There is breaking news on the proposed road tunnel at Stonehenge which I reported on over the past few years. The High Court of Justice in the UK has reversed the government’s authorization for the development in a victory for preservation campaigners. According to a summary at 39 Essex Chambers:
The High Court has quashed the development consent order (“DCO”) which authorises the construction of a dual-carriageway road tunnel at Stonehenge to replace the existing A303 road. Mr Justice Holgate allowed the judicial review by Save Stonehenge World Heritage Site Limited on 30th July 2021 on two grounds, relating to the adequacy of the information before Ministers and his consideration of alternatives.
The judge ruled that transport secretary Grant Shapps acted “irrationally and unlawfully” when he approved the project. This is excellent news that will hopefully safeguard the site going forward. My previous posts on the subject are linked below.
When I was growing up my father was a member of the Downtown Athletic Club on West Street in lower Manhattan. The D.A.C. was best known for awarding the Heisman Trophy to college football players beginning in the 1930s. The clubhouse was a purpose-built Art Deco tower with sports facilities, baths, dining, and guest rooms. Located near the Battery its membership mostly worked on Wall Street.
The club is gone now. It was in financial decline by the late 1990s when I graduated high school and it never reopened after 9/11. The landmarked building has been converted into condos and the membership were scattered to our midtown clubs.
For a time the D.A.C. boasted the longest bar in New York. Above it hung a mural based on Washington Irving’s story “Rip Van Winkle.” An article in the June 1931 club bulletin describes the artwork:
The first panel at the extreme left shows Rip Van Winkle going up into the Catskills with his newly found friend. In the center panel we see Henrich Hudson’s men bowling, drinking and having a general good time. Rip is partaking generously from the jug. The third panel shows Old Rip’s return to town where after twenty years no one seems to know him.
Aldo Lazzarini, the artist, spent about six weeks on the paintings and J. Schuyler Casey often visited the studio to watch the work as it progressed.
The only picture I could find of the mural is the low-quality scan reproduced above. It shows a detail from the center panel. I wonder what happened to the mural. I would like to think it found a good home.