New York Daily Photo Analytics

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Light on Bobst

My recent interest in the evening and night sky prompted this photo. It is remarkable how out of touch with the natural world city dwellers can be - there is a serious dearth of knowledge in subjects like plants, animals, insects, astronomy etc. Recently, I have noticed some very brightly lit heavenly bodies - however I was not able to find anyone who new what these objects were (by studying some online star maps, I was able to confirm my suspicion that Venus was one of them). The photo was taken at sunset of the Bobst Library, which houses over 3 million volumes and is one of largest academic libraries in the US. This massive red sandstone edifice on Washington Square South was designed by Philip Johnson for NYU (New York University) and completed in 1972. It has been steeped in controversy since its construction: 1) To begin with, there were substantial delays in its construction. 2) There has been much criticism of its bulky, monolithic form and how it towers over Washington Square Park. The work of Johnson himself has been the subject of much criticism. 3) The library was named after Elmer Holmes Bobst, who made a $6 million dollar contribution. There was embarrassment for the University, however, when it was learned that Bobst was a Nixon supporter, had been accused of a corrupt contribution to Nixon and made antisemitic remarks. 4) In 2003, Bobst made big news with two suicides in one month - students jumped from the open-air catwalks to the marble floor below. 5) Steven Stanzak, an NYU student unable to afford his housing costs became homeless and took up residence in the basement of the Bobst Library for eight months from 2003-04 ...

12 comments:

Fénix (Bostonscapes DP) said...

Very nice photo, I really like the deep colors, and very interesting facts, as well. I just read the New York Times article on S. Stanzak. What a resourceful kid.

Cheers.

susan said...

You are right...venus is the brightest in the sky. Also, this weekend, venus and saturn will be extremely close after sunset in the western sky. I'm told that the rings of Saturn will be visible with a small telescope! But I think you'll have to get out of the city to find it.

Pedp said...

The deep colour red reminds me of the colour of the canyon rocks in Sedona, Arizona. This really is a striking photo here.

Rich
Planet Earth Daily Photo.

Brian said...

Thanks;
This photo lost a lot in browser translation - it was much better looking in Photoshop.
Brian

Doug said...

Great picture. I have taken several pictures of the night sky. I emailed you something you may find interesting.

calgre said...

Great story!!

One thing your posts do so well is move from subject to subject (people, events, architecture, history...)with such ease on a daily basis that it really "stitches" together the fabric of such an interesting city for those of us that, unfortunately, don't get to NYC very often.

At least here in NYDP, I get there every day...thanks!!

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Ming_the_Merciless said...

I read about the Steven Stanzak case and I hope the university did the right thing by letting him continue his educaiton there.

I mean, how many kids that age are THAT determined to get an education?

Aigars Bruvelis said...

:D:D:D brightly lit heavenly bodies

Moi said...

great post...loved reading all those fact you enumerated about the building and its past.......and what a beautiful red of the sandstone illuminated in the dying sunlight.

phlegmfatale said...

Stunning, rich photograph.

Geneb5 said...

Bobst cuts off the light from a good 1/4 of Washington Sq. Park in the winter, rendering that section virtually unused.

In space-challenged downwown NYC, you could fit 10 brownstones inside the atrium.

The building has been nicely photographed here, but its entirety is far, far uglier and shockingly out of place in the neighborhood.