New York’s Civic Center – A Walking Tour

I walked through the Civic Center area of Manhattan last weekend, on an AIA (American Institute of Architects) tour. What follows is a photo vignette of the cloudy afternoon – the light made for interesting contrast and a particularly flat reflectivity in the glazed and metal surfaces we observed.

A peek at 8 Spruce Street, by architect Frank Gehry, as seen from Park Row.
look up

Another view of the Gehry building.shimmer

A mish mash of verticality, lost in the clouds.upright

I was most moved by the African American burial ground, from which my subtle senses perceived a shaft of light emerging. Not captured by my iPhone. Worth a visit.african american burial ground 2

This plaza by Michael Van Valkenburgh at Federal Plaza struck me for two reasons. One, I do not recall it from the days when I lined up with the hundreds of other immigrants to get a green card. Two,

the mirroring of the wall geometry in the paving geometry creates an expansive effect that is not unlike that of standing at the center of the labyrinth at Chartres Cathedral in France, where the floor pattern and stained glass geometries mirror one another.

I was surprised and delighted by that discovery.terrace

Correct me if I’m wrong; I believe the red sculpture is a Calder sculpture. I was getting somewhat daydreamy at that point in the tour and had (visibly) dropped behind the rest of the group!lamppost

steam and calder

We ended near this festive arch close to the 4, 5, 6 train. A wonderful tour hosted by the Center for Architecture. For more information about future tours, please visit the website linked here for The Center for Architecture.passage

Enjoy your walking!


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