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09.07.2014
Mad King Ludwig in Greenwich Village: Jeferson Market, then Jefferson Courthouse, now Jefferson Library, 6th Avenue. At Hudson River terminus of Cortlandt St., motorized and horse-drawn vans transferred goods to and from barge-borne railcars. Jefferson Market with the hulking, deco Women’s House of Detention behind (now demolished for a park).
At the foot of 42nd Street: Normandie with three fat stacks in the middle, Queen Mary with three skinnier stacks at bottom.
Tisayac by Eadweard Muybridge, best known for time-lapse photos of men and horses running before graph paper backgrounds. I have a soft spot for the El's, but New York replete with horse-drawn buggies, carts and the faint whiff of manure seems positively alien. As much as I hate to admit it, Downtown was more breathtaking and iconic before the Modernist boxes started filling in the gaps; it was only partly ameliorated by the arrival of the Twin Towers.


Also, I think we should be thankful that, despite the many Beaux-Arts and other gems that we lost, New York still has more than its fair share of historic beauties, owing to the sheer scale of construction at the beginning of last century. Mid-sixties this was stripped to steel skeleton and re-clothed in kitsch marble by mod illustrator Peter Max. The baronial Savoy-Plaza Hotel dominates with its vast, vaguely French roof and twin chimneys: another major Beaux-Arts landmark demolished mid-sixties.
Mid-size Beaux-Arts skyscraper on north side of street is Times Building, of New Year’s fame.
It must've been quite a sight to see AIG, 40 Wall, and 20 Exchange soar above everyone else so majestically (and from another perspective, Woolworth). Thanks for reminding us this was here as some of these shots are just classic old New York. The Astor came down mid-sixties, along with Penn Station and Singer Building: a bad time for beaux-arts.


Unlike the one Foster is currently completing, this one was torn down for the Gulf and Western Building, now re-imagined by Phillip Johnson as the Trump International Hotel. Very cool to see Gothic, Beaux-Art, Art Deco dominate the Skyline as opposed to Modernism boxes. Their dainty footprints have been preserved, so the buildings have a delicate scale regardless of their height. How come they couldn't built that POS liberty plaza a block away I'm sure the space was available.
Why was that spot so important to these vultures that they had to go out of their way to knock the Singer Building down?!?!



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