Just a week after the pair of buildings at 827-831 Broadway was landmarked, not only for their cast-iron architecture but for their long cultural history that most notably includes serving as home to world-famous artist Willem de Kooning, the developer/owner has put forth a proposal for a four-story prismatic glass addition and landscaped roof terrace. Though the architects at DXA Studio say the modern topper’s reflectivity is representative of two phases of de Kooning’s work–his 1960s rural and pastoral landscapes as seen through the reflection of surrounding plantings and his late 1950s urban landscapes through the building reflections–local groups are not so convinced.
Willem de Kooning
827-831 Broadway today via Wiki Commons (L); Willem de Kooning in his Fourth Avenue studio, April 1946. Harry Bowden, photographer. Harry Bowden papers, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.Via The Willem de Kooning Foundation. (R)
Underneath the lyrical and much-admired sherbet-colored facades of the twin lofts at 827-831 Broadway lies a New York tale like no other. Incorporating snuff, sewing machines, and cigar store Indians; Abstract Expressionists; and the “antique dealer to the stars,” it also involves real estate and big money, and the very real threat of the wrecking ball. Ahead, explore the one-of-a-kind past of these buildings, which most notably served as the home to world-famous artist Willem de Kooning, and learn about the fight to preserve them not only for their architectural merit but unique cultural history.
New Yorker Spotlight: Doug Steinberg Keeps the Doors Open at 110-Year-Old New York Central Art Supply, Fri, July 10, 2015
In 1905, Benjamin Steinberg opened up a store on Third Avenue between 10th and 11th Streets. Little did he know then that one day artists like Willem de Kooning would walk through its doors.
For the last 110 years, New York Central Art Supply has served the needs of New York’s amateur and professional artists. Three generations of the Steinberg family have supplied paper, paints, brushes, and canvases to everyone from first-year art students to Keith Haring. And over the last year, Doug Steinberg, Benjamin’s great-grandson, has taken a more active role at New York Central, planning for the store’s future. While Doug never formally joined the family business (he currently owns and runs his own company), New York Central has been a constant in his life. He says he’s worked there “on and off since I was born,” and has a deep appreciation for what his great-grandfather started and his father Steve grew in the ’60s and ’70s.
We recently spoke with Doug to learn about New York Central’s rich history, why so many well-known artists purchased and continue to purchase supplies here, and how the store is preparing for its 21st century evolution.