‘Our Vanishing Legacy’

The New York skyline circa, I would imagine, 1950. (hdc.org)

The New York skyline circa, I would imagine, 1940. (hdc.org)

Making the revival rounds of historical organizations in New York City is a fascinating film not shown in decades. Originally released on Sept. 21, 1961, “Our Vanishing Legacy” was the first documentary promoting historic preservation in the city. This was after the demolishing of Pennsylvania Station was announced but before it was accomplished. Produced by Gordon Hyatt and narrated by Ned Calmer, the 32-minute film will rouse sad memories in many old enough to rue what was being inexorably lost in that era. Penn Station and Grand Central are featured here, but several other historic buildings at risk then (and surely long gone) are also shown. The sad tone raises memories a well. There are some brief but excellent remarks, too, on what was tending to replace them.

My thanks to Kristen Richards, maestro of ArchNewsNow.com, for sending the video to me.

About David Brussat

For a living, I edit the writing of some of the nation's leading architects, urbanists and design theorists. This blog was begun in 2009 as a feature of the Providence Journal, where I was on the editorial board and wrote a weekly column of architecture criticism for three decades. Architecture Here and There fights the style wars for classical architecture and against modern architecture, no holds barred. My freelance writing and editing on that topic and others addresses issues of design and culture locally and globally. I am a fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts, and a member of the board of the New England chapter of the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art, which bestowed an Arthur Ross Award on me in 2002. I work from Providence, R.I., where I live with my wife Victoria, my son Billy and our cat Gato. If you would like to invest your prose with even more style and clarity, please email me at my consultancy, dbrussat@gmail.com, or call 401.351.0457. Testimonial: "Your work is so wonderful - you now enter my mind and write what I would have written." - Nikos Salingaros, mathematician at the University of Texas, architectural theorist and author of many books.
This entry was posted in Architecture, Architecture History, Old Video, Preservation and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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