Entries Tagged as 'midtown'

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 this 1904 building […]

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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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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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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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Lost and Found in the West 40s

January 7th, 2011 · 16 Comments · Explore New York

Walking and loving a New York street is akin to a long-term relationship. It’s an experience of both exhilaration and dejection, of losses and gains, times of discovery and times of pain. Sometimes you feel all is lost, and during others you can’t believe your good fortune. New Yorkers who love the streets know this […]

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The Free View Near Riverview Terrace

July 1st, 2010 · 7 Comments · Explore New York

In New York City, even two words can set off an intriguing exploration. An old guidebook I was perusing cited a “private street” on the far eastern side of Manhattan, where Midtown meets the Upper East Side, at Sutton Place. A private street in this city filled with hundreds of public streets? Yes, it’s a […]

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Terra Cotta Tales: Alwyn Court

March 4th, 2010 · 9 Comments · Explore New York

If the Alwyn Court apartment building in New York was a wedding cake, you might look at it and say, “Somebody went nuts with the icing.” Is it beautiful or it is too much? The creators of this 12-story confection of a building, constructed from 1907-1909 at the corner of West 58th Street and Seventh […]

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Seven Joys Amid NYC’s Holiday Mayhem

December 22nd, 2009 · 7 Comments · Explore New York

“Children laughing, people passing, meeting smile after smile”…so go the lyrics of “Silver Bells,” the classic Christmas song from the 1950s that paints an idyllic scene of the holidays in the city. This picture of New York City at the holidays lives within many of us. Its images are of softly falling snow, carolers, bright […]

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Terra Cotta Tales: Apostolic Church

November 20th, 2009 · 8 Comments · Explore New York

An angel, calm and serene, is playing an instrument, perhaps heralding an arrival. Indeed, those worshiping inside the church where the angel is on the front exterior wall were awaiting a coming – the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. They believed it was going to happen imminently. The years of the 19th century came and […]

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Terra Cotta Tales: The Rodin Studios

November 6th, 2009 · No Comments · Explore New York

f the artists who developed the Rodin Studios building on New York City’s West 57th Street or the architect who designed it had favorites among the structure’s terra cotta characters, we may never know. Was it the frog, the man reading his book, or the ancient character holding a palette? We do know that nearly […]

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Taking In the Subway’s Old Powerhouse

August 10th, 2009 · 4 Comments · Be a Mindful Activist, Explore New York

It was on the perimeter of a legendary slum that back then fit its name, Hell’s Kitchen. Yet it was conceived and designed by men in suits who believed that fine, grand civic buildings served to reflect the great accomplishments and ambitious aims of a city crossing a threshold. The Interborough Rapid Transit Company (IRT) […]

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New York’s Great Sunset Spots: Pier 84

July 17th, 2009 · 4 Comments · Explore New York

Several children splash through the dancing waters of an interactive fountain, a guitarist plays at P.D. O’Hurley’s bar, a woman points out a gargoyle in the flower garden to her toddler daughter, and dogs and humans socialize at the dog run. A man lies on a landing, with his khaki-dressed legs draping over the steps, […]

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Teach-In Set at Underground RR House

May 26th, 2009 · 2 Comments · Explore New York

In the mid-19th century, runaway slaves found protection in an Underground Railroad “safe house” on West 29th Street in New York, as they fled northward to freedom. A century and a half later, a group of Bronx high school students plan to take a journey of their own in defense of this house. The students, […]

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The Place That Powered the Subway Lines

March 29th, 2009 · 4 Comments · Explore New York

Its architecture and ornate decoration reflect the City Beautiful movement, in which public buildings were expressions of a city’s beauty, order, and harmony. Yet it had a belly-of-the-beast interior containing massive boilers, conveyors, engines, steam pipes, and seven bunkers capable of holding up to 18,000 tons of coal. The Interborough Rapid Transit (IRT) Company Powerhouse […]

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Prayers and Peace at St. Francis

January 6th, 2009 · 8 Comments · Explore New York

Outside, it was a post-Christmas, rush-hour frenzy, throngs crowding near the revolving doors and the holiday windows of Macy’s or walking speedily to Penn Station. Inside St. Francis of Assisi Roman Catholic Church in New York in the midst of all of this, you’d never know it. Two men were slowly and carefully placing flowers […]

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Still Missing McHale’s

November 30th, 2008 · 25 Comments · Explore New York

In some ways, buildings are like people. They have a birth and a prime of life. As they age, they either wear well or not. They’re either cherished and well cared for, or neglected. The lives of some buildings are cut short way too soon. Others seem to thrive year upon year upon year. Still […]

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How to Stay Merry Before Christmas

November 23rd, 2008 · 2 Comments · Explore New York

Ah, the lovely holiday season in New York City is upon us. It means bright, colorful lights, enchanting holiday windows, the Rockefeller Center tree, the smell of pine in front of your corner deli…and gridlock. We’re talking vehicle gridlock and people gridlock. That’s exactly what happens in New York as Thanksgiving rounds into the crazed, […]

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Bowery Savings: The World in a Building

November 11th, 2008 · 96 Comments · Explore New York

Tinos green marble is a vivid green-blue with wide white veins, mined from the quarries of a small mountainous Greek island in the Aegean Sea. Briar Hill sandstone is an earthy stone of warm red, rust, brown, and buff-colored tones taken from quarries in Glenmont, Ohio. Missouri is the source of Napoleon gray marble, while […]

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Architects With the Right Touch

October 28th, 2008 · 3 Comments · Explore New York

H. Douglas Ives once placed swarms of bees in the midst of midtown Manhattan, but to inspire, not to sting. High above the thousands who scurry and stroll along Fifth Avenue sit two beehives surrounded by buzzing bees. But they’re not live – they’re part of the dazzling decoration atop the Fred F. French Building […]

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