noted graduates include Dr. William S. Halstead, who first used cocaine as an anesthetic; Dr. Frank Harley, inventor of the electrical surgical saw ; Dr. William H. Gorgas and Dr. Jesse W. Lazear who, with Dr. Walter Reed and others, discovered how yellow fever was transmitted, and eradicated the disease from Cuba and Panama.
Bellevue's history goes back to British New York in 1736, when the city corporation ordered the construction of a "Publick Workhouse and House of Correction" on the site of the present City Hall Park. Infirmary activities were confined to a single room with six beds. To accommodate ever increasing numbers of the needy, new buildings were erected, until by 1811 the hospital section of the workhouse had become its largest department. When further expansion became imperative, Belle Vue Farm, the present site of the hospital, was purchased (1816), and the new group of buildings became known as Bellevue Establishment. Constant increase in population and resultant clinical demands on the hospital during the nineteenth century necessitated frequent additions to and renovations of the plant. Modern Bellevue began in 1908, when it became a part of the "Bellevue and Allied Hospitals." In 1929 the Department of Hospitals of the City of New York was created, with Bellevue as one of its units.
Under the spur of PWA and WPA grants, added to city appropriations, the old Bellevue, with its maze of mid-Victorian buildings of ominous gray, has given place to the group of eight-story structures of brick and stone with granite foundations. The firm of McKim, Mead, and White designed these new buildings with the exception of the Psychiatric Hospital; the architects of the latter were C. B. Meyers and Thompson, Holmes, and Converse. In February, 1938, the C & D Building was opened as a model unit for the treatment of pulmonary diseases. When the new Administration Building is erected, it will complete the group of seven great units making up the new Bellevue.
Architecturally, there is a deliberate suppression, on the exterior, of the functional differences between the various elements and parts of the buildings. The interiors, in contrast, are designed as frank expressions of their uses and of the materials employed, with reliance for effect placed upon tasteful proportioning and choice of color. The walls of the buildings have been decorated with the murals executed under the auspices of the WPA Federal Art Project.
Bellevue, like all large municipal hospitals, is still to some extent the object of fear and rumor, for in handling vast numbers of humanity's underprivileged it naturally has a high death rate. Almost vanished, however, are such once popular superstitions among the poor as that of the "Black Bottle," used to do away with troublesome patients. In the past, charges of unsanitary conditions, a depleted commissary, political graft, and inadequate care by nurses and orderlies had considerable basis in fact. Scandalous conditions at the hospital lack of supplies and often food, vicious surroundings, and untrained female prisoners acting as nurses contributed to a frightful mortality during the cholera plague of 1832, when more than thirty-five hundred New Yorkers died of the disease and a very few who entered Bellevue recovered. Again, the Civil War all but demoralized the work of the hospital. The school for nurses was established after an investigation by public-spirited women disclosed that the nurses "were nearly without exception to the last degree incompetent. ..."
The pesthouse and prison atmosphere of Bellevue's past has been obliterated. Through the years the hospital has steadily improved, and today it ranks as one of the best medical centers in the world. To the average New Yorker, Bellevue Hospital is a reassuring symbol of man's humanity to man. To the poor of the East Side, admission to the hospital often represents a dividing line between illness and good health, life and death. Overcrowding and understanding continue to be the chief difficulties. The new buildings have done much to remedy crowding, but it remains a vital problem to the hospital, which must receive all comers even though it is forced to put up cots in the corridors. Understating has been mitigated by substantial additions to the staff in 1938, bringing the total to 3,200 employees nurses, orderlies, attendants, and others; at the same time, the old twelve-hour shift was cut to eight. Some six hundred WPA workers are assisting in the children's, clerical, and other departments.
ST. BARTHOLOMEW'S CHURCH AND GENERAL ELECTRIC BUILDING
ST. PATRICK S CATHEDRAL
DEAD END NEAR SUTTON PLACE
PARK AVENUE AND THE WALDORF-ASTORIA TOWERS
RCA BUILDING, Rockefeller Center
NEW YORK HOSPITAL CORNELL UNIVERSITY MEDICAL COLLEGE
EMPIRE STATE BUILDING
The Empire State Building, 1,250 feet high, is the tallest structure in the world. Seen from a distance it emerges above New York like a great inland lighthouse. The Chrysler Building, second in height, measures 1,046 feet to the tip of the lance; the Woolworth Building, for many years the tallest tower of Manhattan, is only 792 feet. The Eiffel Tower in Paris is 1,0241/2 feet to the top of the flagpole.
The great limestone and steel structure has been called a monument to an epoch the boom years from 1924 to 1929. The building became, as those who envisioned it promised, an internationally known address.
The superb main shaft of the Empire State rises in an almost unbroken line out of the broad five-story base that covers approximately two acres adjoining Fifth Avenue. Atop the shaft, at the eighty-sixth floor level, is the 2oo-foot observation tower a sixteen-story glass and metal extension shaped like an inverted test tube buttressed by great flaring corner piers. Though the design of the tower is pleasing in itself, it has been widely criticized for a lack of unity in its relation to the shaft.
Its architectural importance far transcends the matter of height alone. The design, for which Shreve, Lamb, and Harmon won the gold medal of the Architectural League in 1931, is essentially modern. The great tower walls are composed almost entirely of standardized machine-made parts. Not only the windows but the cast aluminum panels or "spandrels" under them, even the stone column facings and the steel strips that enclose them, are standardized units. The pattern window, spandrel, window, spandrel is repeated without a break for 725 feet. Such a wall treatment is the direct opposite in conception of such early skyscraper buildings as the Flatiron, where each story is adorned with a minor horizontal terra-cotta cornice.
A peculiarity of the Empire State Building is that the windows, instead of being set back into the wall, appear to be flush so that the effect is one of a continuous wall. By this expedient the architects not only avoided gouging the wall into something resembling an immense waffle iron, they also eliminated the need to trim the stone around the openings, thus saving much time and money in construction.
The color scheme of the building, though losing its remarkable first "blond" tone through weathering, is spectacular in early and late sunlight.
The aluminum spandrels and the soft-textured limestone are tinged with gray and lavender, and the silvery sheen of metal on the walls creates an effect of airy lightness.
On Fifth Avenue a monumental but somewhat dull entrance, flanked by heavy stone pylons the full height of the five-story base, opens into a long hall, three stories high and lined with Rellante and Rose Famosa marbles. The high silver-leaf ceiling is painted in metallic colors with geometric patterns suggesting stars, sunbursts, and snowflakes. On the wall opposite the Fifth Avenue entrance is a great brass and aluminum plaque depicting the Empire State under a blazing sun. Subsidiary entrances give access to the building from both Thirty-third and Thirty-fourth Streets.
The entire building is planned around a central core roughly pyramidshaped, containing the utilities and the sixty-seven elevators. Though run at a lesser speed, the self- leveling elevators can rise 1,200 feet a minute. Because of its height, nearly one-third of the whole must be devoted to elevators and utilities. In rentable floor space, the Empire State, with 2,158,000 square feet, ranks among the three largest office buildings in the United States, the others being the Merchandise Mart in Chicago and the RCA Building at Rockefeller Center.
The speed with which the Empire State was built set a new mark in construction efficiency. On October i, 1929, the first truck rolled into the former Waldorf-Astoria Hotel to begin demolition; May i, 1931, the completed Empire State Building was formally opened by Alfred E. Smith, its president. When construction (by Starrett Brothers anfl Eken) was in full swing, an average of four and a half stories were erected every week, and at top speed, fourteen and a half stories in ten working days. Because of lack of sidewalk storage space, the supplying of building materials had to be synchronized exactly with construction speed. The land cost sixteen million dollars, the purchase including the magnificent old Waldorf, which had occupied the site some thirty-five years and had itself cost thirteen million dollars.
In the first five years of its existence, more than four million visited the building's observatories on the 86th and 1O2nd floors, whence, on clear days, a fifty-mile panorama is visible. The city, with its waterways and suburbs, spreads like a relief map a quarter of a mile below; and directions for identifying the various points are marked on the observation terrace. To the south, near the tip of Manhattan, is the Wall Street district. To the southeast lies Brooklyn, and crossing the East River are the Williamsburg, Manhattan, and Brooklyn bridges, from north to south. In the southwest, the Statue of Liberty is outlined, and beyond it lies Staten Island.
To the west are the docks of the Hudson (North) River where ocean liners are berthed ; on the other side of the water is the ridge of the Palisades; and beyond, the flatlands of New Jersey. In the northwest the Orange Mountains dim the horizon far beyond the Palisades ; in the immediate foreground is Broadway, cutting diagonally through the Garment Center and Times Square, and then swerving west and continuing north to Yonkers. The sheer white wall of the RCA Building of Rockefeller Center dominates the foreground directly north ; beyond it lies rectangular Central Park. In the vague distance across the snake-like Harlem River, extends the Bronx.
To the northeast, Fifth Avenue cuts straight through the vista that comprises the skyscrapers of the mid-town section: the view moves clockwise from the hotels of Central Park South and the Plaza to the twin towers of the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, then to the gold-leafed tower of the New York Central Building. The Chanin, Chrysler, Daily News buildings and the mass of Tudor City mark the Forty-second Street line to the East River. Welfare Island, with its hospitals, lies under Queensboro Bridge to the northeast, and past the river stretches the borough of Queens, the World's Fair Grounds lying near the north shore. Directly east, the most conspicuous landmark is Bellevue Hospital on the west bank of the river. Initiates visit the tower in the late afternoon, dine in the cafe on the eighty-sixth floor, and stay until the lights of the city come on.
METROPOLITAN OPERA HOUSE
Efforts to provide a new building for the Metropolitan Opera House are made perennially indeed, Rockefeller Center is a by-product of this move ment. Yet, the warehouse-like yellow-brick structure that occupies an entire block on the edge of the garment district, remains the home of the world's foremost opera company: and within its original domicile the opera continues to expand its activities and enlarge its functions.
The opening of the Metropolitan Opera House in 1883 was part of the great wave of artistic endeavor which arose in America in post-Civil War days. The new moneyed aristocracy, assuming in the last decades of the nineteenth century the role of art patron, depended for its aesthetic tutelage on the taste of contemporary European capitals. Immense numbers of paintings, sculptures, and architectural models, both good and bad, were imported. New museums appeared in American cities, and great private collections were initiated.
With all this grandiose expansion of artistic enterprise, there were, however, certain misgivings when the ambitious plans for opera in America were announced. The New York Times wrote that the auditorium envisioned for the presentation of Italian opera was "on a scale of possibly too great magnitude." Its interior would "dazzle the eyes" of an assemblage accustomed to "the primitive surroundings" of the old Academy of Music, its predecessor on Fourteenth Street.
The opera house was designed by J. C. Cady, a prominent architect of the day. That Mr. Cady was without experience in theater construction seemed to matter little ; audiences ever since have paid for his mistakes, as but half the stage can be seen from the side seats of the balcony and fam ily circle. What did matter at the time, especially to the press and to readers of its society columns, was that the opera house had a "Golden Horseshoe" two tiers of boxes and a row of baignoires occupied by the seventy original stockholders, among them the Vanderbilts, the Morgans, and the Goulds.
Henry E. Abbey directed the opera during the first season. At the opening performance Vianesi conducted and Christine Nilsson sang the role of Marguerite in Faust. The Horseshoe was crowded with patrons whose total wealth was estimated at more than five hundred million dollars. Socially the first season was successful, but financially it showed an estimated loss of six hundred thousand dollars, a deficit underwritten by patrons who thus established a precedent.
The following year Dr. Leopold Damrosch, German- American musician (1832-85), became the director. He suggested the introduction of the music of Wagner, then hardly known in New York and considered extremely radical. Wagner's works filled the house with delighted audiences, and incidentally reduced the deficit.
Fire gutted the supposedly fireproof structure in August, 1892. It was quickly rebuilt, and reopened in November, 1893. Ten years later, it was redesigned by Carrere and Hastings, who eliminated the baignoires of the Golden Horseshoe and retained the two tiers of boxes which came to be known as the Diamond Horseshoe. Because of limited funds, the architects chose to treat the entrances and corridors simply and to splurge in the auditorium itself, which was fashioned into a magnificent, spacious hall. The tiers sweep around in great horizontal arcs from the proscenium. Vigorous carved decorations impart a sense of richness to the generous and handsome proportions of the auditorium.
Opera continued to appeal to a large number of opera goers as a spectacle rather than as music. Audiences demanded familiar works Atda, II Trovatore, Faust and, because this exotic business was associated with foreigners in the popular mind, native singers often masqueraded under alien names. (Precedent for this custom was set the first season, when Al wina Valleria [Schoening] sang the role of Leonora in // Trovatore.) Meanwhile the star system, abandoned to some extent through the Wagnerian period, was resumed in 1898 under the directorship of Maurice Grau. During the "golden age of song," names, world-famous then, and still well-remembered, headed the bills: the De Reszkes, Nordica, Scotti, Sembrich, Lehmann, Eames, Calve, Schumann-Heink. Caruso, under the directorship of Heinrich Conried, made a nervous debut in Rigoletto, November 23, 1903. The next year he opened the season in Atda, the first of sixteen consecutive "Caruso opening nights." His last appearance was in Elisir d'Amore; although he suffered from a hemorrhage he insisted on singing and was able to finish an entire act. He died in 1921.
Arturo Toscanini during his tenure as conductor, from 1908 until 1915, established the highest musical standards the Metropolitan has known, and his departure, after disagreements with the management, was a severe loss to American opera. But the man who probably influenced the Metropolitan more than any other was Gatti-Casazza, who became director in 1908 and remained in charge until 1935. He widened the Opera's repertory to include new and varied works: Pelleas et Melisande by Debussy; Boris Godounoff by Moussorgsky (the title role played by Chaliapin) ; the neglected classics of Gluck and Mozart; and recent compositions, including Walter Damrosch's Cyrano de Bergerac, and Deems Taylor's Peter Ibbetson and The King's Henchman for which Edna St. Vincent Millay wrote the libretto. He introduced to Metropolitan audiences such singers as Gio vanni Martinelli, Amelia Galli-Curci, and Kirsten Flagstad. Salome was first produced by the Metropolitan, January 22, 1907, with Olive Fremstad in the leading role, but the Dance of the Seven Veils aroused protest, and the management did not offer the opera again until January 13, 1934. Two outstanding events of the Gatti-Casazza tenure were the world premieres of Puccini's Girl of 'the Golden West and Humperdinck's Goose Girl.
From 1910 to 1929, the management not only succeeded in operating the Metropolitan on a sound financial basis but also accumulated a surplus.
With the depression, however, the contributions of stockholders fell off, and although crowds might stand in line for seats in the family circle or for standing room, the balconies might be packed by the time the late arrivals reached their places in box and orchestra, bravos might thunder from under the roof, there was always a deficit at the end of the season. The Metropolitan faced ruin.
Then, in 1935, a reorganization was effected. The Metropolitan Opera Association was formed, with a management committee that included John Erskine as chairman, Lucrezia Bori, Cornelius Bliss, and Allen Wardwell. Public contributions were solicited, and a subsidy was obtained from the Juilliard Musical Foundation. The association sold radio rights for Satur day matinee broadcasts, receiving as much as ninety thousand dollars a season. Edward Johnson, for many years a Metropolitan tenor, was made director. Thus the Metropolitan was saved, and as a result of the radio broadcasts it had achieved a great popular audience. Appreciative letters were received from farmers, filling-station attendants, cowpunchers. The institution had definitely altered its relation to society.
THE NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY
In other directions as well, it was on its way toward becoming a national institution. American ballets were presented during three successive seasons (1935-8). To encourage American singers several hundred young voices from all parts of the Nation are heard each season by a committee of musicians ; the best are given an opportunity to sing on radio programs, and some are selected for the spring opera season. Those who distinguish themselves participate in the regular winter performances. Together with regular broadcasts of the best symphony music, the free concerts given in museums and other public buildings, and the Federal music theaters, the Metropolitan Opera of today is a significant part of a tendency toward the broad dissemination of musical culture.
THE NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY: THE CENTRAL BUILDING
Eleven thousand readers and visitors, on an average day, enter the Fifth Avenue building of the New York Public Library. Here is the center of a library system which, exclusive of separate systems in Brooklyn and Queens, is second in size in America only to the Library of Congress. In the reference department, which occupies the greater part of this building, eighty miles of shelves are crowded with more than two and one-half million books. Approximately a million and one-half books more are available through the Circulation Department, which comprises fifty-one branches and eleven subbranches in Manhattan, Richmond, and the Bronx. The library's collections are strong in history and biography, especially in relation to America; supplementing tens of thousands of books in the Americana collections are thousands of prints and etchings, and scores of valuable documents and maps dealing with the nation's history.
The building, which occupies the site of the old Croton Reservoir, was designed by the firm of Carrere and Hastings, architects, and completed in 1911. It cost $9,000,000. Architecturally, it is an outstanding example of the eclectic neoclassic style that was popular following the Chicago Columbian Exposition of 1893. The building has been much criticized for lack of functional expression, overabundant detail, and the sacrifice of utilitarian values for the sake of appearance. Nonetheless, it fully justifies the pride of its generation, for it was and still is a magnificent civic monument. Its huge substantial bulk of white Vermont marble, ornately decorated, darkened by the weathering of time and thereby made to seem more massive, commands attention even on Fifth Avenue, bordered as it now is with new, spectacular architecture.
Thomas Hastings, of the firm of Carrere and Hastings, was never completely satisfied with the Fifth Avenue front, and made numerous studies for its alteration. His widow provided in her will a sum of money which might be applied to the cost of alterations. The west, or rear, elevation is artistically beyond criticism even from the functionalist standpoint; tall narrow windows, lighting the seven floors of stacks within, extend all the way to the large windows of the reading rooms in the. attic story, forming a facade that is truthfully and skillfully handled.
A long forecourt, extending the full length of the Fifth Avenue side, has become familiar throughout the nation as a meeting place for all classes. A few broad steps flanked by E. C. Potter's famous couchant lions lead to a raised, pigeon-inhabited walk, separated from the street by a stone parapet. For more than a generation this place has attracted tourists, eccentrics, lovers, visiting celebrities, and itinerant intellectuals from the farthest corners of the country.
The facade is dominated by a central pavilion with a triple-arched deepset portico and coupled Corinthian columns. Surmounting the colonnade is an attic parapet embellished with six vigorously modeled figures, by Paul W. Bartlett, representing History, Drama, Poetry, Religion, Romance, and Philosophy. The fountain figures in wall niches on either side of the portico, by Frederick MacMonnies, represent Truth and Beauty. The grotesque sculptural groups in the pedimented end pavilions, by George Gray Barnard, represent History and Art.
The entrance from Fifth Avenue leads into a two-story vestibule with a vaulted ceiling of veined white Vermont marble and wide stairways on opposite sides of the hall. The effect is impressive and cold, but the scene is humanized by the busy information desk facing the entrance, and by the activities of those who use the hall (with its four marble benches) as a meeting place.
The immense size of the entrance hall, the elaborate series of stairways, the wide corridors, the vistas of columns and vaulting, may seem improvident in view of a relative shortage of actual library space. But the library is more than a place for the study of books ; in effect it is a center of the city's intellectual life, and the monumental character of its design is, therefore, appropriate.
An elaborate classification and shelving system, by which any book in the Forty-second Street collection can be brought to the delivery desk in six and one-half minutes, is entirely modern in character. Delivery centers about Room 315, which houses three units: the Public Catalogue Room and the adjoining North and South Main Reading Rooms. The reading rooms constitute, in effect, a single hall of vast scale with an elaborately decorated ceiling. Every item of the immense reference collection is indexed and cross-indexed in the catalogue six million entries in all.
In the American History Room (300) are books from the libraries of George Bancroft, James Lenox, Gordon Lester Ford, Thomas Addis Emmet, and Theodore Bailey Myers; and dictionaries and grammars of the Indian languages. The Economics Division (Room 228) possesses the Dugdale Collection of books on pauperism and criminology, the Henry George Collection on single tax, and a comprehensive collection of midnineteenth-century works on socialism. More than 3,000 languages and dialects are represented in the library's collection. Of these, more than 50,000 volumes, some of them purchased with the Jacob H. Schiff Fund, are to be found in the Jewish Division (Room 216). Mr. Schiff also gave the library 317 water-color paintings, by James Tissot, illustrating the Old Testament. Other separate language collections are the Slavonic, in Room 216, and the Oriental, in Room 219. In the Music Room (324) are more than 75,000 catalogued items: books, pamphlets, orchestra scores, sheet music, and phonograph recordings.
The Rare Book Room (303), entered only by special permission, contains 50,000 treasures, including the Lenox copy of the Gutenberg Bible, in two volumes ; the only known existing copy of the original folio edition in Spanish (printed in Barcelona in April, 1493) of Christopher Columbus' letter concerning his discoveries in America; the full first folio edition of Shakespeare (1623) ; and the Bay Psalm Book, printed in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 1640, the first English book published in America. The final draft of Washington's "Farewell Address," in his own handwriting, and other American and British documents of historical importance are in the Manuscript Room (319). Here, and in the Spencer Collection (Room 322), are more than 100 illuminated manuscripts produced in Europe from the ninth to the sixteenth centuries. In the Spencer Room rare illuminated manuscripts from the Spencer Collection and superbly illustrated and finely bound books are displayed. Among the noteworthy items is the early fourteenth-century Tickhill Psalter.
The Newspaper Room, near the Forty-second Street entrance, attracts a cosmopolitan group of readers. It has current newspapers from all parts of the world, and files of New York City newspapers of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Some papers are now available on rolls of motion-picture film, a single one reproducing, by means of microphotography, an entire month's output of a metropolitan daily.
Special art or bibliographic exhibitions are generally on view in Rooms 112, 113, 316, 321, and 322. Along the walls of the third-floor corridors are old Dutch, English, French, and Italian maps of the New World, as well as early American prints of both documentary and artistic value.
These are part of the Phelps Stokes Collection of American Historical Prints, presented to the library in 1930. Among them is Paul Revere's engraving of the British landing in Boston in 1768.
In the Lenox Gallery (Room 318) are three portraits of Washington: two by Gilbert Stuart, and a copy by Rembrandt Peale of Stuart's first portrait. Munkacsy's Blind Milton Dictating to His Daughters typifies the narrative painting popular in the last century. There are portraits by Gains borough and Reynolds, landscapes by Landseer and Morland, and Copley's distinguished Lady Frances Wentworth.
The Stuart Gallery, opposite the Main Catalogue Room, contains additional examples of the anecdotal painting of the middle-nineteenth century, when works entitled Hope and Faith and Pilgrims Going to Church were admired. It has some fine examples of the Hudson River school. Sunday visitors will find this collection closed, as its donor, Mrs. Robert L. Stuart, stipulated.
The Print Room (308) contains more than 100,000 items, including full sets of Whistler and Haden, an excellent selection of English engravings and Japanese prints, and innumerable American historical prints. Diirer is well represented, and there are 800 prints by Daumier, including the only etching he ever made, 900 lithographs by Joseph Pennell, and a complete set of Mielatz's views of New York City. Another group comprises eighty engravings of Turner's work, etched by the painter himself. The library possesses one of the best contemporary collections in the city, purchased with moneys from the Samuel P. A very Fund.
Operating expenses of the central building are paid from the interest of the nearly $44,000,000 principal fund of the library. The branches and the Circulation Department are maintained through municipal appropriations. The library is administered by the staff officers and a board of trustees, including the mayor, the comptroller, and the president of the City Council as ex-ofncio members.
The library developed from the consolidation of the Astor and Lenox li braries and the Tilden Trust, effected in 1895. This great institution was built as much by the devotion of the people who fought for free libraries in the face of general indifference as by generous gifts. James Green Cogswell, a teacher, persuaded the first John Jacob Astor that a "fitting testimonial to his adopted country by its richest citizen" should be a library. (A huge monument to Washington had been favored for a time.) In 1848 the schoolmaster who "had stayed at the old gentleman's elbow to push him on" had his reward. Astor, in his will, gave $400,000 and a plot of land to the city for a library, and accordingly a reference library was opened in 1854 on Lafayette Place. Together with books and bequests by members of the Astor family, it represents a total of $1,000,000. The Lenox Library, opened in 1875, was founded by James Lenox, book lover and scholar; at the time of consolidation, it contained 85,000 volumes and had an endowment fund of $505,000. Samuel J. Tilden, governor of New York in 1874 and Democratic candidate for President in 1876, died in 1886 and left his money for a free library and reading room. The Tildren Trust brought an endowment of $2,000,000, after the original bequest of about $4,000,000 had been reduced by a successful contesting of the Tilden will.
The Lenox Library had been intended for scholars rather than for popular use. In the i88o's the experience of the Astor and Lenox libraries made it seem foolhardy to expect that public libraries would be supported, and with the establishment of the Tilden Fund a consolidation with the Astor and Lenox libraries was sought. Meanwhile, women of the Grace Episcopal Church, adopting a different approach, had collected 500 books and obtained a room on Thirteenth Street for a popular library. Readers, no longer overawed by the magnificence of the earlier institutions the Astor Library, for instance, had liveried doormen came in such numbers that the sidewalks were blocked during the two hours once a week when the library was open. Such libraries soon were established in other neighborhoods, and in 1887 they were united as the New York Free Circulating Library, and financial help was given by the city. In order to benefit from a $5,200,000 gift made by Andrew Carnegie to the city for library buildings, the New York Free Circulating Library with eleven branches joined the Astor-Lenox-Tilden consolidation in 1900, and still later, nine other independent libraries were united with it. Thus began the New York Public Library's Circulation Department.
Today, the offices of the Circulation Department, the Department's Union Catalogue, the Picture Collection, Central Children's Room, and the Central Circulation Branch are in the Central Building.
Notable among the branches are the Music Library, 121 East Fifty-eighth Street, the Municipal Reference Library, Municipal Building, and the Library for the Blind, 137 West Twenty-fifth Street. More than 10,000,000 books are lent to readers annually by the Circulation Department, and the Picture Collection, with a classified stock of more than 800,000, makes nearly 900,000 loans a year.
MADISON SQUARE GARDEN
New Yorkers think only of what happens inside of Madison Square Garden. The rare individual who wanders down Forty-ninth or Fiftieth Street for a view of the building itself sees nothing but blank brick walls and fire escapes. The main entrance opens on Eighth Avenue through an arcade, but the Garden proper is concealed behind a smaller structure and runs back toward Ninth Avenue.
