Rescued, Restored, Reimagined: New York's Landmark Interiors, an exhibition set to open at the New York School of Interior Design (NYSID) on March 6, will explore some of the interiors of New York's 1,300 landmark-designated structures, highlighting along the way the importance of public spaces.
The exhibition coincides with the 50th anniversary of the New York City Landmarks Preservation Law, and will take an in-depth look inside public spaces, both familiar and lesser-known, that have been designated as interior landmarks. It will also present the challenges and controversies in maintaining the integrity of design in the face of contemporary needs (including greater accessibility) and popular taste.
Radio City Music Hall interior
“Often, when we think of landmarks, we think of exterior architecture,” said NYSID President David Sprouls. “A building’s exterior may be protected, but the interiors are frequently disregarded. This exhibition turns that notion on its head by focusing on the important role that interiors play in our lives as well as the incredible design that exists inside buildings all over our city. Interiors are sometimes out of sight, but they should not be out of mind."
The curatorial team for the exhibition consists of prominent experts and preservation advocates, including award-winning architect Hugh Hardy, interior designer Kitty Hawks, Landmark West President Kate Wood and design historian and NYSID design faculty member Judith Gura.
New York's City Hall interior
The exhibition will feature new architectural photography by Larry Lederman, along with archival images and materials. Interiors from all five New York City boroughs will be represented in the show, ranging from the iconic Art Deco splendor of Radio City Music Hall and Federal grandeur of City Hall to the Italian Baroque-style Lowe’s Paradise Theater in the Bronx and the Art Moderne-style Sunset Play Center in Brooklyn.
The exhibition will also call attention to preservation challenges, including evolving uses, the difficulties in protecting modern interiors, and identifying the next generation of landmarks. The exhibit will also include an interactive element that lets visitors voice their opinions on which interiors should receive landmark designation.
Lowe's Paradise Theater interior
A companion book, co-authored by Gura and Wood, will be published by The Monacelli Press in September 2015.
The exhibition will be on view at the New York School of Interior Design Gallery (161 East 69th Street) through April 24. Gallery hours are Tuesdays through Saturdays, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Admission is free.