Greenpoint, October, 2015

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Your Aluminaire Here

Photo courtesy Architect's Newspaper Blog
The proposal to move the Aluminaire House to Sunnyside Gardens, Queens, as the centerpiece for a new apartment building for the landmarked district, is pretty far-fetched. Although not for the reason councilman Jimmy van Bramer (quoted in today's Times) gives: "How can a house that in some ways resembles a spaceship be plopped down in the middle of this neighborhood?" That's what spaceships do, Jimmy, they plop down.

Still, I'd like to propose a more welcoming spot for the 1931 beauty, designed by Albert Frey and A. Lawrence Kocher to introduce Americans to Le Corbusier's methods of prefabrication. It's threatened with destruction in its current site in Huntington, NY, so a move is definitely of the moment.

Why not install it here, on the Bald Spot of Maspeth, overlooking the BQE-Long Island Expressway interchange? Think of how beautiful it will be--maybe with a little landscaping--gleaming in the sun for tens of thousands of drivers each day. It might even necessitate a mandatory sunglasses law. Once a pedestrian bridge is constructed, visitors will take in the America the Aluminaire House and it's near contemporary, the BQE (c. 1936), presaged.

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