This plain building is, however, already famous as America's chief indoor arena. Charity benefits, national political conventions, championship prize fights, cowboy rodeos all draw throngs to Madison Square Garden. The composition of the crowd on one night contrasts sharply with that of another. From the vantage of a $315 box, the aristocracy, in evening attire, politely applauds the horse show. Twenty-five cents is the price of admission to a Communist rally at which 20,000 people rock the Garden with cheers. Politicians, sportsmen, and socially prominent personalities occupy $16.50 ringside seats to watch a pair of heavyweights in action for an hour or less, while hoi polloi sit in cheap seats under the roof. On a good night patrons eat 12,000 hot dogs, washed down with 1,000 gallons of beer and soda pop, while sixty private policemen, unarmed, are stationed there to prevent disorder.
From the top balcony at the Ninth Avenue end, an Olympic ski jumper darts down a slide, hangs momentarily in the air, lands on a snow mound, and stops near the Eighth Avenue end of the arena. Children crowd under the big top for circus matinees. For seventy-five cents a sleepless night is spent at the six-day bicycle races. Three thousand carefully reared and pedigreed pets compete in a dog show. The President makes a speech at a political meeting. A world champion figure skater dances the tango under a spotlight. A professional hockey game is halted by a brawl while fans add to the racket with cowbells and jeers. Tennis matches, basketball games, track meets, and trade exhibitions are among the events staged regularly in the arena. A $34,000 mineral- wool ceiling was especially provided to improve the acoustics when Paderewski played for charity.
Madison Square Garden is a successor to two earlier Gardens that were actually on Madison Square, at Madison Avenue and East Twenty-sixth Street. The first of these occupied the abandoned New York and Harlem (Railroad) Union Depot that had housed Barnum's Hippodrome and then Gilmore's Garden before acquiring the name Madison Square Garden in 1879. It was replaced in 1890 by the building later known as the "old Garden." P. T. Barnum, J. P. Morgan, and Darius Mills were among its directors. Stanford White designed the structure one of the most impressive of its day. Its beautiful tower, copied from the Giralda in Seville, was surmounted by Augustus Saint-Gaudens' statue of Diana. In the roof garden White was killed in 1906 by Harry K. Thaw, and the murder developed into one of the outstanding scandals of the era.
Saint-Gaudens had clothed Diana in a drapery but this was soon torn away by the winds. The graceful figure was a welcome and familiar sight for many years. It was only when the building was demolished that those who concerned themselves with the fate of the lovely lady discovered that she was put together with rivets as large as those in a battleship. SaintGaudens' Diana is today a New York legend. The Pennsylvania Museum of Art owns her in what might be called the flesh. A working model stands in a niche in the Museum of the City of New York.
The old Garden became a national show place, scene of a bewildering variety of events. There William Jennings Bryan accepted the Democratic nomination for President, Adelina Patti sang, and Jack Dempsey knocked out Bill Brennan in defense of the heavyweight title. Six-day go-as-youplease (walk, run, or crawl) races, the Wild West Show, aquatic exhibitions in the mammoth pool, the first American automobile shows, and mass meetings of the Christian Endeavor Society drew large audiences.
Two master showmen Tex Rickard, gambler, promoter, and cattleman, and John Ringling, circus magnate were responsible for the success of the old Garden. Rickard's first local enterprise, the Willard-Moran fight, grossed $250,000. His spectacular methods were so effective that, when the Garden was razed to make room for the New York Life Insurance Company Building, he was able to interest a group of financiers in the construction of a new and greater Garden, a project he directed until his death in 1929.
The present Garden was designed by Thomas W. Lamb, theater architect, and constructed in 1925. It has a seating capacity of 18,903 for boxing bouts, 15,500 for hockey games, and 14,500 for bicycle races. The building can be emptied of a capacity crowd in five minutes. The roof of the structure is carried by steel trusses that make columns largely unnecessary, thus permitting a clear view of the arena from almost any seat. The main seating section, comprising whorls of seats on an incline, rims the elliptical arena floor. Two balconies, similar to the main section, are cantilevered from the walls. When only part of the arena floor is used for staging events, the remainder is filled with rows of seats. The land and building cost $5,600,000.
The different uses to which the arena is put requires flexibility in its plant operation and extraordinary efficiency on the part of the Garden staff.
Within three or four hours after a hockey game, for instance, two tractors clear the rink of ice and a gang of thirty men cleans house and prepares the arena with a ring and 4,200 additional seats for a championship boxing bout the next evening. Brine flowing through thirteen miles of pipe under the concrete floor freezes the rink for hockey again in eight hours. In six or seven hours two pulverizers driven by internal combustion motors change 500 tons of ice into snow for the annual Winter Sports Show. Since no satisfactory sectional track has as yet been designed, 300 men build a new track for each six-day bicycle race, completing it in eight hours at a cost of about five thousand dollars. During the horse show, the circus, and the rodeo, the animals are quartered in the basement: a contractor, on such occasions, "rents" 690 tons of earth to the Garden for $2,500.
The Garden is operated by the Madison Square Garden Corporation, of which Colonel John Reed Kilpatrick is president. Its income is derived from the promotion of sports events and from rentals. Among the annual spectacles are the Six-Day Bicycle Race, the Winter Sports Show, the Skating Carnival, and the New York Police and Firemen's Shows. The arena has been rented to the Ringling Brothers-Barnum and Bailey Circus for twenty-seven days each spring at the flat rate of $100,000; the price for most public meetings is $3,500 a night on weekdays and $5,000 a night on Saturdays and Sundays. Professional hockey, which the Garden controls in New York, is perhaps the most consistently profitable venture, with the gate running well over $700,000 a year. The Garden owns the New York Rangers, and receives 40 per cent of the receipts from the games of the New York Americans. The amateur Rovers, who play Sunday afternoons, provide a "farm" for the Rangers.
With the economic depression and the passing of the million-dollar gate,the Garden's income dwindled. But in 1932, despite the adverse business situation, the Garden spent $160,000 to build the Madison Square Garden Bowl, seating 80,000 people, in Long Island City. Though the Bowl proved of little or no profit (having been used only for an occasional prize fight and in 1936 for midget auto racing on a specially constructed asphalt track), the Garden has recovered from the lean days of the early 1930's.
The Garden is still said to be "the largest and most prosperous sports organization in the world." From early October until late May the arena is rarely empty. But when the thirty-six circus elephants lumber from the building, signaling the close of the season, the Garden goes dark. Then, for four months, New York is quieter and less colorful.
The twelve buildings of Rockefeller Center constitute not only a vast skyscraper group but an organized city. The group, said to be the largest ever undertaken by private enterprise, represents the belated culmination of the boom of the 1920's.
Covering twelve land acres in the fashionable mid-town shopping district, the project includes a vast skyscraper office center, a shopping center, an exhibition center, and a radio and amusement center. The western front, along Sixth Avenue, is made up of buildings devoted primarily to entertainment: the RKO Building and the adjoining Radio City Music Hall, the National Broadcasting Company's extension of the seventy-story RCA Building, and the Center Theater. The name "Radio City," which is often incorrectly applied to all of Rockefeller Center, properly designates only this western portion.
Sharing the eastern exposure, four lesser buildings serve as Fifth Avenue showcases for foreign nations: the British Empire Building, La Maison Francaise, the Palazzo d' Italia, and the International Building East. Slightly behind the latter two rises the forty-one-story International Building. The Time and Life Building, the Associated Press Building, and 30 Rockefeller Plaza (RCA Building) tower about the plaza, as will Holland House, one of the two new buildings still to be constructed (1939).
In its architecture Rockefeller Center stands as distinctively for New York as the Louvre stands for Paris. Composed of the essential elements of New York skyscrapers steel framing and curtain walls, encasing elevators and offices the group relies for exterior decoration almost exclusively on the pattern of its windows, piers, spandrels, and wall surfaces. Its beauty derives from a significant play of forms, and light and shadow.
Its character abrupt, stark, jagged, and powerful arises fundamentally from the spacing of the buildings, from their direct functionalism, their mass, their silhouette, and their grayish-tan color; not (as in the case of the buildings surrounding the nearby Grand Army Plaza) from ornamental roofs, reminiscent styles, or elaborate setbacks. The color tone of the Center is given by the warm tan limestone walls, the slate-gray cast aluminum spandrels under the windows, and especially by the light-blue window shades inside ; the gray of the whole, blending into the surrounding atmosphere, adds to the apparent height of the group.
Noteworthy is the integration of architecture with such "allied arts" as mural painting, sculpture, metal work, mosaic, wood veneering, and the like. Where individual skyscrapers in the past have boasted of employing a single painter and sculptor in addition to the architect to direct the work, Rockefeller Center gave employment to painters, sculptors, and decorators by whole groups and schools. The three architectural firms sharing equally the credit are Reinhard and Hofmeister ; Corbett, Harrison, and MacMurray ; and Hood and Fouilhoux.
In terms of site planning, Rockefeller Center represents a complete departure from similar developments in New York and other large cities. It is the first group of tall buildings that does not simply face on the existing streets. Instead, the three blocks were freshly considered as a unit. The RCA Building, as the tallest, was placed close to the center of the plot. To reach it, a new private street, "Rockefeller Plaza," was established, running north and south between Forty-eight and Fifty-first Streets, and a pedestrian walk was cut through to Fifth Avenue. All the other chief buildings are staggered both as to height and location, in order to shade one another as little as possible and to build an interesting composition of forms. Two of the twelve acres of the Center's site are open areas. The tower-like shapes of such structures as the Empire State Building result from the application of setback regulations to buildings on relatively small plots; the large scope of the site planning of the Center, on the other hand, made possible the characteristically slab-like main buildings with long, narrow, and efficient floor areas, easily penetrated by sunlight and fresh air.
The most impressive entrance to the Center is from Fifth Avenue through the Channel, a pedestrian passage 60 feet wide and 200 feet long that separates the British Empire Building from La Maison Franchise. Six shallow pools bordered with yew hedges, in the center of this esplanade, are fed by bronze fountainheads designed by Rene P. Chambellan to represent rollicking tritons and nereids. The Channel slopes from Fifth Avenue down to a flight of stone steps that lead to the lower plaza, eighteen feet below street level. The plaza, 125 feet long and 95 feet wide, may be flooded for winter ice skating, or embellished with hedges and flower beds for summer use as an outdoor cafe. Against its west wall, Paul Manship's huge bronze figure of Prometheus rises above spouting streams of water. Prometheus has been the target of caustic criticism; his detractors have nicknamed him "Leaping Looie." From the top of the stairway, walks diverge, following the rim of the lower plaza past a series of fountains set in greenery to Rockefeller Plaza. Across this street is the entrance to the RCA Building.
Several doorways leading from the lower plaza to an underground concourse hint at Rockefeller Center's subterranean activity. A great underground shipping center and three-quarters of a mile of passages are entered through a 4OO-foot truck ramp just east of the Music Hall. A branch ramp turns off to a shipping room beneath the International Building, then enters the main truck area at a point directly beneath the lower plaza. This system handles all freight deliveries except those to the theaters and the RKO Building.
The 850-foot RCA (Radio Corporation of America) Building, the central member of the group, is one of New York's tallest structures and, in gross area, the largest office building in the world (1939). Its huge, broad, flat north and south facades, its almost unbroken mass, and its thinness are the features that impelled observers to nickname it the "Slab." The entrance is presided over by a rather astonishing bearded giant floating over a compass, in token of "the genius which interprets the laws and cycles of the cosmic forces of the universe to mankind." The side panels represent two of the "cosmic forces": Light and Sound. The whole was sculptured by Lee Lawrie. The screen below, with the appearance of crumpled cellophane, is made of square blocks of pyrex glass.
The walls of the elevator banks in the middle of the two-story lobby are covered by large murals. Those on the south wall are by Jose Maria Sert and represent "man's intellectual mastery of the material universe" ; they deal with the evolution of machinery, the eradication of disease, the abolition of slavery, and the suppression of war. Those on the north, by Frank Brangwyn, depict "man's conquest of the physical world," portraying respectively the cultivation of the soil, the development of machinery, and the hope of mankind's salvation the lessons of the Sermon on the Mount. A mural, painted by Diego Rivera and originally in this lobby, caused an international controversy when the management first screened it and finally destroyed it, contending that the artist had departed from the approved preliminary sketch. Others held that the mural was destroyed because it included a likeness of Lenin. The case became a classic conflict between the artistic rights of a creator and the property rights of a purchaser. The space is now occupied by a Sert mural depicting the triumph of man's accomplishments through the union of physical and mental labor. The Museum of Science and Industry (see page 342) is entered from the lobby.
The Sixth Avenue entrance to the RCA Building is surmounted by a glass mosaic by Barry Faulkner. Industriously assembled of about a million pieces of glass in 250 shades of color, it represents "thought enlightening the world." About thirty feet above the mosaic, in the spaces between windows, are four sculptured panels by Gaston Lachaise, American sculptor of the modern school. They are titled Genius Receiving the Light of the Sun, Conquest of Space, Gifts of Earth to Mankind, and Spirit of Progress.
The most widely known tenants of the RCA Building are the National Broadcasting Company and its parent, the Radio Corporation of America. NBC's twenty-seven broadcasting studios, offices and other facilities occupy about four hundred thousand square feet of space on ten floors. These quarters, air-conditioned, sound-proofed, and equipped for television, are the home of WEAF and WJZ, the key stations of NBC's Red and Blue networks, respectively, and form the largest broadcasting establishment in the world.
In the eastern end of the sixty-fifth floor is the Rainbow Room, a night club, where a color organ throws shifting patterns on a reflecting dome and a crystal chandelier over a revolving dance floor. The Rainbow Grill, at the western end of the same floor, is less formal in decoration and atmosphere.
The seventieth-floor observatory promenade, 200 feet long and 20 feet wide, affords one of the finest views of New York. At the eleventh-floor level, directly over the NBC studios, is the largest of the seven roof gardens in the development. Visitors enter directly upon the International Rock Garden, where specimens from all over the world are arranged along a stream that cascades, winds, and twists for a distance of 1 2 5 feet along the terrace. There are a native American garden, with its old rail fence and shaded pool; typical Spanish, Italian, Japanese, Dutch, and aquatic gardens; and, perhaps the most successful of all, an English garden with a sundial from Donnington Castle and fine examples of yew planting.
Offices of many motion-picture producers and distributors are in the thirty-one story RKO (Radio-Keith-Orpheum) Building which faces Sixth Avenue above Fiftieth Street. Three large panels, carved by Robert Garrison, extend across the Sixth Avenue facade; their subject is "Radio Spreading the Inspiration of the Past and Present." A mural by Boardman Robinson hangs in the lobby. Its subject matter is concerned with the spiritual challenge of modern civilization.
Immediately adjoining the RKO Building is the largest indoor theater in the world, Radio City Music Hall. The Music Hall was opened in December, 1932, as a variety house under the direction of Samuel L. ("Roxy") Rothafel. It proved to be an unprofitable white elephant. Soon after, Roxy's mammoth variety shows were abandoned and the present type of show motion picture and variety was instituted under the management of Rockefeller Center, Inc.
The majestic foyer, fifty feet high, sweeps to a grand stairway leading to three mezzanines. Brocatelle wall covering repeats the rich henna of Ezra Winter's large mural above the stairway. Gold wall mirrors extend from the floor to the gold-leaf ceiling.
The spectacular modern auditorium contracts in a series of narrowing arches to the proscenium. Lights, hidden in the telescoped joints of these arches, can suffuse the great curved interior with glowing colors. The unusual excellence of the planning affords a pleasing and efficient arrangement of the seats.
The smoking- and powder-rooms are decorated with the work of Yasuo Kuniyoshi, Henry Billings, Stuart Davis, Witold Gordon, Buk Ulreich, and other artists. In the main lounge is William Zorach's sculptured Dancing Figure and the black walls carry vignettes by Louis Bouche. Robert Laurent's Goose Girl is placed on the first mezzanine. Gwen Lux's sculpture, Eve, stands in the main foyer.
Three circular metal and enamel plaques, representing the Theater, Dance, and Song, designed by Hildreth Meiere and executed by Oscar Bach, are the only decorations on the long Fiftieth Street exterior wall of the Music Hall.
Nearly everything about the Music Hall is tremendous. It seats 6,200 patrons, the staff of 600 employees is paid some $35,000 weekly. The 300ton steel truss that supports the immense golden proscenium arch, sixty feet high, is the heaviest yet used in theater construction. The orchestra is the world's largest theater orchestra, and the screen, seventy by forty feet, is the world's largest. The stage, which cost more than $400,000 to build, has three seventy- foot sections that can be raised forty feet from the subbasement to a position fourteen feet above normal stage level. Another Music Hall superlative concerns the troupe of "Rockettes," whose claim to the title of "world's finest precision dancers" has never been challenged.
The Center Theater, also facing Sixth Avenue, is smaller than the Music Hall and is very different in decor. Its foyer, lighted by five large windows, etched in relief, has Bubinga mahogany walls whose soft tones are accented by vermilion doors leading to the auditorium. The auditorium, seating 3,700 people, has walls of mahogany, and from its decorative ceiling hangs a six- ton chandelier, twenty-five feet in diameter, that is reputed to be the largest in the world. A special ventilating system carries off the heat produced by the four hundred bulbs in the chandelier.
Arthur Crisp, Maurice Heaton, and Edward Steichen were among the artists who decorated the mezzanines and lounges. The Forty-ninth Street exterior wall bears another metal plaque, said to be the largest ever made. Designed by Hildreth Meiere and executed by Oscar Bach, it represents the transmission of electric energy by radio and television.
The Center Theater has been used for motion pictures, for musical spectacles and for popular-priced opera, but it has never established itself as a profitable enterprise. Reduction of its seating capacity has been proposed as a remedy.
The entire western facade of Rockefeller Center could not be seen properly as long as it was partly hidden by the disfiguring Sixth Avenue elevated. Such optimistic expedients as brightening the el structure with aluminum paint were of little help. Now the el is gone.
The Time and Life Building and the Center Theater were the only buildings completed by 1938 in the block between Forty-eighth and Forty-ninth Streets. The former opens on Rockefeller Plaza from the east and is named for the two Luce publications having offices there. It was the temporary home of the Museum of Modern Art (see page 347) in 1938, while a new museum building was being erected. Holland House, a new sixteenstory structure in this block, west of Rockefeller Plaza, was under construction early in 1939.
Because Rockefeller Center, Inc., does not control the Fifth Avenue end of the Forty-eighth to Forty- ninth Street block, the Center presents only a two-block frontage on the east which consists of La Maison Franchise and the British Empire Building, between Forty-ninth and Fiftieth Streets, and the twin six-story extensions of the International Building, called Palazzo d' Italia and International Building East, between Fiftieth and Fifty-first Streets. Architecturally, these four buildings are restrained in design and very similar, even in their formal roof gardens.
The main entrance of the seven-story structure named La Maison Francaise carries a sculptured panel designed by Alfred Janniot in gold-leafed bronze. It greatly flatters its host city by representing Paris and New York joining hands over the figures of Poetry, Beauty, and Elegance. Three sculptured panels by Carl Paul Jennewein decorate the Fifth Avenue entrance of the virtually identical British Empire Building across the promenade, while above them is the British coat-of-arms. In the panels nine figures in gold leaf represent the major industries of the Empire. The north and south entrances bear panels designed by Lee Lawrie. The fagades of both La Maison Franchise and the British Empire Building are topped by carved limestone insets by Rene P. Chambellan. Those on the former building symbolize four epochal" events in French history the sword, the rise of Charlemagne's Empire; the clustered spears, the united effort of new France; the shield, the absolute monarchy under Louis XIV; the fasces, Phrygian cap and laurel, the birth of the Republic. Similarly, those on the British Empire Building are of historical significance, their motifs being the crests of the kingdoms: Wales, England, Scotland, and Ireland.
These two structures are "dedicated to the commerce, industry and art" of their respective nations. Similarly, the Palazzo d'ltalia is dedicated to Italy. The treatment of its facade includes a panel in cast glass by Attilio Piccirilli. The motto "Arte E Lavoro . . . Lavoro E Arte" means "Art is Labor; Labor is Art." The other motto "Sempre Avanti Eterna Giovinezza" means, "Advance Forever, Eternal Youth." Piccirilli designed a similar panel for the International Building East. Between these two northern structures a court, forty-five feet deep, leads to four huge stone piers that connect the two low buildings and form the entrance to the splendid Great Hall of the forty-one-story International Building proper. For decoration, a clever use is made of the reflection, in the plate glass of the lobby, of St. Patrick's Cathedral (located across the street). From the three-sided court, Lee Lawrie's forty-five-foot bronze figure of Atlas beetles down on Fifth Avenue.
The general proportions and treatment of the International Building are like those of the RCA Building. The spaciousness of the lobby, four stories high, sixty feet wide and eighty feet long, is remarkable in a purely commercial building. The design is considered by many to be the best in the Center. The effect of restrained modernism is heightened by the brilliant choice of contrasting materials and the imaginative use of four wide escalators in place of monumental stairways. It houses a United States passport office and many travel agencies, and is particularly well equipped for exhibitions and large displays. The corridors leading from the lobby are notable for the way lighting has been used as decoration.
In 1929 the Rockefeller Center site, most of which was owned by Columbia University, was covered by two-hundred-odd buildings, many of them housing speakeasies. The leases to the land were about to expire and the tract was proposed as a suitable setting for a magnificent new opera house. John D. Rockefeller, Jr., was approached as the most likely backer; when his support was assured the Metropolitan Square Corporation was formed and a lease was negotiated at ten times the sum the university had been deriving from the property. The agreement ceded tenancy to the corporation for twenty-four years, with three renewal options extending to the year 2015, at an annual rental beginning at $3,000,000 and gradually increasing to $3,600,000 by 1952.
The opera house project was abandoned after the Wall Street crash of 1929. Rockefeller was left holding three blocks of non-paying property and staggering rent and tax bills. It was then that the plan was conceived of using the land for a co-ordinated building group as "an example of urban planning for the future."
Under Rockefeller Center, Inc., successor to the Metropolitan Square Corporation, the engineering firms of Todd, Robertson, and Todd, and Todd and Brown commenced work in 1930. One and a quarter million tons of debris were hauled away in wreckage of the old buildings and excavation for the new. Between 1932 and 1938, 88,000 tons of Portland cement and 39,000,000 bricks were joined to structural steel to complete eleven buildings. With the completion of the Associated Press Building in 1938 only two buildings remained to be constructed. Holland House was to go up behind the Center Theater at once, and an office structure is planned for the southwest corner of the project.
Long before a shovelful of dirt was turned, Rockefeller Center was severely criticized. The project was called "wasteful and useless," "undistinguished," and "inartistic" as the first buildings rose. Disagreements with artists added to the confusion. Yet, out of the clamor of disparaging voices, the development grew: Rockefeller Center's position among the city's institutions is now secure. Reproach has given way to respect. New York began to be proud of these strong new towers. Approximately 80,000 visitors appear every day as well as 20,000 permanent tenants. The NBC studios alone draw about 700,000 sightseers annually, while about 900,000 people attend broadcasts.
Not the least of the many Rockefeller Center features that merit the title, "world's largest" is the mortgage, which is held by the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company. It amounts to $44,300,000.
NEW YORK MUSEUM OF SCIENCE AND INDUSTRY
RCA Building, Rockefeller Center, 30 Rockefeller Plaza.
Housed appropriately in a setting typical of twentieth-century ingenuity and accomplishment, the museum is a focal point of interest for scientifically curious adults and a wonderland for children. It is known also as the Hall of Motion because its thousands of models, replicas, dioramas, working demonstrations, and visitor-operated machines dramatize the scientific achievements and industrial developments of the machine age ; motion pictures, lectures, and conducted tours supplement these graphic illustrations of simple and complex mechanisms of the past and the present. The museum is visited annually by half a million people.
Approximately twenty-five hundred permanent displays and a constantly changing series of exhibitions lent by notable research laboratories, government agencies, and industrial organizations inform the visitor of the latest inventions, discoveries, and scientific developments. Included in the series of temporary exhibits have been zoning models and unified city planning designs of the New York City Housing Authority, graphic surveys of the work of the Rural Electrification Administration and the Tennessee Valley Authority, a collection of X-ray plates and photographs indicating the progressive steps in a brain operation, "Better Things for Better Living Through Chemistry," "Modern Plastics," "Steels of Today and Tomorrow," and "The Story of Man."
Permanent exhibits are grouped under the general classifications of textiles, shelter, food industries, power, aviation, communication, machine tools, highway, railroad and marine transportation, and electro-technology. Several hundred machines both in model form and actual size are either in continuous operation or may be put in motion at will ; the visitor may op.erate an electric generator, a telautograph, a model locomotive, a power plant, an ocean depth finder, or a radio direction finder. Especially attractive is the experience of handling the controls of an actual airplane.
The 112 examples of sectional machine parts, mounted on the semicircular wall of the main rotunda, are popular features of the museum, for they afford thrilling discovery of machine operations usually hidden from view. Put in operation by means of push buttons, the gears, pulleys, levers, cogs, shafts, pinions, and other parts, brightly colored in red, blue, or green, spin, mesh, revolve, bend, or twist. In a rear section on the same floor, models of an ancient windmill, steam and hydroelectric plants and turbines, and a generating station illustrate the modes of power production. One model reproduces a cross section of the plant of the Brooklyn Edison Company.
Operating demonstrations of epoch-making inventions and discoveries in the story of electrical science are on exhibit in the division devoted to electro-technology ; other demonstrations make clear the fundamental principles involved. Here also are modern business-office machines, such as the punching, sorting, and tabulating devices, that "think like a man."
A collection of ship models arranged in historical sequence begins with an Egyptian boat of 3500 B.C. and features famous ships of different periods, including the liner Normandie. Near by a group of marine engines illustrates the various types that have been developed through the years. The push of a button operates a large model of a floating dock with a ship.
A genuine covered wagon, a sleigh of Colonial days, an Egyptian oxcart of a date prior to 200 B.C. and still in a fine state of preservation, and a Model T Ford (presented by the inventor) are favorites among the vehicles in the highway transportation exhibit.
A comprehensive series of model locomotives, most of which may be operated by button, show progress in railroad transportation, from the Salamanca engine of 1812, the De Witt Clinton, and other famous "characters" of early railroading days up to the electric locomotive of the present.
Examples of coupling and air-brake systems, signaling devices, and switch sections illustrate technical developments.
Scale-model dwellings in appropriate historical settings depict the history of housing from the neolithic lake dweller's shelter to the ultramodern residence of structural glass and stainless steel. Plowing implements, a working demonstration of milk pasteurization, gas and electric refrigerators, models of a sugar refinery, and a modern cold storage plant are features of the food industries division.
The story of the textile industry is graphically told by spinning and weaving machines from the Colonial spinning wheel to the modern headstock, and from hand to power loom and in the samples of fabrics produced by the various processes. An exhibit of interest to many visitors displays several types of modern looms suitable for school or home and finished articles from these looms. Another popular exhibit is a demonstration of the manufacture of rayon from wood chips to finished product.
