Tag Archives: Local

Second House

27 May

richard prince house

SECOND HOUSE is perfectly camouflaged in its surroundings—at first glance, it appears to be an utterly ordinary single story ranch house. Yet when approaching it from the long hillside driveway, the overgrown grass strategically obscures the identity of who or what lies within. Like so many other domestic buildings in the area, SECOND HOUSE looks kind of decrepit or unfinished (passersby must wonder: did the owner run out of money and abandon construction?). Its façade is missing—only a thin, silvery skin made of insulation panels covers the exterior. An abandoned 1973 Dodge Barracuda is parked out back, quietly rusting in the tall grass; an inside-out tire planter adorns the completely unlandscaped front yard. The inside seems as unfinished as the outside. The walls and ceilings are partially painted, leaving the spackled drywall joints visible in many spots. Plywood sheets cover the floors. Exposed fluorescent tubes provide an even, cold light in the five rooms of the house. While the rawness of the interior décor suggests an uninhabited space, SECOND HOUSE is far from empty. The objects and images sheltered within its walls mirror the landscape outside: it’s pure Americana (that has been “stolen,” cropped, and edited by Richard Prince).

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More links:

Richard Prince’s page

Parket 72 – 2005

Guggenheim Museum to acquire RICHARD PRINCE’S SECOND HOUSE, 2005

Lightning Devastates Guggenheim-Acquired “Second House” by Richard Prince

Field trip (chapter 3)

2 May

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Thomas Hirschhorn, Laundrette, 2001 / HVCCA

2 May

Pocket parks

28 Apr

Pocket parks are frequently created on a single vacant building lot or on small, irregular pieces of land. They also may be created as a component of the public space requirement of large building projects.

 Pocket parks can be urban, suburban or rural, and can be on public or private land. Although they are too small for physical activities, pocket parks provide greenery, a place to sit outdoors, and sometimes a children’s playground. They may be created around a monument, historic marker or art project.

 In highly urbanized areas, particularly downtowns where land is very expensive, pocket parks are the only option for creating new public spaces without large-scale redevelopment. In inner-city areas, pocket parks are often part of urban regeneration plans and provide areas where wildlife such as birds can establish a foothold. Unlike larger parks, pocket parks are sometimes designed to be fenced and locked when not in use.

Collyer Brothers Park

Paley Park

The Bough That Falls with All its Trophies Hung, 2009 / by Bryan Zanisnik

28 Apr

Paige’s House of Collection

25 Apr

What did the Collyer brothers ever do for Harlem?

21 Apr

Streetscapes/128th St. and Fifth Ave., Former Site of the Harlem House Where the Collyer Brothers Kept All That Stuff; Wondering Whether a Park Should Keep Its Name

By CHRISTOPHER GRAY
Published: June 23, 2002

WHAT did the Collyer brothers ever do for Harlem? That’s the question asked by the Harlem Fifth Avenue Block Association, which seeks to rename the tiny park at the northwest corner of 128th and Fifth Avenue. The group would like to see plaques go up with the legend Reading Tree Park, but, for the near term at least, the park will continue to memorialize Homer and Langley Collyer, two of New York’s most reclusive hermits.

Harlem began as a small village in the 1840’s but by 1879 — when the developer George J. Hamilton built his row of five row houses at the northwest corner of Fifth Avenue and 128th Street — it was almost fully built up. Hamilton’s architect was George B. Pelham, who had been born in England but came to New York in 1871. Pelham’s houses, built for $12,000 each, were typical neo-Grec-style buildings of the period, with the customary high stoop. Hamilton occupied the corner house, 2078 Fifth Avenue.

In 1909, the Hamilton family sold the house to Susie G. Collyer. The 1912 city directory lists her in the house with her husband, Herman L. Collyer, and their sons, Homer, born in 1881, a lawyer, and Langley, born in 1883, a musician.

In 1923, Dr. Collyer died, followed by his wife in 1929. Later press accounts indicate that the gas and electricity were cut off around that time, apparently with the sons’ consent.

In 1938, Helen Worden, a reporter for The New York World-Telegram, interviewed Langley Collyer, who told her: ”We’ve no telephone, and we’ve stopped opening our mail. You can’t imagine how free we feel.” Worden, who subsequently wrote about the Collyer brothers (using the name Helen Worden Erskine) in her 1954 book ”Out of This World,” became interested in the Collyers because they had become known as hermits.

Langley would not let her into the house but told her that, yes, there was a canoe in the basement — his father used to paddle down to the hospital where he worked every morning and back in the evening, he said. Langley also explained his shabby dress: ”I have to dress this way. They would rob me if I didn’t.” Her book also says that he said he had stopped playing after a concert at Carnegie Hall: ”Paderewski followed me. He got better notices than I. What was the use of going on?” She said Langley had a ”low, cultivated voice.”