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Interesting building in Manhattan (VIII)

25 Aug


The Morton F. Plant House is located on Fifth Avenue, at the crossroads with E 52nd Street. This elegant, six-story Italian Renaissance-style building was designed for Morton F. Plan, a banker and yachtsman, and owner of two baseball teams. The E 52nd Street façade is dominated by an ornately carved balcony supported by heavy console brackets at the second floor; four fluted Doric pilasters rise two stories above the balcony and support the low-pitched pediment. The fifth-floor attic windows are set in a profusely decorated frieze. In  1917, Cartier acquired the building in an extraordinary manner: Mrs. Plant swapped the house for a necklace of perfectly matched, giant Oriental pearls that had been the pride of Pierre Cartier’s collection. The jewelers have been located here ever since.


Jazz & the Big Apple

11 May

Jazz & the Big Apple

The New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission has compiled a nice slideshow (in PDF format) of the landmark buildings and historic districts in NYC that served as the homes and stages for some of the world’s most important jazz figures.


5 May

Today, I present the Staten Island September 11 Memorial. It’s located on the North Shore Waterfront Esplanade, not far from the Staten Island Ferry Station. It was conceived by Masayuki Sono and erected in 2004, in memoriam 270 victims of 9/11 from S.I. Sono’s beautifully minimalist memorial resembles two unmailed envelopes gesturing towards the Manhattan skyline.




Interesting building in Manhattan (VII)

2 Mar


Located on Broadway near City Hall, the Woolworth Building is one of the most famous skyscrapers in the United States. It was designed by Cass Gilbert and completed in 1913. It became the tallest building in the world until the Chrysler Building topped it in 1929. The building was commissioned by Frank W. Woolworth, proprietor of an international chain of five-and-ten-cent stores. The tower served as the national company headquarters, until it was sold in 1998. During the 1980s, the Woolworth Company undertook a major restoration of the building’s exterior. The Woolworth Building is a key monument in the creation of New York as a skyscraper city because it established the basic principles for such construction after 1920.

Interesting building in Manhattan (VI)

6 Feb


Near the UN secretariat stands the Beekman Tower Hotel. Erected during the second half of the 20’s, its design was widely lauded as a dramatic transition in urban skyscraper design. This tower, characterized by simplified forms and dramatic massing, is distinguished by its orange-tan brick and bold vertical stripping.

Interesting building in Manhattan (V)

3 Feb


Located on W 36th Street between Broadway and Sixth Avenue, the Haier Building (originally Greenwich Savings Bank) is one of the finest examples of the academic classical tradition in the US. It was designed by E. York and P. Sawyer who had both worked for the famous McKim, Mead & White company. Sawyer’s knowledge of ancient Roman architecture is manifest in the manner in which the three façades are articulated by a monumental Corinthian colonnade and a rusticated podium. Other than the signage on the exterior, the building has undergone few changes since the day it opened, in 1925.

Interesting building in Manhattan (IV)

22 Jan


Located on Park Ave., the Seagram Building is the only building in NYC designed by the famous German–born architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. MvdR became known as a proponent of the International Style. In its early manifestations, this style was characterized by asymmetrical composition, geometric shapes, absence of applied decoration and large windows often in horizontal bands. This 38 story building was the first fully modular office tower designed to accommodate standardized interior partitioning.

Interesting building in Manhattan (III)

19 Jan


The former New York Chamber of Commerce and Industry Building stands on Broadway, at the crossroads with Liberty St. This building housed both the chamber’s meeting room and its remarkable picture collection which includes portraits of business leaders. Raised at the beginning of the twentieth century, it was restored in 1990-91 by its current owner (a Chinese bank). The chamber has moved to new headquarters on Madison Ave.

Interesting building in Manhattan (II)

17 Jan


The Paramount Building is located on Broadway, in the heart of Times Square. It originally housed the Paramount Theater and served as the eastern headquarters for the Famous Players–Lasky Corporation, the forerunner of Paramount Pictures. It was designed by George and Cornelius Rapp and erected in 1927. It includes a clock tower, topped by a globe. They were both restored in 1997.

Interesting building in Manhattan (I)

13 Jan

500 Fifth Avenue bis

The 500 Fifth Avenue Building is located at the crossroads with W 42 St., near Bryant Park. This fifty-nine-story Art Deco skyscraper was built between 1929 and 1931. It was designed by Shreve, Lamb & Harmon. This firm was also responsible for the design of the Empire State Building which was built concurrently.