In 1881, Spanish engineer Rafael Guastavino arrived in New York City and unveiled his new technology for building self-supporting vaulted tile ceilings. These ceilings are now iconic elements of many New York landmarks, and city is home to more than 250 of them, but no place has a denser concentration than Prospect Park. On this virtual tour, we’ll look at many of the ceilings up close, including in Grand Army Plaza, the Tennis House, and the Prospect Park Zoo, as we discuss this engineering marvel.
- Map of Guastavino Structures of Prospect Park
- Palaces for the People: Guastavino and America’s Great Public Spaces
- WATCH: Making a replica vault at the National Building Museum
- Rafael Guastavino (1892) Essay on the theory and history of cohesive construction applied especially to the timbrel vault