The Ticket Office

The Ticket Office (1910)

Artist's notes...

Beautiful architecture shelters our bodies and soothes our
souls. It transcends language and culture, satisfies our senses and at the same time fulfills particular spatial needs. It is a fading if not dying art, in a world that places practicality and economy at the top of the design priority list. There is little room in the field of architecture today for the imagination of dreamers. What a strange phenomenon, indeed that the most beloved buildings reflect exactly those characteristics our contemporary age rejects in new construction.
          The Hudson River Dayline Ticket Office was constructed on Broadway in Albany, New York in 1907. Most people could not guess in what year it was built much less in which architectural style, they just know they like it. And even after nearly 100 years of neglect, abuse, poor maintenance and horrendous additions its basic dignity still shines through. This building was born in an imaginative mind and time.
          When I was commissioned by The Hudson River Club to paint the Dayline Ticket Office it occurred to me that I would be working with a building that was extremely familiar. It had been painted and photographed numerous times and, unlike so many of my subjects, was still standing. How could I create a unique image that would capture the essence of Van Guysling’s whimsical architectural statement?
          After a series of studies, I became interested in the lighting possibilities of a night scene. The blue-grey sky, cool shades of green on the building’s street facade and wet cobblestones contrasted well with the warm lamp glow inside. Although those elements make up the essence of this work it was the roof features that were the most fun to paint. The subtlety of light and shadow, luxurious curves, spires, dormers and central tower reinforced my belief that today, more than ever, we owe the architect, Walter Van Guysling, our gratitude. Thanks, Walter.