|A week ago last Tuesday (June 10th), the legendary Apollo Theater on 125th Street in Harlem celebrated its 80th Anniversary with a big Birthday celebration version of their annual Spring Gala. Departing from its tradition of inducting legends into the Apollo Hall of Fame, this year’s Gala celebrated the eight decades of artistic brilliance that have been presented on the Apollo stage since 1934. The gala was their most successful so far, raising a record-breaking $2.3 million.
It was an amazing event with performances by Gladys Knight, Natalie Cole, Doug E Fresh, The Isley Brothers, Joss Stone, Amateur Night winner Matthew Whitaker, and hosted by Wayne Brady. The evening explored the Apollo’s contribution to American culture over the last eight decades spanning music, comedy and dance. For example, Brady performed Ray Charles’ “Georgia” with the 2010 Amateur Night Child Star of Tomorrow and jazz musician Matthew Whitaker, a 13-year prodigy who happened to have been born blind. Savion Glover performed an unrehearsed number with Doug E Fresh on beatbox.
|Ron Perelman presented his friend Richard Parsons, Chairman of the Apollo’s board of directors, with the Leadership Award, and Gerald Hassell, CEO of BNY Mellon, on behalf of BNY Mellon.
Gala Chairs were Ron Perelman and Anna Chapman, John Demsey; Mellody Hobson and George Lucas, Marcus Samuelsson, James L. Dolan, CEO of Cablevision; Marcella and Terry Jones; Sonya and Paul Jones, Debra Shriver of Hearst; and Bronson van Wyck.
|The following night, Wednesday, the Isley Brothers were inducted into the Apollo Walk of Fame, with a special presentation. Ronald and Ernie Isley received a standing ovation from the Amateur Night audience accepting their honor on the very stage where they began their careers on almost six decades ago.
The evening was produced by Ron Weisner of Ron Weisner Entertainment, and there was an after-party in a stylish lounge created by Bronson van Wyck.
|The Apollo is a national treasure. It has had a significant impact on the development of American culture and its popularity around the world. Since introducing the first Amateur Night contests in 1934, the Apollo Theater has played a major role in cultivating artists and in the emergence of innovative musical genres including jazz, swing, bebop, R&B, gospel, blues, soul, and hip-hop. Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, Billie Holiday, Sammy Davis, Jr., James Brown, Michael Jackson, Bill Cosby, Gladys Knight, Luther Vandross, D’Angelo, Lauryn Hill, and countless others began their road to stardom on the Apollo’s stage.|
|The Apollo Theater’s new artistic vision builds on its legacy. New Apollo programming has music as its core, driving large scale and more intimate music, dance and theater presentations. The Apollo will continue to present historically relevant presentations, as well as more forward-looking, contemporary work. Based on its cultural significance and architecture, the Apollo Theater received state and city landmark designation in 1983 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. For more information, visit www.apollotheater.org.
The evening’s gala sponsors were: BNY Mellon, MacAndrews and Forbes Holdings Inc., Hearst, JP Morgan Chase & Co., Al Jazeera America, BET Networks, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Cablevision, Coca-Cola Company, Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s, The Madison Square Garden Company and TV One.
|This past Saturday afternoon, over 250 guests including artists, architects, designers, collectors, and modernist enthusiasts celebrated The Glass House Summer Party and 65th anniversary bringing in a record $300,000, supporting the Glass House site and preservation projects.
Guests sipped Taittinger champagne and enjoyed canapés and picnic by Elm Restaurant. Each of the picnic baskets was adorned with elegant Swarovski crystals. DJ Arp played his melodic music while harpist Mary Lattimore performed her modernist melodies under the trees in front of the painting gallery. Guests were able to stroll the grounds and interplay with the Fujiko Nakaya: Veil fog installation, as well as enjoy the new exhibition: Six Panels: Al Taylor organized by Robert Storr.
|Guests enjoyed giant chess and ping pong and had fun taking portraits in front of the Glass House with Design Within Reach's photo booth while Makerbot designed limited edition Glass House models and bookmarks for guests to take home. Fierce bidding took place for work by Richard Barnes, Richard Serra and his nephew Shelter Serra, as well as for Adam Fuss, Nan Goldin, and other artists including David Diao, Olaf Bruening, Holton Rower, Crash (John Matos), and Julia Chang.
A private collector snapped up the Glass House overnight and dinner package, as well as a trip to Fogo Island, the Modernist resort in Newfoundland. Also drawing a lot of attention was the beautiful crystal necklace by Atelier Swarovski by Maison Martin Margiela. The VIP gift bags included Ralph Lauren candles, two beautiful books from Monacelli Press, Aesop products, a DWR gift certificate and more.
|Three hundred members of New York City's philanthropic, business, design and development communities gathered on June 11th at 583 Park Avenue for the 2014 Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Medals hosted by the Municipal Art Society (MAS). Emceed by Vin Cipolla, MAS President, the event raised over $1,000,000 to support the organization and its mission to advance holistic urban planning, preservation and design solutions that enhance the quality of life across New York. David M. Childs, Chairman Emeritus of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, and Larry A. Silverstein, Chairman of Silverstein Properties, served as the event's Co-Chairs.
