Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The Sentinels of Roosevelt Island

Each day I walk outside my building and walk up Main Street I pass the Sentinels. I know in truth these oversize pipes are simply air vents for the building they surround. But as the majority of the pipes stand so tall it is easy to imagine them guarding their ground and structure as they stand the line. Their colors match the respective wings of the three building structure but again it is easy to imagine that each color signifies another company of soldiers.

There are very few nautical accents on what is obviously an island so the funnel shaped air vents stand out due in part to their bright colors but also because very few of the buildings on Roosevelt Island have any accents that distinguish themselves from each other beyond their base architectural differences.

So just for the fun of it as I walk past the vents I will continue to look upon these structures as the Sentinels of Roosevelt Island.


  1. You have a most interesting blog.

    Stay on groovin' safari,

  2. IIRC, johnson put those 'nautical' motifs in a few places to relate the buildings to the sea around the island and the boat-like shape of RI.

    like most of johnson's designs, i have a hard time deciding whether the half-*ssedness is due to design or execution. but they are my favorite part of the original buildings.

    if it doesn't show, i am NOT one of those who think ol' phil is one of america's premier architects... maybe 10 good buildings, and a few hundred crappy ones, like ours!

  3. Nothing romantic about those "sentinels". They are the air vents for the laundry room dryers in Rivercross!

  4. According to Mitchell Hammer, the General Manager of the
    Rivercross Tenants' Corp. building, the air vents are fresh air intakes, not exhausts, which supply the air handlers that
    move air through the public halls of the Rivercross building.

    Anyone know the technical nautical term for the bell shaped pipes one would see on old ships seen most often in old movies?