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New York Daily Photo: Light on Bobst
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Thursday, 28 June 2007

Light on Bobst

My recent interest in the evening and night sky prompted this photo. It is remarkable how out of touch with the natural world city dwellers can be - there is a serious dearth of knowledge in subjects like plants, animals, insects, astronomy etc. Recently, I have noticed some very brightly lit heavenly bodies - however I was not able to find anyone who new what these objects were (by studying some online star maps, I was able to confirm my suspicion that Venus was one of them). The photo was taken at sunset of the Bobst Library, which houses over 3 million volumes and is one of largest academic libraries in the US. This massive red sandstone edifice on Washington Square South was designed by Philip Johnson for NYU (New York University) and completed in 1972. It has been steeped in controversy since its construction: 1) To begin with, there were substantial delays in its construction. 2) There has been much criticism of its bulky, monolithic form and how it towers over Washington Square Park. The work of Johnson himself has been the subject of much criticism. 3) The library was named after Elmer Holmes Bobst, who made a $6 million dollar contribution. There was embarrassment for the University, however, when it was learned that Bobst was a Nixon supporter, had been accused of a corrupt contribution to Nixon and made antisemitic remarks. 4) In 2003, Bobst made big news with two suicides in one month - students jumped from the open-air catwalks to the marble floor below. 5) Steven Stanzak, an NYU student unable to afford his housing costs became homeless and took up residence in the basement of the Bobst Library for eight months from 2003-04 ...


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