Friday, February 9, 2007

A Landmark for Lawyers

Since I’ve done a post on my apartment it seems only fitting to do one on the other space where I spend most of my time, my place of work. The New York County Lawyers’ Association occupies a landmark building designed for its use by Cass Gilbert and dedicated as the “Home of Law” in 1930. It stands today half a block from the site of the World Trade Center on the north side of St. Paul’s Chapel, which became an impromptu memorial after the 9/11 attacks.

On the left is the front entrance hall of the building, which never looks this empty. My office is to the right of the stairs. The picture of me in my office was taken when I first started working there, and I’d like to be able to say that it looks much better now. I did add a hanging plant and a more colorful calendar, but the truth is I haven’t put much effort into sprucing up my desk.

The room on the left used to be the Members’ Lounge, complete
with wing chairs and cigar smoke just like a proper English gentlemen’s club. Today it’s still called the Lounge, and it’s where we hold most of the events (usually cocktail parties and lectures) that I organize. I love the Georgian-style wood paneling but can’t quite get over the carpet. We hold big events in the Auditorium across the hall, which was supposedly modeled after Independence Hall in Philadelphia. It is actually a lovely ballroom but as you can see it’s usually full of supremely ugly furniture.

I have spent almost no time in the Library (left), as it is run by a rather bizarre woman and her disgruntled looking minions, but apparently it is a fairly important legal library. I sometimes organize smaller events in the Board Room (right), which lends a cocktail party a more intimate air. I like the calm colors and architectural details, but consider it’s mishmash of traditional decorations rather unfortunate. My favorite element in this room is probably the chairs, which have a vaguely neoclassical style.

Do you work in an aesthetically pleasing building? Have you done anything to decorate your desk? Let me know!


Anonymous said...

Great building! The library furniture looks interesting and old. See what you mean about most of the other furniture though. Are there any paintings of any note anywhere? Maybe there are some old ones in storage rooms somewhere that you could discover!

Samantha said...

Well K, I wish I could send you a picture of my desk and office, its about as steril as it gets BUT we are moving to the city Corp building with 3 walls of glass and a view of the Chrysler building. AMAZING- I will have to smuggle you up sometime.

Eva said...

My office building is ugly. But! it's right across the street from the Woolworth building and City Hall! so, perhaps it's nicer to look out at lovely architecture rather than be confined (because the interior does not always match the exterior) in a beautiful building.