Oxford University Press's
Academic Insights for the Thinking World

Here’s Looking at You, New York

Michelle Rafferty, Publicity Assistant

This month Oxford celebrated the publication of the newest edition of the landmark AIA Guide to New York City with a launch party in the largest architectural exhibit in the world─The Panorama of the City of New York at the Queens Museum of Art. Where can you find an apartment for $50 in New York City? The ego of Robert Moses? All is revealed in our Panorama Podcast featuring QMA Executive Director  Tom Finkelpearl and some CUNY students who were enjoying the view at the party.

For more on the party and the view check out the slideshow below!

Podcast Transcript

Tom Finkelpeal: We have at the Queens Art Museum the largest architectural scale model in the world. It has 890,000 buildings on it.

Party Guest 1: See that loop over there kind of thing…on the highway. Like if you follow the bridge down the highway and that loop thing near the middle. I live to the left of that a little bit. That’s where I live. So yeah, this is actually a pretty accurate depiction of New York City, which is pretty amazing.

Party Guest 2: Do you know who made it?

Party Guest 3: No.

Finkelpearl: It was built by Robert Moses who was the master builder of New York City. We always say he built the panorama as a tribute to himself partially because for example he made all the public housing very distinguishable, it’s all red, you can see it very easily. He built all of that. He also made the bridges a little bit taller than they really are in reality. He built them out of brass. They are very beautiful and easy to see. He built I think five of the major bridges in New York City.

Michelle Rafferty: And you said that right now you are making updates to the panorama. What changes are you making, and is this the first update that’s ever happened?

Finkelpearl: Right now we’re doing sort of neighborhood by neighborhood, we’re not doing it comprehensively. Last time we updated the model it cost us a million dollars, we don’t have a million dollars to spend on that right now. But one thing is, if you want to buy an apartment in New York City, you can buy an Upper East Side apartment for $50 on the panorama and you actually own it for ten years. I mean own it in quotes, you can’t actually move in. It’s like adopting a star.

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