The museum, established in 1927 by a bequest of Henry Robinson Towne, was known originally as the Museum of Peaceful Arts and was housed in the Scientific American Building. Within three years, however, its rapid growth made larger quarters necessary, and in 1930 the museum moved to the Daily News Building. It was installed in its present quarters in Rockefeller Center in 1936.
ST. PATRICK'S CATHEDRAL
St. Patrick's, America's first major cathedral built in the Gothic Revival style, is the seat of the Archdiocese of the Ecclesiastical Province of New York, which includes the dioceses of Brooklyn, Buffalo, Albany, Rochester, Syracuse, and Ogdenburg. Begun in 1858, the nave was opened November 29, 1877, and the cathedral dedicated May 25, 1879. With the exception of the Lady Chapel and two smaller chapels the entire project was designed by James Renwick (1818-1895).
The cathedral with its dependencies occupies an entire block. Although its twin spires are dwarfed by the skyscrapers of Rockefeller Center and other near-by buildings, its granite 'and marble mass is still impressive.
The design is based upon that of the Cathedral of Cologne; the Fifth Avenue facade is composed of a steep central gable flanked by towers and traceried spires. Above the canopied central portal is a rose window, twenty-six feet in diameter. The exterior is constructed of granite. Owing to the nature of this material much of the delicacy and grace characteristic of Gothic architecture is lost in the detail of the tracery, molded profiles, and carved ornament of the exterior. A purist would be disturbed by the lack of flying buttresses where he would expect to find them ; the pinnacles of the missing buttresses are present, however, though their function is a bit puzzling in view of the lack of stone vaulting inside the church.
The plan of the cathedral is cruciform, with nave, transepts, and choir. The interior is reminiscent of Amiens with a forest of magnificent clustered piers of white marble separating the central aisle from the two side aisles. The unusual height of the side aisles suggests St. Ouen at Rouen, while the clustered columns, with their richly ornamented capitals, and the elaborately vaulted ceiling follow such English examples as York, Exeter, and Westminster Abbey. The triforium above the side aisles affords a continuous passage fifty-six feet above the floor, around the interior, broken only by the walls of the transepts. The entire architectural composition is unusually open and delicate, partly due to the slenderness of the nave piers, which are only five feet in diameter above the base. The interior has dignity and spaciousness, combined with religious somberness.
Forty-five of the seventy stained-glass windows are from the studios of Nicholas Lorin at Chartres, and of Henry Ely at Nantes. Rich in tone some dark, some of pastel lightness and combined with elaborate tracery, they glow in the sunshine, but unfortunately, much of the detail in them is too delicate to be legible at a distance. They become simply patterns of red, yellow, green, blue, and purple against the framework of the stone walls which, in the dusky light, takes on a tone of deepest gray.
The nave extends east from the main portal on Fifth Avenue ; at its eastern end is the glimmering High Altar. Shallow aisle chapels, on both sides of the nave, contain altars dedicated to the worship of various saints. Below the first window of the north wall is the baptistery. Its beautiful font, carved of dark wood, rests on a marble base. The adjoining chapel is dedicated to St. Bernard and St. Bridget. Its richly decorated background, a reproduction, in ecru-colored marble, of the doorway of St. Bernard's chapel in Mellefont, Ireland, is flanked by clustered green columns.
The fourteen Stations of the Cross, around the transept walls, were designed by Peter J. H. Cuypers and carved in Holland. On the west side of the south transept is a small window dedicated to St. Patrick, the cartoon for which was drawn by Renwick. In the lower panel the architect is shown discussing the plans of the cathedral with Archbishop Hughes.
The statue of St. Francis, in the north ambulatory, is a reproduction of one by Giovanni Dupre in the Church of St. Francis at Assisi. In the south ambulatory is a Pieta, by William Ordway Partridge. It resembles the famous work of Michelangelo, although differing in composition and pose. The Chapel of the Little Flower, adjoining, contains a statue of St. Theresa by Mario Korbel.
In the choir itself, the High Altar, designed by Renwick, has a reredos adorned with statues of St. Patrick and other saints. Its treatment lacks the imagination of the work of later neo-Gothic architects such as Cram and Goodhue; and the white marble of which it is constructed contrasts too sharply with the mellow texture of the semicircular apse. The Archbishop's throne, on the north side of the choir, is of carved French oak, overhung by a delicate Gothic canopy, supported by columns, and crowned by a richly ornamented octagonal lantern. The white marble pulpit, on the south side, is another work of art from the hand of Renwick ; from a stem of short, clustered columns, it expands cupshape and hexagonal in form, and is overhung by a petal-like canopy of chastely decorated translucent marble.
Behind the apse is the Lady Chapel of white Vermont marble more pleasing than the granite of the cathedral proper and adjoining it are two smaller chapels. These were designed by Charles T. Mathews. The first mass in Lady Chapel was said on Christmas Day, 1906.
The residences of the archbishop and rector are, respectively, at the northwest and southwest corners of Madison Avenue and Fiftieth Street. On the block north of the cathedral, on Madison Avenue, is a building housing Cathedral College, and other Catholic societies. On the northeast corner of Fifty-first Street and Madison Avenue is the chancery, a large stone structure.
The present church is an outgrowth of the first St. Patrick's Cathedral, founded in 1809. Rebuilt after a fire in 1866, the latter still stands at Mott and Prince Streets. Its founder, the Very Reverend Anthony Kohlmann, Vicar General of the New York See, was the head of the New York Literary Institute, a Jesuit establishment on the present site of the cathedral, where later, in 1842, was erected the little Church of St. John the Evangelist. In 1852, however, the trustees of St. Patrick's Cathedral acquired the property; and razing of the smaller building was soon begun to make way for the great edifice.
Once an outpost of the town, St. Patrick's is today in the crowded heart of the city; once a landmark visible for miles, its spires now are surrounded by the loftier towers of secular buildings. Nevertheless, through the years, the cathedral takes on greater significance for the large Catholic population of the metropolis. During the regularly scheduled services, the rich formality of historic Catholic ritual fills the dim spaces with music and intoned prayer, but on such occasions as the celebration of Mass on Christmas Eve and Easter, and the great parade on March 17, in honor of St. Patrick himself, the ceremonial splendor of a pageant is invoked. On other days societies organized under the cathedral's direct supervision Catholic organizations of every sort, many of them groups organized within secular institutions of business and the professions meet in tribute to the patron saint or day especially sacred to them. To grasp the magnitude of the cathedral's influence in the city, it needs only to be realized that the Roman Catholics of the archdiocese number one million.
MUSEUM OF MODERN ART
The Museum of Modern Art is New York's permanent meeting place for the contemporary artistic energies of Europe and America. About a mile and a half uptown, the Metropolitan Museum of Art sedately displays its accumulated masterpieces of the past, but here, amid brownstone fronts and small sidewalk trees, the strikingly modern building of the Museum of Modern Art has become a symbol of those technical and imaginative innovations that have transformed the character of art during the past seventy years.
Before the establishment of the museum the more advanced forms of modern art had made their appearance in the famous "Armory Show" of 1913, in Alfred Stieglitz' "291 Fifth Avenue" and in the exhibitions of the Societe Anonyme. These showings, with occasional purchases, infrequent exhibitions, and such private collections as that of John Quinn, had given New Yorkers a hint of the strange aesthetic events taking place here and across the Atlantic.
Today the Museum of Modern Art sponsors the more important forms of aesthetic experiment. As a consequence New York has been treated for the first time in its history to the spectacle of long lines of people waiting on the street for a chance to look at paintings. The great Van Gogh exhibition of 1935 caused New York journalists suddenly to note that art can attract as many people as a prize fight.
Founded in 1929 under the sponsorship of a group of prominent collectors, the museum set out to encourage the study and appreciation of modern art. At that time it still remained to be seen whether there existed enough public interest in the newer art to justify the eventual establishment of a permanent institution of exhibition and education.
To carry out its purpose more effectively, the museum decided at the start to renounce the conventional policy of a single permanent exhibition occasionally increased by acquisitions or loans. Contact with new aesthetic movements could be maintained only if works were kept constantly passing through the museum. Modern art also had to be presented in such a way that its implications and antecedents would be clarified.
The manner in which this program has been accomplished may be illustrated by the retrospective exhibition of abstract and cubist art. Three hundred and eighty-three pieces were assembled from all available sources.
Together with abstract art of the last twenty-five years, examples of primitive sculpture (which served as a source for modernist treatment) as well as such European antecedents as Cezanne, Rousseau, and Seurat were also shown. To complete the setting, the exhibition indicated certain social uses and influences of abstract art by including reproductions of architectural designs, interior decoration, typography, commercial art, films, and other practical applications of the style. Thus, one exhibition became virtually a study course in one of the principal phases of modern art.
In the course of its ten years' history (1939) the museum has shown eighty-five exhibitions in New York to more than one and a half million visitors. Some, such as the exhibition of Cubism and Abstract Art just described, or The American Film 18951937, have been carefully historical; others have presented a particular problem, such as book illustration, mural painting, design for college architecture, or art for subways ; and still others have included large groups of paintings by important masters of the recent past, among them the French painters Cezanne, Corot, and Daumier, and the Americans, Winslow Homer, Thomas Eakins, Albert P. Ryder. One-man shows of living artists have included paintings by Henri Matisse, Diego Rivera, Edward Hopper, and John Marin; sculpture by Lachaise, prints by Rouault, architecture by Le Corbusier and Aalto, photographs by Walker Evans. Other exhibitions have emphasized national achievement, for instance, German Painting and Sculpture (1931), Modern English Architecture, Murals by American Painters and Photographers, New Horizons in American Art (the WPA Federal Art Project).
Sources that have stimulated the modern imagination, such as Paleolithic cave paintings, African Negro sculpture, Aztec, Incan, and Mayan art, and even the art of children and the psychopathic have also been placed on view. American folk art, for example, produced between 1750 and 1900 by artists unheralded and unsung in fine art circles, was set before the modern eye because this nai've and serious work bears a stylistic affiliation with certain phases of living contemporary art.
About half the museum's exhibitions have been sent on tour to more than three hundred different institutions. The Van Gogh show for instance was seen not only by 142,000 New Yorkers but also by 800,000 other Americans in museums as far west as San Francisco and as far north as Toronto. It is chiefly because of its circulating exhibitions and its excellent publications that the museum may be considered a national institution.
Many of the museum's exhibitions are fed from the permanent collection as well as by loans from all parts of the world. Because of lack of space prior to the erection of the present building the permanent collection has never been shown in its entirety; the museum, however, plans to exhibit the most important objects in this collection. Its nucleus is the Lillie P. Bliss Bequest of 235 works, together with the gift of 181 items from Mrs. John D. Rockefeller, Jr. These are constantly augmented by acquisitions of European and American paintings and sculpture. The collection already possesses excellent examples of work by the best of the moderns and their immediate forerunners. Cezanne, Degas, Gauguin, Redon, Henri Rousseau, Seurat, and Daumier are represented by a rich collection containing several acknowledged masterpieces. More recent painters and sculptors include the Europeans, Picasso, Derain, Matisse, Braque, Modigliani, Segonzac, Maillol, Despiau, Brancusi, Dufy, and Dali, and the Americans, Hopper, Karfiol, Walkowitz, Cropper, Burchfield, Marin, Benton, Epstein, Lachaise, and Calder.
It has been a policy of the museum not to confine its interest to painting and sculpture but to include in its program almost all the living visual arts. Photography and the theater arts have been presented in large exhibitions and will probably be established as integral divisions of the museum's work. Already there are permanent museum departments devoted to architecture, industrial design, and motion pictures.
The Department of Architecture and Industrial Art was founded in 1932, following the controversial exhibition of modern architecture, which helped to popularize the International Style developed by Walter Gropius, Le Corbusier, Mies van der Rohe, and J. J. P. Oud. The department has also emphasized the pioneer work of the Americans, Henry Hobson Richardson, Louis Sullivan, and Frank Lloyd Wright. In 1934 the Machine Art Exhibition inaugurated the department's work in industrial and commercial design, which now includes furniture and utensils, typography and posters. The department works through competitions as well as publications and exhibitions.
The Museum of Modern Art Film Library, founded in 1935 principally with a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation, comprises a collection of motion picture films marking distinct stages in the development of the cinema. Its scope includes the earliest motion picture, such historic American productions as Griffith's Intolerance and Cruze's Covered Wagon, the Keystone comedies, the early Mary Pickford and Charlie Chaplin pictures, together with such German experiments as the Last Laugh, the work of the Russians Eisenstein and Pudovkin and of the surrealist jantatshtes. Film programs, to which members of the museum are admitted free of charge, are presented each season and have been distributed to scores of educational institutions throughout the country. The film library maintains active research and information services and presents each year in conjunction with Columbia University a course in the history and technique of the motion picture.
The museum regularly conducts a number of other activities. Modern art committees have been established in thirty cities. Museum publications, issued at reasonable prices, supplement and perpetuate the current exhibitions. A bulletin is issued six times yearly. The museum also houses a fine working library of more than three thousand volumes on modern art, periodicals, and photographs ; and a lending collection of slides, photographs, and half-tone cuts for printing service. Lectures on a variety of subjects are also included in the museum's service.
The museum building, five stories above ground with a theater below, is constructed of reinforced concrete and steel with contrasting surfaces of veined marble, glass brick, blue glazed tile, and plate glass. Its interior affords rich but simple settings for the display of art. The museum is planned as part of a design that includes the Rockefeller Apartments to the north, and Rockefeller Center (see page 333} to the south. Eventually, the southern facade with its strong horizontal lines will terminate a plaza leading from the Center. The rear facade forms one side of a garden court of the apartment house; its setbacks were designed to allow sunlight to enter the garden.
From the upper floors of an apartment hotel on its southern border Central Park appears as a vast irregular terrain marked by outcropping rock formations, wooded areas, and many bodies of water. Deep green marks it, summer and spring, and fall brings to it a variety of color that changes day by day. The park is enclosed by stone walls, with entrance gates at frequent intervals. It has two longitudinal boulevards, East Drive and West Drive, and four transverses depressed below the park's level East Sixty-fifth to West Sixty-sixth, East Seventy-ninth to West Eighty- first, East Eighty-fifth to West Eighty-sixth, and Ninety-seventh Street east to west. Intersecting roads for motor traffic, thirty-two miles of winding footpaths, and a four-mile bridle path make up an informal pattern. An 84O-acre tract, two and one-half miles long and a half mile wide, Central Park extends from the solid border of hotels and apartment buildings of West Fifty-ninth Street to Harlem at noth.
The park's setting is the result of more than eighty years of planning and effort. The purchase of the land in 1856 was preceded by ten years' agitation by the press and by such public-minded citizens as Washington Irving, George Bancroft, and William Cullen Bryant, who became members of the first Park Board. The section was then on the outskirts of the city, and scrubby trees and outcropping rock formations marked the land which barely afforded pasturage for the gaunt pigs and goats of impoverished squatters. Egbert L. Viele was commissioned to make a topographical survey. His difficulties consisted not only in problems arising from the irregularity of the terrain, but in the opposition of the squatters, who saw in his visit the threat of eviction; it is believed that Viele's first attempt was abruptly terminated when the squatters ejected him bodily.
The park was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, and their general plan has since been followed. Construction began as a relief project under the stress of the panic and depression of 1857. Changes and improvement have been made in the design through the years ; yet it may safely be claimed that under Park Commissioner Moses, of the LaGuardia municipal administration, the park achieved the appearance of a place more carefully tended than at any time in its history. Besides widespread renovation there has been an unprecedented development of new facilities, most of this the work of such agencies as the Civil Works Administration and the Works Progress Administration.
There are entrances to the park convenient to subways, to residential neighborhoods, and to the museums that were originally part of the park plan. The Merchant's Gate at Columbus Circle is often used by visitors who wish easy access to the Heckscher playground a venture in which philanthropy and the Works Progress Administration have combined to provide for the recreational needs of children. The playground's facilities include a wading pool and a drinking fountain, with sculpture by F. G. Roth showing "Alice in Wonderland" and the "Duchess." From a hillside just beyond comes the familiar music of the Carousel. A round stone terrace on a hilltop is all that is left of the Kinderberg an arbor where children played before such recreational developments as the Heckscher playground existed.
The Green, also accessible from the Merchant's Gate, holds the Tavernon-the-Green, erected in 1870 to house a flock of Southdown sheep. The building was converted into a restaurant in 1934. A flagstone terrace, dotted in summer with gaily colored umbrellas, looks out upon West Drive.
Since 1903 Augustus Saint-Gaudens' equestrian statue of General William T. Sherman has marked the Plaza entrance (Fifth Avenue and Fiftyninth Street) to Central Park, although horse-drawn hacks and Karl Bitter's Abundance, a nude female figure whose gold leaf has been recently renewed, are also identified with this corner. The surrounding architecture has been photographed so often that few visitors fail to recognize the dignified mansard of the Plaza Hotel and the terraced setbacks of the new apartment hotels, towering above the formal arrangement of the Plaza entrance itself, and reflected in the Pond at the park's southeastern corner.
At the entrance to the first walk is Gustave Blaeser's bust of the scientist, F. H. Alexander von Humboldt. It was unveiled in 1869, the park's second sculpture acquisition, the first having been the bronze Tigress and Cubs which stands near the colored umbrellas of the Zoo cafeteria.
The Plaza entrance, the one most often used, offers a direct course to the Mall, following East Drive, and a visit to the Pond where wild fowl, pelicans, and swans decorate the natural lagoons. A third and popular route is a path, between East Drive and the Fifth Avenue wall, that leads to the Zoo, past the dirt track where children may ride on Shetland ponies. Zoo buildings line the approach to the neat brick structures of the quadrangle designed by Aymar Embury II, architect for the Triborough Bridge and the Henry Hudson Bridge. (Zoo open daily 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; admission free.) Outdoor cages and the sea lion pool occupy the inner court. Zoo buildings surround it on three sides ; the cafeteria and pavilion take up the west side of the court. The new Zoo is in striking contrast to the former grimy buildings, where the iron bars of the cages were so rusted that the keepers carried guns for self protection. The Arsenal, at the Fifth Avenue side of the quadrangle, is an example of Gothic Revival architecture striving with its octagonal turrets for a medieval effect. It was built as a state arsenal in 1848 and has since served as the first home of the American Museum of Natural History, a weather bureau, and a police precinct ; today it is the headquarters for the city Park Department.
An underpass next to the Primates house veers leftward to the Mall. At an intersection close to East Drive is the bronze figure by F. G. Roth of the Alaskan dog, Balto, and a bas-relief of Balto as the lead dog of a team of seven "huskies." The sculpture bears the inscription, "Dedicated to the spirit of the sled dogs that relayed antitoxin over six hundred miles of rough ice, across treacherous waters, through Arctic blizzards, from Nenana to the relief of stricken Nome in the winter of 1925."
The Mall cuts a diagonal line across the park's rectangle, pointing due north across the Lake towards the Belvedere Tower, purposely kept small in order to increase, by forced perspective, the illusion of distance. The Mall was intended by Olmsted and Vaux as a grand promenade. At the entrance to the wide walk lined with trees are bronze sculptures of Columbus, Shakespeare, Robert Burns, and Sir Walter Scott. In the gas-light era this was a playground for children ; for a dime they could ride the length of the Mall in barouches drawn by teams of goats.
At the north end of the Mall is the Concert Ground where popular programs of classical music are given by Edwin Franko Goldman's band and by WPA orchestras. Across the ground from the orchestra shell Henry Baerer's huge bust of Ludwig van Beethoven broods over a female figure, representing the spirit of music, that rises from the foot of the pedestal. On summer evenings dances are held here against the background of lights and electric signs along the park's southern border.
During the day parts of the near-by roadways are roped off for cycling and roller skating, while east from the orchestra shell, on the site of the Casino, whose high prices were something of a scandal a few years back, is the Rumsey playground for children. On the concert ground itself performances of folk dancing and similar exhibitions are held.
The northern end of the Mall terminates in a balustrade. Broad steps lead through an arched underpass down to a brick terrace that extends to the Lake. In the center of the Terrace is Bethesda Fountain, the only piece of statuary arranged for in the original plans. Like the ornamented pilasters and balustrades of the stairways and the arcade, the bronze Bethesda, wings outspread, was executed by Emma Stebbins after the design by architect J. Wrey Mould. Worn stone, gurgling fountain, and the wooded hillside of the Ramble across the Lake succeed more than any other spot in the park in fulfilling the intent of Olmsted to take the city dweller out of his urban surroundings. The sound of oars in their locks, the flapping wings of waterfowl blend with the cries of children across the Lake and the Ramble, the latter deep with autumn, heavy with winter's snow, or yellow-green with another spring.
Left from the terrace a path explores the hilly area of the Ramble through deep gorges and past banks of rhododendrons and azaleas. Another path leads right, to the house, where flatbottom boats are for rent at a moderate fee. Conservatory Pond, a pool of formal design where toy yacht regattas are held, may be reached by an underpass near the boathouse.
Continuing northwestward by the Lake and the Ramble a country sense of direction is of value in a large park with few signs a rocky ledge and a series of stone steps lead to the Belvedere, where a U.S. Government Weather Bureau is maintained. The building resembles a miniature old castle, but its tower contains the modern scientific instruments used in predicting the weather; in winter it extends its field of applied science, flying a banner with a red ball when the ice on New Lake, just to the north, is safe for skating. A bronze tablet to Dr. Daniel W. Draper, who established the first Meteorological Observatory in Central Park in 1868, is fixed to the wall of the tower.
Belvedere Terrace, cut from Vista rock, looks out upon the area between the Belvedere and the Receiving Reservoir. In the immediate foreground is New Lake, and beyond it the oval expanse of the Great Lawn. The pages of Robert Nathan's novel, One More Spring, recall one of the most bitter years of the park's history, when the bowl of the drained reservoir was used as a refuge by victims of the depression. After the hovels had been removed the area was landscaped and the reservoir basin filled in.
To the left is the Shakespeare Garden, with an oak from Stratford on Avon and flowers and small shrubs mentioned in the work of the poet; and, close by, the replica of a nineteenth-century Swedish schoolhouse, brought to the Philadelphia Exposition in 1876. Northwestward also is Summit Rock, crowned by Mrs. Sally Farnum's equestrian statue of Simon Bolivar, Venezuelan liberator. A network of paths on the left leads to these points and to the Lower Reservoir playground, the central Promenade between the Great Lawn and the Receiving Reservoir, and the play area to the right which includes a roller-skating rink.
To the right from the terrace across the green oval of the Lawn are the buildings of the Metropolitan Museum of Art (see page 368), and the Obelisk, quarried by Thothmes III in 1600 B.C. and brought to this country in 1880 with much difficulty: unloaded at Staten Island it was towed on pontoons up the Hudson to Ninety-sixth Street and then in a great cradle it was rolled on cannon balls to the "worst place within the city for getting an obelisk to." The path that leads over billowing landscape to the neighborhood of the museum is the best approach to the Obelisk's two hundred tons of granite, whose hieroglyphics tell of Thothmes III, Rameses II, and Osarkon I. In 500 B.C. Cambyses, the Persian, overturned the monument, and in 12 B.C. Romans brought the shaft to Alexandria, and placed it before a temple. Although it is widely known as Cleopatra's Needle, the obelisk has no known historical connection with Cleopatra.
The original wing of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, red brick and steep mansard, forms a background for the Obelisk and is surrounded on three sides by the classical stone structures of the later additions. Northwest of the museum grounds is a granite statue of youthful Alexander Hamilton, completed by Carl Conrads in 1880.
The Receiving Reservoir, raised above the general level of the park, extends from Fifth Avenue to Central Park West, is encircled by a cinder path and a bridle path, and is flanked east and west by motor roadways and asphalt walks. The many recreational facilities located north of the reservoir include the South Meadow tennis courts, the North Meadow baseball diamonds, and toward the northwest corner beyond the Pool and the Loch, a play area similar to the one immediately below the reservoir. More open than the neighborhood of the Lake and the Ramble, the north section boasts small rugged sections and rolling landscapes.
Between Conservatory Garden, with its beds of hardy American flowers and rows of crab apple trees, and Harlem Mere, where rowboats are also available, is a Memorial Bench honoring Andrew Haswell Green, "directing genius of Central Park in its formative period." The bench also marks the site of "Widow McGown's Tavern," built 1746 in McGown's Pass. The site was for some time referred to as Mount St. Vincent after the Sisters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul, whose convent was located here in the middle of the last century. Soldiers of the Colonial Army retreated through McGown's Pass September 15, 1776. Subsequently the British occupied and built breastworks along the northern ridge of the present park, evacuating them November 21, 1783.
Other relics in this section date from the War of 1812. Fort Clinton, named for Mayor DeWitt Clinton, is commemorated by a mortar, cannon, and tablet. It formed a series of defenses with Fort Fish, named for Nicholas Fish; Nutter's Battery; and Blockhouse No. i, the only building still standing. The Blockhouse is located on the rugged crest of a hill, south of the entrance to the park at Seventh Avenue and Cathedral Parkway.
The visitor to Central Park will find about him innumerable features that elude detailed description: the bird sanctuaries near the Plaza entrance, the Ramble, the Harlem Mere, the arbors shaded with wistaria, and the sloping paths and sudden corners where the noise of the city has been put away for the casual gurgle of a brook. Besides the statues already mentioned there are Karl Illava's World War Memorial to the Seventh Regiment at the east wall north of the Arsenal; J. Q. A. Ward's Civil War Monument to the Seventh Regiment, north of the Tavern-on-theGreen and facing West Drive ; the statues to Schiller, Webster, Morse, Mazzini, and Thomas Moore; the Indian Hunter; the Eagles; the Falconer; and the Romanesque statue of Commerce that since 1864 has lingered near the Merchant's Gate for which it was originally intended. Sight and sound mingle in the inventory of a day in the park, gulls wheeling above the reservoir, the whir of motors on the Drive and the backs of couples walking arm in arm toward the subway.
Lakes and roadways today follow much the pattern laid out for them in the Greensward plan. Except for the substitution of the oval curve of the Great Lawn for the rectangle of the old reservoir, the significant changes in the park have come about through the addition of recreational areas, varying from the children's playgrounds bordering the park to roller-skating tracks and horseshoe pitching courts used for championship matches. This adaptation of the park to planned recreation emphasizes its traditional purpose, to serve the needs of an urban population. Such acts of political vandalism as that practiced by the Tweed Ring which allowed park trees to be cut down because they impeded the view from Fifth Avenue mansions have kept in the public consciousness the importance of protecting its original function, which Olmsted emphasized in his pamphlet, Spoils of the Park.
There is one tablet that might well be added to the sculptural inventory, a bronze replica of the Greensward plan with a quotation from Frederick Law Olmsted. It should be placed near the Plaza entrance, where it could rub elbows with Humboldt. Before going to the Zoo or taking the sloping walk to the Pond to photograph the most photographed pelicans of Manhattan the visitor should read:
"It is of great importance as the first real park made in this country a democratic development of the highest significance and on the success of which, in my opinion, much of the progress of art and aesthetic culture in this country is dependent."
