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Photo of the Week #159

Raissa Venables

Grand Central Oyster Bar, New York City: Counter, 2009 vertical panoramic image

Grand Central Oyster Bar, New York City: Counter, 2009
90 × 24 in
Edition of 5


Septmber 20, 2021

The soaring verticality of this composite photograph by Raissa Venables evokes the immersive experience of standing inside Grand Central Station’s iconic Oyster Bar, constructed in 1913. Grand Central Station as a whole is emblematic of the City Beautiful movement, which inspired early 20th century city planners to view municipal buildings as works of art that could express the grand ambitions of the city. The Oyster Bar is particularly beloved for its vaulted tile ceiling designed by the Guastavinos, a father/son team who immigrated to the US from Barcelona and brought with them Spanish building techniques derived from Islamic architects and builders in North Africa. The technique is now known as Guastavino Vaulting and its aesthetic beauty is matched by its utility—the vaults are self supporting and entirely fireproof. 
News Flash: For you oyster lovers out there, the Oyster Bar will reopen next week after being closed for 17 months due to the pandemic!