Entries Tagged as 'manhattan'

A Subway Powerhouse Speaks To Today

March 11th, 2017 · 4 Comments · Beyond Gotham

Sometimes a message of resilience can come in an instant, and often not predictably. The IRT Powerhouse on 11th Avenue isn’t giving a speech or waving a flag, and it’s not a talking head seeking to shout a point of view at passersby or boast of its strength. Yet, the sight of it on a […]

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Stonewall: The Power in History’s Places

June 26th, 2016 · 4 Comments · Explore New York

If you ever for a moment doubt the importance of declaring a site as a landmark, preserving at least some part of it, or placing a sign at a spot of historical significance, go to The Stonewall Inn this month, in New York’s Greenwich Village. There, hundreds have converged in vigils and left remembrances such […]

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Goodbye to the Greenwich Street Tree

May 3rd, 2016 · 6 Comments · Explore New York

The tree wasn’t a towering oak on the rolling landscape of a New York City park, a magnificent elm with big-shouldered limbs, or a bright, showy dogwood welcoming the spring on a village street. It was, in fact, the most unlikely of survivors, sort of scrawny, alone, between city buildings and flanking some very inhospitable […]

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Art Deco’s Wisdom of the Ages, Part II

January 29th, 2016 · 4 Comments · Explore New York

How many schoolchildren over the decades glanced above the doorway to see a woman reading to a boy while a girl nearby is working on an abacus? It is a simple, beautifully sculpted panel, attentive to detail, as the architectural historian William Rhoads writes, “down to the shoelaces.” The scene is one of two on […]

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Symbol and Story in Art Deco Panels

November 18th, 2015 · 2 Comments · Beyond Gotham

Buildings possess energy that can at times elevate or depress the people who view and inhabit them. Like other art, architecture can both be in and rise above its times. Talking about the stock market crash of 1929 and the Great Depression, bandleader and jazz singer Cab Calloway once said that people really needed entertainment […]

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A Message in a Lobby

January 26th, 2015 · 8 Comments · Columns and Features, Explore New York

It was just before Christmas, and thousands were in the mad rush and jostling along Fifth Avenue, with their cameras and shopping bags, to see the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree. The shoppers lined up at the boutiques and gift shops in Midtown Manhattan. Just south, however, is a building that doesn’t make a list of […]

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July Notes: Daylight, Towers, Prison Ships

July 17th, 2014 · 2 Comments · Beyond Gotham

For early summer, let’s skim the stones across the waters of several Mindful Walker topics. Honoring the First American Prisoners of War: The words “freedom” and “Independence Day” are inextricably linked, but how often on the Independence Day weekend did any of us think about those who gave their lives for the cause of American […]

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A Peek Inside Dazzling 29 Broadway

June 20th, 2014 · 6 Comments · Explore New York

It’s hard to quantify the exuberance of Art Deco. Its energy can make an immobile decorative element feel like it’s about to move. Its images jump off of flat surfaces. Its zigzags, lines, and circles seem to dance. Such is the quality of the lobby of 29 Broadway, a lesser-known beauty in New York’s Art […]

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Pennsylvania Station: Its Glory and Death

February 18th, 2014 · 9 Comments · Explore New York

If ever a hallowed place existed for the travel of the common man and woman, it was New York’s original Pennsylvania Station. Yet a magnificent, soaring station that Alexander Cassatt and the Pennsylvania Railroad built for the ages and opened in 1910 lasted barely over a half-century. Two days after workers started tearing down the […]

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The Art Deco Pleasures of 29 Broadway

November 15th, 2013 · 6 Comments · Explore New York

Their names are unknown, but the fine results of their craftsmanship remain today. On an evening in late February, 1931, the New York Building Congress gave awards and gold buttons to 26 craftsmen for their outstanding work in constructing 29 Broadway. The awards went to William John Delaney, a stonecutter; Louis Materossi, a cement mason; […]

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Roped In at Madison Square Park

August 12th, 2013 · 5 Comments · Explore New York

You cannot miss Orly Genger’s Red, Yellow and Blue art installation this summer in Manhattan. If people say this statement, they may mean, “You have got to see this!” Or, they may mean, “You cannot escape seeing this!” when walking through Madison Square Park. During the late spring and summer, this 166-year-old gracious park has […]

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New York’s Dark Days: The Draft Riots

July 18th, 2013 · No Comments · Explore New York

On July 13, 1863, Chief Engineer John Decker of the New York City Volunteer Fire Department stood before a mob that had ransacked a building and were now intent on setting it afire. It was known as the Colored Orphan Asylum, a refuge for hundreds of black children located on Fifth Avenue between 42nd and […]

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What Is the Future of Midtown East?

May 31st, 2013 · 2 Comments · Be a Mindful Activist, Explore New York

One person’s “beautiful” is another person’s “dowdy,” and someone’s pronouncement of “architectural significance” is another’s “obsolescence.” These are the terms people are using in a clash over zoning and related plans that will likely shape a historic part of New York City for the future. Consider the character and skyline of Manhattan’s Midtown East, where […]

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Grand Central’s Gems at 100, Part II

March 27th, 2013 · 1 Comment · Explore New York

If children were to design and build a train station, it might well turn out to be Grand Central Terminal. It’s big, and it has all kinds of cubbyholes, caverns, and passageways; a magical ceiling full of stars; places with models, books, and toys; great food from hot dogs and chili to all kinds of […]

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The Treasures of Grand Central at 100

January 31st, 2013 · 9 Comments · Explore New York

For many, it may be hard to grasp that where Grand Central Terminal stands today we could have had massive office towers and no magnificent train station. But it’s important to never forget. In the 1950s and 1960s on separate occasions, developers and Penn Central Railroad launched plans that would have destroyed Grand Central. Ultimately, […]

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Splashy Art Deco on a Staid Block

December 6th, 2012 · 11 Comments · Explore New York

Some musical riffs can suddenly elevate the mood. So, too, can a jazzy building. It can bring your senses alive, make you perk up and pay attention, if even for a short time. Buildings aren’t passive entities; the very good ones generate an active engagement. The best architects know this to the core. In a […]

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9/11: Still-Searing Images

September 16th, 2011 · 3 Comments · Explore New York

Every early September a day comes that is just beautiful – particularly sunny, bright, and gently warm. On such days, I’m sure many feel it again as clearly as if it was yesterday. That Tuesday 10 years ago, the morning was clear and warm, with radiant sunshine, the kind that makes you cup your eyes […]

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A Bit of the 19th Century on Lispenard

June 10th, 2011 · 20 Comments · Explore New York

Every once in a while I turn down a street in New York and suddenly think, “How have the bulldozers and the glass towers not obliterated this one?” Lispenard Street is one such place, a quiet street of a few blocks that is seemingly forgotten just one block south of the crazy, hustle-bustle free-for-all of […]

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Details, Details: Greenwich Street

April 27th, 2011 · 2 Comments · Explore New York

“Manhattan” and “quiet” are two words that many people do not associate with each other and put together in the same sentence. Yet many pockets of Manhattan offer quiet, especially when we calm the mind enough to find the inner peace that allows it. As one of those Manhattan walkers whose mind often can be […]

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A Tree Grows in Chain Link

April 15th, 2011 · 9 Comments · Explore New York

New York City has 5.2 million trees, and each one of them has a life story. For a very long time, a lovely European larch has marked the seasons for those walking in Central Park. It is a deciduous conifer whose needle-like leaves turn yellow in the autumn and fall off. A tulip tree in […]

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