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Author @ the Library: "Guastavino Vaulting: The Art of Structural Tile," with John A Ochsendorf, Associate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Architecture at The Massachusetts Institute of Technology.


April 25, 2013

 This illustrated lecture draws attention to an innovative builder and visionary architect whose work still attracts the eye of visitors to vaulted ceilings, which are considered structural and aesthetic marvels.  The author features archival images, drawings, and beautiful new color photography showcasing the most incredible Guastavino vaulted spaces.  He traces the development of the remarkable construction technology from its Mediterranean roots to its highest achievements in the United States.  The Rafael Guastavino family, a father and son team of Spanish immigrants, oversaw the construction of thousands of spectacular thin-tile vaults across the United States between the 1880s and the 1950s.  These versatile, strong, and fireproof vaults were built by Guastavino in more than two hundred major buildings in Manhattan, and in hundreds more across the country, including Grand Central Terminal, Carnegie Hall, the Biltmore Estate, the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, the Registry Hall at Ellis Island, and many major university buildings.