By Jon D’Orazio
I wish to share something I learned only last year, concerning Edgar Tafel, whom my architect father met at the ’67 AIA Convention. Together they arranged a summer job for me in Edgar’s office on 5th Avenue for that summer. It was just before I was to begin my Masters in Architecture program at Columbia University.
After Columbia, I decided to be a painter and in 1970 moved into Westbeth Artists Housing. A few years later I became a practitioner of Tibetan Buddhism. In 1974, my Guru invited H H the XVI Gyalwa Karmapa, head of the Kagyu Lineage of Tibetan Buddhism, to visit America. Karmapa and his monks purchased some land in Woodstock, NY, where they would build a new Meditation Center/Monastery as the American seat of this 900 year old Tibetan lineage.
It was named Karma Triyana Dharmachakra. I’ve been there often over the years. I even went up years earlier to join Lama Tendzin and others, looking at another piece of land for the center, given by Karmapa’s Chinese patron living in Long Island.
Well, on my birthday only last year, my friend Judy Auchincloss totally surprised me. Her birthday gift was a framed rendering of a proposed Monastery to be built for Karma Triana Dharmachakra, designed by Edgar Tafel. I had not known of this at all. A total surprise.
Here’s Edgar’s rendering, my birthday gift, a proposed Monastery…