TEMPLE EMANU-L 5th Ave. and 65th St.
Congregation Emanu-El, the oldest Reformed synagogue in New York City, was founded in 1845 by German Jews who had rejected many of the traditional forms and tenets of Orthodox Judaism. In 1927 the congregation merged with Congregation Beth-El, a Reformed group established in 1874, and two years later moved from its house of worship at Seventysixth Street and Fifth Avenue to the present temple. It has at present (1939) i, 600 members, among whom are many of the leading Jewish families in America.
Temple Emanu-El, one of the most impressive houses of worship in New York, is reputed to be the largest synagogue built in modern times. It is a group of three buildings: the temple proper, facing Fifth Avenue, Beth-El Chapel adjoining the temple on the north, and the community house with its 185 -foot tower rising inconspicuously on Sixty-fifth Street behind these. In the temple facade, the keynote of the entire design is apparent : large, plain surfaces offset by areas of rich, concentrated decoration.
Recessed within a high arch is a great rose window, with a row of lancets above and below. Beneath these are three bronze doors ornamented with Hebrew symbols and rosettes. The exterior of the little chapel is noteworthy for the fineness of its proportions. The Sixty-fifth Street fagade, owing to the imperfect correlation of the temple, the community house, and tower, is not as satisfying as the Fifth Avenue front. The group, completed in 1929 at a cost of more than three million dollars, is a modern adaptation of early Romanesque architecture as it was used in Syria and the East. The exterior walls, of limestone, are self-supporting; only the roof is supported by a steel skeleton frame. The decoration of the beautifully colored interior shows a strong Byzantine influence. Robert D. Kohn, Charles Butler, and Clarence Stein were the architects for the entire group ; the firm of Mayers, Murray and Phillip, the consultants.
The auditorium, which consists of a single nave, is 77 feet wide, 150 feet long, and 103 feet high, and can seat more than two thousand worshipers. The great arch of the facade is duplicated in the interior over the west gallery and again over the sanctuary. Along the north and south galleries it is recalled by five smaller arches over which are groups of clerestory windows in brilliant, well-chosen colors. The plain walls are covered with buff acoustic tile that shades to darker tones toward the dimly lighted ceiling where the exposed roof trusses and the plaster are decorated in reds, greens, blues, and gold. The lighting is from concealed sources, so arranged that, while adequate light illuminates the floor, the strongest is on the sanctuary.
The sanctuary is raised three feet above the temple floor, under a splayed arch of colored glass mosaic designed by Hildreth Meiere. The stainedglass windows of the main nave, west rose window, and chapels are the work of Montague Castle, Nicolo d'Ascenzo, Owen Bonaurt, Powell of London, J. Gordon Guthrie, and Oliver Smith. The marble columns of the Ark vary in color from deep purple to orange, and through the pierced bronze Ark doors can be seen the red velvet coverings of the Scrolls of the Law. The lamp for the perpetual light, hanging from the top of the Ark, is bronze, as are the Menorah candlesticks.
On high holidays, when the attendance is approximately tripled, loud speakers enable worshipers in the chapel, basement banquet hall, and community house assembly room to participate in the temple services, which are in English. The temple occupies a leading place in Reformed Judaism.
THE AMERICAN MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY: HAYDEN PLANETARIUM
Museum. Main entrance on Central Park West and 79th St.
Besides being one of the world's largest institutions devoted to natural science exhibits, the American Museum of Natural History is also a research laboratory, a school for advanced study, a publishing house for scientific manuscripts, and a sponsoring agency of field exploration expeditions.
The incorporation of the museum in 1869 was an expression of the surge of interest in natural science stimulated by great advances, such as the use of the spectroscope, Mendel's law of heredity, Darwin's theory of evolution, the law of the conservation of energy, and the identification of light as an electromagnetic phenomenon. Its first collections were housed in the old Arsenal building in Central Park. The cornerstone of the first among the present structures was laid in 1874 by President Grant, and the museum was formally opened by President Hayes in 1877. Since then, new buildings for exhibition and study have been added, including the Theodore Roosevelt Memorial and the Hayden Planetarium ; the occupation of the whole area of Manhattan Square, between Seventy-seventh and Eighty-first Streets, from Central Park West to Columbus Avenue, is projected.
From the beginning noted scientists, educators, and civic leaders have been associated with the museum. Among them are Professor Albert S. Bickmore, who in 1880 was largely responsible for the inauguration of a system of popular education in conjunction with the schools of the city; Morris K. Jesup, philanthropist, who was president of the institution for more than a quarter of a century; Henry Fairfield Osborn, paleontologist and geologist, who was also its president for many years ; and the present director, Dr. Roy Chapman Andrews, naturalist and explorer.
Founded by subscriptions from private individuals, the museum has been supported by additional bequests, income from endowments, sale of corporate stock, and a membership fund, as well as by contributions from the city. It is governed by a self-perpetuating board of thirty-five trustees, with the mayor, comptroller, and park commissioner as ex-ofncio members. It employs a staff of 554. In 1936, more than 250 WPA workers were added to various departments, indicating the scope of the museum's work and its needs.
The museum's architecture is unhappily marred by a gross disparity of styles. The first building, facing Seventy- seventh Street, designed by J. C. Cady and Company, is a good example of the robust use of stone as structural material, a use developed by Richardson and his followers in the years before the Chicago Fair of 1893. The entrance on this side is vigorously indicated by the expressive massing of the dark salmon granite masonry and by a great monumental carriage-way. It leads directly into the older Memorial Hall with its busts of early American scientists and temporary exhibits. Later wing additions by Trowbridge and Livingston are in general conformity with the older part, but flatter and less positive in treatment.
The Roosevelt Memorial building facing Central Park West, completed in 1936 from designs by John Russell Pope, has, however, occasioned much adverse comment for its lack of relation to the adjoining structure and its pretentious Roman style. Nor have the murals in the high-ceilinged Memorial Hall on the second floor, by William A. Mackay, been too well received, the general impression being that their design is weak, and that the depiction of incidents from the life of Theodore Roosevelt lacks imagination.
On the other hand, the Hayden Planetarium, which is connected by a corridor with the Roosevelt Memorial, is among the most interesting examples of modern functional architecture. The architects were Trowbridge and Livingston. Particularly notable is the imaginative design of the Hall of the Sun, on the first floor, where form, light, and color have been ably handled.
Akeley Memorial Hall
The most spectacular exhibit, perhaps, is that in the Akeley Memorial Hall of African Mammals, entered from Roosevelt Memorial Hall. It illustrates an interesting exhibition technique the use of life-like habitat groups in place of mounted single figures. Few exhibits match the wildlife drama presented in this hall.
Animals, settings plains, jungles, and mountains the weather, the day and night of Africa are recreated not only with objective accuracy but with imaginative insight. The lion, gorilla, antelope, buffalo, giraffe, rhinoceros, wild dog, boar, and many other creatures are represented in characteristi actions that give an amazing impression of vitality and reveal something of their mental nature. The vegetation is excellently simulated; in some cases actual rocks and bushes have been brought from the place represented. Paintings in perspective and curved skies give the illusion that the landscape extends into the far distance. Large-scale maps of Africa may also be studied here; and there are sculptures, by Malvina Hoffman, of native human types.
South Asiatic mammals, chiefly from the Indian peninsula, are exhibited in Vernay-Faunthorpe Hall, second floor, east wing, to the left of Roosevelt Hall. Two large elephants stand in the center of the hall. Large and small game, tigers, deer, leopard, and gibbon are shown amid their native fields and forests. A new hall of North Asiatic mammals, featuring the Siberian tiger, the Marco Polo sheep, and the giant panda will adjoin this exhibit (1939).
North American mammals are at present displayed in Allen Hall, second floor, southeast wing. Many of these have been given naturalistic settings as in Akeley Hall, notably a group of timber wolves on the trail of deer, and a scene showing beavers at work. On the first floor of the African wing, a new hall is at present under construction (1939), which may be entered from New York Hall, the first floor of the Roosevelt Memorial building. In the New York Hall are four large habitat groups, the DutchIndian, Roosevelt Ranch, Conservation of Wild Life in the Adirondacks, and Bird Sanctuary.
The phylogenetic interrelationship of the highest order of mammals is presented in the Hall of Primates, third floor, south pavilion. Here are shown all the types from lemur to man in characteristic surroundings, posture, and activities. A series of skeletons permits a comparative study of structural changes in the process of man's evolution. There is also an excellent collection of wild animal photographs.
The presentation of the synoptic series of mammals, which adjoins the Hall of Primates, leads still deeper into the background of the evolutionary process. Here mammals have been arranged in the order of their development from the egg-laying platypus (the duckbill) to man. Especially emphasized is the fact that the internal structure, not the external appearance determines the position of an animal in the line of evolution. A family tree of the orders of animal life from which mammals stem is also shown. A life-size model of a sulphur-bottom whale, the world's largest mammal, hangs from the ceiling (this particular one is seventy-six feet long). There is also the skeleton of Jumbo, the largest elephant ever brought to this country, presented to the museum by Phineas T. Barnum, the circus promoter.
Darwin Hall of Evolution
A basic exhibit of evolutionary processes is in the Darwin Hall of Evolution, first floor, south pavilion. Devoted chiefly to the orders of invertebrates, animals without backbone, it is arranged to illustrate developments in structure and function from the lowest form of animal life, the singlecelled protozoa, through the plant-like sponges and polyps; flatworms and roundworms; exquisite rotifers; sea mats and lamp shells; the sea stars; the ringed worms ; arthropods, crustaceans, and insects ; mollusks, to the first chordates, or animals with a central nervous system. There are synoptic charts, family trees, and wax and glass models many times magnified, of the inhabitants of the invisible society so vital to our existence. Even more picturesque are reproductions of animal and plant groups, one enlarged one hundred diameters, or cubically a million times, in their characteristic rocky sea cave, wharf pile, tide pool, bay bottom, and pond homes.
Other exhibits in the hall illustrate laws of natural science discovered by Darwin and other biologists Specimens of dogs, pigeons, and fowl show the variation under domestication ; a collection of mollusks illustrates color variation ; while the coat-color of a family of rats presents the simpler features of Mendel's law of heredity.
The Hall of Fishes on the first floor, east wing, with its models and mounted specimens, is a chart of evolution undersea. Lowly "cartilage fishes" such as sharks and rays are succeeded by those of a higher, vertebrate structure. Here also are the terrible hags and blood-sucking lampreys, skates and electric rays, fishes with lungs and flappers, and a multitude of finned creatures whose brilliant colors rival those of birds. In a darkened inner room is a startling reproduction of a habitat, where deepsea fishes gleam with their own- light under tons of water. The hall also exhibits fresh-water fish.
Big game fishes, tuna, tarpon, sailfish, swordfish, and devilfish victims of hook or harpoon adorn the walls. Some are posed in mid-air, as if leaping out of the water as they try desperately to tear the fatal hook out of their mouths.
Near by, in the southwest court, is the Hall of Ocean Life. Skeletons and models of dolphins, porpoises, and other marine animals are displayed, among them the giant squid, right whale and blackfish, the narwhal and the terrible killer whale, which causes even the great sperm whale to flee in terror. There are habitat groups of seals, manatee, sea lions, and walrus, and a reproduction of a Bahama coral reef, showing sky, land, sea surface, and multitudinous undersea life. The Lindberghs' exploration plane, Tmgmhsartoq, and Dr. Beebe's bathysphere, collections of shells, and large paintings of sperm whaling and undersea life are other temporary features of the hall.
A hall in the south pavilion on the second floor is devoted to a number of habitat groups showing the birds of the major faunal areas of the world. Scenes of bird life in the American tropics, the Antarctic, the Andean zone, North Temperate and Palaearctic Alpine zone, the Gobi Desert, and other regions are presented with the same dramatic beauty that distinguishes the collections of African and Asiatic mammals.
The general collection of birds is in the near-by Hall of Birds of the World in the south central wing. Suspended overhead is an exhibit of birds in flight: condor, eagle, brown pelicans, asprey, albatross, and ducks and geese in formation. Several cases contain a synoptic arrangement of birds, the 13,000 known species being represented by examples from the principal groups, according to their structural relationships. The other exhibits are grouped in relation to their geographic origin. Specimens of now extinct birds may be seen, such as the passenger pigeon, once bred in North America by the millions, and the dodo, represented by a skeleton and a life-size reproduction copied from an old Dutch painting. There are also collections of birds' eggs and plumage, as well as exhibits dealing with structural adaptation.
North American birds are housed on the third floor, south central wing. The habitat groups were prepared under the immediate direction of Dr. Frank M. Chapman, curator of ornithology, and are masterly evocations of the landscape, flora, and fauna of every region of the continent. Eagles, herons, pelicans, swans, flamingos, grouse, and duck hawks are only a few of the magnificent birds seen in habitat groups either perched on inaccessible icy heights, standing on river banks by the thousands, feeding their young, or sweeping down from the Palisades of the Hudson River to pounce on living prey.
Specimens of local birds, resident and migrant, found within fifty miles of New York City, are in the first floor corridor of the Roosevelt Memorial.
Amphibians and Reptiles
The Hall of Reptile Life is on the third floor, east wing. Habitat groups, including those of Gila monsters, iguanas, giant salamanders, and the common bullfrog, are displayed. Cases contain specimens of alligators, crocodiles, king cobras, and turtles. Various educational exhibits accompany these, dealing with the evolution and habits of amphibians and reptiles, as well as the treatment of snakebite.
Near by, in the southeast pavilion, is the Hall of Insect Life. The biology of these small but powerful creatures, and their benefit and danger to man, are presented by live specimens in habitat groups and in detailed charts and diagrams. A live beehive, made of glass, enables the spectator to observe the activities of domestic honeybees.
Problems relating to insects are further treated in the Hall of Biological Principles and Applied Biology, first floor, west central wing. Exhibits in this hall deal with general questions of food and water supply, sewage disposal, and the relation of insects, rats, and parasites to public health. Models of disease carriers, showing the characteristic conditions for the spread of epidemics, with methods of cure and prevention, form part of this educational display.
On the first floor, southeast wing, is the Hall of the Woods and Forests of North America, containing an almost complete collection of native trees presented by Morris K. Jesup. The numerous members of great tree families such as beech, oak, pine, and palm, are represented by cross sections of the trunk. The accompanying reproductions of the leaf and flower or fruit of each tree were prepared in the museum laboratories.
In the center of the hall is a forty-five- foot remainder of a fossil tree trunk, several million years old. Another exhibit is a cross section of one of the California Big Trees, sixteen feet in diameter, whose seed was planted in 597 A.D.
The Morgan Memorial Hall of Minerals and Gems, fourth floor, southwest wing, contains collections rivaling those of the British Museum and the Jardin des Plantes. The minerals are arranged according to species, and their qualities and use to man are described. The subject of crystallization is introduced by series of structural models. Notable gems are included here, such as the "Star of India," the largest cut sapphire in the world, the De Long star ruby, the Morgenthau blue topaz, and the Vatican cameo, a carved garnet.
In the southwest tower is the Drummond collection of carved Chinese jade and amber, and Japanese ivory, and sword guards.
The museum is also noted for the quantity and quality of its ethnological material, particularly that pertaining to the North American Indians. The Indian exhibits are in the south central wing, the north corridor, and in the southwest and western pavilions and wings on the first floor. The nine great Indian culture areas are represented, each with extensive displays of craft work, charts of cultural and tribal distribution and social and political organization, as well as models showing home life in tents, houses, and villages, physical environment, labor, and ceremonies. Exhibits pertaining to the Central and South American Indians are on the second floor, west wing.
From the North Pacific Coast came the many wonderfully carved totem poles, house posts, grave monuments, and masks, works of the highest aesthetic quality, which excite the admiration of modern artists. A great war canoe occupies the center of the hall.
Eskimo life is represented by implements, clothing, decorative carved objects, and a model of a characteristic ice fishing scene.
The Hall of the Indians of the Woodlands is filled with examples of the dome-shaped huts of Long Island, long rectangular Iroquois bark houses, and the conical wigwams of the Ojibways, together with beautiful bead, quill, and textile work.
The Plains Indians, most of whom depended upon hunting for their existence, had implements and decorative motifs closely related to this pursuit. Interesting examples of their picture writing on skins are to be seen.
The organization of the religious Dance Societies, the famous Sun Dance and other activities and rituals of the plains are dealt with in detail.
The Southwest Indians are represented by collections of the craft work of their three main divisions, the village inhabitants of the Pueblos and the nomad Apache and Navajo. Silver and turquoise work, pottery, woven blankets and baskets, ceremonial costumes, masks, and images are the chief exhibits. Recesses have been built into the walls for group exhibits showing the daily life of the natives. A special exhibit with models of caves and objects fashioned by the Basket Makers is devoted to the prehistoric culture of the Southwest.
The ancient cultures of Mexico and Central America are depicted in the southwest wing, second floor. Examples are displayed of superb sculpture, jewelry, pottery, ideographic writing, and scientific achievements, notably in astronomy.
In the west wing, South American Indian culture is summarized mainly by exhibits from the culture center, Peru, although craft work from Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela, and Brazil is also displayed. The Peruvians excelled in pottery, metal work, and textiles. Their belief in immortality is manifested in the "mummy bundles," or fabric wrappings around the dead, and in hundreds of beautiful and useful objects placed in graves for the use of the deceased.
Similar anthropological collections in the western sections of the third and fourth floors are devoted to an exposition, with characteristic objects and models of common and ceremonial life, of the cultures of Africa, Asia, the Pacific Islands, New Guinea, the Philippines, and Malaysia. Ivory, bronze, and ironwork of Africa, costumes and implements of the Siberian tribes, Chinese and Japanese handicraft, a cast of one of the huge monolithic images of Easter Island, and masks and weapons of the Malay Peninsula are only a few of the displays which reveal the high development of these peoples.
In the southwest pavilion on the second floor are exhibits of prehistoric arts and industries as developed by European cave and lake dwellers and North American shellmound dwellers and mound builders. Models of caves, reproductions of cave drawings, and objects illustrating the evolution of domestic and hunting implements predominate.
The Hall of the Natural History of Man in the southwest wing, third floor, deals with human anatomy, showing the physical characteristics, development and growth of the races of mankind. The mechanics, anatomical history, genealogy, embryology, and evolution of the skeletal structure, muscular system, nervous system, and brain of man are the subjects of this exhibit. Another section of this hall, not yet completed (1939), will contain material on individual growth and development, racial classification, human genetics, population problems, and the techniques of physical anthropology.
Most prized, perhaps, of all the museum's exhibits are the collections of fossil vertebrates in the eastern and southern sections of the fourth floor. Here, taken out of bogs, swamps, long-closed caves, and ancient geologic strata, or released from thousands of years' imprisonment in frozen ground or stone, are the skeletons of animals that lived from 30,000 to 200,000,000 years ago. Their petrified remains help scientists to reconstruct their lives and times.
First come the great Jurassic and Cretaceous reptiles, the dinosaurs, or "terrible lizards," some vegetarian, but the greatest of them, Tyrannosaurus, a beast of prey, swift and fierce. The Brontosaurus weighed between twenty-five and thirty tons, while Ankylosaurus is called "the most ponderous animated citadel the world has ever seen," its head and body being protected by thick plates of bone.
The Hall of Mongolian Vertebrates exhibits fossils obtained by the Central Asiatic expeditions of the museum, among them the dinosaur eggs that created an international sensation when they were found, and a low relief model of the largest of the baluchitheres, ancient cousins of the rhinoceros this one, seventeen feet nine inches high at the shoulder.
A chart in the Bashford Dean Memorial Exhibit of Fossil Fishes illustrates the development of 500,000,000 years of ocean life. Sharks used to be much larger than they are now, as the nine-foot model of the jaw of the modern man-eater's ancestor demonstrates.
The evolution of the horse is featured in the Osborn Hall of the Age of Mammals. Among other animals of the Tertiary Period are, surprisingly enough, the camels and rhinoceroses of Nebraska. There are also remains of the first mammals as they began to emerge in the preceding period, the Age of Reptiles.
Early man and his contemporaries, mammoths from France and Siberia, mastodons, one from Newburgh, N. Y., and giant South American sloths, are in the Osborn Hall of the Age of Man. Here, too, is a group of skeletons dramatically posed about a model of the renowned Rancho La Brea, a California asphalt pit where so many animals of antiquity met their death. Among them an entrapped saber-toothed tiger is shown about to be attacked by a wolf, who thus involuntarily contributed his share to a knowledge of the principles of evolution.
A hall devoted to geology and invertebrate paleontology contains models of caves and mines and of the structural and historical geology of fifteen selected areas within the United States.
Finally, a corridor is devoted to the modern domesticated horse. Skeletons of Shetland ponies and race and draft horses are compared for structural modifications through breeding.
The Hayden Planetarium, whose equipment was a gift of the philanthropist, Charles Hayden, has an entrance on Eighty-first Street, and forms a separate architectural unit in the group of museum buildings.
In this fine domed building, science and art are brought together. In the Hall of the Sun on the first floor, an overhead Copernican Planetarium, more than forty feet in diameter, shows the relative sizes and speeds of the planets and their satellites by means of globes revolving around a central sun.
The second floor holds the Theater of the Sky where stars of all seasons and of past, present, and future time appear projected on a great hemispherical screen overhead. The performance is preceded by music, and a lecturer operates a control board for the Zeiss projector, a complex instrument for reproducing the light images of all visible stars. During 1935, the first year of the planetarium's existence, more than 700,000 persons came to see their favorite constellations, the heavens as they appeared over Bethlehem at the birth of Christ, or as they will look to future citizens of the world. Monthly programs treat different aspects of astronomy.
In the corridors throughout the building are photographic transparencies showing heavenly phenomena, a number of famous meteors among them the 361/2'ton mass brought by Robert E. Peary from Cape York, Greenland a reproduction of the Aztec calendar stone, and the chronometers used by renowned aviators.
A course in celestial navigation is given at the planetarium to aviators and navigators in co-operation with New York University and the Weems System of Navigation in Annapolis.
As someone has observed, a museum is like an iceberg: only one-eighth of it is visible on the surface. This museum is no exception. Neither the vast amount of research and educational work performed by its explorers, technicians, artists, and teachers, nor its influence throughout the world can be estimated by a casual observer. Behind its exhibition halls are hundreds of classrooms, laboratories, editorial offices, libraries, lecture halls, studios, study collections, and files of vital data. And from the museum go explorers, educators, astronomers, and geologists to increase man's knowledge of the external world and to help him win victories over his environment.
The fifth floor of the museum is given over to the administrative offices, the scientific departments, and the library. The workrooms are used for the preparation of fossils, models, and other exhibits. The main library contains more than 117,000 volumes. A second library, founded by Henry Fairfield Osborn, is devoted to vertebrate paleontology.
The museum issues technical publications on its researches and expeditions, and on timely discoveries and theoretical questions. Its popular publications include the general guide, school service series, the journals Natural History and Junior Natural History, guide leaflets on the collections, and a number of handbooks which may be used as textbooks on subjects illustrated by collections in the museum.
Enormous study collections of hundreds of thousands of specimens in all branches of the natural sciences are available to students and research workers. An idea of their extent may be had from the fact that the insect collection alone consists of more than one million specimens ; that of fishes, 10,000; of birds, 750,000, the largest in the world; of fossil mammals, 30,000 catalogued, and of fossil invertebrates, 700,000 specimens catalogued. A fully equipped printing plant is constantly employed.
Lastly, and of tremendous importance, are the educational services of the museum in the form of lectures to children in the public and high schools and to students in colleges and universities, classes and guide services, sponsorship of scientific societies, motion-picture and lantern slide services, circulating collections, radio broadcasts, and nature hikes. The number of people affected by these activities reaches in one year the almost incredible number of 43,000,000.
CATHEDRAL OF ST. JOHN THE DIVINE
MANHATTANVILLE COLLEGE OF THE SACRED HEART
GORILLA GROUP, AMERICAN MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY
ROOSEVELT MEMORIAL, AMERICAN MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY
FORT TRYON PARK
RIVERSIDE DRIVE NORTH OF GEORGE WASHINGTON BRIDGE
THE CLOISTERS, FORT TRYON PARK
SUGAR HILL, HARLEM
METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART
5th Ave. and 82d St.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, one of the great museums of the world, contains the most comprehensive collection of art in America. With the introduction of a policy of active popular education, which has superseded the old lifeless method of exhibiting art objects without plan or explanation, its cultural influence has been strengthened in recent years. It aims to relate its art collections, from pre-history to the present time, to the civilization of the peoples who produced them. Exhibits and lectures are arranged so as to show art as a familiar activity of men, arising from their daily life, and reflecting their ways of eating, drinking, money-making, fighting, and praying.
The museum was incorporated April 15, 1870, as the result of a movement among leading New York citizens for the foundation of a "national gallery and museum ... for the benefit of the people at large." A modest purchase of 174 Dutch and Flemish paintings, and of the Cesnola group of Cypriote antiquities, started the collection, which grew rapidly by bequest, gift, and purchase. A permanent building to house the exhibits was erected by the city of New York in Central Park and opened to the public on March 30, 1880. Though far from distinguished for architectural unity, it has come to constitute an interesting record of American adaptation of classical and contemporary styles. The first architects were Calvert Vaux and J. Wrey Mould ; the only visible remainder of their work is the arcaded center of the west fagade. In 1888, Theodore Weston added the southwest wing, designed in the neo-Greek manner.
The central Fifth Avenue section was opened in 1902 ; it was designed by Richard Morris Hunt and his son, Richard Rowland Hunt, in the "Roman" style made popular by the Chicago Fair of 1893. There is a certain robust quality in this earlier work that is lacking in subsequent additions by McKim, Mead, and White.
Incorporated in the buildings are remnants of two old New York landmarks. A part of the old Assay Office (built in 1823) is used as a facade of the American wing, and the delicate terra-cotta pediment of the old Madison Square Presbyterian Church, by McKim, Mead, and White (1906), is incorporated in a fagade of the museum library.
The city leases the building to the museum, provides equipment and makes contributions to its maintenance. Enlargement of the collections, however, is dependent mainly upon individual bequests and gifts from philanthropic citizens.
Restrictions of space have prevented a more logical arrangement of the museum's possessions. The objects in the spacious entrance hall symbolize the varied character of the collections. At the foot of the central staircase leading to the galleries of paintings, George Gray Barnard's massive white marble Struggle of the Two Natures of Man represents the heroic-romantic tradition in American sculpture. At either end of the hall, in strong contrast to this figure, are highly formalized classical sculptures from Egypt and Mesopotamia. The walls are hung with seventeenth-century tapestries, which tell the Biblical story of Judith and Holofernes.
