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The first Trinity Church building, constructed in 1698, was modest with a small porch. Scottish sailor, Captain William Kidd lent the runner and tackle from his ship for hoisting the stones. The rent for the property was 60 bushels of wheat a year. In 1697, King William III gave Trinity Church a charter that called for the church to pay a yearly rent of one peppercorn to the crown of England. Over the years the church fell behind on the rent and in 1976 exactly 279 peppercorns were given to Queen Elizabeth II as a symbolic back rent.


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The Williamsburgh Savings Bank has many intricate architectural details that caught my eye. From the mosaic Zodiac constillations, to the Rene Chambellan wrought iron doors, to the carved window details to the iconic dome all caught my eye. But for this archidoodle I focused on all the arches and some of the carvings. As an added bonus I got a few chuckles while reading about it’s rich history:


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Every other week The Downtown Doodler draws an architectural detail of a building in New York City, an an “archi-doodle.”  This week’s design is a combination of elements of different ornamental details at Rockefeller Center.  

Rockefeller Center was originally intended to house the new Metropolitan Opera house, but when they backed out in 1931, John D. Rockefeller scrambled for a new vision for Rockefeller Center. The result was a complex that oozed Art Deco from its architecture as well as its art.

In 1932 the Rockefeller family put aside $150,000 for hundreds of pieces of art for the plaza. This would amount to $2.5 million today. The majority of the art in Rockefeller Center is allegorical. Almost all of the art, including the mosaics, tell stories stressing the importance of education, wisdom, and international trade.


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Located at 5 Beekman Street, Temple Court has been closed to the public for many years. This architectural gem sits across the street from the Potter Building, which I dutifully drew last year.

The facade caught my eye because I have a soft place in my heart for brick buildings from the late 1880s. Something about the attention to detail and the ornate carvings really make me stop in my tracks. For this doodle I wanted to capture the intricate triangle and semi-circle arches over the windows, as well as the enormous skylight that caps off an impressive 9-story atrium.


Untapped Cities World Landmarks with Logo Cropped

When Untapped Cities asked me to create a world landmark graphic for the site’s relaunch, I was honored. It was a challenge to choose between the many incredible landmarks of all the cities covered by Untapped. The architectural landmarks that made the cut, from left to right, are below:  (more…)

Last Thursday, Untapped Cities hosted “Parisians vs. New Yorkers” a live illustration session with our columnists David Cessac, Kit Mills (The Art of Style) and the Downtown Doodler at the beautiful French Embassy on 79th Street and 5th Avenue. The event was moderated by Becky Cooper, author of Mapping Manhattan: a Love (and Sometimes Hate) Story in Maps by 75 New Yorkers.

After an opening by Antonin Baudry, Cultural Council for the French Embassy, and Untapped Cities founder, Michelle Young, Becky opened the discussion up to the audience members, who shared anecdotes and impressions about Paris and New York City, from feeling like New Yorkers are always in a rush to noticing that Parisians wear a lot of black. Some humorously noted that Parisians don’t like to hug while Americans smile incessantly, others commented on the relative size of coffee. I Heart NY vs. “J’aime Rien. Je Suis Parisien,” drew David Cessac.

While live drawing, the illustrators fielded questions and shared their own observations of each city. Ultimately, Parisians and New Yorkers have a lot more in common than people typically think, and this cross-cultural event highlighted our appreciation of both cultures. Thank you to the French Embassy for graciously hosting and to Palais des Thes for providing refreshments. Check out the slideshow of David and Kit’s illustrations from the event:

Check out our Society6 shop for prints, iPhone cases, t-shirts, tote bags and more featuring illustrations by David, Kit and the Downtown Doodler.