Saturday, October 16, 2021
11 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
This is an in-person walking tour
HDC tours are rain or shine.
Parkchester is the earliest example of the tower-in- the-park development in both New York City and the United States. The complex was also the first major housing development undertaken by the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company in 1938, and would later inspire the development of Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village.
Situated on 129 acres of land, Parkchester contains 12,273 middle-income apartments in addition to retail space, parking facilities, and an on-site power plant. The buildings were designed in an Art Deco Moderne-style featuring an abundance of terra cotta ornamentation.
Parkchester is notable for the hundreds of terra cotta sculptures featured on the apartment house facades. The figurative sculptures were manufactured in 1941 by the Federal Seaboard Terra Cotta Corporation, and were designed by Raymond Barger and Joseph Kiselewski, whose work can be found in Rockefeller Center.
HDC, along with other organizations, has started a campaign urging LPC to give landmark status to Parkchester, which would protect the terra cotta sculptures that are now in danger of being damaged by ongoing work that some construction companies are doing in the complex.
This tour will be led by Sharon Pandolfo, founder of the Parkchester Project, an initiative that aims to bring public awareness on the historic value of Parkchester and the sculptures that adorn the buildings of this complex.
Sharon will walk us through Parkchester and take us to some of the most iconic terracotta statues as she talks about the artists, the meaning and the context in which those sculptures were made.
This tour is free and open to everyone. Registration is required.