Best Vintage Kitsch Excavation (2008)


New York was a city subject to the plate tectonics of architectural fashion long before madmen set about remaking the skyline. Only recently have some subterranean layers been peeled back to reveal the sweeter historical strata. Chief among these are the bas-relief beaux arts eagles at the 14TH STREET/UNION SQUARE SUBWAY STATION. Grand in symbolism but humble in craft, this bygone patriotic pop gives much of our own century's theme-park postmodernism a run for its money. Cortland Street's rich retro mosaics may long be off-limits, but under Union Square you can still see some of what surely inspired them.


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