Each: 3 3/4 x 3 1/8 in. (9.5 x 7.9 cm)
Set of eight glasses representing New York City landmarks through abstract designs.
a. Chrysler Building: Confidence, energy, and efficiency made tangible. In 1930, a sunburst of pleated chromium-stell domes and a perfect shining spicule instantly became modernism's archetype. William Van Alen's triumph is transcendent.
b. Bow Bridge: Cast iron has never been so elegant. Sixty-foot balustrades of delicate guilloches and cinquefoils connect Cherry Hill and the Ramble. And the gentle rise that Calvery Vaux and Jacob Mould gave their 1862 masterpiece provides gorgeous park and city views.
c. Water Towers: When New York went vertical in the 1880s, the modest water tower rose to the occasion. Beveled wooden staves coopered with metal cables and lugs merge low-tech and high efficiency by letting gravity do the work.
d. Setbacks: Law meets design. Fear of an ever-darkening Manhattan led to the 1916 Zoning Resolution that limited building mass at various heights. Ipso facto: New York's unique high-rise silhouette. Shown is the graceful 500 Fifth Avenue.
e. Guggenheim Museum: Form follows ego. Frank Lloyd Wright loved the controversy surrounding his purposefully iconic helix. This 1959 structural conceit is as non-contextual and impractical as it is exhilarating and unforgettable.
f. Transit System: Thanks to Bob Noorda, millions of New Yorkers have been seeing spots before their eyes since 1966. Express, local, or shuttle, this condition is experienced throughout the boroughs. As one of the world's largest transit systems expands, expect these symptoms to increase.
g. Utility Grates: Some designs require sensible shoes. The grates over ConEd's vaults are not meant to snag heels, but placing electrical transformers below sidewalk level keeps streets and avenues free from poles and wire. How thoughtful.
h. Steam Vents: Manhattan's growing season begins with steam wisping up from utility covers. Orange-and-white banded stalks soon sprout. After asphalt tilling and leaky pipe plugging, the stalks are cut and the season ends...only to start over down the block.
Gift of John Ehrlich and Ulf Henricsson
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.