Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Visionary Architecture: Unbuilt New York on The Eleventh Hour

I just couldn't resist posting this January 1989 episode of The Eleventh Hour, a nightly public affairs show on WNET. I was not familiar with the show, since it was a bit before my time in New York. Nevertheless I was disheartened to hear that even though the show won five Emmy Awards the year of this episode, it was cancelled in 1990 due to "a lack of long-term financial support and the need to cut costs at the station."

[L, L-R: Elliot Willensky, Robert Lipstyle, Michael Sorkin, Lebbeus Woods, and "the man in the welder's mask" (John Young?). R, L-R: 2D-Donald Trump and Michael Sorkin]

Here's the description of the episode from Madara's Videos on YouTube:
"This episode of Eleventh Hour with host Robert Lipsyte was aired on WNET on Jan. 10, 1989 and looks at issues surrounding the development of the West Side railyards that would eventually become Trump Place (aka Riverside South). The first guest is Elliot Willensky, author, AIA Guide to New York City, who discusses the tension between an architect’s obligation to his client and his need to serve the art of architecture. This is followed by a montage of fanciful architectural schemes, including Buckminster Fuller’s proposed dome over Central Park. They are then joined by Michael Sorkin, an architecture critic, and Lebbeus Woods, an architect, who discuss their joint plan to develop the railyards as some kind of dystopian theme park, a piece of conceptual art, illustrated by Woods’ copious, if rough drawings. This is followed by a video segment on a homeless encampment then existing on the site."
And here's the video:

(via Geoff Manaugh on Twitter)