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The 42-story skyscraper at 17 State Street in the Financial District of New York City was designed by Emery Roth & Sons, one of the oldest architecture firms in the United States. They’ve designed over 200 buildings in the city, more than any other firm. This week’s doodle is an abstraction of the facade with reference to the building’s colors.

Although 17 State Street is the same height as its neighbors, the mirrored curtain wall façade of 17 State Street sticks out on among the straight-sided black buildings on either side of it, on the southernmost tip of Manhattan. The curved facade elegantly distorts reflecting images and changes colors depending on the weather and light.


As our 10,000 Facebook fan mile mark approaches, we’re giving away some pretty cool stuff (enter below). Grand prize is a ticket to our January 22nd Woolworth Building tour (which is sold out). Our illustrators are also offering some of their amazing artwork, like postcards from the Downtown Doodler and a Central Park print by Lynn Lieberman.

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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…)

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This week we profile Bernadette Moke, the illustrator behind the Untapped Cities column Downtown Doodler, most famous for the Grande Doodle Starbucks cups that went viral.

Favorite piece you’ve written for Untapped?

I really enjoyed drawing the Chrysler Building Archidoodle, it was a departure for me from my usual art style, but I haven’t looked back since. It was a turning point in my style. But thinking about the piece as a whole, art and writing, The Jefferson Market Library is my favorite piece, I love that watercolor and my writing was some of my best.


DowntownDoodler_Trinity Church_Archi Doodle_Remix_640This week’s archidoodle is a “remix” of the Trinity Church illustration which I created in September using watercolors. In one doodle, all the major design elements are represented. The steeple, stained glass and detailed ceilings, even some details from the wall around the stained glass. I felt that keeping it straight forward would be best for honoring the history of the church. Read more about the history of Trinity Church here.


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The American Standard Radiator Building was designed in 1924 for the heating and plumbing manufacturer of the same name. Architect Raymond Hood made this small building feel larger by using darker brick to reduce the contrast between the windows and solid walls.