Beautiful Miniatures

There’s a theory, which I may have first come across in the writings of Ada Louise Huxtable, that the International Style works best at a small scale. Examples in New York include the Manufacturers Hanover Bank branch at 510 Fifth Avenue and the Pepsi/Olivetti/a-few-other-companies building at 500 Park Avenue.

Looking at Underhill’s collection of photos, the Beaux Arts small bank buildings like the Mutual Bank on West 33rd Street seen above suggest that classical design is also quite effective at a small scale. I would follow this train of thought about other styles and small buildings, but it leads to an uncomfortable place for a New Yorker.

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