Wednesday, August 6, 2014

The Best of the West

By Christian Rowe 

During my summer internship at LANDMARK WEST! I set out on many journeys to explore what has now become a familiar neighborhood to me – the Upper West Side. I have explored from 110th Street to Columbus Circle and from Central Park to Riverside Park. In between these boundaries I have seen many historic districts and landmarked buildings.
Everyone at LW! made my internship very enjoyable. Over the past six weeks, I assisted in preparing a survey of 184 buildings between 96th Street, 110th Street, Central Park West, and Riverside Drive for review by the LPC for landmark consideration; I helped prepare for next school year’s Keeping the Past for the Future education program by cutting out paper stoops and bay windows for brownstone collages; and I cataloged books recently donated to the LW! library – among many other tasks. The staff helped me when I asked and taught me what I did not know. I will walk away from this internship with a whole arsenal of skills I didn't have when I started in June. I am now able to type faster. I have become very computer literate. But the best thing I learned here is to slow down and observe. Sometimes you move too fast and you miss beautiful buildings and landscapes.
            My favorite experience was being given the task of exploring the Upper West Side for different architectural sites and then writing blog posts about what I found. The adventure I enjoyed the most was my first assignment when I was told to observe, study, and photograph the bridges in Central Park. I already had a personal connection to Central Park because my dad took me there as a child and I can remember running over the bridges there. Also, my first assignment in architecture class at the Williamsburg High School of Architecture and Design (where I go to school) was to design my own bridge. And so, on my journey I used my knowledge of bridges to identify key elements that help bridges stay together and also observed how historic features of the Central Park bridges have been preserved over time – as I saw on the Balcony Bridge.
This was my first job, and I’m very happy I had this experience at LANDMARK WEST!

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