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Thread: Terra-cotta in New York City

  1. #1
    NYC Aficionado from Oz Merry's Avatar
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    Default Terra-cotta in New York City

    Well, there is this old thread but, having just recently purchased Susan Tunick's wonderful book, Terra-cotta Skyline: New York's Architectural Ornament and discovered (or re-discovered) the many beautiful examples still standing in NYC, I thought the subject deserved a new thread.

    There are, of course, the obvious examples like the Flatiron and Woolworth Buildings amongst others, but I'll start with other sometimes lesser-known representations, including polychrome terra-cotta glazing, to be gradually added to over time.


    The Potter Building
    Built: 1883-1886
    Designed by: Norris G. Starkweather
    Address: 38 Park Row/145 Nassau Street
    Landmark Status: Designated 1996




    http://www.flickr.com/photos/youngrobv/465963105/





    http://www.flickr.com/photos/epichar...7603977917011/


    Bayard-Condict Building; Emporis; NYC-Architecture
    Built: 1897-1899
    Designed by: Louis Sullivan
    Address: 65-69 Bleecker Street
    Landmark Status: Designated 1975




    http://www.flickr.com/photos/hellek23d/3731191584/



    http://www.flickr.com/photos/frangrit/118393481/



    http://www.flickr.com/photos/lensjockey/2245906931/

    Pythian Temple; NYC-Architecture
    Built: 1927
    Designed by: Thomas W. Lamb
    Address: 135 West 70th Street
    Landmark Status:




    WiredNY Page



    much larger version

    http://www.mybestnewyorkny.com/index.html

    More to come...



  2. #2

    Thumbs up

    Thanks for all your great informative posts Merry.

  3. #3
    NYC Aficionado from Oz Merry's Avatar
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    Due to my at times murderously slow laptop/internet connection, this is proving to be a hard slog. I'll add more bits to each entry as and when I can.


    Marine Air Terminal
    Built: 1939-1940
    Designed by: Delano & Aldrich
    Address: LaGuardia Airport, Queens
    Landmark Status: Designated 1980
    (main entry on page 296)



    http://www.flickr.com/photos/gmpicket/410703983/





    (from Wikipedia page above)


    Broadway-Chambers Building; Emporis
    Built: 1899-1900
    Designed by: Cass Gilbert
    Address: 277 Broadway
    Landmark Status:
    Designated 1992



    http://www.flickr.com/photos/remcosius/2878172231/



    http://www.nyc-architecture.com/SOH/SOH028.htm

    From our very own expert New York Ornamentation photographer, in his wonderful thread of the same name :



    http://wirednewyork.com/forum/showpo...1&postcount=26

    Beaver/New York Cocoa Exchange Building; Emporis; Wikipedia
    Built: 1903-1904
    Designed by: Clinton & Russell

    Address: 82-92 Beaver Street/1 Wall Street Court
    Landmark Status: Designated 1996
    Converted to condominiums 2006


    According to the Landmarks Preservation Commission's February 13, 1996 designation report on the building "The design has the tripartite arrangement of base-shaft-capital common to many of New York's early skyscrapers, with a stone base, a midsection faced in brick laid in bands of tan and buff shades, and a top section richly ornamented with glazed terra cotta in shades of green, cream, and russet, incorporating both classically derived and abstract geometric motifs."

    "The Beaver Building," the commission's report continued, "is a notable example of the design solution for turn-of-the-century New York skyscrapers in which each section of the tripartite scheme is differentiated by color and materials. It is also a very early example of the use of boldly polychromatic glazed terra cotta, as well as a significant survivor of this period of terra cotta development.
    (from Downtown Book: Financial District)



    http://www.cityrealty.com/nyc/manhat...et-court/33661

    Last edited by Merry; September 27th, 2009 at 01:24 AM. Reason: Added content

  4. #4
    NYC Aficionado from Oz Merry's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Derek2k3 View Post
    Thanks for all your great informative posts Merry.
    Thank you, Derek, for your marvelous photos . I am, of course, jealous .

  5. #5
    NYC Aficionado from Oz Merry's Avatar
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    Fifty-Second Police Precinct Station
    Built: 1904-1906
    Designed by: Stoughton & Stoughton
    Address: 3016 Webster Avenue, Norwood, The Bronx
    Landmark Status:
    ; Added to National Register of Historic Places 1982





    http://www.flickr.com/photos/jag9889...7605308641280/

    You can't really see it in the above photo (no higher resolution), but there's some very nice terra-cotta detailing directly under the clock.

    Chanin Building; Emporis; Wikipedia
    Built: 1927-1929
    Designed by: Irwin S. Chanin, with Sloan & Robertson
    Address: 122 East 42nd Street
    Landmark Status: Designated 1978




    http://www.cambridge2000.com/gallery...31819055e.html



    http://www.flickr.com/photos/janeland/3787056379/

    http://www.talkingsquid.net/archives/337

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    Brooklyn Masonic Temple
    Built: 1906
    Designed by: Lord & Hewlett and Pell & Corbett
    Address: 317 Claremont Avenue, Fort Greene
    Landmark status: Within the Fort Green Historic District, designated 1978


    Entry from An Architectural Guidebook to Brooklyn, Francis Morrone

    Hewlett and his partners rethought several accepted practices, like the glazed terra cotta columns. To reduce the number of joints, architects tend to make columns out of the largest pieces possible. But terra cotta shrinks during the firing process, and the larger the mold, the harder it is to produce pieces close to specification, and the more prominent the joining.

    With the Brooklyn Masonic Temple, the architects went in the counterintuitive direction, firing not three or four large sections per column, but about 50 much smaller elements. The resulting joints are so numerous they become part of the design, rather than merely interruptions.

