Wow! Wow! Wow!

Ephemeral New York

Grocery shopping is an inspiring experience at the Food Emporium at 59th Street and First Avenue.

Instead of a box-like store with bad fluorescent lighting, this giant supermarket tucked beneath the Queensboro Bridge is like a cathedral, with graceful arches and pillars and beautiful vaulted ceilings lined with Guastavino tiles.

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Bridgemarket, as the site is known, is one of many spaces in the city designed by architect Rafael Guastavino.

“Guastavino, an architect from Barcelona, pioneered the adaptation of a centuries-old vernacular building technology called the boveda catalana, or Catalan vault, in which long flat tiles are laid in courses and mortared together with a special mixture of portland cement and cow bay sand,” states Architecture Week.

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“Guastavino vaults can be found in numerous grand interiors, including Grand Central Terminal, the U.S. Customs House, and the main hall at Ellis Island.”

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Bridgemarket didn’t get its name from its association with…

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