A not-quite-so-mundane New York building


Link Posted 17/01/2017 - 23:46
Leaving aside the various skyscrapers, there are any number of high-rise buildings in New York, dating from the turn of the last century. You would walk straight past this particular one. It is just a pile of bricks and quite boring.

1. Junction of 10th Avenue and West 23rd street

2. One story you are never told is quite where the millions and millions of bricks were made (must look it up)
Now look more closely and notice the ropework in buff brick that separates each bay. It goes right to the top.

3. About 14 stories up, where the average Joe public would rarely, if ever look, the ropework is terminated by a huge sculpted faun that
sits above a gorgeously fashioned plinth, while a narrow and very pretty frieze makes a horizontal punctuation. Also note the textured brickwork.

4. And the sculptures get more fantastic the higher you go. These are around the penthouse, facing 10th Avenue about 19 floors up.

I have no idea what the thing is at the top (it's counterpart to the left, out of frame, is even more weird). The bird might be an auk?
Again, look at the detail of the buff brickwork and the 'normal' brickwork to the right of the bird's pedestal.

5. Moving along W23rd we find another set of huge sculptures at the end of the first bay. This is clearly a pelican. However, its
partner (out of frame, left) is missing ! Did it fall off or was it removed before it got a chance? You can see the gap on photo #1.

6. Going right to the other end of the building - it's a heavy crop, so apologies for the quality - you can see tiers of similar sculptures
going right to the top of the building and also, along the frontage at 'roof' level 1 there are rows and rows of gargoyles that I presume
spew rainwater over everyone below!

So, not such a mundane building after all? It must have been relatively expensive to erect in the first place - and then all that extra stuff
gets added where few people will ever see it. What is its history? What was it/ is it used for? Who was responsible for it?

7. Please feel free to add your thoughts .....

Photo taken from "The High Line" with a K5 and Tamron 28-200.
Both the *istDS and the K5 are incurably addicted to old glass

My page on Photocrowd - link


Link Posted 18/01/2017 - 18:52
Well spotted.

My Flickr page


Link Posted 18/01/2017 - 19:16
pschlute wrote:
Well spotted.


Great observations.


Some of my vaguely better stuff


Link Posted 18/01/2017 - 23:11
Interesting, reflecting a time when labour was cheap. Surprising to see such rubbish brickwork above the faun in the 45 degree angled corner where it has been done so well elsewhere. And in 4 why are random brick heads projecting? But this post makes you look at such things so well done!


Link Posted 19/01/2017 - 07:59
Very interesting - well captured! We do miss so much - we need to look up more often, it's surprising what we miss!


Link Posted 19/01/2017 - 09:34
A good set showing detail and period design. The Building is the London Terrace apartments.

Labour may have been cheap but read into the costs at the time.

Plenty of further info here: link

Best regards


Link Posted 19/01/2017 - 11:09
Fantastic shots of some great buildings. Some of the brickwork is very strange?

Slide show etc. at...


Half Man... Half Pentax ... Half Cucumber

Pentax K-1 + K-5 and some other stuff



Link Posted 19/01/2017 - 15:45
Fascinating, so many things it would be easy to overlook.


Link Posted 20/01/2017 - 01:30
Thank you for that wonderful collection of explanations. You would never guess what was inside by looking at the outside. At least the prolific decoration is now comprehensible. As to where the bricks came from, try this one link It's equally fascinating.
Both the *istDS and the K5 are incurably addicted to old glass

My page on Photocrowd - link
Last Edited by davidwozhere on 20/01/2017 - 01:32


Link Posted 20/01/2017 - 09:45
Beautiful David! I'm so happy to see someone appreciative of New York old Architecture. That is the area where I usually park my car when we drive in. If you stand back a little (a couple blocks),, you can get some great photos of the very top arches. This is a great building, but not a place I can afford to live...lol
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