Figurative Ceilings

An article posted on WBUR’s website about Rafael Guastavino’s incredible vaulted ceilings at the Boston Public Library made me fondly remember both many lunches with my father at the Oyster Bar in Grand Central Station (both professional and personal advice for a late-20-something corporate architect) and Office dA’s fantastic ceiling in Banq in the South End – unceremoniously thrown in a dumpster when the building owner couldn’t lease the space “as is” after Ginger Park, the second restaurant to occupy the space, closed. I always thought that if the bar in front of Banq had instead wound around back in the pleated cavern, the restaurant (reconceived as a “restaurant/bar”) would have survived.

And by the way, every Boston and New York architect should know about Guastavino and his extant projects. Please do some research and go on some field trips with friends and colleagues! As luck would have it, Guastavino and his projects are “the focus of an illuminating architecture exhibit “Palaces for the People: Guastavino and America’s Great Public Spaces,” organized by John Ochsendorf, a professor of architecture and engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, at the Boston Public Library’s Copley Square Branch (700 Boylston St., Boston, through Feb. 24).” I have been on reviews with John at MIT and he is fantastic.