    The architects also used color with sophistication. The nearly monochrome shade of the marble base gradually evolves to a festive splash of sienna, green, yellow, cream and blue at the cornice and frieze. The cream-colored column drums were fired with a slight amber tone in the fluting, emphasizing the natural shading in the recessed grooves, and adding a color accent.
    (taken from Streetscapes article linked above)



    http://www.bridgeandtunnelclub.com/b...hree/index.htm





    http://www.flickr.com/photos/wallyg/...301109/?page=2

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    2 Park Avenue
    Built: 1927
    Designed by: Ely Jacques Kahn
    Address: 2 Park Avenue
    Landmark status: Designated 2006




    Ely Jacques Kahn, Architect

    What sets 2 Park Avenue apart from mere bricklaying is the dazzling series of strips and blocks of terra cotta — magenta, ochre, black, azure — with which he covered the upper floors in a Mondrian tapestry of color and movement.


    From NYT Streetscapes article 2006



    http://www.flickr.com/photos/8256808@N02/1441812403



    http://www.flickr.com/photos/edenpictures/2954652176/

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    Fred F French Building; Wikipedia; NYC-Architecture
    Built: 1927
    Designed by: H. Douglas Ives and Sloan & Robertson
    Address: 551 Fifth Avenue
    Landmark status: Designated 1986




    http://newyorkdailyphoto.blogspot.co...-building.html



    Midtown Book entry

    NYT Streetscapes article 1992
    Last edited by Merry; September 27th, 2009 at 01:50 AM.

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    NYC Aficionado from Oz Merry's Avatar
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    Lyceum Theater; Wikipedia
    Built: 1903
    Designed by: Herts & Tallant
    Address: 149-157 West 45th Street, between Sixth Avenue and Broadway
    Landmark status: Designated 1974, interior 1987




    http://www.mightymac.org/07newyorkcity3.htm


    (from Wikipedia page linked above)

    NYT Streetscapes article 2005


    Audubon Ballroom
    Built: 1912
    Designed by: Thomas W. Lamb
    Address: 165th Street and Broadway
    Landmark status:


    Back in the 1970s before it was restored :



    http://www.nycago.org/Organs/NYC/htm...onTheatre.html

    After restoration :


    (from Wikipedia page linked above)



    http://www.flickr.com/photos/stanrifken/2511276132/

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    Gramercy House
    Address: 235 East 22nd Street
    Built: 1929


    210 East 68th Street
    Built: 1928

    Designed by: George & Edward Blum
    Landmark status:



    George & Edward Blum: Texture and Design in New York Apartment House Architecture, Andrew S. Dolkart and Susan Tunick


    NYT Streetscapes article 2008


    235 EAST 22ND STREET
    The apartment house in the 1930s, left, and today.

    (from NYT Streetscapes article linked above)

    You can just see the Art Deco yellow and green geometric zigzag band in the lower left of this photo:


    (from City Review page linked above)


    210 East 68th Street

    (from NYT Streetscapes article linked above)

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    Park Plaza Apartments
    Built: 1929-1931
    Designed by: Horace Ginsberg and Marvin Fine (facade)
    Address: 1005 Jerome Avenue, The Bronx
    Landmark status: Designated 1981

    Landmarks of the Bronx, Gary Hermalyn, Robert Kornfeld









    http://www.flickr.com/photos/8742248...63028/?page=11


    Search for Park Plaza Apartments on Flickr

  12. #12

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    Beautiful.

    Not sure if it's terra cotta, but it's art deco. I've never noticed it before seeing this photo.

    onesevenone

  13. #13
    NYC Aficionado from Oz Merry's Avatar
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    ^ Gorgeous. Great photo. It's the:

    Bricken Textile Building
    Built: 1929
    Designed by : Buchman & Kahn
    Address: 1441 Broadway/575 Seventh Avenue
    Landmark status:


    According to Ely Jacques Kahn, Architect by Jewel Stern and John A. Stuart:

    The gold-color brick piers are a counterpoint to the buff-color brick walls and to the gray stone cladding of the base. The narrow flat piers between the triangular pilasters are in gold brick, too, as are each vertical strip in the spandrels. These elements contribute to the perception of height and provide contrast and interest to the three street elevations. At the corners of the first setback (the sixteenth through the nineteenth stories) the terra-cotta ornament is noteworthy for its deep relief, geometry, and the rhythmic simplicity of the forms.
    New York Then and Now: 83 Manhattan Sites Photographed in the Past and Present, Edward B. Watson and Edmund V. Gillon

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    Original Buildings of City College of New York

    Built: 1903-1907
    Architect: George B. Post
    Address: Bounded by West 140th and 138th Streets, and Amsterdam Avenue and St. Nicholas Terrace
    Landmark status: Designated

    Note: most of the terra cotta on these buildings was removed in the 1990s and replaced with glass fiber-reinforced concrete that appears similar.

    Shepard Hall, formerly known as Main Building















    Townsend Harris Hall

    Sorry, can't find most of my photos of these right now, will fill in Saturday or so..



    Charles Baskerville Hall

    [img][/img]

    George Wingate Hall





    Compton-Goethals Hall

    Some of the original terra cotta gargoyles, stored first in two locations in mid-south campus, now south of the ASRC construction site:




  15. #15
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    ^ Marvelous photos, Gul.


    Liberty Tower
    ; Masterpiece Next Door; Wikipedia
    aka: Bryant Building; Sinclair Building; Sinclair Oil Building
    Built: 1909-1910
    Designed by: Henry Ives Cobb
    Address: 55 Liberty Street
    Landmark status: Designated 1966 OR August 24th, 1982





    http://www.flickr.com/photos/epichar...7603977917011/

    New York City's Financial District in Vintage Postcards, Randall Gabrielan

    More photos from Zippy @ WiredNY

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