Guggenheim Restoration

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flwright
Posts: 116
Joined: Fri Jan 07, 2005 6:32 pm
Location: Saint John, New Brunswick

Guggenheim Restoration

Post by flwright »

I've just returned from our voyage to NYC and I posted a few pictures (okay... as many as flickr would let me upload!) of the Guggenheim's recent restoration. As you'll see in the photos, there is a slight bit of work left to complete, but the overall building was just gleaming! Compared to our visit 4 years ago (just before the restoration began), it looks like a brand new building on its grand opening day!

I am still sorting through the pictures and getting my feet wet with Adobe Lightroom to improve the shots (the B&W pictures, as example). I'll post more as they come, or as fast as flickr will let me post them!

http://www.flickr.com/photos/48418400@N00/?saved=1
Last edited by flwright on Fri Sep 19, 2008 9:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Morgan

Roderick Grant
Posts: 10420
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 7:48 am

Post by Roderick Grant »

Now if only they would sheer off the west side of the Gwathmy slab to the thin slab that FLW designed, fenestrate it accordingly, and complete the composition as intended.

peterm
Posts: 6209
Joined: Thu Mar 13, 2008 10:27 am
Location: Chicago, Il.---Oskaloosa, Ia.

Post by peterm »

nice photos!

i was just there a month ago, and they were still doing repairs on the skin.

i especially like the black and white photos. they look like vintage pics from opening day. the value of the color looks just right. then when i went back to the color photos, i found myself wanting to see that warmer paint tone. i find it so odd that the precedent of the gray tone would win out over what wright probably intended. are there any wright scholars who feel that this is a color which he would have been pleased with? i miss the warm glow.

when i was there it was an overcast but warm day, but in my photos it appeared to be a cold late autumn or winter day.

Richard
Posts: 76
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 2:29 pm
Location: Illinois

Post by Richard »

Was work also done to the interior?

The photos were very good.

Thanks
Homeowner

flwright
Posts: 116
Joined: Fri Jan 07, 2005 6:32 pm
Location: Saint John, New Brunswick

Post by flwright »

By the time we arrived at the Guggenheim, we only had 15 minutes to take shots of the inside before it closed so we didn't bother purchasing the tickets to go any further than the lobby. When we were in the gift shop, however, there was a plastic sheet covering the opening to the floors above so it was my assumption at the time that there were some interior renovations going on. I had not previously heard they were doing any interior renos on a large scale, but I've been known to be wrong now and then. Perhaps this was just a minor reno to the gallery above? Anybody else with details?
Morgan

JimM
Posts: 1556
Joined: Thu Jan 06, 2005 5:44 pm
Location: Austin,Texas

Post by JimM »

Roderick Grant wrote:Now if only they would sheer off the west side of the Gwathmy slab to the thin slab that FLW designed, fenestrate it accordingly, and complete the composition as intended.
Amen.

JimM
Posts: 1556
Joined: Thu Jan 06, 2005 5:44 pm
Location: Austin,Texas

Post by JimM »

As fresh as it looks and as fortunate as we are for the restoration, I still can't get past the shameful decision to intentionally paint it a color that would prevent Wright from even entering it today. To "Internationalize" it is the antithesis of everything it represents architecturally.

Maybe final touches remain, but wasn't there a red tile below the dates, and wasn't the fascia of the "tower" to the left supposed to be an obvious copper finish? Of course, that would not mesh with the black and white scheme they could not control themselves from doing. And wasn't the lettering across the front supposed to be in relief, not painted? Again, they could not control themselves.

After seeing the "art" in that incredible interior, I couldn't help but think how nice it would be if they emptied the building and turned it into a "spatial museum". Can you imagine how neat it would be to see only people milling around experiencing the space as Wright really intended? It must have killed him anticipating the junk that would eventually scar it.

On a macabre note, he didn't live to have his "teeth hurt" at the grand opening.

flwright
Posts: 116
Joined: Fri Jan 07, 2005 6:32 pm
Location: Saint John, New Brunswick

Post by flwright »

I am with you on the colour of the building. As nice and clean as it looked, I kept wondering what it would look like if it was painted the colour Wright had intended. The building looked far too sterile compared to Wright's typically warm architecture. As for the interior, I wasn't overly disappointed I didn't get in this time because, as you say, the "junk" takes away from the space Wright was trying to create.

As for the red tile, the fellah doing the touch-up work indicated that it had been removed as part of the work but would be reinstalled as soon as he was finished. As for the lettering, it was, in fact, in relief but the black copper fascia really surprised me -- I distincly recalled the beautiful verdi-gris colour last time we visited. I'd be interested to know why the NY Landmarks Commission would put up such a fight over the building's paint colour to keep it "true as built" but let the copper be turned black. The decision seems contradictory -- I'd love to hear their rationale.
Morgan

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