Monday, November 30, 2009
The Arsenal in Central Park, New York [Photographs]
The Arsenal in Central Park, architecture by Martin E. Thompson, 1847-51 and murals by Allen Saalburg, 1935-6. Photo: 16 Miles [more]
Thanks to Open House New York and the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, the Arsenal building in Central Park was open to public tours one day last month. Built from 1847 to 1851 to store munitions for the New York State National Guard, the building was seized by controversial parks commissioner Robert Moses in 1934.
The wonderful handrail columns in the shape of guns are joys to behold, but the real treat is inside the lobby, where Allen Saalburg, an artist funded by the Works Progress Administration, painted a series of room-spanning murals that celebrate the history and iconography of the United States of America. A painted soldier even stands guard — bayonet at the ready — next to one door. Remarkable paintings. Even Glenn Beck would enjoy a visit.