‘Palaces for the People’ exhibit at the Museum of the City of New York

By Marcina Zaccaria ,

A new exhibit at the Museum of the City of New York tells the story of master masons that created vaults, domes and other tile work for buildings. Palaces for the People: Guastavino and the Art of Structural Tile focuses on approximately 250 commissions in New York.

According to Women’s Wear Daily, the show features a variety of tiles, and many photographs. Rafael Gustavino and his son, Rafael Jr., are responsible for many of the structures that people see in large areas of New York City.

The Associated Press reports John Ochsendorf, the exhibition's co-curator and a professor of architecture at MIT said, "At the simplest level they're builders. But they're also acting as architects, as engineers and interior decorators choosing patterns of tiles, color and schemes. The vault is…their great contribution to American architecture. It is a fusion of art and technology that engineers still struggle to understand."

There are 600 buildings that have designs by Gustavino. Their work stands at the Ellis Island Registry Hall, the Boathouse in Brooklyn's Prospect Park, and Riverside Church.

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