The Egyptian Collection
The fifteen rooms housing the Egyptian collection, on the first floor of the north wing, contain a documentary as well as an artistic record of the ancient culture of the Nile valley from prehistoric times to the introduction of Christianity. Tombs of nobles and the figures of gods, in which the religion and metaphysics of Egypt find expression, are surrounded by painted bas-reliefs, wooden funerary models, household and farm implements, and murals illustrating the life of the common people, their tasks, trades, hardships, and pleasures. Outstanding among these is the Mastaba Tomb, erected about 2460 B.C. for Per-neb, an Egyptian dignitary; the funerary models of Meket-Re, part of a most important discovery of the museum's excavations in Egypt; and the Carnarvon Collection of gold, alabaster, glass, and faience objects. The art of Egypt, from its hieratical statuary, whose symbolism is permeated with death-ritual, to the delicate jewelry of its princesses, is shown in its dual character as the closed domain of a priestly ruling class, and as endowed with intimate human knowledge and love of natural things.
At the south end of the main entrance hall, a Winged Bull and Winged Lion from the gateways of the palace of the King Ashur-nasir-apal II introduce the Mesopotamian collection. These, as well as the bas-reliefs of mythological figures, warriors Cavalrymen Leading Their Horses Through the Mountains and of the martial king himself, the famous Ashur-nasirapal and His Cupbearer, characterize the culture of the Assyrians, dominated by tyrannical government and continual warfare. Two Lions are in glazed brick, a medium developed to offset the lack of stone on the plains surrounding Babylon. Early Sumerian art is represented by jewelry from the royal tombs at Ur.
In a room in the north wing on the first floor will eventually be shown early Christian, Byzantine, and early Iranian art.
Greek and Roman Art
The Greek and Roman collection, in a series of rooms and a court on the first floor of the south wing, is arranged chronologically, beginning with the culture of Crete (about 3500 B.C.). Besides the sculpture to be found in the long sculpture hall, including an archaic Apollo statue, an Amazon, probably a Roman copy of a work by the renowned Polykleitos, and a figure of Peace, there are painted ceremonial and household cups and vases, bronze and terra-cotta statuettes, bas-reliefs and wall paintings, showing scenes from the mythology and daily life of the ancients. The personal art of the Tanagra terra-cotta figurines and the Greco-Roman frescoes is also unequaled for grace and the acute perception of details of everyday life.
In the same collection are interesting examples of the art and craft of the Etruscans, a hill people of central Italy, who added their own rugged decorative style to the Greek tradition. Among the exhibits are a colossal terra-cotta Warrior, a bronze chariot of the sixth century B.C., remarkably preserved, and a huge terra-cotta Helmeted Head. A court in the south wing is built in the manner of a Roman peristyle, with a shallow fish pond in the center, surrounded by green lawns and decorated with Roman and late Greek sculptures.
The Cesnola Collection
In the adjoining room, the Cesnola Collection of Cypriote Antiquities, largest in the world, comprises stone sculpture, bronzes, pottery, and miscellaneous objects unearthed in Cyprus during 18651871 by the American consul, General Louis P. di Cesnola. It presents with unusual continuity historic phases of this important center of the ancient world during its long development from 3000 B.C. to Roman times. In the course of time, this island off the coast of Asia Minor was visited, settled, or invaded by Egyptians, Assyrians, Persians, Phoenicians, Greeks, and Romans, and its indigenous culture gave way to that of its conquerors. Particularly remarkable are the carved Sarcophagus, the Male Statue, and Head of a Woman. The Roman glassware, whose iridescent coloring, the result of exposure to damp and oxidation in graves, is so fascinating to connoisseurs, is exhibited in an adjoining room. In a gallery devoted to gold objects are a collection of jewelry, including a tomb group with earrings in the form of Ganymede, a plate from a Scythian sword sheath, and a series of Imperial Roman coins.
China, Japan, India, and the Near East
An impression of the inexhaustible variety of Far Eastern art is conveyed by exhibits of Chinese and Japanese painting, sculpture, and pottery, in a series of rooms in the north wing of the second floor and in the balcony above the entrance hall. The examples of Chinese art range from the great bronzes of the Chou dynasty (1122-256 B.C.) through the T'ang period (618906 A.D.), renowned for sculpture, the Sung (960-1279), for painting, and the Ming (1368-1644), for pottery. Chinese art results from the representation not so much of nature itself as of a philosophical or religious idea of nature. This is translated with infinite technical patience into the forms of great ceremonial vessels, contemplative stone Buddhas, unsurpassed porcelain ware in which the Altman Collection, in the south wing, is also extremely rich and those paintings in which the artist strives to capture the essence even more than the external appearance of mountains, skies, rivers, and animals. The more intimate aspects of Chinese and Japanese art are also shown, from snuff bottles and carved jades, including the Heber R. Bishop Collection, to rugs, textiles, and costumes, as well as the more recent Japanese color prints, whose charm has won for them almost as much popularity in the western world as at home. A small but varied Indian collection in this section includes early Buddhistic stone sculpture and figures showing the influence of Greece.
In the same wing with the Japanese, Chinese, and Indian collections, the decorative genius of the Mohammedan countries is represented by masterpieces from Egypt, Syria, Mesopotamia, Persia, Turkey, Moorish Africa, and Spain, from the seventh century to the nineteenth century. Superb rugs and textiles from Persia, including the gift of James F. Ballard, Turkish ceramics, Syrian lamps and cups, metalwork and woodwork reveal Islam's preoccupation with design above all other elements. In the Cochran Collection there are excellent examples of Persian miniature painting, which, by its drawings, calligraphy, and novel perspective, has been a source of inspiration to many modern painters, chiefly Henri Matisse.
Included with the Near Eastern collections are the domed room from a Jain temple, and jewelry, jade, and textiles from India and Tibet. The Moore Collection of Near and Far Eastern pottery, metalwork, and glass is of special note. A large collection of casts of outstanding Greek and Roman sculptures is arranged chronologically for the benefit of students. Also included in galleries at the west end of the first floor is a collection of casts of Renaissance sculpture.
European Arms and Armor
The collection of European arms and armor, in the central hall at the west on the first floor and the large hall in the north wing, traces the development of the armorer's craft from the fourteenth century to its decline in the middle of the seventeenth century. The manner in which the complicated engineering problems of weight, balance, flexibility, and tension of materials were met by master craftsmen is an absorbing study. Horse armor is also shown, as well as axes, maces, swords, and, finally, pistols and small cannon, whose offensive strength, exceeding the resistance of the heaviest body armor, brought to a close the armorer's craft. The William H. Riggs and Bashford Dean Collections rank with the great European groups, and together with the Dino and Morosini Collections, present an impressive source of study in this field. Near Eastern items include helmets, chain mail and plate armor, jeweled swords, and firearms. A corresponding Japanese collection, an outstanding feature of which is its decorative quality, covers the feudal era from the twelfth to the nineteenth century.
In the northwest section of the west wing, first floor, the Crosby Brown Collection of Musical Instruments, consisting of more than 3,600 primitive and modern specimens among them a piano by Bartolomeo di Francesco Cristofori, inventor of the pianoforte presents the technical evolution and construction of many of our familiar string, reed, brass, and percussion instruments, and provides an introduction to the musical culture of civilized and primitive peoples throughout the world.
The Morgan Collection
The Pierpont Morgan Collection in a two-story extension, north of the west wing, is a priceless accumulation of European decorative arts from the Gallo-Roman and Merovingian periods to the early nineteenth century. Byzantine and medieval goldsmiths, enamelers, and ivory carvers contribute the most precious section of the collection. The work brought together by Georges Hoentschel of Paris is the most comprehensive group, and consists of sculpture, furniture, textiles, woodwork, ivories, and architectural fragments of the Gothic period, and of French decorative arts of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries furniture, decorative paintings, and ormolu fittings. Five Gothic tapestries representing the Sacraments, an Entombment, and a Pieta, the woodwork of a Louis XV room, and a shop front from the Quai Bourbon in Paris, snuff boxes, watches, vanities, scent bottles, and dance programs are also in the Morgan Collection.
Outstanding examples of medieval art in rooms near the Morgan Collection include a tapestry representing King Arthur, and three others of ladies and courtiers in a rose garden, holy figures in stone, stained-glass windows, and an embroidered chasuble of fourteenth-century England.
Modern European and American Sculpture
Rodin's assault on the academic tradition of his time is recorded in the section devoted to modern European sculpture, fronting the south entrance. More than twenty of his pieces are shown, including portrait heads and bronze and marble figures, as well as some of Rodin's original models in terra cotta. His return to Grecian and Renaissance models is carried further by Bourdelle and Maillol, whose exhibited work shows great vigor and plastic solidity. There is an interesting ballet figure by the painter Degas. The modern American sculpture group, in the corridors flanking the main staircase on the first and second floors, is somewhat small. It expresses mainly the two trends of academic sculpture, the neoclassical (symbolic) and the romantic. Contrasting with the work of such sculptors as Manship, MacMonnies, and French are those of William Zorach and of the expatriate, Jacob Epstein, whose heroic figures exercised a powerful influence in making the British public aware of the modern movement in art.
The collection of European and American painting, on the second floor, embraces more than 2,300 oils, tempera panels, pastels, and water colors. It includes important private collections bequeathed to the museum as well as contemporary American works bought with income from funds given by George A. Hearn.
The Marquand Gallery, at the head of the main staircase, serves as an entrance hall to the painting exhibits. It contains selected masterpieces by Florentine, Venetian, Dutch, and Flemish masters, among them Raphael, Veronese, Titian, Hals, Van Dyck, and Metsu.
The paintings in other rooms on the second floor are grouped more or less chronologically beginning with Italian, French, and North European primitives. There are examples, including two Giottesque panels, of the early Florentine school which broke with the rigid Byzantine tradition and developed the bases of the later traditions of European and American painting: perspective, spatial composition, atmospheric sense, and freedom of color. There are also works by the softer, lyrical Sienese painters, including Segna di Bonaventura and Pietro Lorenzetti. Among the most interesting Flemish painters are Bosch and Peter Brueghel, the Elder, whose fantasy, masterly drawing, and use of rhythmic patterns influence many artists today in the representation of mass scenes and social symbols. Crucifixion and Last Judgment, attributed to Hubert van Eyck, show the application of the new oil technique said to have been developed by this artist and his brother to supersede tempera painting. Other important painters in this group are Roger van der Weyden, Hugo van der Goes, Gerard David, and the German, Lucas Cranach. In Botticelli, Mantegna, and Pollaiuolo, the influence of antique sculpture and painting emphasizes line as the chief element in composition.
Venetian painting is introduced by Giovanni Bellini and Carpaccio, whose structural and atmospheric use of color was the starting point of truly modern painting. Works of Titian, Tintoretto, and Veronese show different developments of this original use of color in producing richer and more dramatic effects. A change in Venetian tradition is indicated in Tiepolo's eighteenth-century rococo ceiling painting, which may be compared with Pinturicchio's decoration for the ceiling of the reception hall of a Sienese palace. One of the small adjoining rooms contains drawings by Michelangelo, Rembrandt, Blake, Daumier, and others, and a collection of miniatures featuring the younger Holbein's portrait of Thomas Wriothesley.
Two painters are outstanding in the Spanish collection: El Greco, painter of the famous View of Toledo and other renowned masterpieces, who, as a pupil of Tintoretto, developed his teacher's use of strong color and swirling line to produce the structural distortions so forceful in design and emotional intensity, and anticipating the planned distortions of modern art; and Goya, whose portraits and landscapes evidence his genius for psychological characterization as well as for fantasy and allegory with profound social meaning.
Among seventeenth-century Dutch and Flemish painters, Rubens combines the realism of northern art with his robust personal interpretation of Venetian color tradition. Dutch genre, or intimate scene-painting, is represented by Peter de Hooch and Vermeer, the latter renowned for his skillful application of light to textures. Hals' amazing skill in the rendering of textures and his flair for character study are seen in such portraits as that of Malle Babbe, a fishwife. There are numerous Rembrandts, in which may be studied the master's method of composing by means of light and shadow in order to express the interior animation of his figures. Other paintings by Rembrandt and Hals are in the Altman Collection in a separate wing, which contains also several Italian and North European primitives, including works by Hans Memling, a Fra Angelico Crucifixion, two Holbein portraits, Dutch landscapes, and the Velasquez, Philip IV.
The next group comprises French painting of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The structural Renaissance painting of Poussin and of the father of landscape painting, Claude Lorraine, is succeeded by the skillful rococo art of Boucher and by David's "classical" imitations of Republican Rome, spiritual model of the intellectuals of the French Revolution.
English paintings of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries include those by the conventional portraitists descended from Van Dyck, Reynolds, and Gainsborough; and by Turner, once exaggeratedly hailed by Ruskin as one of the greatest artists of all time.
Beginning with Ingres, Delacroix, Courbet, Corot, and Daumier, the collection of modern French art, enriched by the Havemeyer bequest, includes most of the great masters of Impressionism and those who adopted its use of pure color and diffused light. There are fine examples of Manet, inspirer of the movement; Monet, its purest exponent; Degas, painter of occupations and casual day-to-day existence ; and finally Renoir and Cezanne, who, for their color and monumental form, rank with the world's foremost painters. Recent painting is represented by the work of such diverse artists as Picasso, Matisse, Van Gogh, Rousseau, Pascin, and Derain placed face to face with Rosa Bonheur's Horse Fair, perhaps to contrast their paramount interest in design with the earlier romantic devotion to dramatic subjects. A group of miscellaneous small oils runs the gamut from Constable, one of the few important English painters and an ancestor of Impressionism, to the pointillist Seurat, renowned for his spatial compositions.
The water color collection includes mainly the work of American and French artists.
The large collection of early American painting is historically interesting for the subjects of its portraits and its historical tableaux. These are followed by the landscapes of the Hudson River school and by works of George Inness, Winslow Homer, the mystic-ascetic Ryder, the realist Eakins, Whistler, and the flashy Sargent. Contemporary American painting, as seen in the Hearn Fund room, indicates the influence of modern European traditions, either academized or modified creatively in relation with the life and environment of the artists.
The American Wing
The American Wing, a gift of Mr. and Mrs. Robert W. de Forest, is devoted to the decorative arts of the Colonial, Revolutionary, and early Republican periods. On the three floors of the wing, rooms have been reconstructed to convey an accurate sense of the use of the various articles of furniture, metalwork, glass- and silverware, and of their place in the decorative scheme of parlors, dining-rooms, bedrooms, and tavern rooms. Interesting and historically significant are the great hall of the eighteenthcentury Van Rensselaer manor house, presented by Mrs. William Bayard Van Rensselaer, and the assembly room from Gadsby's Tavern, Alexandria, Virginia, where Washington attended his last birthday ball. Most striking is the functional character of early American craftsmanship, its careful adherence to the nature of the materials used and the simple severity of its design. American Colonial art is one of the most original of all decorative styles based on classical motifs.
Other galleries throughout the museum contain large exhibits of European decorative arts from the sixteenth to the twentieth century, and of glassware, sundials, clocks, and watches, as well as costumes, textiles, and laces.
The works of great printmakers are arranged in temporary exhibits on the second floor of the north wing. The museum's large collection of prints is in the Print Study Room, where it may be examined by visitors. Most of the famous graphic artists are represented, including exceptional groups of Rembrandt etchings, Diirer engravings and woodcuts, and examples of Holbein, Goya, Daumier, Blake, Meryon, and Whistler. Historic and technical material on etching, wood block and lithographic processes is in the Print Study Room. The recent revival of interest in the graphic arts makes these collections especially valuable to both artists and students.
To enhance the active use of its treasures, the museum offers lectures, gallery talks, appointments with its instructors, and other educational services. Copying and photographing of exhibits are permitted. Members of the museum may attend special courses; courses for teachers and talks for pupils in public schools, and story hours for children are also given. An auditorium seating 450 persons and five classrooms are in use. An extensive library contains books for reference and photographs, and lantern slides and other material may be obtained for study at a nominal rental through the Extension Division of the museum.
Eight Saturday evening concerts are usually given each year during January and March by a symphony orchestra under the direction of David Mannes, although in 1939 only the four January concerts were given.
MUSEUM OF THE CITY OF NEW YORK
This is New York's Family Album. With painstaking candor, it reveals fond of this place ; they come in large numbers and pass through it slowly, impressed and often amused, as if they were thumbing the pages of their own plush-covered book.
The museum opened in 1923 in the old Gracie Mansion overlooking the East River at East Eighty-eighth Street. Its present home, built in 1931-2 on land provided by the city, faces Central Park at Fifth Avenue between 103d and 1O4th Streets. Funds for construction were raised by private subscription. Income for maintenance is derived from four sources: city appropriations, endowments, admission fees, and contributions.
The five-story building, designed by Joseph H. Friedlander, the prizewinning architect, is a good example of the modern adaptation of Georgian Colonial architecture. The central section, set back from the building line and flanked by two wings, is executed in red brick, trimmed with white marble. An approach of veined white marble leads to the marble-faced main entrance, above which are four Ionic columns supporting a pediment. To the right and left of the entrance walk are small gardens backed by loggias along the projecting wings. The building's chaste interior, with its exquisitely designed rooms, in cream or light gray tones, and floors for the most part of marble, inset with medallion shapes and borders of contrasting black stone, is characteristic of a mansion of the Federal period. The semicircular entrance hall has a handsome marble floor, a brilliant chandelier, and a curved flying staircase of unusual grace, with marble steps and wrought-iron railings.
The first floor is mainly devoted to historical galleries. The J. Clarence Davies Gallery in the north wing traces the growth of the city from an Indian village to a fair-sized town at the close of the Revolutionary War; while the Altman Foundation Gallery in the south wing continues the account of the city's development from the Federal period to the present. Miniature groups picture events and scenes of the past, including the purchase of Manhattan Island, 1626 ; Stone Street, 1659 ; the surrender of New Amsterdam, 1664; the inauguration of Washington, 1789 ; Bowling Green, 1831 reaching, dramatically, to the construction of the Empire State Building in 1930. Both galleries have many rare and interesting prints and documents of bygone New York; and objects reminiscent of its history, such as a Dutch sleigh, a horse-drawn streetcar, and the tallyho coach.
Dutch furniture and portraits and miniatures of early New Yorkers are displayed in the corridor of the first floor. Here is also a collection illustrating the history of fires and fire fighting; it includes a mid-nineteenthcentury fire engine and hose carriage, and a series of models displaying the evolution of the fire engine. On a rear terrace of the south wing, under a loggia overlooking the pleasant garden court, is a copy of the bronze Romulus and Remus (at the Capitoline Museum), which was presented in 1928 by the governor of Rome.
On the second floor a room is devoted to memorabilia of George Washington and Alexander Hamilton. In the north wing are costumes that represent the changing fashions from the Dutch period to the end of the nineteenth century. In the south wing is a comprehensive collection of sailboat and steamboat models, engravings of packets and merchantmen, figureheads from old clipper ships the figurehead of the U.S.S. Constitution dominates the east end and a number of ships' fixtures and nautical instruments ; through this collection may be traced the history of the port of New York. Display cases in the platform room at the head of the stairs show a collection of silver by New York craftsmen. Here, and throughout the corridors and smaller rooms, the domestic and commercial details of early American life are abundantly illustrated by furniture, lace, personal ornament, and deeds of sale. Adjoining the silver collection is a small gallery devoted to the history of the New York Stock Exchange. Photomurals, documents, and models show the development of the exchange from 1792 to the present.
A series of models in the Communication Gallery third floor, north wing illustrates the rise of communication, from the inauguration of the New York-Boston Post route in 1672, through the mast-and-yard method of barrel signals, to the development of an intricate radio system. One exhibit depicts the great blizzard of 1888, showing the wreckage sustained by sleet-burdened telegraph and telephone lines. Another series of models traces the growth of retail merchandising from the Weigh House Pier of 1660 to early and modern examples of five-and-ten-cent stores. In the south wing on the same floor is recorded the architectural development of the city. Another room is devoted to theatrical and musical history.
On the fourth floor are administration offices and study rooms that contain departments of costume, furniture, and silver ; prints, theater, and music. The material in these departments is kept in the custody of curators and may be examined only by appointment. The reference library has a number of rare manuscripts.
On the fifth floor are a bedroom and a dressing room, typical of the 1880's, from the New York residence of the late John D. Rockefeller.
Galleries in the museum, including an auditorium on the ground floor, are used for special exhibitions, held monthly from October to June, and devoted to different phases of the city's past. An important service of the museum is offered through the facilities of its educational department, which supplies guides to public and private school children as well as to adult groups. This department also presents a semiweekly series of motion pictures of New York; midweek illustrated lectures primarily designed for schoolteachers ; Saturday afternoon gallery tours for adults and story hours for children; and Sunday afternoon lectures by guest speakers. Membership in the junior museum club is open to any child in New York. A course is offered in museum educational methods in co-operation with the Board of Higher Education, and lecturers are supplied to schools, women's clubs, and other organizations. Schools may avail themselves of series of portable history sets, comprised of cardboard models illustrating various phases in New York history.
CATHEDRAL OF ST. JOHN THE DIVINE
St. John's has been rising, stone on stone, for almost half a century a pure masonry structure. Dominating Morningside Heights plateau the cathedral appears to grow out of the masses of jagged gneiss of which Manhattan Island is made. Out from the cliff emerge the seven clustered apsidal chapels, crowned with peaked verdigris roofs, that emphasize the vertical motif of the whole cathedral. From the apex of the roof a figure of Gabriel with his trumpet salutes the East. Eventually when the cathedral assumes its final form, the crossing tower will dominate the whole mass.
The church grounds comprise eleven and a half acres. South of the cathedral are the synod house, St. Faith's House, the bishop's house, the deanery and the choir school, and the old synod house. These French and English Gothic buildings and the cathedral form a harmonious group.
The ambitious plans proposed by the Right Reverend Horatio Potter in 1872 to erect the largest church in America, began to be realized in 1892 when his nephew and successor, Bishop Henry Codman Potter, purchased the present site part of the battlefield of Harlem Heights. The cornerstone was laid on St. John's Day, December 27, 1892.
More than twenty million dollars has been expended in the construction (1939). Two-thirds of this was raised in a nation-wide campaign for funds in 1924, when contributions were solicited from all races and religious creeds for a "place of worship for all people." John D. Rockefeller, Jr., a Baptist, gave five hundred thousand dollars.
Construction has advanced in a manner comparable to that of the medieval churches of northern France, with some changes in design and style, occasional years of idleness,, and a lack of adequate funds. The first service, in the crypt (beneath the choir), was held in 1899. Twelve years later, in 1911, the choir and the crossing were opened. The foundation stone of the great nave was laid in 1925, the west front was commenced in 1925, and the north transept in 1927.
When completed this cathedral will be the largest church building in America and the largest Gothic cathedral in the world, 60 1 feet long and 146 feet wide at the nave and 320 feet wide at the transept. It was begun after plans by Heins and La Farge who envisioned a beautiful and harmonious combination of elements inspired by Byzantine and early French and English Gothic architecture. Theirs was the general conception of the church: a great cruciform, with a crossing (surmounted by a lofty tower) broad enough to seat the entire congregation.
In 1911, both the original architects having died, the trustees decided to abandon the "Romanesque" design in favor of "pure Gothic," and the architectural firm of Cram and Ferguson was engaged. An obvious contrast in styles was the result. Eventually, it is planned to alter the earlier parts of the cathedral so that they will conform with the later ones; and the finished edifice, save for certain parts of the apse and the seven apsidal chapels, thus will be essentially the design of one architect, Ralph Adams Cram. The edifice is no mere copy of any existing structure; the architects sought rather to create a cathedral such as might have been fashioned in France in the thirteenth century.
The west front, seen from Amsterdam Avenue at ii2th Street, has two towers: St. Peter's (left) and St. Paul's (right) ; these will be 266.5 feet high when completed. Its five recessed portals are adorned with figures of saints and prophets, martyrs and preachers that were modeled by Lee Lawrie and John Angel. The elaborate carving on the gold-plated bronze doors of the central portal, modeled by John Angel, depicts events from the Old and New Testaments. The doors of the other four portals are of teakwood from Burma.
In the nave the alternation of great lofty clustered piers with lesser ones produces a singular effect of verticality and openness. These piers divide the nave from the spacious side aisles. The vault of the nave, 124 feet high, is in six parts the first of its kind in America. At the time the cathedral was planned, steel had not yet been proved a lasting construction material; the architects, therefore, chose to build in stone. In the finished church only the framework of the roof above the stone vaulting will be of steel. The use of flying buttresses was also avoided because the architects believed that such exposed masonry would crack in the rigorous climate of New York. Instead, high side aisles that reached to the full height of the nave were employed, thus supplying the necessary buttressing for the nave vaulting and adding greatly to the general impression of spaciousness.
The seven aisle bays for chapels on each side of the nave are dedicated to diverse subjects such as Sports, the Arts, the Labors of Man, the Medical Profession, and the Legal Profession. Above them, where their roofs abut the aisle walls, runs the delicate tracery of the triforium gallery surmounted by stained-glass clerestory windows. A temporary wall now blocks the nave from the crossing, the choir, and high altar.
The north and south transepts, when completed, will each be as wide as the nave itself. The north one, begun in 1927, will be dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary, and the other to John the Evangelist.
The choir, enclosed by semicircular arches, may best be seen from the east side of the crossing. The finials of the oak choir stalls are carved in the form of figures of musicians and composers of church music; these were modeled by Otto Jahnsen. In the presbytery is the bishop's throne, a lofty seat of carved oak. The pulpit, of Tennessee marble, has five principal niches, containing scenes, in relief, from the life of Christ. Behind the high altar of Vermont marble is the richly carved reredos. Its central figure is a seven-foot representation of Christ, its size indicative of the scale of the cathedral. Four characters from the Old Testament are on the left, and four from the New Testament are on the right.
Supporting the apse vaulting and roof, eight powerful columns of light-gray granite, fifty-five feet high, form a semicircle behind the sanctuary; each is a memorial. Eventually, the half -dome of the apse, which lacks the mosaics planned for it, will be replaced by Gothic vaulting, and a row of clerestory windows will extend around the upper chancel wall.
The ambulatory separates the choir and sanctuary from the seven apsidal chapels, the baptistery, and the vestry room. In order, from the south side of the choir, the chapels are : St. James, English Gothic, by Henry Vaughn ; St. Ambrose, modified Renaissance, by Carrere and Hastings; St. Martin of Tours, early thirteenth-century Gothic, by Cram and Ferguson; St. Saviour, English decorated Gothic, by Heins and La Farge; St. Columba, Norman, by Heins and La Farge; St. Boniface, English Gothic, by Henry Vaughn ; and St. Ansgarius, fourteenth-century Gothic, by Henry Vaughn.
