Michael Sackler, Piercing 125th Street and the Riverside Drive Viaduct

Exhibition Dates: February 26 – March 25, 2021

“Piercing 125th Street and the Riverside Drive Viaduct,” explores the enduring impact that geology and topography assert on urban development and architecture within the Manhattanville neighborhood, 125th Street  between Broadway and the Hudson River. Geologists know the area as the 125th Street Seismic Fault Zone created approximately 4.5 million years ago by a rift in the Manhattan schist formation.  Today, the ground shifts away as the level alignment of the number one train daylights between 118th Street and 135th Street.  Similarly, the Riverside Drive Viaduct bridges the depression in topography north oof Grant’s Tomb.  The impenetrable geologic outcrop upon which sits Grant’s Tomb and Riverside Church forces the inexorable east-west cross-town trajectory of 125 Street to deflect in a northwesterly direction at Broadway, creating a triangular street pattern towards the West Side Highway.  The architecture within the neighborhood presents stone and brick masonry bearing walls, early 20th century riveted steel beams and girders, and 21st century glass and steel frame curtain wall technologies: diverse examples of structural physics on the planet earth. Using a digital camera with an infra-red photocell dramatizes the rending of the structures against the sky and urban landscape.