Guastavino: Vaulted Vision

Guastavino vault
Queensborough Bridge Market

Guastavino was once a household name among American architects. The Guastavino Company, led by a father-son team of Spanish immigrants, oversaw the construction of thousands of thin-tile vaults across the USA, including over 200 in New York City, between the 1880s and 1950s. From Grand Central Terminal’s Oyster Bar and Whispering Gallery to the Municipal Building to the Queensborough Bridge, New Yorkers walk amidst Guastavino tiles every day, often without noticing.

The Museum of the City of New York is currently showcasing an exhibition, entitled Palaces for the People: Guastavino and the Art of Structural Tile, that pays homage to this outstanding artisanal family.

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