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hyperart thomasson weird architecture untapped cities bushwick brooklyn new york cityThe former first floor entrance of a building in Bushwick. Image via Instagram user senorwingleton

Have you ever noticed those fixtures of a building which serve no purpose? Like a staircase with no door, or shutters without a window? These architectural relics are named Thomassons, after the baseball player Gary Thomasson, who missed so many balls he was nicknamed the “Electric Fan.”

The term “Thomasson” was coined by Genpei Akasegwa, a Japanese artist who, in the 1980s, began to photograph these architectural relics for a magazine column. His column became wildly popular among Japanese youth, who saw in his photos a sense of humanity in a de-humanizing city. Before “Thomassons,” Akasegwa and his friends called these relics “hyperart,” where even though the objects served no purpose, they continued to be aesthetically stimulating. In 1985, Akasegwa published his Thomasson photographs and writings in the book, Hyperart: Thomasson

Last week, 6sqft rounded up Thomassons in New York, and we couldn’t help but share. Here are some photos we found of Thomassons around New York City, France, California, and elsewhere.

thomasson hyperart tree fence carrol gardens brooklyn new york city untapped citiesSomehow, this tree grew into a fence…or was it the other way around? Found in Carroll Gardens.
Image via Tumblr account “Hyperart: Thomassons”, photographer Yasmin Elayat

thomasson hyperart brooklyn heights new york city untapped citiesImage via Tumblr account “Hyperart: Thomassons”, photographer Matthew Fargo

The buyers of this building in Brooklyn Heights changed the entrance from the first floor to the basement, but decided to keep the second floor door for bloggers like us.

the heaven stairway thomasson hyperart stairs to nowhere france untapped cities“The Heaven Stairs,” located in France.
Image via Tumblr account “Hyperart: Thomassons”, photographer Mathieu C

hyperart thomasson abandoned train tracks untapped citiesAbandoned train tracks in San Fransisco.
Image via Tumblr account “Hyperart: Thomassons”, photographer Winni Wintermeyer

hyperart thomasson rusted railing brick wall chelsea new york city manhattan untapped citiesA lost staircase on 11th avenue in Chelsea
Image via Tumblr account “Hyperart: Thomassons”, photographer Winni Wintermeyer

Get the book Hyperart: Thomassons on Amazon. For more “failed” architecture in New York, check out photos these six architectural calamities in NYC and Paris. Also, if architecture is your thing, check out our upcoming Vertical Tour of St. John the Divine and our tour of the off-limits Woolworth Building.

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