The highlight of the evening was the presentation of The Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Medal, MAS's highest honor, to Bruce Ratner, Executive Chairman, and MaryAnne Gilmartin, President & CEO, Forest City Ratner Companies (FCRC). MAS paid tribute to Mr. Ratner and Ms. Gilmartin for their longstanding commitment to New York City and the organizations and partnerships that make it a more just and equitable place, and in recognition of their efforts to promote world-class design, architectural innovation and public art.
|The Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Medal, MAS's highest honor, is presented annually to individuals or institutions whose work or deeds have made outstanding contributions to New York City. The medal, launched in 1950, was renamed in 1994 to commemorate Mrs. Onassis' efforts to champion and preserve New York's great architectural treasures.
Previous recipients of MAS's Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Medal include last year's honorees, David Rockefeller, Jr., Board Chair, and Dr. Judith Rodin, President, The Rockefeller Foundation at the time of its centennial; philanthropists Peter G. Peterson and Joan Ganz Cooney, Agnes Gund, Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman, Peter L. Malkin, Wade F.B. Thompson and Janet and Arthur Ross; preservationists Margot Gayle and Brendan Gill; fashion icon and urban advocate Diane von Furstenberg; and architects I. M. Pei, James Stewart Polshek and Robert A.M. Stern.
|The evening offered a cocktail reception, award ceremony, dinner and an after-dark party.
The Municipal Art Society is New York's leading organization dedicated to creating a more livable city. For 120 years, MAS-a nonprofit membership organization-has been committed to promoting New York City's economic vitality, cultural vibrancy, environmental sustainability and social diversity. Working to protect the best of New York's existing landscape, from landmarks and historic districts to public open spaces, MAS encourages visionary design, planning and architecture that promote resilience and the livability of New York. For more information, visit MAS.org.
|On June 5, 2014, The New York Landmarks Conservancy held its 26th Annual Chairman’s Award Luncheon at The Metropolitan Club. The Conservancy recognized some of those involved with the recent restoration of the Thurgood Marshall U.S. Courthouse: Beyer Blinder Belle, Cauldwell Wingate, Davis Brody Bond, Evergreene Architectural Arts, General Services Administration, Integrated Conservation Resources, Lend Lease, WSP and U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Dennis Jacobs.|
|The Courthouse, at 40 Centre Street on Foley Square in lower Manhattan, was completed in 1936 to the designs of Cass Gilbert and his son, Cass Gilbert, Jr. It is in the neoclassical style, with Minnesota granite for the building exterior and glazed terra cotta for the pyramid and lantern. The Courthouse is a designated New York City landmark and on the National Register of Historic Places. Despite its significance, it suffered from decades of inattention and insensitive modifications. But last year, the Courthouse emerged from a comprehensive ten-year, $314 million renovation.
“This magnificent restoration brings back an extraordinary landmark Courthouse honoring citizens, the judges and the law,” said Peg Breen, President of The New York Landmarks Conservancy. “We are pleased to honor so many of the firms and people involved in this lengthy and painstaking transformation.”
|The Conservancy’s singular mission for more than four decades has been the protection of New York’s built environment, from the iconic buildings that define the City’s spectacular skyline to the diverse neighborhoods where New Yorkers live, work and play.
The Thurgood Marshall U.S Courthouse is owned by the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA). Beyer Blinder Belle served as architects for the renovation and Davis Brody Bond as associate architects. The engineering firm was WSP, the general contractor Cauldwell Wingate and the construction manager Lend Lease. Integrated Conservation Resources served as materials conservation consultants. Evergreene Architectural Arts produced interior finishes. U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Dennis Jacobs presided as chief judge during the renovation.
|The New York Landmarks Conservancy has led the effort to preserve and protect New York City’s architectural legacy for more than 40 years. Since its founding, the Landmarks Conservancy has loaned and granted more than $40 million, which has leveraged more than $1 billion in 1,550 restoration projects throughout New York, revitalizing communities, providing economic stimulus and supporting local jobs. The Conservancy has also provided countless hours of pro bono technical assistance to building owners, both nonprofit organizations and individuals. The Conservancy’s work has saved more than a thousand buildings across the City and State. For more information, please visit www.nylandmarks.org.|
|Photographs by Shahar Azran (Apollo); PatrickMcMullan.com & Sandra Hamburg (Glass House)|