[Update, 5/1/2017] A memorial service for architecture writer and historian Christopher Gray, longtime author of the Streetscapes column in The New York Times, will be held on Thursday, May 4, at 6:30 p.m. at the New York University Department of Art History, Urban Design and Architecture Studies, 300 Silver Center, 100 Washington Square East (entrance on Waverly Place.) Gray died on March 10 at the age of 66. The memorial is free and open to the public. Christopher Stewart Gray, an architectural historian and author who wrote the popular Streetscapes column in The New York Times, died on Friday at Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan. He was 66. According to the Times, the cause of death was "pneumonia, complicated by an unspecified underlying illness." Between 1987 and 2014, Gray composed more than 1,450 columns, focusing on the architecture, history and preservation policies of New York City. He said his goal was to "write about the everyday buildings, to investigate even the most trivial, incidental, oddball structures." A review of his articles reveals the sorts of questions he would ask and the subjects he would examine, typically with a wry sense of humor:
- "How much to tip an automatic garage?"
- "Pre-emptive Moves, Predemolition" (on the steps taken by property owners to make sure a non-landmarked building doesn’t suddenly become one)
- "Where the Ghosts Smoke Cigars" (on Tammany Hall)
- "When Streets Eat Buildings" (on avenue extensions and street widenings that didn't result in demolitions but just awkward facade disfigurements)
- “The Store That Slipped Through the Cracks” (on the Bonwit Teller building demolished for the present Trump Tower)
- “Upper West Side Rowhouse With a Rather Severe Haircut” (his term for a disfiguring rooftop addition that obscured the forgotten site where Francis "Two-Gun" Crowley was trapped after a shootout in 1931).
- "Whinny If You Miss Central Park’s Horses"