St. Ambrose's is particularly light and graceful the one Renaissance feature of the cathedral. In St. Boniface's the glass is very fine, as is the vaulting of St. Martin's, where stands a marble figure of Joan of Arc, by Anna Hyatt Huntington.
The baptistery, designed by Cram and Ferguson, is octagonal in plan, and is a masterly accomplishment in workmanship, detail, and symbolism. The font itself, fifteen feet high is of Champville marble, and its panels commemorate the life of John the Baptist.
Among the many gifts to the cathedral are the twelve- foot Menorah lights in the sanctuary on either side of the high altar. They follow the design of those that stood in Solomon's Temple and are the first of their kind used in a Christian cathedral. A pair of teak and gold chests, in the Chapel of St. Saviour, were presented by the King of Siam.
The cathedral serves the Protestant Episcopal diocese of New York which has in its territory 280 parishes and missions, and whose bishop is the Right Reverend William T. Manning.
Sixty-nine buildings grouped on Morningside Heights constitute the main body of Columbia University, one of the oldest, largest, and bestknown educational institutions in the country. Established "for the instruction and education of youth in the learned languages, and in the liberal arts and sciences," Columbia has stretched the word "youth" to include persons of all ages, and its curriculum to embrace almost every field of learning. Each year some thirty thousand students come here to study under a faculty of about three thousand; twelve thousand students attend the summer session.
Columbia College, original nucleus of the university, is still a liberal arts college, but around it have grown schools devoted to the study of medicine, law, dentistry, optometry, engineering, business, architecture, library service, journalism, political- science, and philosophy. Teachers College, Barnard College, the College of Pharmacy, 115 West Sixty-eighth Street, the College of Physicians and Surgeons in Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center (see page 298), the New York Post-Graduate Medical School, 303 East Twentieth Street, and Bard College at Annandale-onHudson are independent corporations within the university. Close association with Union Theological Seminary (see page 290) provides Columbia with what is virtually a theological department.
The university is widely known for the range of its scholarship and scientific research, and for its liberal policy in education. The Law School and the Faculty of Political Science, for example, have contributed several professors to the "Brain Trust" of the New Deal Rexford G. Tugwell, Raymond Moley, A. A. Berle, Jr., and Roswell Magill as well as Joseph McGoldrick to the comptrollership of New York. The brown Victorian structures of Teachers College are in the "valley," on the block between Broadway and Amsterdam Avenue and i2Oth and i2ist Streets. Since its founding in 1886 as the College for the Training of Teachers, Teachers College has profoundly affected the development of educational technique, and its faculty has acquired unrivaled prestige among educators. It was "T.C.'s" John Dewey whose instrumentalist philosophy led to the abandonment of authoritarian educational methods in favor of learning through experiment and practice. William H. Kilpatrick, a leading interpreter of Dewey 's philosophy and a major influence in the progressiveeducation movement, has taught thousands of teachers from every part of the world. George S. Counts has stressed the relation between economics and education. Edward L. Thorndike, America's leading researcher in aptitudes and intelligence, stimulated the adult-education movement with his discovery that learning capacity does not greatly diminish with age. Many other leaders, such as Rugg, Strayer, Mort, Engelhardt, Patty Hill, and Goodwin Watson, have contributed to T.C.'s pre-eminence. Many younger institutions are staffed with T.C. graduates.
As laboratories for experimental high school and elementary work, Teachers College operates Lincoln School, 425 West 123d Street; Horace Mann School, Broadway at i2oth Street; and Horace Mann School for Boys, Riverdale Avenue and 252d Street, the Bronx.
Many great minds have served the Columbia Faculties of Science and Philosophy. Famous in recent generations is the historical school of James Harvey Robinson, Charles A. Beard, James T. Shotwell, Carlton Hayes, Lynn Thorndike, and David S. Muzzey. Robinson and Beard resigned during the war and established the New School for Social Research (see page 139) downtown. Beard's resignation was in protest against the expulsion of a colleague for his pacifism. Columbia faculty members have made numerous contributions in chemistry and physics, among them Professor Harold C. Urey's discovery of "heavy water" (the heavy atom or hydrogen isotope in water), which was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1934. Michael Pupin, one of America's outstanding inventors in the field of electricity, was at the university for many years. Franz Boas founded a school of anthropology at Columbia and is a leading authority on the subject. Edward MacDowell, widely known for his songs and symphonic tone poems, taught at Columbia at the turn of the century. Criticism of American drama has been considerably enriched by the work of Professor Brander Matthews, long a faculty member. Many of Matthews' students became playrights, critics, and novelists. The sprightly John Erskine, novelist and one of the directors of the Metropolitan Opera, was for many years a member of the English Department.
Of significance are the Columbia School of Journalism, the only graduate school of its kind in the world, the School of Library Service, oldest and largest in the country, and the Department of Extension. The lastnamed offers an amazing variety of afternoon, evening, and Saturday morning courses. At the Law School have been educated such men as President Theodore Roosevelt, President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes, and Justices Harlan Fiske Stone and Benjamin N. Cardozo of the Supreme Court of the United States.
Columbia's library, housed largely in new South Hall, is the third largest university library in the United States. It contains 1,615,000 volumes. Some 40,000 volumes in Avery Hall make up the largest single collection of books on architecture in America, and the fourth largest law library in the world, 200,000 volumes, is in the Law Building.
Barnard College, named for one of the outstanding presidents of Columbia University, Frederick A. P. Barnard, was established in 1889. At that time higher education for women was still considered generally to be unnecessary and inappropriate. Despite opposition on the part of trustees, faculty, and students, in 1883 Barnard succeeded in establishing at Columbia a course for women equivalent to that offered male students, although graduates received only a specially invented degree, Bachelor of Humane Letters. It was not until 1889, when a separate college was established for them, that women were granted academic equality with men.
Columbia was chartered as King's College October 31, 1754, although instruction had begun July 17, with a faculty of one preceptor, the Reverand Samuel Johnson, and a student body of eight. It was the sixth college established in the Colonies. Classes were first held in the schoolhouse of Trinity Church, and Trinity provided the first campus, between Church, Barclay, and Murray Streets to the Hudson River (Greenwich Street), from the church farm. A public lottery supplied funds. From the beginning, the college was notable for its charter which established religious freedom for both faculty and students. Among early graduates were Alexander Hamilton (1778), Gouverneur Morris (1768), John Jay (1764), Robert R. Livingston (1765), and De Witt Clinton (1786).
After the Revolutionary War, King's College was rechristened Columbia. Its progress was slow. Although the city was passing through a prosperous phase, it was more fashionable to endow out-of-town colleges than an obscure and struggling local institution. Its position improved, however, in 1814 when the Legislature, in response to an appeal by the trustees, granted to the college the Elgin Botanical Gardens, a tract of land between Forty-seventh and Fifty-first Streets, extending from Fifth Avenue to within a hundred feet of Sixth Avenue. The grant was made because Columbia had not shared in the proceeds of a lottery the State had conducted for the benefit of educational institutions. The college never moved there as planned, but retained ownership of the property, which includes most of the site of Rockefeller Center.
So gradual was the growth of Columbia that ninety years after its founding it had but 107 students. In 1857 the college moved uptown to the renovated buildings of a home for the deaf and dumb on Madison Avenue between Forty-ninth and Fiftieth Streets. There, by 1890, it began to assume some of the characteristics of a university. A steady increase in donations accelerated expansion to such an extent that by 1892 the institution had i, 600 students and eighty instructors. The Morningside campus was occupied in 1897, and the title of the college, officially changed in 1896 to Columbia University in the City of New York, was so approved by the State Legislature in 1912.
When the present campus plan was adopted in the 1890's, the architects, McKim, Mead, and White, envisioned a series of small closed courts, formally related to one another and dominated by a great domed central building, Low Memorial Library. Because not all the contemplated units have been built, a certain diffuseness characterizes many of the present views. The one completed quadrangle, between Avery, Schermerhorn, and Fayerweather Halls and St. Paul's Chapel, does achieve the intimate, cloistered effect the architects intended. Little St. Paul's Chapel, built in 1903 by Howells and Stokes, derives an altogether pleasing dignity from beautiful proportions and charming details.
The Low Memorial Library, facing n6th Street, combines some of the grandeur of Roman structure with Greek refinement in a classic building that has been widely praised, although it long ago failed as a usable library. Especial emphasis is given to the stone library by the fact that the surrounding academic buildings are of red brick. In the older structures, limestone trim was wisely limited, but unrestrained use of trim in the more recent work detracts from the serenity of the general effect.
The most recent buildings were not happily designed. Sixteen-story John Jay Hall, at the south end of the college quadrangle, is so disturbingly high that it destroys the harmony of the whole lower end of the campus. South Hall, the new library, fits badly into the group, largely because it clashes in scale with the near-by buildings.
Columbia has not escaped the accusation of applying mass production methods to higher education, and has been called "a factory of education." Certainly a corporation that has six thousand employees, thirty thousand customers, an annual budget of more than ten million dollars, and is one of the largest landowners in the city, cannot avoid the appearance of an industry. The likeness is enhanced by the fact that a large part of the university's capital resources of more than $150,000,000 is invested in real estate and securities of railroads and large industrial corporations, and is supervised by directors and trustees whose names are associated with big business. Harvard is the only wealthier university in the country.
It was during the presidency of Nicholas Murray Butler, who took office in 1902, that the university achieved its present physical and cultural dimensions. Under Dr. Butler's guidance, the growth of Columbia was remarkable even in a period of nation-wide educational expansion. Many institutions, both foreign and domestic, have called him a "great liberal" in granting him academic honors. Some detractors have charged him with being a "devout servant of vested wealth." There is general agreement, however, that he was largely responsible for broadening the appeal of higher education. One of the innovations credited to him is the use of modern publicity methods in the field of learning. For every student enrolled in Columbia when Dr. Butler became president, today there are seven.
THE RIVERSIDE CHURCH
The Riverside Church, set on a commanding eminence overlooking the Hudson, is associated with the names of Dr. Harry Emerson Fosdick, pastor since its beginning, and a member, John D. Rockefeller, Jr., whose financial assistance was largely responsible for the building's construction. Its site is the crest of a hill with a sharp drop to the east, a steep slope to the river on the west, and a descent into the valley crossed by West 12 5th Street on the north.
Nominally a Baptist organization, the church is characterized by a liberal denominational appeal indicated, for example, in the fact that the Society of Friends holds services in one of its tower rooms. The Gothicclothed structure houses the service and recreational units of a complex social enterprise, with clubrooms, classrooms, nurseries, bowling alleys, a library, a theater and gymnasium. In less than a decade since its construction (1929-30) it has become a community center, with some ten thousand people involved in its activities weekly. A full-time staff of 70, along with 143 part-time workers, is required to assist the pastor.
The church, designed by the firm of Allen, Pelton, and Collens, clearly reflects in its details the famous thirteenth-century Cathedral of Chartres, in northwestern France. Its completion in 1929, after a delay caused by a spectacular fire in the tower, was followed by violent critical debate: to some the architecture of the cathedral seemed "a late example of bewildered eclecticism, of cultural servitude to Europe, a travesty on thirteenthcentury Gothic," while to others the Gothic style used was considered the one most appropriate for a place of worship.
A basic criticism is that, in using modern steel construction, Gothic architecture is reduced to a mere shell covering the structural members. Thus the exterior buttresses of this church are functionally unnecessary and would be hopelessly inadequate if they alone supported a solid masonry vault. Their smallness has the effect of making the building itself seem smaller than it is, so that its scale is scarcely impressive, even when seen at close range.
No pains were spared in the workmanship of the carving, the stained glass, the metalwork, and the miscellaneous details. In themselves, the decorations constitute a pictorial textbook of Biblical history.
The building appears to be composed of two units ; the northern section, which houses the nave, although more than ten stories in height, is like an appendage attached to the tower. The latter rises from a base 100 feet square to a height of 392 feet, and with the belfry is approximately thirty stories high. The nave exterior, boldly designed with pointed buttresses and deeply recessed Gothic-arched rose windows, is faced with Indiana limestone.
The design of the main entrance, or west portal, in the base of the tower, is based upon that of the Porte Royale at Chartres. A seated figure of Christ, surrounded by the four symbols of the Evangelists, is carved in relief in the tympanum. In the concentric arches of the recessed opening are statues of forty-two leading personalities of science, philosophy, and religion. South of the west portal is the chapel doorway, which, like all of the exterior iconography, embodies in carved stone the symbolism of the Nativity and the eternity of life. To the north, Angels of the Apocalypse are ensconsed in niches in the upper part of the apse, while the Resurrection Angel with a trumpet is stationed on the ridge, to mark the position of the cross in the chancel below. At the "cloister" entrance on Claremont Avenue three figures above the door represent Faith, Hope, and Charity.
The well-proportioned limestone nave is 215 feet in length, 89 feet in width, and 100 feet in height. The omission of many features of the usual Gothic plan, which ordinarily tend to make the choir appear distant, permits a large number of people to feel that they are close to the chancel. Suppression of a transept, and small chapels, narrow side aisles, and exceptional nave width all contribute to the effect. In addition to the dark oak pews in the nave proper, seating is provided in the triforium gallery and in two galleries at the south end, accommodating 2,500 persons in all.
The bays of the nave are designed with great simplicity, subordinating stonework to the sparkle of stained glass. The apse also is restrained in character. It consists of a decorative background of seven radiating bays with an ascending carved screenwork of white Caen stone. The windows, mosaics of colored light, grow richer toward the apse ; here delicate tracery enhances their graceful jambs.
The stained-glass windows, with the possible exception of recent ones installed in the Cathedral of St. John the Divine (see page 380), are among the finest in the city. In all there are fifty-one including the two great rose windows above the second gallery which recount the story of the Ten Commandments and the Parables.
The tower's twenty-two stories contain church offices, ministerial studies, Sunday School and club rooms and a late French Romanesque chapel, with a simple vault in eleventh-century style. The Laura Spelman Rockefeller Memorial carillon, the largest in the world, is composed of seventytwo bells. Above the bells is the observation gallery, surmounted by a red beacon that shines at night for the guidance of airmen.
Riverside's history dates back to the small congregation of the Stanton Street Church. In 1841 several hundred of its members acquired a large building not far from its original home and there organized a new body called the Norfolk Street Baptist Church. During the following seventy years the church moved successively to Fifth Avenue, Park Avenue, and, in 1930, to its present site on Riverside Drive.
With Randall's and Ward's islands as stepping-stones, the Triborough Bridge strides into three boroughs Manhattan, Queens, and the Bronx. The bridge proper, near the confluence of the Harlem and East Rivers, is a Y-shaped structure comprising four overwater bridges and twelve grade separations (or bridges over land). Its over-all elevated length of 17,710 feet is exceeded only by that of the San Francisco-Oakland Bridge.
Linked with fourteen miles of highway connections, it speeds traffic by shunting through-vehicles away from congested areas and carrying them swiftly across the boroughs.
From Pelham Bay Park in the Bronx, where it taps the Westchester County parkway system, the northern connecting route follows Eastern Boulevard and Whitlock Avenue for six and a quarter miles to a reinforced concrete viaduct between East i32d and East i34th Streets. At that point an overland and overwater bridge, seven truss spans with a total length of i, 600 feet, crosses the Bronx Kills to Randall's Island. The center span, which carries two four-lane roadways and sidewalks, may be converted into a vertical-lift bridge if the Kills should be made navigable.
On Randall's Island this Bronx arm of the bridge meets, at a right angle, the Manhattan arm in the circular swirl of under- and overpasses of what is probably the most ingenious traffic- sorter ever constructed. From there the bridge marches in a single long reach of stilted viaduct and trestle across Little Hell Gate and Ward's Island to turn eastward on suspension cables over Hell Gate (East River) to Astoria, Queens.
No sooner does the roadway come back to earth in Astoria than it drops into an eight-lane depressed thoroughfare to avoid Queens cross traffic. Then, rising again, it follows Astoria Boulevard and Grand Central Parkway, skirting Flushing Bay and the World's Fair site, and more than six miles out in Queens, it leads into the network of Long Island State parkways.
The Manhattan connecting thoroughfare starts at the foot of East Ninety-second Street, runs a mile and a half up the East River shore, and crosses the Harlem River at 12 5th Street to Randall's Island. This crossing consists of three truss spans, with a total length of 772 feet, and a 3io-foot vertical-lift bridge, the largest in the country. Electric motors in two 210foot steel towers raise the lift span, with its two triple-lane roadways and its sidewalks, eighty feet in the air to permit the passage of large vessels. When it is locked, the span is fifty-five feet above the water.
The East River suspension bridge is the largest overwater unit of the Triborough system. A pair of twenty-and-three-quarter-inch cables passing over two 31 5-foot steel towers carry eight traffic lanes to a height of 135 feet above the river. The main span is 1,380 feet long, while the two land spans are each 705 feet long. Although it lacks the startling beauty of George Washington Bridge (see page 399), this structure has considerable grace. Its twin steel towers are lighter and simpler than those of the George Washington (which were intended to be covered by stonework) ; and its mighty concrete abutments that anchor the cables clearly indicate their function. A striking contrast is furnished by the neighboring Hell Gate span of the New York Connecting Railroad Bridge ; its bold arc expresses a triumph over gravity perhaps even more forcefully than the dipping, passive catenaries of the suspension bridge.
Triborough Bridge was begun by the Department of Plant and Structures October 25, 1929, but work was discontinued for lack of funds in the spring of 1932. The Triborough Bridge Authority, which resumed construction in November, 1933, would have preferred to place the Manhattan end at about looth Street, with the junction on Ward's Island, but it was then too late to shift. The Authority, however, did build part of the East River Drive as an approach, and so reclaimed a mile and a half of blighted water-front area.
To prevent the customary degeneration of underbridge land into unsightly catchalls, these parts of the Triborough right of way were landscaped as parks and playgrounds. At the Astoria end a large riverside park includes a mammoth outdoor swimming pool as well as shady walks and play spaces. On Randall's Island two old institutions, the Children's Hospital and the House of Refuge, were razed and the whole island was transformed into a recreation park around a great municipal stadium. These were made accessible from the bridge. Under the Manhattan ramps at 1 2 4th Street another large recreation field was built. When the Manhattan State Hospital is removed, Ward's Island will also become park area.
The bridge was opened for traffic July, 1936. Of the total cost of $60,300,000, New York City appropriated $16,100,000, while the Federal Public Works Administration made a grant of $9,200,000 and bought $35,000,000 of bonds. In 1937 these bonds were bought back from the Government and were refinanced by direct sale to the public.
To the motorist, the Triborough Bridge brings an exhilarating freedom from congestion and stop lights that is worth much more than the toll charge. He must pass but one toll point, and he never crosses the path of another vehicle at grade.
To the pedestrian, the bridge offers one of the most spectacular highlevel walks in the country. In recommending that walkers start from the Astoria end, Lewis Mumford wrote: "Here is one of the few places . . . where one can see New York across a foreground of verdure and water and it must be counted one of the most dazzling urban views in the world."
HARLEM RIVER HOUSES
In New York City's most overcrowded community, Harlem where Negroes pay as much as 50 per cent of their incomes for rent, where the rent party is an institution, and where the "hot bed" serves three shifts of sleepers a day are the Harlem River Houses, a group of apartment buildings that provide more sunlight, fresh air, and certain other advantages of good housing than the residences of fashionable Park Avenue.
Built in 1937 by the Federal Administration of Public Works, Housing Division, the project is a recognition in brick and mortar of the special and urgent needs of Harlem, and the first large-scale modern housing community made available for low-income Manhattan residents at rents they can afford. The houses, a $4,500,000 development, are occupied by 574 Negro families paying rents ranging from $19.28 to $31.42 a month. This development of nine acres (.014 square mile) indicates what may be the solution for 4.4 square miles of Manhattan housing condemned as unfit for human habitation. As a first effort of the present national housing program it has exerted a great influence on the future of that program; and it is significant not only as a step toward solving the problem of the "illhoused one-third," but also toward raising the housing standards of highincome groups. Indicative of the wide influence of the Federal Government's housing program is the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company's proposed large-scale apartment house development in the Bronx.
The layout of the Harlem River Houses is a testimonial to the designers' ingenuity in mastering a difficult site. With 151st Street as the base, the plot is the shape of a trapezoid split a little to the east of center by Seventh Avenue. One Hundred and Fifty-second Street, closed to traffic, divides the western portion. The architects Archibald Manning Brown in association with Charles F. Fuller, Horace Ginsbern, Frank J. Forster, Will Rice Amon, Richard W. Buckley, and John Louis Wilson contrived a pleasing, harmonious arrangement that retains a maximum of useful open area. There are three separate groups of buildings each group composed of Z-, T-, and L-shaped sections two west of Seventh Avenue and one east. The east group, designed in relation to the Harlem River, has a more rambling plan than the other two, which are separated by the 15 ad Street axis and fall into a graciously formal pattern. The western buildings are arranged in a quiet manner around a large rectangular plaza that forms a center for the development and makes it seem more spacious.
The details of the general plan are equally fortunate. A wide playground and park border the Harlem River ; while for the use of the younger children there is an ingenious sunken playground in each half of the plaza. The landscaping, supervised by Michael Rapuano, and the sculptures, by Heinz Warnecke, with the assistance of T. Barbarossa, R. Barthe, and F. Steinberger, are excellent. Minor courts are liberally planted, but the welltrodden areas, save for the through paved paths, are laid with cobblestones. The landscaped sloping eastern court, leading first to an amphitheater, and then to the playgrounds, presents an especially pleasing aspect.
The Seventh Avenue court of this eastern group has a statue of two playful bear cubs, carved of black basalt. A sunken fountain area in the center of the large plaza has a group of four black basalt penguins, each digging under a wing with its nib. At the southern end of the plaza is a statue of a Negro laborer, while at the opposite end is a group depicting domesticity: mother and child with a dog. These pieces of statuary, ideally suited for their setting, are carved of pink and black marble.
The site of the Harlem River Houses was purchased from the Rockefeller estate for one million dollars. Made of a pleasant red brick, most of the buildings have four stories and basement. All are equal in height, for those on lower levels of the terrain have an additional story. The glass enclosed stairshafts rising above the entrance doors accent the simple pattern formed by wide and ample room windows. There is very little trim and the impression of the whole is one of charming simplicity. A certain carelessness, however, is evident in the material and design of the surface detail. In the words of T. F. Hamlin's enthusiastic article in Pencil Points, "The whole, in detailing, looks tired as if the creative drive and the creator's pleasure, which had sailed so triumphantly through the period of general planning and design, had suddenly failed when it came to the last, completing touches. Harlem River Homes is so generally beautiful that one longs for it to be perfect. What might have been great architecture is merely very good."
Sixty of the 574 apartments have two rooms with kitchenette; 259 have three rooms, 232 have four rooms, and 23 have five rooms. Each apartment has electric refrigeration and lighting, steam heat, ample closet space, steel casement windows, and a tiled bath; each has cross ventilation. The structural division of the buildings, with no more than four apartments opening on any hallway, insures privacy and quiet. Lewis Mumford has declared that "in essentials of plan and arrangement, these quarters are superior to any comparable area of residential apartments in the city."
A share in a community life is made possible for each tenant by such facilities as four social halls for adult use, a nursery school for children of working mothers, a health clinic operated by the New York City Department of Health, community laundries, and rooms for indoor play. A residents' association promotes group social and cultural activities.
Only Negroes from substandard dwellings are accepted as tenants, and no family is admitted that has an income amounting to more than five times the rent. Another rule requires reasonable proof of an applicant's continuing ability to pay his rent. Thus relatively few Harlem families are eligible. The average income per family derived from the work of more than one wage earner in Harlem River Houses is about $1,350. Sixty per cent of the working tenants are unskilled, while n.6 per cent are semiskilled.
Forty-five per cent of the development's cost was granted outright by the Federal Government; 55 per cent is to be repaid over a period of sixty years. The houses are operated by the New York City Housing Authority which leases the project from the United States Housing Authority.
Transcending the physical aspects of the development are the social, and one item in the first year's record spoke eloquently: not a single case of delinquency or crime or social disorder was reported for Harlem River Houses. Apartments and courts were maintained with scrupulous care by young and old. A compact, progressive community had emerged, and its very success made the plight of the less fortunate residents of Harlem seem by contrast more bitter than ever.
WASHINGTON HEIGHTS MUSEUM GROUP: MUSEUM OF THE AMERICAN INDIAN AMERICAN GEOGRAPHICAL SOCIETY HISPANIC SOCIETY OF AMERICA AMERICAN NUMISMATIC SOCIETY AMERICAN ACADEMY OF ARTS AND LETTERS
Occupying land that in the nineteenth century was part of John James Audubon's estate are buildings housing five of the nation's most distinguished museums and learned societies. This cultural center on Washington Heights came into being through the liberality of Archer M. Huntington, who inherited the fortune amassed by his father, Collis P. Huntington, railroad magnate and developer of the Newport News Shipbuilding Company. The son, a poet and scholar, founded thirteen museums. The first of the Washington Heights group, the Hispanic Society of America, was founded in 1904. The building program extended over the next two decades.
The buildings face a court opening on Broadway. The entrance is flanked by twin buildings the Museum of the American Indian to the south, and the home of the American Geographical Society to the north. Adjacent to the latter is the north building of the Hispanic Society of America, while directly opposite, adjoining the former, is the south building of the Hispanic Society ; and farther to the west is the headquarters of the American Numismatic Society. The architect was Charles Pratt Huntington, a nephew of Archer M. Huntington. He died in 1919, having completed all the buildings except the two housing the American Academy of Arts and Letters at the western end of the court. These were designed by Cass Gilbert (north building) and McKim, Mead, and White (south). Huntington evidently planned a monumental composition symmetrically balanced on the axis of the Hispanic Society buildings, and while the court and central plaza are good, the buildings are so poorly related to each other that the effect is sadly weakened. Particularly awkward is the intrusion of the Church of Our Lady of Esperanza, also designed by Huntington. The original conception was further disrupted by the addition of the American Academy buildings, which tend to lengthen the already narrow court and which do not appropriately close the court. The main f agades of the buildings face the court, and their rear elevations seen 'from the side streets are unimpressive and dull.
On the other hand, several of the individual buildings are quite fine, notably the south building of the Hispanic Society, whose well accented doorway and lovely interior arcade are free adaptations from Spanish Renaissance architecture. All the buildings are of Indiana limestone with the exception of the one housing the Numismatic Society. It was made entirely of concrete embodying a design for which the architect was knighted by King Alfonso XIII.
The Museum of the American Indian Heye Foundation
The Foundation is the only organization in the world devoted solely to the collection and preservation of cultural material relating to the aborigines of the Western Hemisphere. The museum's nucleus was a collection from New Mexico brought to New York in 1903 and installed in the home of George C. Heye, the institution's founder.
