Dead Blogging ‘Palaces for the People’ At The BPL

Well the Missus and I trundled downtown yesterday to catch Blink! at Faneuil Hall Marketplace, which was lots of fun, and Palaces for the People at the Boston Public Library, which was even more eye-catching.

The exhibit features the amazing handiwork of Rafael Guastavino and his son, Rafael Guastavino, Jr., in crafting many of America’s landmark structures:

Vaulted tile ceilings, which are considered structural and aesthetic marvels, dot the landscape of the United States because of the farsightedness and imagination of Spanish immigrant builder Rafael Guastavino (1842–1908). His thoughtful design of public spaces transformed American architecture in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Guastavino and his family created colorful tile ceilings that are lightweight, attractive, fireproof, and virtually indestructible.

The Boston Public Library’s McKim Building, which opened in 1895 and is now a National Historic Landmark building, was the first major American public commission for Rafael Guastavino Sr., and features seven different patterns of vaulting. Widespread critical and public acclaim for the BPL’s building helped establish the value of Guastavino’s innovative construction technology as well as the functionality and beauty of his product in the United States.

Exhibit A, from the BPL’s original McKim, Mead and White building:


The rest of the exhibit is equally spectacular.

Go, and Look Up!

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1 Response to Dead Blogging ‘Palaces for the People’ At The BPL

  1. Pingback: Dead Blogging The Annual Druker Lecture At The BPL | Campaign Outsider

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