Art Deco buildings in New York City stand out against the curtains of glass and pillars of steel that have dominated the skyline in recent years. The Fred French Building stands 38 stories tall in Midtown.
The architectural firm of H. Douglas Ives designed the first Art Deco skyscraper for the real estate developer Fred French. French, who also developed Tudor City and Knickerbocker Village, originally intended his name-sake building to be housing for “junior Wall Street executives”. (more…)
Court Street and Montague Street in Downtown Brooklyn. Image via Google Street View
Any New Yorker who has braved a winter here has experienced those quintessential gusts of wind that spiral down our broad avenues and streets. A few years ago, The Daily Intelligencer ran a poll asking New Yorkers for the windiest spot in the city, the response varied from Claremont Avenue and 116th Street near Columbia, to the block by Chelsea Market, to the area around Tudor City.
However, in January of this year, The New York Times set out with a team of ”self-proclaimed weather enthusiasts” to collect wind data from what they thought was the windiest intersection in all the boroughs: Court Street and Montague Street in Downtown Brooklyn.
Located along Dekalb Avenue, an area that once had a theater presence comparable to Times Square, the Beaux-Arts Albee Theater opened in 1925. It was established by Edward Albee and Benjamin Franklin Keith, who both sought to promote a more highbrow form of vaudeville. Along with the Metropolitan and Paramount Theaters, The Albee was a part of the Subway Circuit–a group of theaters easily accessible by subway, which played shows passing out from Broadway. In the first years after its opening, the Albee exclusively played vaudeville, but the program was eventually dropped around 1935, when the Depression forced it to discontinue the tradition. (more…)
Scandinavian folklore holds that trolls once lurked under bridges, demanding payment from all who crossed and attacking those who refused. In New York, we have the Port Authority to collect our tolls, and New Yorkers stay away from bridge underpasses for altogether different reasons. There are almost 700 miles of elevated road and rail lines snaking through the city, and in many cases the space underneath them is dark, litter-strewn, or just plain scary.
So in the last few months, the nonprofit Design Trust for Public Space has been soliciting ideas from residents across the city for ways to reprogram the forgotten space. The project, called Under the Elevated, will culminate in a publication outlining design and policy recommendations for enlivening some of the city’s trickiest real estate. (more…)
The very creative Pez dispenser entrance above the doorway at 8 Charles Lane
In the 1800s, the Charles Lane Mews was given the name Pig Alley due to the large number of pigs in and around the slaughterhouses close to West Street near what was then the Newgate Prison. After the prison closed in 1829, some of the warehouses and stables in the area were converted into residences. The freight depot of Beadleston & Woerz’s brewery was one such building. It was made into duplex apartments in 1977 and it is where we first found this unusual sight a few years ago–a collection of Pez dispensers lining the top of the front door of one of the townhouses. (more…)
I hope one day to solely be a writer but to help pay the bills I am an online marketing consultant, typically for start ups. I’m interested in helping any organization (restaurant, museum, non profit) get there message out to a wider audience. I am also a passionate cycling activist and food blogger.
What’s your favorite Untapped spot in your city?
I love to spy the Sackler Wing on my bike rides through Central Park. Situated on the far west side of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, it always sneaks up on me, and then there it is, a modern building framed entirely in glass. At that point I’ll know I’ve made it to 82nd Street. The Sackler Wing, designed by architects Kevin Roche, John Dinkeloo, and Associates, and completed in 1978, houses a reflecting pool and sloping glass wall to surround the Temple of Dendur, a gift from the Egyptian government. The reflecting pool and glass wall are meant to evoke the original location of the temple on the Nile.