On View: Palaces for the People at the Museum of the City of New York

Hidden architectural treasures are always waiting to be rediscovered in New York City — and they often hide in plain sight. Anyone who has gazed upwards in Grand Central Terminal, The Cathedral of Saint John the Divine, Ellis Island or the Elephant House at the Bronx Zoo, for example, has seen the magnificent vaulted tile work designed by the Guastavino Company. Now you can share the history and artistry in Palaces for the People: Guastavino and the Art of Structural Tile at the Museum of the City of New York.

 

The Elephant House at the Bronx Zoo (Photo: Michael Freeman)

The Elephant House at the Bronx Zoo features Guastavino tiles (Photo: Michael Freeman)

More than 200 “everyday” landmarks owe their singular architectural beauty to late-19th century Spanish immigrants Rafael Guastavino and his son Rafael, Jr. The Guastavino Company designed special thin tiles for their patented structural domes and vaults and their legendary work can be found throughout all five boroughs. Palaces pays homage to the Guastavino legacy by presenting original artifacts from the archives along with contemporary photographs of the iconic structures which made New York City famous.

Palaces for the People: Guastavino and the Art of Structural Tile is on view at the Museum of the City of New York through September 7, 2014.