This was the first “Field Investigations” exercise of the semester. The focus neighborhood of the day was the Upper East Side. The group of Kami, Mayya, and I had Park Avenue as our area and the Seventh Regiment Armory as our focus building. We began our studies at the Armory. While the entry had a scaled-down traditional feel, the armory room itself was very expansive. Although traditional, the entry cannot be called classical, as the building had a gothic/medievel feel to it. The armory room was modern, compared to the rest of the building, with it’s long 100+ foot structural spans for uninterrupted space. The armory space is currently used as an art gallery. The main exhbit was an installation by Thomas Sachs called Space Program: Mars. All of the NASA equipment there made me initally think that the Armory was a museum. Something to note about this is that the expansiveness of the space allows for museum-like exhibits with large items fitting in easily.
After we toured the Armory, we walked the main length of the Upper Wast Side portion of Park Avenue. We started out at the Armory, which is located at Park Avenue’s intersection with 67th St. We walked up to the intersection with 90th St. before heading West to meet with the rest of the class at the Museum of the City of New York. These pictures show some of the major parts of Park Avenue. The first one shows Park Avenue looking South, with its median and 2 way traffic flow, and the Metlife Building straddling the road in the distance. The second one shows the Asian Society Museum, one of the rare institutional buildings (besides the Armory) on the section of Park Avenue we were looking at. The last one shows an example of early, low-rise homes that still stand, untouched by the multi-family apartment building craze on Park Avenue from the 1910’s onward.
On a personal note, I really enjoyed the modern infill buildings that fit into the context of the older buildings, without sticking out like a sore thumb.