When The New Yorker moves across the street to new offices, a section of wall covered with sketches of football players, floppy flowers and a broken clock also will make the trip.
The large pencil sketches that cover a wall on the 19th floor aren't mere graffiti, but drawings by James Thurber, the writer and humorist who worked at the magazine for 34 years.People at the magazine aren't sure when Thurber drew the whimsical pictures, but there was never any question that somehow they would make the trip to the new suite this week.
"We were walking around talking about the move and Bob said, `We can't leave this here,' " Steven Florio, New Yorker president and chief executive, said of a conversation with editor Robert Gottlieb.
To remove the drawings, workers "will have to go through the wall with diamond-tipped saws," Florio said.
Preservationists will then encase the drawings in moisture- and bullet-proof glass for display in a specially built alcove at the new headquarters, he said.
"These things will last for another 500 years," Florio said.
The magazine is moving from its home of 61 years because it needs more space. At the new location across West 43rd Street, the staff will be able to computerize page layouts and send them electronically to a printing plant in Danville, Ky., he said.
But the new offices won't be high-tech.
Florio said he ensured the decor would be comfortable for writers favoring old Underwood typewriters over personal computers.
"I did not want to put this group of editors and writers and business people into offices that were glitzy. I told the architects I wanted it to look like a successful university," he said.
Renderings of the new offices show simple, Shaker-style wood details and old-fashioned Windsor chairs.
C.P. Crow, a fact editor at the magazine since 1967, said he was glad to leave the building and its slow elevators. "I don't think most people here are wedded to these premises," he said.
It will be a hard move for Roger Angell, 70, a baseball writer and fiction editor. He occupies the office that used to belong to his mother, Katharine White, wife of author E.B. White.
He said he was 11 or 12 years old when he first came to visit his mother, also a fiction editor, in her office.
"I don't want to say ghosts are here because that sounds too sad," Angell said. "But it certainly is filled with almost visible faces and almost audible voices."
The Smithsonian Institution hopes to preserve something of the old creatively dingy New Yorker by sending up a large truck next week to collect the furnishings of two offices, Florio said.
He said the museum had asked if it could preserve the offices of writer Calvin Trillin and cartoonist Edward Koren. The Smithsonian was keen on getting Trillin's old broken-down day bed and the pictures of hairy monsters that adorn Koren's walls, Florio said.
"It was kind of a warm feeling that we all got that the Smithsonian wanted to preserve some of this. We want to preserve the past as well as create a future," he said.