While he achieved the construction of unusual designs for the spiraling nautilus shape of the Guggenheim Museum and the waterfall-spitting Fallingwater, Frank Lloyd Wright never really got to build the towering spires of his dreams. One of his skyscraper designs would have dominated the lowlands of the East Village: three angular towers designed to cluster around St. Mark’s Church-in-the-Bowery in 1930. As Curbed noted earlier this week, the two 14-story and one 18-story designs would have shadowed over the old church that still houses the bones of peg-legged Peter Stuyvesant, a major figure in New York City back in the 17th century and the owner of the lands that turned into the surrounding neighborhood. (It’s not clear in the designs what exactly Frank Lloyd Wright had planned for the preservation of the cemetery that still exists in the churchyard, although he in his architectural drive likely was going to leave such details to someone else.) The design even included a penthouse for Wright up in the tallest of the towers, although unfortunately for his glamorous city views from the pinnacle of the structure, the whole plan was dashed by the Depression.
However, he did achieve a smaller version of it. The Price Tower, which just happens to be just down the street from the house where I grew up in Bartlesville, Oklahoma, is his only built skyscraper and has the same radial design as the St. Mark’s towers. The structure, nicknamed “the tree that escaped the crowded forest,” is meant to be laid out like the branches of a tree, with the spaces getting smaller and smaller as you near the top (the elevator ride is one of the most claustrophobic I’ve ever experienced). While the competition for standing out from “the crowded forest” of urban skyscrapers is much, much lower out in Bartlesville, and Wright ended up modifying his design to a more diminutive tree, it still shows what ambitions Wright had for stretching his modern forms up to the clouds away from the surrounding, usually more boring, buildings. He also dreamed up a mile high skyscraper called “the Illinois” in 1956 that was unrealized for Chicago, but would have been the tallest building in the world if built. Partly what stopped plans like these was just that Wright was way ahead of his time and such safety features like elevators for such tall building had yet to be developed. However, while Wright had to settle for the Oklahoma prairie instead of the pulsing streets of New York, it’s still interesting to imagine an East Village that would have been loomed over by three pillars of modernity, with Wright himself looking out from the topmost room.
Ceramic fried eggs, critiques of real estate, and a whole booth dedicated to female-identifying saints caught my eye at Untitled, NADA, and Art Miami.
The Manhattan District Attorney’s office recovered 23 looted objects from Shelby White’s home over the last year and a half.
The award-winning Canadian artist explores notions of power through the imagery of science fiction in portraits, sculpture, and objects.
An egregious “anti-woke” billboard erected in Los Angeles attempts to sow division among Latino/a/x communities.
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This affordable, interdisciplinary program with excellent facilities and private studios offers in-person instruction for 2023.
All the Beauty and the Bloodshed forcefully posits multiple parallels between the world Nan Goldin grew up in and the one she fights in today.
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The latest episode of this documentary series on PBS explores the meaning of home through handmade objects, hand built homes, and the artists who create them.
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The artists say the Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma must sever ties with Poju Zabludowicz, whose wealth comes in part from Israeli defense contracting.
Rhode Island School of Design opens registration for its residential summer Pre-College program and year-round online intensive Advanced Program Online.
Vanessa Albury, whose eco-friendly ceramic sculptures help revive filter-feeder populations, is raising funds to complete her first film about the project.
An archeological exploration of the amphitheater’s sewers and water systems uncovered remnants of meat, vegetables, olives, nuts, and yes, pizza.