The Ticket Office (1910)
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.
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
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.