Sunday, March 6, 2011

Subway Style: 100 Years of Architecture & Design in the New York City Subway

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Subway Style: 100 Years of Architecture & Design in the New York City Subway

October 2004 marks the 100th anniversary of the largest underground transit network in the world. Love it or hate it, if you're a New Yorker, you can't live without it: 3.5 million people ride the rails every day. The subway is as much a symbol of New York City as Central Park and the Statue of Liberty. Commemorating its centennial, this official publication presents an illustrated history of the architecture and design of the entire complex, from the interiors of the trains and the mosaic signage at the stations to the evolution of the token and the intricacy of the intertwined, rainbow-colored lines on the free, foldout map.

Produced with the New York City Transit Museum, Subway Style documents the aesthetic experience of the system through more than 250 exclusive pictures. The book includes newly commissioned color photographs of historic and contemporary station ornamentation as well as imagery from the Museum's archives. The images span the full century, from the system's inception in the early 1900s up to and including architectural renderings for the still-to-be-built Second Avenue line. AUTHOR BIO: The NEW YORK TRANSIT MUSEUM is one of only a handful of museums in the world dedicated to urban public transportation. The Museum's collections of objects, documents, photographs, films, and historic rolling stock illustrate the story of mass transit's critical role in the region's economic and residential development since the beginning of the 20th century. The Transit Museum's main facility is located in a decommissioned 1936 subway station in Brooklyn Heights, an ideal setting for the Museum's 20 vintage subway and elevated cars, and wide-ranging educational programs for children and adults. A gallery annex in Grand Central Terminal presents changing exhibits relevant to the millions of commuters who use mass transit every day.

Photographer Andrew Garn has exhibited his work in galleries around New York City and across the country. His photographs are also held in numerous museum and private collections.Unlikely as it may seem, the 100th anniversary of the New York City subway system was the impetus for a handsome book, Subway Style: 100 Years of Architecture & Design in the New York City Subway. Produced by the New York Transit Museum, this abundantly illustrated design history traces the origins and development of subway cars and stations, including ceramic and metalwork detailing, ticket booths, signage, route maps and advertising. Treated in a merely dutiful way, this material would probably be of interest only to subway buffs. But Subway Style boasts high-quality photographs, an inviting design, and a succinct and wryly amusing text that relates subway developments to other cultural happenings and isn't too proud to explain specialized terms. It's the kind of book that makes the evolution of turnstiles sound fascinating. With a contractual mandate to instill "beauty" into "a great public work," the IRT--the first of three subway lines--originally featured elaborate Beaux Arts ceramic detailing displaying historical scenes or symbolizing local landmarks. Gracious bronze grilles served as ticket windows, and station names were painstakingly spelled out in glass mosaic tiles. Succeeding generations morphed these features into increasingly streamlined versions utilizing the latest technology and design trends. Wood station seats gave way to cast terrazzo perches cantilevered from the wall, then to molded fiberglass, polyurethane and finally back to wood. Usable maps were a long time in coming. In 1958, 18 years after the three lines were united, the Transit Authority finally published a single guide showing the entire system. Massimo Vignelli--whose bold, color-keyed station signage was a major innovation--later produced an abstract, all but useless map that was, as the book says, "emblematic of New York’s 1970s retreat from urban life." The chapter on subway ads is (naturally) the most fun, ranging from Amelia Opdyke "Oppy" Jones' expressive cartoon characters--caught in the act of dropping gum wrappers or propping their feet on the seats--to head shots of women hoping to be voted "Miss Subways." â€"Cathy Curtis

List Price: $ 40.00

Price: $ 20.48

The Aesthetics of Architecture: Philosophical Investigations into the Art of Building

By some of the top philosophers in the field of aesthetics as well as those in the architectural profession, essays in this book related architecture to other artforms such as photography. literature and painting.
  • relates architecture to other artforms such as photography, literature and painting
  • contains essays by some of the world's top philosophers
  • works with a diversity of architectural concepts and issues
  • philosophical discussions are generated by professionally designed architectural projects as well as vernacular ones
  • extends the bounds of architectural issues presently discussed by philosophers

List Price: $ 39.95

Price: $ 32.15

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