Although the museum attracts a great number of nonprofessional visitors, its exhibits are arranged chiefly for students of anthropology, archaeology and ethnology. Displays on the first floor are devoted to North American Indians and Eskimo tribes. Material relating to the former is also found on the second floor which features the culture of the Northwest Coast, California, and the Southwest desert. The third floor is occupied by exhibits from Mexico, the West Indies, and Central and South America.
The collections present evidence of the close relation between material and spiritual culture in primitive life. Practical implements for achieving certain ends are placed beside magical and symbolic devices presumed to assist or to be equally effective in bringing them about. Ingenious hunting and fishing weapons, decoys, and traps are shown next to the bead, stone, and feather charms, and talismans whose power is not questioned so long as the fish bite and the deer fall.
Outstanding events in the life of nature and mankind the change of seasons, sowing and harvest, birth, marriage, and death are emphasized in the hundreds of religious objects and symbols employed in celebration or memorial rites. These include costumes for corn and antelope dances, thunderbird jewelry, holiday and funeral masks, Kachina dolls, and images of the dead with feathers on their shoulders to insure their flight to heaven.
Particularly interesting are evidences of the great cultures of Mexico, Guatemala, and Peru, which, in some respects, paralleled the early citystates of the Near East and the Mediterranean. Examples of sculpture, mosaic, and metal work, including gold and silver, are especially fine. The preoccupation of the Aztecs with death ritual is evident in sacrificial altars and figures of gods whom human blood might appease. Other interesting and beautiful objects are: a mammoth canoe of the Northwest Coast used for whale hunting ; totem and house posts from Alaska ; buffalo-hide shields of the Plains Indians; woven costumes from Central America, and native water colors of the hunt and ceremonials. Among the models of typical Indian villages and settlements is one of the Manhattan Indians.
A curious feature is a collection of human heads that have been shrunk to the size of oranges by the Jivaro Indians of Ecuador. This treatment is reserved for enemies. According to M. W. Stirling, Bureau of American Ethnology, "the reduced heads, when skillfully made, are exact miniatures of their former selves."
The museum's display collection is supplemented by material at its study and storage annex, Eastern Boulevard and Middletown Road (see page 547 ), the Bronx, where all the specimens are available for closer study to properly accredited students. Its extensive library is maintained on deposit at Huntington Free Library and Reading Room, 9 Westchester Square, the Bronx.
The American Geographical Society
This society, founded in 1852 and the oldest geographical society in the United States, is devoted to research in geography and the maintenance of a library and map collection open to public use. Its library of more than one hundred thousand volumes and its collection of nearly an equal number of maps and atlases are the largest of their kind in the Western Hemisphere.
The society publishes books, maps, and a quarterly periodical, the Geographical Review. Included in its program of research in the geography of Hispanic America is the production of a great map (to be completed in 107 sheets) on which a large staff has been working for the past eighteen years. The department of mathematical geography is engaged in research into methods of geographical survey, particularly in mapping by aerial photography. The society has also engaged in studies of problems of pioneer settlement throughout the world, and of the geography of the polar regions. It has sponsored a number of recent arctic and antarctic expeditions, and has aided them in planning their work, and through the loan of instruments. The society is interested in the geographical aspects of international relations, and has contributed notably to negotiations leading to the settlement of a number of boundary controversies in Hispanic America, including the Guatemala-Honduras, Bolivia-Paraguay, and Chile-Peru disputes.
The Hispanic Society
This society, an educational institution devoted to advancement of the study of Spanish and Portuguese culture, has, in addition to its large library, containing many original manuscripts and first editions, an extensive collection of documentary and artistic material of the highest quality.
The influence of the various conquerors on the culture of the Iberian Peninsula is clearly indicated in the exhibits: that of the Romans, in sculpture and pottery; of the Moors, in textiles and metal work; and of the Christians, in Gothic and Renaissance art. Conversely, the story of Spain as conqueror is told in numerous documents, maps, charts, and globes relating to the voyages and triumphs of its explorers.
The main collection of paintings is chiefly housed in a gallery encircling the principal hall. Velasquez, whose realism lifted him far above contemporary court painters of the seventeenth century, is well represented. Masterpieces by El Greco, together with the work of members of his school, are exhibited. Among other Renaissance painters shown are Moro, Morales, and Ribera. Intimate and official portraits by Goya illustrate his capacity for profound observation and biting description. A prized possession is an excellent study in oil, made for his great painting, Third of May, which depicts the massacre of Madrilenos by Napoleon's troops under Murat. In one of the smaller rooms on the second floor, along with numerous modern water colors, are examples of his Caprices, graphic works in which Goya makes use of allegory and fantasy to satirize the society of his time.
A separate gallery on the ground floor is devoted to large, mural-size canvases by Joaquin Sorolla y Bastida, depicting life in the various provinces of Spain. A collection of modern Spanish painting is on the second floor in the north building. The equestrian statue of the Spanish hero, El Cid, in the court, is the work of Anna Hyatt Huntington, wife of Archer M. Huntington.
The American Numismatic Society
This society, a membership and museum organization, was founded in 1858, for those interested in the art and history of coins, medals, and decorations. Its library and exhibits are, however, open to the public.
Among the objects on display, many were executed by the most skilled metal craftsmen and artists of their time and their beauty is impressive. The coinage of the United States is emphasized. Historical exhibits include pieces struck in the eastern provinces of Rome to finance the war of Brutus against Anthony, emergency currency employed during the siege of Netherlands cities, and coins of large denomination issued in California during the great gold rush. In the large hall are military and civil medals and decorations of all nations, and memorial plaques issued by the society itself.
The American Academy of Arts and Letters
The nation's closest approximation of I'Academie jran$aise is the American Academy of Arts and Letters, founded in 1904 by the National Institute of Arts and Letters. The institute, which also has its headquarters in the same buildings, was organized in 1898 by the American Social Science Association to further art, music, and literature in America.
The academy's members, limited to fifty, are elected for notable achievement in the arts. William Dean Howells, Augustus Saint-Gaudens, Edmund Clarence Stedman, John La Farge, Samuel L. Clemens, John Hay and Edward MacDowell were the first chosen. The museum contains a permanent display of sculpture, paintings, manuscripts, and other memorabilia of members of both the academy and the institute.
The academy possesses one of the finest small auditoriums in the city, entered from 15 6th Street. Designed by Cass Gilbert, it excels in general arrangement and in the treatment of its detail.
GEORGE WASHINGTON BRIDGE
Fort Washington Ave. and 179th St.
From a distance, George Washington Bridge, most splendid of all Manhattan bridges, is a silver arc above the broad steely plane of the Hudson. Up close the mighty span, linking upper Manhattan and Fort Lee, N. J., dominates the whole setting: the Palisades, the new brick and stone walls of the Riverside cliff dwellers, the wide flood of the river.
Its two great towers, cables, and roadway combine in a form that is graceful, simple, and extraordinarily effective. The design, a superb engineering concept, is based upon function in all its parts, with the exception of the steel arches of the towers arched openings are expressions of masonry rather than of steel construction. As a matter of fact, the towers were originally intended to be encased in stone, but it is more than probable that this will never be done. Until completion of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay and Golden Gate bridges the George Washington was the longest suspension structure in the world, with a channel span length of 3,500 feet and a total over-all length of 4,760 feet between anchorages. The deck of the bridge, about 115 feet in width and about 250 feet above mean high water, is suspended from four cables. It has two separate roadways (each with three lanes) for east- and westbound traffic, and space in the center for three additional lanes to meet future traffic demands. Provision has been made for a deck twenty-nine feet below the present one either for additional motor traffic, especially busses, or for interstate railway rapid transit service.
The four steel cables, each composed of 26,474 parallel wires, are three feet in diameter and are arranged in pairs on each side of the roadway. Cable sag at the center of the channel span with the present single deck is 316 feet.
The cables are carried by saddles on top of two steel towers, some 600 feet above the river (about twice the height of the Palisades at the Fort Lee end). Each saddle rests on a bed of forty-one eight-inch diameter steel rollers, bolted to the flanges of steel grillage girders that keep the cables clear of the tops of the towers and help to distribute the load to the tower columns.
The New York anchorage is a U-shaped concrete block. The maximum pull of each cable is 62,000,000 pounds. The anchorage is to have a granite facing, similar to that used in the Henry Hudson Parkway structures.
Built, owned, and operated by the Port of New York Authority, the bridge is a part of the complex system of transport routes by which the nation's busiest island seeks to solve its traffic problems. Completed in 1931, it is linked with Manhattan's marginal highway by a series of extensive approaches which also provide a passage to Long Island by way of the Triborough Bridge. It also connects with US i, 46, and 9W at the Jersey end and with US i and 9 at the Manhattan end. During 1937 approximately 8,000,000 vehicles paid toll to cross the bridge, and for the same period the gross income amounted to about $4,700,000. The total cost of the bridge, including rights-of-way, was about $60,000,000. O. H. Ammann of the Authority was the chief engineer and designer ; Cass Gilbert, the architect, served in an advisory capacity.
On clear days the view eastward from the bridge includes a good part of Manhattan. Riverside Drive and the Henry Hudson Parkway, with their constant stream of cars, are directly below; Fort Washington and Fort Tryon parks skirt the drives. To the south the ribbons of Manhattan's highways are lost in the thickening cluster of roofs. The funnels of great ocean-going liners in the Hudson River docks, the smoking chimneys of New Jersey industrial towns, the play of the sun about the Himalayan towers of Manhattan are easily discernible.
At night the clear outline of the bridge fades into a fantasy of moving and twinkling lights above the Hudson, while atop the eastern tower the million-candlepower Rogers-Post Memorial Beacon sweeps its reassuring light across fifty miles of darkened sky.
SUBWAYS AND ELS
New York's subway and elevated lines carry about two billion passengers a year over a 281 -mile network of main and branch lines in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx (see subway and el map in pocket).
The gaunt trestle-work of the els brings twilight to miles of streets, the tunnels of the subways honeycomb rocks and rivers and skyscrapers. Their trains are the first things a good many New Yorkers observe in the morning and the last things a good many more remember at night.
About 5,500,000 passengers are carried daily by the three subway systems. Tens of thousands more ride the Hudson Tubes (Hudson and Manhattan Railroad) connecting New Jersey and Manhattan. The bulk of this traffic is borne between eight and nine in the morning and five and six in the evening when the crowd of workers moves to and from the business centers of Manhattan.
Typical of mid-town and lower Manhattan's rush-hour is the morning crush at IRT's station at Grand Central. While a crowd of commuters just arrived from the suburbs over New York Central and New Haven trains is storming the turnstiles on its way to downtown offices, a greater crowd from the city is pushing the stiles in the other direction, bound for work in the Grand Central district. These intent and humorless hordes cover uptown and downtown platforms, choke narrow stairways, swamp change-booths, wrestle with closing train doors. Crowds well up from the Queens trains on the lower subway level by way of elevators, escalators, stairways, and graded corridors. Nickels jingle, signal bells clang, turnstiles bang until the faint thunder of footsteps on the wooden passageway connecting the Lexington Avenue lines with the Times Square-Grand Central shuttle sounds human and restful. And through it all trains arrive and depart, delivering and removing crowds, lifting gum-papers and clouds of dust, and jarring the sidewalks, buildings, and windows of the city above.
Beneath the sidewalks of New York the subways have created a second city. Some of the thoroughfares between the turnstiles and the streets have lunch counters, barbershops, shoeshine stands, florist shops, phone booths. Through the use of these facilities the New Yorker could live a rather rounded life without once venturing into the street. He could, for example, stay at the Commodore Hotel, transact business in the Chrysler Building, dine at the Cafe Savarin, shop at Bloomingdale's, swim in the indoor pool at the Hotel St. George in Brooklyn, see a movie at the Rialto Theatre and, if romance came his way, marry at the Municipal Building. A few of the homeless use the subway as a flophouse and during the worst winters of the 1930's large numbers of unemployed lived here for days.
The three subway systems represent a total investment of $1,650,000,000, more than half of which has come from the city treasury. These systems are the Interborough Rapid Transit (IRT), Brooklyn-Manhattan Transit (BMT), and Eighth Avenue (Independent). The IRT (station entrances marked by blue lamps) has two major trunk lines: BroadwaySeventh Avenue line, which runs under Manhattan's West Side; Lexington Avenue line, which runs under the East Side. These lines are connected in the mid-town area by a shuttle service under Forty-second Street between Times Square and Grand Central Terminal. Another main trunk line known as the Queens line originates at Times Square and runs east under Forty-second Street and the East River to Long Island City where it forks one branch extending north through Astoria and another northeast to Flushing. Branches of the two major trunks also serve Brooklyn and the Bronx. The BMT (green and white lamps) was originally built to connect distant parts of Brooklyn with lower Manhattan, but now runs as far north as Sixtieth Street and the East River in Manhattan, and also extends into Queens. The Eighth Avenue (Independent) subway system (green lamps), the most modern of the subways, serves the West Side and Lower East Side of Manhattan and runs into Brooklyn, Queens, and the West Bronx. Owned and operated by the city of New York, and one of the largest ventures in public ownership and control in the world, the Independent cost more than seven hundred million dollars.
London witnessed the operation of an underground railway in 1853. Seventeen years later, in New York, a pneumatic-driven railroad car made a trial run in a one-block tunnel extending under Broadway from Warren to Murray Street. With this demonstration as proof of the practicability of subways, E. A. Beach, the promoter, sought permission from the city to construct a line from lower Broadway to the Bronx. While the citizens were solidly behind the plan, petitioning public officials and even marching in a torchlight parade to emphasize their support, Beach had to contend with the skepticism of Broadway property owners, and the venture failed. When plans for the first IRT line (from City Hall to West 1451*1 Street) were announced in 1900, Russell Sage remarked: "New York people will never go into a hole in the ground to ride . . . Preposterous!"
In 1904 the first line was opened running from Brooklyn Bridge north to Grand Central Station, then west under Forty-second Street to Times Square by what is now the Times Square-Grand Central shuttle and from that point north under Broadway to 145th Street. Extensions into the Bronx and Brooklyn by way of tunnels under the Harlem and East rivers were made in the following four years. Construction then lapsed until 1913, but between that year and 1931 the BMT and the present additional lines of the IRT were built and opened. In 1932, after seven years of digging, the Eighth Avenue (Independent) trunk line began operation, and extensions were completed in 1933, 1936, and 1937. At present (1939) additional extensions are being made in Brooklyn and the city is building the Sixth Avenue (Independent) subway line in Manhattan at a cost of $57,000,000. To drive a tunnel through the earth below the intersection of Sixth Avenue and Thirty-fourth Street, engineers constructing the Sixth Avenue Line had to solve the complex problem of how to avoid disturbing the already existing tunnels of the BMT, the Hudson Tubes, and the Pennsylvania Railroad and the underpinning of the Sixth Avenue elevated structure.
With the exception of a few attractive stations, the subways are drab and noisy. Proposals that WPA artists and sculptors decorate the walls of the city-owned stations have been considered. Meanwhile, the romance of the subways of New York may be found in their trajectories, and in the intricacy of their construction and operation.
In 1868 when Charles T. Harvey demonstrated a cable-operated elevated train, New Yorkers were confident that the train would plunge into the street below. The trial was a success and subsequent additions to the original half-mile of elevated track from the Battery to Dey Street on Greenwich Street extended the line to West Thirtieth Street.
The trains were undependable: they frequently jammed between stations, compelling nervous passengers to descend to the street by way of hastily erected ladders. Steam locomotives were installed, but their advantages of speed and efficiency were offset by the tons of soot and cinders they poured into streets below, ruining derbies and Prince Alberts, and spoiling the wet wash of housewives, who hurled invective and bricks at the luckless engineers. In 1871, the original company was liquidated.
New companies were formed, and in 1875 the city authorized the construction of the Second, Third, Sixth, and Ninth Avenue elevated lines in Manhattan. Subsequently, el lines were built in Brooklyn and Queens, and electrification, introduced in 1902, aided the practicability of elevated travel.
The antiquated wooden coaches of the els daily carry approximately nine hundred thousand passengers. Owned and operated by IRT and BMT, the els reach into Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx. The IRT arteries begin at South Ferry, proceeding northward in parallel routes in Manhattan, then branching into Queens and the Bronx. The BMT lines sprawl across the length and breadth of Brooklyn, and also extend into Queens.
Despite the prevalent idea that "the subway yawns the quickest promise home," the speed of the el is substantially the same as that of the subway. But the el's advantage lies in its rambling trajectory, replete with images of New York which the subway journey (except in brief aerial excursions) lacks. From the vantage point of a window seat, one surveys the slums of Harlem, Ninth Avenue, and the East Side; middle-class Tudor City, Chinatown, and the Bowery; the German and Bohemian quarters of Yorkville ; the Wall Street district ; the flat suburban reaches of Brooklyn ; the hilly jumble of the Bronx; and the quiet tree-shaded streets of Queens. Dingy sweatshops, flophouses, dramatic family groups pass in succession. So, too, do scenes of great beauty: skyscrapers at dusk, glittering rivers, dwindling streets.
Because of the unsightliness of the el structures and the lowered realestate values of streets through which the els run, proposals have been made to abandon the el systems. A major step toward this end was taken in 1938-9 when the city purchased the Sixth Avenue el and razed the el structure. Among the sentimental memories associated with this means of travel will be the station houses, frame structures peaked and gabled in the architectural mode of the Victorian era, heated in winter by big potbellied coal stoves. Meanwhile, the el trains continue to rumble up and down New York.
The maintenance of this vast transportation network requires an organization of unprecedented scope and perfection. Engineers, trackmen, motormen, conductors, dispatchers, mechanics, porters, change-makers, and platform guards more than 27,000 employees are all part of the unified scheme. Behind the scenes work those responsible for fundamental transit operations. And still more anonymous, and more numerous, are the inanimate servants: signal and safety devices, checks, trippers, and switches.
The New York subway lines are said to be the safest railroads in the world ; the els have an almost equally good record. The IRT, for example, has made this security possible by the operation of fifty-six types of safety devices, as well as by regular inspection of track and equipment, and physical examination of motormen. Should a motorman fail to observe the red stop signal, an automatic tripper would instantly halt the train; should he become ill or die, the second his hand falls from the controller the "dead man's button" stops the train.
Accidents, however, have occurred in the rapid transit systems. In 1929, two Ninth Avenue el trains collided at noth Street and Eighth Avenue about fifty-five feet above street level killing one passenger. Seventeen persons were fatally injured in 1928 when a crowded subway train smashed into a retaining wall just south of Times Square station. But most accidents are of trifling extent, and involve nothing more than the loss of time. Suicides, too, may upset the routine of subway and elevated commerce, but their number is small.
Minor adventures are not infrequent. Strangers get lost in the maze of stations and transit lines, although maps are conspicuously posted in cars and on platforms, and New Yorkers vouchsafe information (at times somewhat incomprehensibly). A small boy, avid for adventure, may set out on a journey to the Bad Lands, and arrive at New Lots Avenue, Brooklyn (which is not bad at all). Or a honeymooning couple, visiting the big town, may be swept apart by the rush of crowds and, as once reported, spend several hours of horrible anxiety before being reunited by the police.
Greater drama resides in the endless flow of activity that crowds the cars and platforms. Beggars, singers, banjo-players, and candy-butchers vie for a few pennies, howl bargains, or stumble silently past the apathetic passengers. Occasionally, a particularly bright singing troupe or an unusually pathetic cripple will meet with warm response. At large stations, pitchmen attract crowds with infinite ease, and disappear before the greenhorn realizes he has been duped.
The five-cent fare a recurring issue in municipal politics is not likely to be increased in the immediate or distant future. The New Yorker is extremely sensitive on this point.
The Harbor and Its Islands
STATEN ISLAND FERRY TRIP STATUE OF LIBERTY AND BEDLOE ISLAND GOVERNORS ISLAND ELLIS ISLAND
NEW YORK'S harbor is one of the finest in the world ; a magnificent water gate that is well protected, open the year round, deep enough for the largest vessels, and spacious enough to hold the entire United States Navy without obstructing normal traffic. Such harbors are few and their importance to a national economy is incalculable. Without this natural advantage, New York could never have advanced to its present position, for water-borne commerce has contributed much to the growth of the city.
The port of New York, in its totality, includes all the navigable waterways within a radius of twenty-five miles from the Statue of Liberty: seven bays (Upper, Lower, Gravesend, Jamaica, Raritan, Newark, and Flushing), four rivers (Raritan, Passaic, Hackensack, Hudson), four estuaries (Arthur Kill, Kill van Kull, East River, Harlem River), several creeks, and some 771 miles of direct shore line, of which more than 578 miles are in the five boroughs of New York City. By every significant statistical measure, this is the busiest seaport in the world. The harbor proper, however, is generally considered to be made up of the Lower Bay, the Upper Bay, and the Narrows the three units that form a direct seventeen-mile route from the open sea to the Battery.
The Lower Bay lies under the western end of Long Island, sheltered by the curling arm of Sandy Hook, by Rockaway Point, and by the sand shoals between them. Of the several channels through the shoals and up the bay, Ambrose Channel, followed by all deep-draft ships, is the most important. It is dredged 40 feet deep and 2,000 feet wide, and runs 38,000 feet to the Narrows, where from either side Staten Island and Brooklyn pinch the harbor into a wasp waist. The Narrows is a mile-wide tidal strait connecting Lower Bay with Upper Bay.
To many landsmen the Upper Bay is the whole harbor, and it is indeed the center of the port. Five miles long, from the Battery to Staten Island, four miles wide, from Brooklyn to the Jersey shore, this is at once the front door of a nation and the service entrance. Long piers reach out from every shore. Chuffing tugs wrestle determinedly with car floats and clumsy barges, single-minded ferries cut one another's wakes, tankers with their snake-nests of deck hose veer westward to the Bayonne refineries, and occasionally a deep-chested liner rears through the thin haze, easing her way to a Hudson River berth.
STATEN ISLAND FERRY TRIP
The quickest and best way of seeing the Upper Bay is also the cheapest a ferry trip from South Ferry, Manhattan, to St. George, Staten Island, and return, over the route that Commodore Vanderbilt's Nautilus began traveling in 1817. The Staten Island ferries, operated by the Department of Docks on a five-cent fare, are a New York institution. The old boats are double-ended, rather drab old craft with barn-red superstructures, yet surprisingly swift they make the five-mile run in twenty minutes. These are being gradually replaced with sleek, new, partially streamlined boats, painted a silvery gray.
Even Staten Islanders, many of whom make this trip twice a day, find it hard to keep their attention on their newspapers as the ferry moves away from the backdrop of lower Manhattan's fabulous towers. In good weather they crowd like tourists on the outside decks, while the inside benches are nearly empty.
STATUE OF LIBERTY AND BEDLOE ISLAND
On the right of the boat as it pulls away, is the 3,600-foot mouth of the Hudson with the horizontal New Jersey towns along its west bank; obliquely to the left and rear, the tremendous stone piers and airy web of Brooklyn Bridge merge momentarily with Manhattan Bridge high above the East River. Brooklyn, broad and amorphous, stretches away to the east and south, coarse-fringed with ship's funnels and factory smokestacks. In the mouth of the East River is the low-lying strip of Governors Island, dominated by ancient, massive Castle Williams. Once past Governors, the ferry is in the midst of scurrying traffic whose strident voice mingles whistle blasts with the hollow clang of bell buoys and the screams of softly wheeling gulls. Distance subdues the clamor ; the bay is unexpectedly quiet.
To the west, the dull brick buildings of Ellis Island are banked low against the Jersey shore. A little farther along, also well over on the New Jersey side, the Statue of Liberty salutes Brooklyn from Bedloe Island. At night the verdigris-coated statue is floodlighted from pedestal to torch.
For most of its route the ferry follows the Upper Bay's principal channel, Anchorage Channel, which runs from the Narrows to a point west of Governors Island. At no place is this course less than forty feet deep and at one point it is about one hundred feet deep. On either side, freighters anchor to wait for dock space or for cargoes. Bay Ridge, Red Hook, and Buttermilk channels follow the Brooklyn shore line into the East River.
Near little Robbins Reef Lighthouse, at the right, outbound ships swing left through the Narrows and make for the ocean, but the ferry continues to St. George, the community that clambers up Fort Hill. To the right the Bayonne Bridge connects Staten Island and New Jersey, arching high across Kill van Kull.
The return trip to the Battery is even more impressive. Manhattan's slender shafts, poised on that narrow bit of land, seem to rise out of the water in one solid pyramiding mass. As the ferry draws. closer they resolve themselves into huge cubic blocks, glistening with windows. When night conceals the shore line, the illuminated towers seem suspended in the dark.
Perhaps the best-known piece of sculpture in America, Bartholdi's huge female figure of Liberty Enlightening the World, commands the Upper Bay from the east end of twelve-acre egg-shaped Bedloe Island.
The 151-foot figure, atop a 142 -foot granite and concrete pedestal, portrays Liberty as a woman stepping from broken shackles. The uplifted right hand holds a burning torch, while the left hand grasps a tablet representing the Declaration of Independence, inscribed "July 4, 1776." The statue, of hand-hammered copper plates supported by an inner iron framework, weighs 225 tons. The upheld arm, three hundred feet above sea level, is forty-two feet long and twelve feet in diameter at its thickest ; the width of the head is ten feet, of the eyes, two and a half feet. Weathering of the copper has covered the statue with a soft verdigris. A circular stairway of 1 68 steps leads from the top of the pedestal to the spiked crown. From sunset to sunrise, ninety-two i,ooo-watt bulbs floodlight the structure and fifteen more illuminate the torch.
The statue is a gift of the French people to commemorate "the alliance of the two nations in achieving the independence of the United States of America, and attests their abiding friendship." Although the French historian, Edouard Laboulaye, first proposed the gift and helped to form the Franco- American Union for this purpose in 1875, credit for originating the idea of a monument to Franco- American friendship must go largely to Frederic Auguste Bartholdi, who chose the site and modeled the statue. The project became the controlling passion of his life, and he worked indefatigably to raise funds on both sides of the Atlantic to bring the plan to completion. Alexandre Gustave Eiffel, the French engineer, built the supporting framework.
By 1879 one Billion francs had been raised by popular subscription. The statue was formally presented to the United States in Paris, July 4, 1884; but the American share of the plan, the building of a suitable pedestal, was slow in realization. In 1884, when fifteen feet of masonry had been raised, work ceased for lack of funds, and it was not until a year later, after Joseph Pulitzer of the New York World took to writing daily editorials on this state of affairs, that a sum sufficient to complete the pedestal (designed by Richard M. Hunt) was subscribed. The statue was shipped in 214 cases aboard the French ship here in May, 1885. President Cleveland dedicated the monument on October 28, 1886.
