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Thread: Washington Square Area Development

  1. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by NYatKNIGHT
    Any more old photos?
    I will see later tonight about putting up a scan of the overall view of 1/2 of the card in context, the gazebo you see part of was really nice and very gothic styled to match the original gothic styled NYU main building (1835) and the church across the street (both demolished) The current NYU main building is from 1894
    Going back further the park was a military parade ground and fairly bare, so all those trees shown must have been planted somewhere between the 1820's and 1860's since the older views of the parade grounds shows a flat dirt field with I assume grass in the center and some trees around the perimeter where the streets are.

    Like Central Park it was largely man-made and few of the original trees existed.

  2. #32
    Moderator NYatKNIGHT's Avatar
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    There is one tree in the northwest corner of the park with a sign on it that says "The Hanging Elm", used for hanging people early on - I believe pre-1800, but I'll check. I think I even have a photo, but can't post it until later.

  3. #33

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    Quote Originally Posted by NYatKNIGHT
    There is one tree in the northwest corner of the park with a sign on it that says "The Hanging Elm", used for hanging people early on - I believe pre-1800, but I'll check. I think I even have a photo, but can't post it until later.
    Yes that IS correct and it is located on the NW corner, so in this stereo view you would walk forward towards and past the gazebos and then turn left (West) about one city block to where that tree is.

    Here is the full scan of one half of the card showing more context;




    The trees for the most part in this view look rather small except the one in the foreground.

  4. #34

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    Here is a much older bird's eye type view from the North-West looking towards the South-East corner.

    The original main building (1831- demolished 1894) is on the left and the church I mentioned is to the right. The street between them would be the future scene of the disasterous Triangle Waste Shirt fire in 1911



    As you can see the park was mainly just a treeless flat excepting it's perimeter. Supposedly this is an 1851 painting but it may represent the park at an earlier time than 1851, the stereoview card dates to the 1860's early 1870's the latest so in that span trees were planted, benches, foot paths laid out, grass planted and those gazebos installed.
    Quite a difference.

  5. #35
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    I know that church; such a lovely building. I had no idea that it was so old.

  6. #36

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    Quote Originally Posted by TLOZ Link5
    I know that church; such a lovely building. I had no idea that it was so old.
    I have seen a closeup picture of it somewhere, it was a Dutch Reformed church, I'll have to see if I can find it again. It was demolished by 1896

    http://www.nyu.edu/library/bobst/col...rge/WSP12.html

    The original structure on this site was The South Dutch Reformed Church
    (later the Asbury Methodist Episcopal Church).

  7. #37
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    Hmmm, nevermind. I thought it was the same church that's on or around that site now. Washington Square South, right?

  8. #38

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    Quote Originally Posted by TLOZ Link5
    Hmmm, nevermind. I thought it was the same church that's on or around that site now. Washington Square South, right?
    No, that church is Judson's Memorial on the South, this one was on the East across the street from the main building. Judsons was built around 1893 I think.

    Havnt located the photo I remember seeing, I think it was an old stereoview or cabinet card.

  9. #39

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    Quote Originally Posted by ablarc
    They better not do that. Quick: somebody call the Landmarks Commission! Oh...they're all asleep or on the take.

    Or are they just driveling idiots?

    Outcome's the same, no matter which.
    Where's the Catholic Center? Does anyone have a photo?

  10. #40

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    It's next to the NYU student centre on the south side of Washington Square:


  11. #41
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Arch.: Eggers & Higgins (built from 1961-64).

    A recent article from the NYU paper ( http://www.nyunews.com/vnews/display.../440e8f350f5cd ) ...

    Historic NYU chapel to be torn down

    Rebecca Kritzer
    Contributing Writer
    March 08, 2006

    A hangman’s house turned house of God, the Catholic Center at NYU has its share of idiosyncrasies — including a six-pointed star.

    But after 42 years of sitting on Washington Square South, the building and its stained-glass Star of David will be torn down at the end of the summer because of its dire conditions, financial issues stemming from a pricey energy bill and the possibility of better utilizing of the space.

    The 315-person capacity chapel, which currently serves the NYU Roman Catholic community, will be rebuilt in two or three years. The smaller 100-person capacity chapel will only occupy part of the 35,000 square foot plot, said Father John P. McGuire, the Director of the Catholic Center. It is not known what will be built in the remaining space...

    Many photos of the exterior of the Catholic Center here: http://www.pbase.com/hjsteed/wss_catholic_center

    The Interior ( and info on the organ: http://www.nycago.org/Organs/NYC/htm...ChapelNYU.html ) :


  12. #42

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    Eh, what qualifies as historic now? Apparently only idiosyncratic Christian churches containing Jewish imagery (no one seems to care about all the Christian stained glass symbology...)

  13. #43
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    I've got no problem with this one coming down.

    It made much better sense as architecture when it was paired with the previous student center building.

    My big concern is what goes UP afterwards ... seeing as how NYU has pretty much managed to overbuild all along the southern edge of Washington Square.

    The big expanse of blank brick wall on the new student center just next door seemingly assures that what will be built here will have some height -- and will add to the blunt "plateau-effect" along that edge of the park.

  14. #44

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    The NYU buildings on the south side aren't really taller than any of the older buildings along the east and west.

  15. #45
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    A shot from 2003, with the Catholic Center now dwarfed by the new Student Center and the Law building rising behind Judson Memorial Church -- effectively creating a plateau between the Library at left all the way across the south edge of the Park:


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