The Gargoyle Hunters, by John Freeman Gill, tells the mystery of a stunningly brazen architectural heist—the theft of an entire landmark building—through the story of Griffin Watts, a thirteen-year-old boy who falls into his estranged father’s illicit architectural salvage business in 1970s Manhattan. The novel draws on Gill’s own extensive research into the history of New York City gargoyles and interviews with people like Ivan Karp, the original gargoyle hunter and world-famous art dealer who discovered Andy Warhol.
Gargoyles appeared on New York City buildings in the late 19th century when European artisans immigrated to New York and created the sculptural adornments. In the 1970s, when urban renewal projects leveled many of those older buildings, scavengers picked through the demolition sites to save their ornamentation.
On October 2nd, join author John Freeman Gill for “New York’s Gargoyles: The Immigrants Who Made Them and the Hunters Who Saved Them,” an illustrated talk about the creation, near demise, and ultimate salvation of some of the city’s most extraordinary visages at the Brooklyn Historical Society. This event will be moderated by journalist, documentary filmmaker, and Untapped Cities Contributor Laurie Gwen Shapiro.
If you are or become an Untapped Cities Insider, you can attend this event for free!
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Next, check out 10 Creepy Gargoyles and Grotesques in NYC