Bedloe Island was called Minissais (lesser island) by the Indians, and Great Oyster Island by the colonists. Isaac Bedloe (or Bedlow), who received it from Governor Nicolls, was the first white owner. His widow is said to have sold it in 1676 to "James Carteret of New Jersey for 81 pounds of Boston money." The Corporation of the city of New York bought it for one thousand pounds in 1758; ownership was transferred to the state of New York for fortification purposes in 1796 with the proviso that the city be allowed to use it as a quarantine station whenever necessary. Between 1793 and 1796 the French fleet had used it as a hospital base. The star-shaped rampart (now the base for the pedestal of the statue) was built in 1811 and later named Fort Wood, for one of the heroes of the Battle of Fort Erie. During more than two centuries of varying ownership, Bedloe Island held a farm, a pesthouse, a gallows, a military prison, and a dump.
The Lighthouse Board had jurisdiction over the statue until 1901, when the War Department assumed control. It was declared a national monument in 1924. In September, 1937, jurisdiction of the island in its entirety passed to the National Park Service of the Department of the Interior. The National Park Service, with WPA help, renovated the statue in 1938, as part of extensive improvements which include landscaping the whole island and providing a more attractive approach to the statue. The new boat landing will face the New Jersey instead of the Manhattan side. The date set for completion of this program is 1942. Annually about three hundred thousand visitors come to the island.
Five hundred yards off the tip of Manhattan, Governors Island faces the tall towers of the metropolis; but its neatly squared shores, its trim redbrick barracks, its well-kept buildings, shaded walks, and historic forts surrounded by green lawns suggest a Dutch village.
This is the headquarters for the Second Corps Area, second in importance only to Washington in administrative affairs of the United States Army.
The Government ferryboat, Gen. Charles F. Humphrey, lands at the foot of Soissons Place, named for a successful World War engagement of the Sixteenth Infantry Regiment. From here, two roads branch out, one leading to Castle Williams on the right, and the other to Fort Jay on the left.
The star-shaped FORT JAY dominates the island from a knoll. Originally built in 1794, it was reconstructed and renamed Fort Columbus in 1806. Its four bastions of masonry held one hundred guns and a drawbridge approach over a dry moat to a sally port. In 1904 its old name was restored. Within the fort is a quadrangle of officers' dwellings ; surrounding the bastion works and the patched redbrick walls are the greens of a ninehole golf course.
The administrative offices, post office, tool shops, and WPA offices and shops are housed in buildings near Fort Jay. The WPA has constructed and repaired officers' dwellings, and beautified the grounds; a mural in the Administration Building, depicting scenes from six American wars, was painted by artists of the Federal Art Project.
CASTLE WILLIAMS, popularly known as "the cheese box" because of its circular shape, was begun in 1807 and completed in 1811 after the designs of Lieutenant-Colonel Jonathan Williams. Two hundred feet in diameter, with ivied red sandstone walls, forty feet high and eight feet thick, it is -casemated with arches for three tiers of guns. Today Castle William is the disciplinary barracks of the U.S. Army.
Near by are the structures built on filled land in the 1930'$ by the War Department to house the Sixteenth Infantry complete with barracks, mess- and class-rooms. On the flat expanses of filled land to the south are the polo grounds, small-arms target ranges, and stables. The Sunday afternoon polo matches (May through October, admission fees 500 and 750) draw large numbers of civilian spectators.
BRICK Row, landscaped in keeping with the military environment, consists of eight red-brick two-story houses bordering the parade ground. The frame houses of GENERALS Row and COLONELS Row enclose a park. There are also a library, workshops, and a store. At Brick Row, situated in what is now the center of the island, the elevation is about forty feet above the high-water mark. In the chapel are flags of engagements ranging from the Revolutionary to the World War.
At the south end of the island, the triangular SOUTH BATTERY, built in 1812, looks out over Buttermilk Channel to Brooklyn. Once a forbidding fortress bristling with guns, it is now the site of the Officers Club.
A few paces from South Battery the square stone tower of the CHAPEL OF SAINT CORNELIUS THE CENTURION, of Trinity Parish, rises above the trees. Within this granite-block building, designed by Charles C. Haight and built in 1906, are preserved a number of military curios, including brass cannon and the oldest army flag of the first United States Infantry.
Governors Island, originally called Nutten Island, was ignored by the Dutch until Wouter van Twiller, second governor of New Netherland, purchased it in 1637 from two Indians for one or two axheads, a few nails, and other trifles. In 1698 the New York Assembly set the land aside "for the benefit and accommodation of His Majesty's governors." This gave rise to its present name. At various times the island served as sheep farm, a quarantine station, a race track, and a game preserve, in addition to harboring the governor's "pleasure house."
Although the Assembly in 1703 authorized the raising of funds to build fortifications on the island, none was erected until the urgencies of the Revolution compelled General Israel Putnam, with a thousand men, to build them as defense against the British. By the time of the War of 1812 the fortifications were considered to be of such military strength that observers believed they forestalled the threatened British naval attack on New York City.
During the Civil War, 1,500 Rebel prisoners were held in Castle Williams, and a great number of troops were stationed on the island the records mentioning seven regiments as being on duty at one time. In 1863 draft-rioters unsuccessfully tried to storm the island while the troops were guarding the Subtreasury in Wall Street.
By 1900 the area of Governors Island had dwindled from about 170 acres (its size during the Dutch occupation) to 70 because of wave erosion. The land was replaced with earth dug from subway excavations and dredged channels, so that today, with 173 acres, Governors Island has more than regained its former size. On the recovered land more than seventy buildings were constructed during the World War, and even a temporary railroad was built.
Today such excitement as the peaceful island knows is created by dress reviews and competitive sports, to which the public is invited. Most popular are boxing, basketball, football, and polo.
Ellis Island is the headquarters of District No. 3 (southern New York and northern New Jersey) of the twenty-two Immigration and Naturalization Districts into which the United States is divided. It lies about one mile southwest of the Battery in Upper Bay. Its shape is that of two parallel rectangles joined by filled land at their western ends, but separated for the most part by a narrow rectangular basin which contains a ferry slip.
The bulbous towers of some of the island's buildings give it a faintly Byzantine appearance. The buildings on the east side house administrative offices, a dormitory with space for one thousand beds, a dining hall that can seat a thousand people, rooms for hearings, a recreation room, a room for social welfare workers, a library, and a kindergarten. On the north wall of the dining hall, a mural done by the Federal Art Project depicts the contributions of immigrants to the building of America. Other important units are the general hospital, used now, because of the great decline in immigration, for treatment of American sailors and marines ; the contagiousdisease hospital ; and guarded rooms for dangerous and violent deportees. The most modern building is a ferry house, near the center of the island, built with PWA funds in 1935.
A staff of more than five hundred, under a District Commissioner and a District Director of the Immigration and Naturalization Service of the U.S. Department of Labor, attends to the administration of inspection, boarding, records, registry, bonding, passports, and naturalization matters.
When the Dutch colonists used this island as a picnic ground and called it Oyster Island, it had only about three acres of land. It was known also as Bucking Island, and after the pirate Anderson was hanged there in 1765, as Gibbet Island. In the eighteenth century Samuel Ellis, a Manhattan dealer in general merchandise and owner of a New Jersey farm, bought it. After he died, it passed from his heirs to John A. Berry and, in 1808, to New York State. New York immediately sold the island for ten thousand dollars to the Federal Government. For a time it was used as a government arsenal, to the alarm of near-by Jersey residents who feared an explosion. In 1814 it became the site of Fort Gibson.
By 1890 Castle Garden at the Battery (see page 308) could no longer cope with the successive tidal waves of immigrants, and construction of another station on the island was authorized. The name Ellis Island was restored in 1891, and in January, 1892, the station went into operation. Fire destroyed the buildings in 1897, but twenty-eight new ones were constructed.
Two more islands were created by the dumping of earth and rock in 1898 and 1905. Today, although causeways and filled land make one island of the three, employees still designate certain sections as Island No. 1, Island No. 2, and Island No. 3.
Long the wide-open door to the New World, Ellis Island is now barely ajar. In 1907, the station's peak year, 1,285,349 immigrants were admitted. As many as five thousand bewildered aliens passed through some days, so greatly overcrowding the island that living conditions there became notorious. The total fell sharply to 326,700 in 1915 and to 23,068 in 1933. Strict adherence to quota limits checked the influx. Most present-day immigrants do not go to Ellis Island ; only those whose eligibility for admission is questioned are examined there. Early in 1939 the quotas of only the Central European countries were filled.
The divers and The River Islands
WELFARE ISLAND, RANDALL'S ISLAND, WARD'S ISLAND, RIKER'S ISLAND, NORTH BROTHER ISLAND, AND SOUTH BROTHER ISLAND
OF THE three waterways surrounding Manhattan, only the Hudson River is a true river. It drains water from the Adirondack Mountains, 300 miles to the north, and the fertile Mohawk Valley ; and it drains wheat, automobiles, flour, and many other hinterland products from the Great Lakes ports by way of the New York State Barge Canal. It was this inland trade route that gave New York an early advantage over such ports as Boston and Philadelphia.
The wooded hills through which the Hudson flows make it one of the most beautiful rivers in America, and the sheer Palisades, forming a twenty-one mile western wall near its mouth, make it one of the most spectacular. Where it comes abreast of the northern tip of Manhattan Island, the Hudson is 4,400 feet wide. The Manhattan shore is lined with ribbon parks from Inwood Hill to Seventy-second Street; and from Fiftyninth Street to the Battery the water front is edged with steamship piers and ferry slips. On the New Jersey side, the narrow shore front at the base of the Palisades is taken up, for the most part, by industrial plants, many of which have their own docking facilities. Fleets of ferries ply between Manhattan and the railroad terminals in Weehawken (opposite Fortysecond Street), Hoboken (opposite Twenty- third Street), and Jersey City (opposite the lower end of Manhattan). The river narrows to 2,770 feet at Fourteenth Street, but this width increases to 3,670 feet at the Battery.
Almost all the larger transatlantic liners that enter the harbor and many vessels in the coastwise trade berth in the Hudson. From a point near Ellis Island in the Upper Bay, they follow a channel 40 feet deep and from 2,400 to 2,800 feet wide that has been dredged to Fifty-ninth Street. Another channel thirty feet deep serves the New Jersey piers.
The George Washington Bridge (iy9th Street) and five tunnels connect Manhattan with New Jersey: the Lincoln Tunnel (Thirty-eighth Street), the Pennsylvania Railroad Tunnel (Thirty-second Street), the Holland Tunnel (Canal Street), and two Hudson and Manhattan Railroad crossings (Morton Street and Fulton- Cortlandt Streets). Each of the tunnels has two tubes; the Lincoln and Holland tunnels are for motor vehicles only.
As far as is known, Giovanni da Verrazano was the first European to visit New York Harbor, and he undoubtedly saw the mouth of the Hudson in 1524. Estavan Gomez, a Portuguese Negro, saw it the next year. It was not until September, 1609, that the river was explored by the man for whom it is named, Henry Hudson, who was searching for a new route to the Indies. In 1610 a ship sent out by Amsterdam merchants sailed as far north as Albany. Early Dutch settlers named the Hudson the North River to distinguish it from the Delaware, or South River, and that section of the Hudson which borders Manhattan is still called the North River.
The East River is not strictly speaking a river ; it is a salt water estuary, or tidal strait, connecting the Upper Bay with Long Island Sound, and is subject to tidal fluctuations which its varying depth and narrowness accentuate. It separates the western end of Long Island (Brooklyn and Queens) from Manhattan Island and the only mainland borough, the Bronx. From the Upper Bay, between the Battery and Governors Island, to Long Island Sound at Throg's Neck, the river is about sixteen miles long. About eight and one-half miles north of the Battery, where it is joined by another estuary, the Harlem River, the East River turns east toward the Sound.
Near the confluence of the Harlem and the East rivers, and wedged between the Bronx, Manhattan, and Long Island, are Randall's Island and Ward's Island. A little to the south, slender Welfare Island splits the East River up the middle, while in the wider eastern arm of the river, between the Bronx and the northern shore of Queens, Riker's Island and its twin satellites, North Brother and South Brother Islands, lie near the entrance of Bowery Bay.
A forty-foot channel, one thousand feet wide, leads from the Battery to the Brooklyn Navy Yard Basin. Above that point the channel is at least thirty-five feet deep all the way along the west side of Welfare Island, through Hell Gate and east to Throg's Neck; just north of the New York Connecting Railroad Bridge across Hell Gate the river is 168 feet deep at mean low water.
Hell Gate, the narrow channel between Astoria (Queens) and Ward's Island, has borne an ugly reputation among navigators ever since Adrian Block took his Tyger through it in 1612; its tortuous course, dangerous rocks, and powerful tidal currents have been the death of thousands of vessels. Washington Irving wrote that at half tide the current roared "like a bull bellowing for more drink," and at full tide slept "as soundly as an alderman after dinner," and compared it to "a quarrelsome toper, who is a peaceable fellow enough when he has no liquor at all, or when he has a skinful, but who, when half-seas-over, plays the very devil." In 1876 a great rocky outcropping of Hallett's Point was blasted out, and later improvements have made the channel much safer, but large vessels from foreign ports still require the help of members of the Hell Gate Pilots Association in making the passage between the Sound and the harbor. The name Hell Gate probably derived from the Dutch H ell e gat (beautiful pass) which originally was applied to the whole East River.
Ward's and Randall's Islands are separated by Little Hell Gate, which is navigable only by very small boats and is seldom used. Bronx Kill, between Randall's Island and the Bronx, is not navigable.
The deep East River, giving access to long stretches of shore line through the center of the city, has, of course, influenced the nature and direction of the city's development. South Street and the lower Manhattan river front early became the center of maritime affairs, and shipping interests monopolized the shore areas. The increase in the size of ships eventually necessitated moving the docks of the larger liners from the narrow East River to the roomier Hudson; the Brooklyn and South Street piers, however, still accommodate many good-sized vessels.
Although the river has been invaluable to the city's commerce, it has created a serious problem in interborough transportation. Eleven costly tunnels and seven great bridges have been required to connect Manhattan with Brooklyn and Queens. Four of the bridges are suspension spans (Brooklyn, Manhattan, Williamsburg, and the Hell Gate unit of the Triborough) ; Queensboro is a cantilever; Triborough's 12 5th Street unit is a vertical lift structure; and the New York Connecting Railroad's Hell Gate Bridge is a steel arched-truss span. All are high enough to permit tallmasted ships to pass under them. To these may be added the Triborough truss span over Bronx Kill and the low bridge between Ward's and Randall's Islands.
The Harlem River, slanting about eight miles around the northern end of Manhattan, is not entirely a natural waterway. The old unnavigable Spuyten Duyvil Creek, which almost encircled Marble Hill, connected the Harlem and Hudson rivers until 1895 when a canal was cut through the flatlands separating Marble Hill from its southern neighbor, Inwood. By obviating the trip around the Battery, the improved Harlem channel, 350 to 400 feet wide and 15 feet deep, shortens the water route between the Hudson River and Long Island Sound by about fourteen miles.
Nine swing bridges, almost identical in appearance, and five fixed bridges cross the Harlem between Manhattan and the Bronx; three subway tunnels burrow under it. Coal hoists, small docks, garbage scows, junk yards, and grimy bridge approaches line both sides of the southern half of the Harlem's length. North of the Yankee Stadium and the Polo Grounds high wooded shores are of some scenic interest. The section that leads past steep Inwood Hill Park and under Henry Hudson Bridge into the Hudson River is strikingly beautiful.
The East River islands, owned by the city for many years, until recently have been jumbles of institutional masonry, ill-assorted piles of prison, hospital, and asylum architecture. Removal of many of the most unsightly buildings and intelligent landscaping by the Department of Parks have given a new beauty to the islands.
Politically, Welfare, Ward's, and Randall's Islands belong to Manhattan; Riker's and North Brother Islands are parts of the Bronx; and South Brother Island is in Queens.
Queensboro Bridge from East 59th St. to elevators on island, or ferry (pedestrians only) from foot of East j8th St. to Metropolitan Hospital. Pass from Department of Hospitals required.
Welfare Island, shaped very much like a cigar, is a mile and threequarters long and at its broadest point 750 feet wide. From one end, off Manhattan's Fifty-first Street, to the other, opposite Eighty-sixth Street, it holds municipal welfare institutions hospitals and old people's homes grouped in little landscaped villages with paved streets.
The Queensboro Bridge, crossing high over the island about one-quarter of the way north of the lower tip, gives access to Welfare through a most unusual building, the ELEVATOR STOREHOUSE. The entrance to this tenstory structure, the only vehicular entrance to the island, is on its top floor, flush with the roadway of the bridge, where trucks, ambulances, and other vehicles weighing up to 171/2 tons enter large elevators to be lowered to ground level. The building, which was completed in 1916, houses RECEPTION HOSPITAL (a tiny emergency ward and ambulance dispatching office), besides serving as distribution center for supplies used by several municipal departments.
The eighteen light-gray buildings of NEW YORK CITY HOSPITAL occupy the southern end of the island. This is a hospital of a thousand beds with a resident staff of 53 doctors and a visiting staff of 203. It was founded as Penitentiary Hospital in 1832. Despite an early history of scandal and mismanagement, it has come to be recognized, after more than a hundred years of existence, as one of America's fine hospitals, and its staff includes many eminent physicians. Outpatients are treated at a branch at 220 East Fifty-ninth Street.
WELFARE HOSPITAL FOR CHRONIC DISEASES, immediately north of City Hospital, represents one of the most advanced hospital designs in the world. Four four-story pavilions, arranged in chevron- shaped pairs on either side of a more conventional administration building, can accommodate i, 600 patients. The unusual shape of the buildings permits a maximum of sunlight to reach every ward and gives every patient a river view.
The peculiar importance of this institution, aside from its design, lies in the fact that it makes research possible in the neglected field of chronic disease. The hospital will be opened in 1939. The architects were Isadore Rosenfield, senior architect of the Department of Hospitals; Butler and Kohn; York and Sawyer.
North of the bridge and the General Storehouse, the spacious new CENTRAL NURSES RESIDENCE, opened in 1938, houses 675 nurses who work in the island's hospitals.
The NEW YORK CITY HOME FOR DEPENDENTS, beyond the Nurses Residence, is a community in itself, with churches, stores, long dormitories, "and smaller houses arranged about a central square. There are fifty-six buildings covering almost twenty acres. The home is equipped to furnish food, shelter, recreation, and care for 1,747 indigents, including aged blind people. More than half of the patients are past sixty-five years, and a few are more than ninety.
To the north, the 47O-bed CENTRAL NEUROLOGICAL HOSPITAL is devoted to the treatment of organic nervous diseases. Six resident physicians and an attending and consulting staff of thirty-six are aided by the most modern equipment for neurological physiotherapeutics. The hospital was opened in 1909.
The near-by CANCER INSTITUTE, founded in 1923, was one of the first municipal institutions in America given over to diagnosis, care, and treatment of patients suffering from cancer and allied diseases. Two two-story buildings accommodate 200 patients under the care of eight resident doctors and thirty attending physicians and surgeons. The Cancer Institute's clinic, located for convenience at 124 East Fifty-ninth Street, Manhattan, performs diagnoses, treats convalescents, and has accommodations for sixteen patients in a small hospital unit.
METROPOLITAN HOSPITAL occupies the northern end of the island. This century-old institution is one of the largest hospitals in the city (1,385 beds). With some 1,250 employees, it is equipped to give free service of many kinds: general medical, surgical, obstetrical, etc. The main buildings were erected in 1839.
Governor Van Twiller was the first white man to own Welfare Island. In 1637 he obtained it from the Indians as he had Ward's, Randall's, and Governors Islands. Because it was used as pasture for swine, the island (called Minnahanonck by the Indians) became known as Varcken (Hog) Island. The English later corrupted that title to Perkins Island. After Van Twiller lost it in 1652, it passed into the ownership of a man named Flyn.
In 1668 Captain John Manning, a British officer, bought it. He retired to the island after his sWord was broken over his head at City Hall for his surrender of New York to the Dutch in 1673.
Robert Blackwell, who had married Manning's stepdaughter Mary, eventually took title to the property and held it until his death in 1717; the island bore his name until April 12, 1921. The old BLACKWELL HOUSE still survives, directly south of the Queensboro Bridge, and is used as a clubhouse for internes.
The city of New York acquired the island July 19, 1828, and constructed charitable and corrective institutions. The original price of the land was $32,500, but fifteen years later the widow of a man named Bell, whose mortgage had been illegally foreclosed, was awarded $20,000 from the city by the courts.
By 1921 the reputation of the workhouse and penitentiary on the island had attained such notoriety that the Board of Aldermen, with Coue-like faith, changed the name from Blackwell's to Welfare Island. Critics called the obsolete buildings "a sin-steeped pile." Reports of serious overcrowding, favoritism, degeneracy, and intramural violence brought frequent scandals. Cliques of favored prisoners virtually ruled the institutions and controlled a heavy traffic in narcotics.
Then, in January, 1934, Austin H. MacCormick took office as Commissioner of Correction. Almost immediately he led a spectacular raid on the island that shattered the ugly system "whereby 200 men lived like kings and 1,200 almost starved." It was recognized, however, that the ancient structures were ill suited to modern penal methods, and the quarters that had housed such notorious convicts as the Tammany leaders, "Boss" Tweed, Billy McGlory, and "Little Abe" Hummel were razed. The prisoners were moved to the new Riker's Island penitentiary. After more than a century's use as a place of punishment, Welfare Island was entirely given over to care of the aged and the ill.
The program for the transformation of the East River islands has been completed only on Randall's Island, the triangular meeting place for the three arms of the Triborough Bridge. Except for the land required by the Triborough and New York Connecting Railroad Bridge structures, the whole of the island, 194 acres, has been laid out in parks and playgrounds.
Besides the bridges and a few administration buildings, the only important structure is the municipal TRIBOROUGH STADIUM, placed near the southern point of the island. This provides 21,441 permanent seats and space for an additional 8,000. It is used for athletic contests, open-air opera and other musical spectacles, and public meetings. It is equipped with probably the largest movable outdoor stage in the world.
In 1668 the British Governor Nicolls granted the island to customs collector Thomas Delavall. Captain James Montresor bought it for a place of residence in 1772. Of its several early names, Montresor's Island was most commonly used. In 1784 Jonathan Randel (Randal) acquired it. When the city of New York bought the island for sixty thousand dollars in 1835, the misspelled title deed added an extra "1" to Randell that still survives in the island's name.
The Common Council decided in 1843 to move the potter's field from Fiftieth Street and Fourth Avenue to the southern part of the island; in 1845 an almshouse was added. In 1851 part of Randall's was appropriated for the use of the "Society for the Reformation of Juvenile Delinquents," who built there a house of refuge. From that time until it was cleared for the construction of the Triborough Bridge, the island was used by hospitals and corrective institutions for children.
Ward's Island, approximately square-shaped, is one of the stepping stones used by the Triborough Bridge and the New York Connecting Railroad (Hell Gate) Bridge in crossing the East River. Approaching from the north along nearly parallel lines, both structures swing east from Ward's into Queens.
Slowly, as the MANHATTAN STATE HOSPITAL FOR THE INSANE, which has occupied Ward's for more than forty years, is finally evacuated, the Department of Parks is retrieving the island's 254.1/2 acres for recreational use. By 1943 the eighty buildings that form this institutional community will have been entirely emptied.
A MUNICIPAL SEWAGE DISPOSAL PLANT, one of the three largest in the world, occupies 771/2 acres on the northeast corner of the island; it was put into operation by the Department of Sanitation October, 1937. Thirtyseven acres in the southeast corner between the bridges have been cleared by razing ten two-story buildings, erected in 1917 as a military base hospital. This portion will be opened as a park in 1939.
Construction of a new vertical-lift footbridge, 790 feet long, from the foot of 103d Street (Manhattan), has been proposed by the Department of Parks to make the island more readily accessible, and new pedestrian ramps from Triborough Bridge are planned. Meanwhile, all traffic uses the low bridge from Randall's Island across Little Hell Gate.
The British used Ward's Island as a military post during the Revolution. Its early names were Tenkenas, Buchanan's Island, and Great Barn Island, a corruption of Great Barent; but when the Ward brothers, Jasper and Bartholomew, bought it after the Revolution and divided it into farms, the present name came into occasional use. A cotton mill that operated there during the War of 1812 was connected to the foot of East ii4th Street (Manhattan) by a bridge, the first over the East River. When the mill closed after the war, the island was deserted.
In 1840 one hundred thousand bodies were moved from the site of Bryant Park to a new potter's field on Ward's. In 1847 a State Emigration Refuge for "the sick and destitute aliens from the Old World" was established there, and after 1860 the island was used as a secondary immigration station until the Ellis Island station was opened in 1892. The abandoned immigration buildings were then taken over by the New York City Asylum for the Insane, which had been in operation since 1863. The New York State Department of Mental Hygiene assumed control of the asylum in 1896, changed its name to Manhattan State Hospital, and added many buildings.
HIRER'S ISLAND, NORTH BROTHER ISLAND, AND SOUTH BROTHER ISLAND
When Abraham Rycken (later spelled Riker) obtained a patent for Riker's Island in 1664, and through the long years of Riker family ownership, it amounted to only eighty-seven acres of land. Since New York City annexed it from Newtown, Queens, in 1884, the size of the island has increased to four hundred acres, and it is still growing through the dumping of old metal, refuse, cinders, and dirt from subway excavations. For thirty years subterranean fires smoldered in the rubbish, and hordes of rats foraged there.
The island is now entirely given over to the city's MODEL PENITENTIARY, which replaced the obsolete Welfare Island prison in 1935. The twenty-six fireproof brick buildings, costing $9,106,000, constitute one of the most modern and efficient penal institutions in the country. The new prison, with a total capacity of 2,550, houses annually more than 25,000 offenders whose sentences run for not more than three years. The rapid turnover creates many special problems of management.
Much of the made land has been landscaped. A sixty-acre farm cultivated by prisoners is being steadily enlarged ; the renowned prison piggery produces more than fifty thousand pounds of pork every year. The modern plant includes a fully equipped hospital with the largest venereal disease clinic in the city, and a large laundry which serves the prison, the Department of Sanitation, and other institutions. The management uses a scientific classification system for determining the needs and attributes of each prisoner in preparation for the prison's unusual educational, vocational, and recreational program.
RIKER'S AND NORTH BROTHER ISLANDS
The Riker's Island ferry passes North Brother Island, the thirteen-acre site of the city's RIVERSIDE HOSPITAL (332 beds) for communicable diseases. "Typhoid Mary" Mallon, a typhoid carrier who unwittingly had started epidemics while employed as a cook, was probably the best-known resident of Riverside; she died in 1938. The burning excursion steamer, General S 'locum, was beached on North Brother in 1904.
Near-by South Brother Island, owned by the estate of Colonel Jacob Ruppert, is seven acres of unimproved brush.
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