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April 17, 2014

Rafael Guastavino's structural tile vaults are spotlighted in NYC museum exhibit

  • Guastavino and his son Rafael Jr. patented a thin-tile vaulting technique based on a 500-year-old Spanish building method that was lightweight, extremely strong, self-supporting and fireproof.
    Associated Press

    AP Photo/Museum of the City of New York, Michael Freeman [enlarge]
    The Guastavino company built these tile vaults at old City Hall Subway Station in New York City.

    NEW YORK — The domes and arched ceilings — each arrayed with tiles in herringbone and basket-weave patterns — are hidden in plain sight. Millions of people walk under them every day at the Oyster Bar at Grand Central Terminal, New York's St. John the Divine, the Boston Public Library, the San Diego Museum of Man and hundreds of other places.

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