Architectural Portraiture By Landmarks And Follies' items Go to Visions of Architecture by Landmarks and Follies

Friday, December 31, 2010

Rochester's Past Futures: Genesee Crossroads Parcel 3

Between the years 1950 and 1975 over a quarter of downtown Rochester's 400 acres were cleared for urban renewal projects. This excludes the many surface parking lots that already existed in lieu of buildings during the 1950's, or the land taken  for expressway-building. Taken as a whole, it is easy to see that the majority of downtown was demolished and remade in the 25 year period of post-war urban renewal.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Comment On The Bus Shed

When attending the “workshop” for the bus station at the Hyatt on September 15th I had one question for the architects manning the design station I visited: what other cities of Rochester’s relative size and socioeconomic situation has built a similar facility?

The response: Shrugged shoulders and a mention of Atlanta, the center of an expanding area of 5.4 million people.

The two cities were similar in one way, Rochester was a boom town too…in the 1800’s!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Elegance And Respect: The Crossroads Building Reconsidered

 In 1965 architect Ely Jacques Kahn retired after having spent the past six decades devoted to the craft of architecture. One of the "three little men" - along with Ralph Walker and Raymond Hood, a triumvirate of Ecole des Beaux-Arts-trained New York architects whose diminutive physical statures belied their immense talent and influence and who were known to meet regularly to discuss the issues of their profession, often leaving behind tables of sketched-on napkins - Kahn's "frozen fountains" shaped the look of depression-era Manhattan.

A famous photo from the Society of Beaux-Arts Architects annual ball of 1931 shows Kahn (left of center), Ralph  Walker (dressed as One Wall Street, right of center), William Van Alen (architect of the Chrysler Building, center) and others dressed as their most famous buildings. In this case, Mr. Kahn was dressed as the building he regarded as one of his best designs, the Squibb Building.