Museum of the City of New York

  • Guastavino tiled vaulting in the Oyster Bar at Grand Central Station

  • Guastavino tiled arches in the old City Hall Subway Station

  • Guastavino tiled vaults at Ellis Island

  • Guastavino tiled vaulting underneath the 59th Street Bridge in Manhattan

  • At the Greene Space, renowned Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava describes Guastavino vaulting to Leonard Lopate in connection with the Museum of the City of New York‘s Guastavino Show

Palaces For the People: New York's Grand Public Spaces

“The City Museum’s presentation of Palaces for the People has been substantially expanded to feature never-before-seen artifacts, historical images, and original architectural drawings of approximately 20 key Guastavino spaces in New York City.”
Wall Street Journal International Website

Spanish immigrant Rafael Guastavino (1842-1908) developed a unique system of tile based construction that enabled America’s finest architects to create the stunning domed interiors which we associate with our iconic civic structures. Long forgotten, the lightweight, fireproof, and exceptionally strong structures built by Guastavino and his son are now the focus of new scholarship. A generous grant from JLGreene enabled the Museum of the City of New York to reimagine a Guastavino exhibition titled “Palaces for the People”, which originated in Boston and Washington DC, to emphasize the Guastavinos’ singular effect upon New York City. “Palaces for the People”, on view from March 26 until September 7, 2014, included their work in over 200 important projects.

The Museum published a handbook guide listing every known Guastavino site in the Five Boroughs. Museum of the City of New York provides a comprehensive overview of the historical, cultural, economic and artistic impulses which have made New York City such a profoundly important financial and cultural center.  It brings the past, present, and future together within a stone’s throw of the beautiful Central Park Conservancy Gardens at Fifth Avenue and 105th Street.