New York Architecture Images-New York Architects

Voorhees, Gmelin and Walker

  New York works;
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006 Salvation Army Centennial Memorial Temple   051 One  Wall Street BANK OF NEW YORK

070 Barclay-Vesey Building

005 AT&T Headquarters 016 Western Union Building
Ralph Walker (1889–1973)
After study at M.I.T. and work in architectural offices around the country, Ralph Walker settled in New York in 1916 where he was employed at the firm of McKenzie, Voorhees, and Gmelin. In 1923, Walker was put in charge of the design of the new headquarters for the New York Telephone Company, known as the Barclay-Vesey Building. This is the earliest New York skyscraper that employed the requirements of the 1916 zoning code in an expressive manner. Walker's emphatically vertical design rises through a series of dramatic setbacks to a buttressed crown and is highlighted with a distinctive nontraditional, naturalistic ornamental vocabulary. In 1926, Walker became a partner in the firm of Voorhees, Gmelin, and Walker. He continued to design expressive skyscrapers including those for Western Union (1928–30) on Hudson Street and AT&T's (1930–32) on Broadway. His career culminated with the design of the Irving Trust Building (1928–31) at 1 Wall Street with its undulating facade, crystalline crown, and sumptuous public interiors.