The View From Atop 508 Park Avenue, Where, Very Soon, the Past Will Meet the Present
|On top of 508 Park Avenue, from left: Alan Govenar, Carol J. Adams, Pat Bywaters and Buddy Jordan|
They walked me through the building constructed out of marble in the 1920s to store movies for Warner Bros. Pictures -- all five floors, who knew. (Though one is just a small room, a sort-of office with a separate bathroom.) Then, they laid out their plans for the building.
On the first floor: two art galleries for permanent exhibitions, with interactive exhibits documenting 508 Park's past as a film-storage facility and Brunswick Records' branch office; a cafe; a gift shop; a separate gallery for traveling exhibitions; and a green room that will connect to the outdoor amphitheater that will replace next-door 1900 Young. On the second floor: art studios and office space. On the third: a recording studio next to the corner in which Robert Johnson, Bob Wills and dozens of others recorded in the late 1930s; a sort-of shrine set up in that corner space, memorializing those who one stood in the spot; and an open space for meetings or, say, weddings.
On the four floor is a beautiful space unseen from the street -- a modest-sized brick enclosure illuminated by sunlight streaming in from the giant original windows. A door opens to the roof, a giant space they will transform into a deck and garden space. All four point to something I never knew existed: the words "Warner Bros. Pictures" still painted on the top of the building, as you can see below. The stairwell, still mostly original, will also serve as museum space -- a sort of living time line as you travel upwards.
|After all these years, you can still see for whom the building was built: "Warner Bros. Pictures."|
There is no opening date scheduled. But June 19, 2013, they say, is a date they will aim for.
|When 1900 Young is razed, it will be replaced by the outdoor amphitheater.|
|At some point, in the not too distant future, this view of downtown will be available to everyone.|
|Jordan, Govenar, Adams and Bywaters, beneath the Warner Bros. logo|