Inside the Farley

Photographs by Margaret Morton

April 17, 2017
7:00 p.m.

Since 2012, photographer Margaret Morton has roamed the vacated, monumental spaces of the Farley, capturing a fleeting window between its two lifetimes. The building, designed by McKim, Mead and White, completed in 1914, and expanded in 1934, has been under demolition since 2010, soon to re-emerge as the new Daniel Patrick Moynihan Station. Morton’s photographs of the interior — from vast mail sorting rooms to scores of dilapidated offices — reveal a hidden world on the brink of transformation.

To celebrate the installation, The Architectural League and Urban Omnibus will host a reception and discussion on Monday, April 17. Doors open at 6:30 p.m., followed at 7:00 p.m. by a talk by Margaret Morton about the process of photographing the labyrinthine complex with a response by curator and art historian Bonnie Yochelson.

Margaret Morton has photographed a range of spaces from alternative built environments created in public parks, and abandoned buildings by Manhattan’s homeless individuals, to the abandoned coal mines of eastern Ukraine and the otherworldly cemeteries found throughout the mountain regions of Central Asia. Her books include The Tunnel: The Underground Homeless of New York City; Fragile Dwelling; Transitory Gardens, Uprooted Lives [co-authored with Diana Balmori]; Glass House and Cities of the Dead: The Ancestral Cemeteries of Kyrgyzstan. Her next book will be on the Farley. She is a professor in the School of Art at The Cooper Union and lives in New York City.

Dr. Bonnie Yochelson is an independent curator and art historian. She has written numerous books on New York photographers, including Berenice Abbott and Alfred Stieglitz. Her most recent publication is a complete catalogue of the photographs of Jacob Riis and her next is on Alice Austen. Since 1988, she has taught in the MFA Department of Photography, Video and Related Media at the School of Visual Arts.