Last of the Handmade Buildings - Lecture and Walking Tour with Susan Tunick

Lecture: October 21st, 7-9pm

This presentation focuses on the manufacture of terra cotta and the changes in building technology which helped lead to the great popularity of terra cotta during the early part of the 20th century. Remarkable examples abound in all five on New York¹s boroughs and include nearly all building types -- theaters, schools, skyscrapers, apartment houses, and commercial structures. The village has some superb examples of architectural ceramics ranging from Louis Sullivan¹s only NYC building at 65 Bleecker Street (1898) to polychrome apartment houses such as 37 Washington Square W (1928, Groenberg & Leuchtag) to a more modern use of terra cotta at The Church House of the First Presbyterian Church, 12 West 12th Street (1960, Edgar Tafel). We will look at how these and many other terra cotta and tile buildings have contributed to the richness and beauty of the city's architecture.

Walking Tour: October 25th, 2-4pm

As we visit some of the stellar examples of architectural ceramics in the Greenwich Village area, we will discuss how to identify terra cotta ­ a material renowned for its ability to mimic other materials, particularly stone. We will also try to note buildings that date from around 1909, when Greenwich House Pottery was first established. This will give us an opportunity to think about what the city looked like and what architectural use was being made of ceramics (for tile and terra cotta) during this era. Highlights of the tour will include Sullivan¹s Bayard-Condict Building, Judson Memorial Church, and the Devinne Press Building.

SUSAN TUNICK is a national spokesperson for the preservation of architectural terra cotta and an established artist living and working in New York. She has completed ceramic commissions for the New York City Subway System, the New Jersey Light Rail, and several New York area schools. She is the president of the Friends of Terra Cotta and has written extensively on terra cotta and tile, contributing to a renewed interest in the use and preservation of architectural ceramics. Her book, Terra-Cotta Skyline, published by Princeton Architectural Press, received several awards including the New York Library Society Award for the best book published on New York in 1997. Her artwork is included in many books, most recently, Ceramics in the Environment, Along The Way: MTA Arts for Transit, and Mosaic Art and Style.

About Greenwich House

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Greenwich House Pottery 
16 Jones Street 
New York, NY 10014