A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006. Now a Popeyes fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

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Entry from April 29, 2005
Lollypop/Lollipop (2 Columbus Circle)
Two Columbus Circle has been called the "lollipop building." It's also been called much worse. People hate it.

It's in a very important area, especially since the building of the Time Warner Center. The lollipop - which started as a museum - may soon be torn down.

Or it may soon be landmarked as a priceless city treasure. This is New York City, so one never knows.

25 February 1964, New York Times, pg. 33:
Architecture: Huntington Hartford's Palatial Midtown Museum

Columbus Circle Gallery
Will Open in Mid-March
In spite of its name, the Gallery of Modern Art is primarily a museum for a collector who does not admire modern art, if modern art is understood as including a hard core of progressive, experimental abstraction.

The building is by Edward Durell Stone, an architect who rejects the provocative, puzzling and sometimes brutal aspects of today's architecture in much the same way. No traditionalist, he simply prefers a less controversial idiom, avoids the more provoking and stimulating experiments, smooths off the rugged edges, and pads well with wall-to-wall luxury.

Outside, the new museum resembles a die-cut Venetian palazzo on lollypops. It begs for a canal or garden setting, rather than the dusty order of a New York traffic circle. Its effect, which now borders on poetic grotesquerie, will be vastly improved if the architect's sympathetic redesign of the circle is carried out by the city.

17 August 1998, New York Times, pg. A14:
But its white marble facade, perforated corners and spindly columns inspired Ada Louise Huxtable, The Times's architecture critic, to dismiss it as a "die-cut Venetian palazzo on lollypops." Others compared it to a giant shower stall.

11 December 1998, New York Times, pg. B1:
Acquiring a Taste
For Marble Lollipops

2 Columbus Circle, Much Despised,
Is Now Somewhat Admired
(Pg. B8 - ed.)
There would have been no predicting this in 1964 when the gallery was most memorably dismissed as a "die-cut Venetian palazzo on lollipops" by Ada Louise Huxtable, the architecture critic at The New York Times. Today, she allows that she gets "a little lift, a sense of pleasure" walking by the building.

7 March 2000, New York Times, pg. B3:
New Yorkers have often wondered about Huntington Hartford's Gallery of Modern Art at 2 Columbus Circle. When it opened in 1964, they wondered why Mr. Hartford had built such a folly, with columns like lollipops and almost no windows.
Posted by Barry Popik
Buildings/Housing/Parks • Friday, April 29, 2005 • Permalink

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