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A Preservation Pioneer at 100

Marking the 100th anniversary of his birth on August 11, 1911, Tablet printed a thoughtful piece on pioneering preservation architect Giorgio Cavaglieri, written by Allan M. Jalon.

Giorgio Cavaglieri was born August 11, 1911; he would have been 100 tomorrow.

Jalon’s article takes a look back at man behind the adaptive re-use of two of the Village’s most iconic buildings, the Jefferson Market Library (formerly the Jefferson Market Courthouse) and the Joseph Papp Public Theater (formerly the Astor Library).

It’s hard to imagine New York without these two landmarks today, but were it not for the work and efforts of Cavaglieri and preservationists like Margot Gayle, endangered buildings such as these would have been lost forever — further casualties in the wake of the destruction of Penn Station in 1963 which galvanized New York’s preservation movement.

You can read the article HERE.

The Public Theater, formerly the Astor Library

Interestingly, the piece makes note of Cavaglieri’s northern Italian roots, and its influence on his architectural sensibilities.  Coincidentally or not, both the Jefferson Market Library/Courthouse and the Public Theater/Astor Library drew on styles rooted in northern Italy — the former strongly borrows from Venetian Gothic models, while the latter is influenced by the Rundbogenstil, which is rooted in Northern Italian Romanesque design.  You can read more about each in their respective designation reports, available in the Designation Reports section on GVSHP’s Resources page — the Public Theater/Astor Library HERE and the Jefferson Market Courthouse/Library HERE and HERE.

The article is timely not just because of the anniversary of Cavaglieri’s birth, but because both the Jefferson Market Library and Public Theater are undergoing major renovations now — both are enshrouded in scaffolding, but should re-emerge renewed soon.

The Jefferson Market Library (formerly the Jefferson Market Courthouse), or “The Jeff,” when only partly covered by scaffolding.

Learn more about some of our great preservation pioneers HERE and HERE.


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