Wake on Times Square

On July 11 in a major partnership with Times Square Arts  a new  artworks opened in Times Square. 
Wake by the artist Mel Chin  is a 24-foot-tall installation that evokes the hull of a shipwreck crossed with the skeletal remains of a marine mammal. Adjacent to the shipwreck is a  21-foot-tall sculpture. 
Mel Chin was born  is Houston, Texas  and moved to New York in 1983. Chin places art in landscapes, in public spaces, and in gallery and museum exhibitions. In 1984 Mel Chin was   Artist-in-Residence   in Bryant park,   then suffering from criminal activity and lack of use. 

MYRRHA P.I.A in Bryant Park
The artist   constructed his piece "MYRRHA P.I.A. (Post Industrial Age)" in the park, during the summer and fall of 1984. Chin used  nineteenth century fabrication techniques to create a three-dimensional figurative sculpture of a female set on a wood pedestal, and placed in the center of the lawn. Chin's Myrrha was heavily based on Doré's engraving of Dante's portrayal of Myrrha in Divine Comedy. 

Chin once stated: “Making objects and marks is also about making possibilities, making choices—and that is one of the last freedoms we have. To provide that is one of the functions of art.”

 The sculpture on Times Square based off of a figurehead of 19th-century opera singer, Jenny Lind.
  Nicknamed the ‘Swedish Nightingale’, Jenny Lind (original name Johanna Maria Lind) was a soprano whose voice was admired by Chopin, Mendelssohn and Clara Schumann. 

People loved her, and she became one of the most adored singers of the 1800s. Lind made her debut  at Stockholm in 1838 , first appeared in London in Meyerbeer’s Robert le Diable in 1847  and    in 1850 toured the United States under P.T. Barnum’s auspices.  From the moment of her arrival in New York, Lind was a sensation.  The New York Tribune summarized her popularity: “Jenny Lind’s first concert is over; and all doubts are at an end. She is the greatest singer we have ever heard”. All told, Jenny Lind’s tour is believed to have netted Barnum close to a half-million dollars, an astonishing sum in 1850.

USS Nightingale
The  figurehead was  mounted on the 19th Century clipper ship, the USS Nightingale.   She was built originally to carry passengers across the Atlantic to the Great Exhibition in London, and was then to be exhibited in the Thames with her large saloons and luxurious cabins. Unfortunately money ran out before the fittings were completed, and the Nightingale was sold at auction in Boston. During the Civil War, she served as an armed cruiser for the Federal Navy. 

After the War, the Nightingale was the flagship for the Western Union Telegraph Company’s Pacific project.

 Nightingale`s last homeport had been Kragerö, in southern Norway. The figurehead was lost .  It was rediscovered  almost a century later and ended up in the hands of a Swedish antique dealer in 1994.  He spent 13 years researching its history.  In January 2008 f ship's figurehead once used as a scarecrow on a Swedish farm has been sold at auction at Sotheby's in New York for $100,000. 

Daily News Building

Just a block and a half from Grand Central Terminal, 220 East 42nd Street, also known as the Daily News Building was constructed in 1929-1930 for the newspaper of the same name, owned by Joseph Patterson. Joseph Medill Patterson was  one of the most significant newspaper publishers in the United States, founding New York's Daily News and introducing the tabloid. His grandfather was the founder of the Chicago Tribune and a mayor of Chicago, Illinois. 

 The New York Daily News was founded  by Peterson in 1919 and was the first U.S. daily printed in tabloid format - a compact page size smaller than broadsheet, usually 17 by 11 inches. New York's many subway commuters found the tabloid format easier to handle, and readership steadily grew.

One of the slogans of the newspaper was  "The Eyes, the Ears, the Honest Voice of New York".  First  the newspaper was based at 23 Park Place, a block from City Hall, and two blocks from Park Row, the traditional home of the city's newspaper trade. By  1927 Daily News was the nation's biggest newspaper and it was ready to enlarge the space.

 To build a new home for his newspaper  Patterson chose architect Raymond Hood to build hid first  fully modernistic freestanding skyscraper for the newspaper. Hood had designed the magnificent Chicago Tribune building, which was owned by Patterson's grandfather, Joseph Medill.

Construction of the 36-story tower began in April 1929, and for all that year Midtown East was dramatically transformed day by day as the News Building climbed into the sky alongside its equally showy new  neighbors the Chrysler and Chanin buildings.
 The building was finished  by February 1930 and the  giant rotating globe in the lobby  took a few more months to install.

 The  enormous partially sunken globe surrounded by a black glass hemisphere, is one of New York’s most unusual and dramatic public interior spaces.  The globe is 12 feet in diameter and weighs 4,000 pounds. It is housed in a mirrored circular pit beneath a black glass dome, and is lit from below. A sunburst, inlaid into the terrazzo floor, radiates out from this spherical beauty, with text marking the direction and distance to major cities around the world.
The giant globe was featured as part of the fictional Daily Planet in Richard Donner's Superman films in 1978.