Category Archives: Collections

East Village - Cooper Union Foundation Building

East Village (Manhattan)

Work In Progress: This neighborhood gallery is not yet complete.

The East Village was once among New York’s most prestigious residential neighborhoods, with elegant architecture in classical styles. In the mid-1800s wealthy New Yorkers moved “uptown” and waves of immigrants moved in. Pieces of Germany, Eastern Europe, and much later Latin America all became part of the Lower East Side tenement tapestry.

More than 30 individual landmarks and four historic districts earned protection of The NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission. The top 12 are referenced below. The NYC Landmarks Map is highly recommended!

One of the most important landmarks anchors the northwest corner of the district: The Cooper Union Foundation Building. This building was the first to use rolled iron “I” beams, so essential to development of skyscrapers. The building also contained an elevator shaft – even before passenger elevators were available. Additionally, this is where then-candidate Abraham Lincoln gave an address that catapulted him to the nomination and the Presidency.

The photos here are just a sampling of the most picturesque buildings.

East Village Recommended Reading
East Village Building Photos

◉ = Landmark. This table is sortable and searchable.

Google Map

Greenwich Village signs

Greenwich Village

Work In Progress: This neighborhood gallery is not yet complete.

New York’s Greenwich Village preserves two centuries of architectural treasures. These photos only hint at the historical architecture protected by the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission in 1969.

Although “the Village” usually includes West Village, NoHo, and East Village, this gallery excludes those subdivisions – which have their own galleries.

As befits the district’s bohemian/counterculture image, the streets here ignore (because they predate) Manhattan’s street grid. Hence, you’ll find West 4th Street and West 10th Street intersecting, when they should be parallel, six blocks apart. Getting lost may be fun, but first-time visitors will want to bring a map!*

Wikipedia summarizes:

Greenwich Village, often referred to by locals as simply “the Village,” is a neighborhood on the west side of Lower Manhattan, New York City. Greenwich Village has been known as an artists’ haven, the Bohemian capital, the cradle of the modern LGBT movement, and the East Coast birthplace of both the Beat and ’60s counterculture movements. Groenwijck, one of the Dutch names for the village (meaning “Green District”), was Anglicized to Greenwich. New York University (NYU) is located in Greenwich Village.

Greenwich Village has undergone extensive gentrification and commercialization; the four zip codes that constitute the Village – 10011, 10012, 10013, and 10014 – were all ranked among the ten most expensive in the United States by median housing price in 2014, according to Forbes, with residential property sale prices in the West Village neighborhood typically exceeding US$2,000 per square foot ($22,000/m2) in 2016.

Highly recommended: NYC Landmarks Map

* P.S., the West Village’s Gay Street has nothing to do with sexual orientation. Go ahead, Google it!

Greenwich Village Recommended Reading
Greenwich Village Architecture Photos
Building / Address Year Architect
1 Fifth Avenue 1927 Helme & Corbett, Sugarman & Berger
37 Washington Square West 1928 Gronenberg & Leuchtag
39 Fifth Avenue 1922 Emery Roth
Beauclaire / 25 E 9th Street, 26 E 10th Street, 40 University Place 1926 Sugarman & Berger
Cable Building / 611 Broadway 1894 McKim, Mead & White
Devonshire House / 28 E 10th Street 1926 Emery Roth
Lockwood de Forest house / 7 E 10th Street 1887 Van Campen Taylor
The New School / 63 Fifth Avenue 2014 Skidmore Owings & Merrill
Novarre / 135 W 4th Street 1860 Charles Hadden
Roosevelt Building 1894 Stephen D. Hatch
Wordsworth / 21 E 10th Street 1926 Sugarman & Berger

Google Map Note: Google’s definition includes the West Village; this gallery encompasses only the area east of Sixth Avenue (Avenue of the Americas).

NYC Landmarks Map

West Village

West Village (Manhattan)

The West Village runs from Sixth Avenue to the Hudson River, between W 14th Street and W Houston Street. Almost all of the neighborhood is protected by landmark status, preserving centuries of history. As the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission noted:

“Greenwich Village is one of the oldest sections of Manhattan which was laid out for development in the years following the American Revolution. Today, it contains the greatest concentration of early New York residential architecture to be found anywhere within the five Boroughs of the City.

“Unlike Chelsea, Gramercy Park and other small residential islands in Manhattan which have managed to survive from the last century, Greenwich Village is unique because it is the only good-sized residential area which has remained largely intact and where the architecture reflects the continuum of a community. Many old buildings have retained their old uses while others, treasured as architecture, have been preserved to serve new and viable uses. Thus a sashmaker’s workshop, a medical dispensary, a malt house, a public livery stable, a fire station, a court house, a grocery or drygoods shop and dozens of other structures, built to serve the early community, are today as much a part of the architectural and historical heritage of The Village as are its many fine town houses, smaller dwellings and churches.”

Highly recommended: NYC Landmarks Map

West Village Recommended Reading
West Village Buildings Pictured
Building / Address Year Architect
1 Christopher Street 1931 Van Wart & Wein
2 Cornelia Street 1907 Fred Ebeling
11 Christopher Street 2006 Richard A. Cook
12 & 14 Gay Street 1828 Daniel H. Weed, Joseph D. Baldwin
15 Barrow Street 1896 H. Hasenstein
17 Grove Street 1822 unknown
19 Barrow Street 1834 David Christie, John W. Christie
25 Barrow Street 1826 Jacob Shute
45 Christopher Street 1931 Russell M. Boak and Hyman F. Paris
172 Waverly Place 1868 Richard A. Davis
224 W 4th Street 1932 Phelps Barnum
228 Bleecker Street 1901 Michael Bernstein
255 W 10th Street / 519-525 Hudson Street 1889 Rentz & Lange
257 W 10th Street 1889 Rentz & Lange
259 W 10th Street / 697 Greenwich Street 1892 Martin V.B. Ferdon
473-477 Hudson Street 1825 James N. Wells
527 Hudson Street 1858 unknown
679 Greenwich Street / 139 Christopher Street 1900 F.A. Burdett
Church of St. Luke in the Fields / 479 Hudson Street 1822 James N. Wells
The Gansvoort / 95 Christopher Street 1931 H.I. Feldman
Jane Hotel / 113 Jane Street / 505 West Street 1908 William A. Boring
One Jackson Square / 122 Greenwich Avenue 2011 Kohn Pederson Fox Associates
Our Lady of Pompeii / 240 Bleecker Street 1928 Matthew W. Del Guadio
PATH Christopher Street Station / 137 Christopher Street 1906 Robins & Oakman
Public School 3 / 97 Bedford Street 1906 C.B.J. Snyder
Shenandoah / 10 Sheridan Square 1929 Emery Roth
St. John’s Lutheran Church / 81 Christopher Street 1822 Berg & Clark
St. Joseph’s Church / 365 Sixth Avenue 1834 John Doran, Arthur Crook (1885 repair & alteration)
St. Veronica’s Church / 149 Christopher Street 1890 John J. Deery
Standard Hotel / 848 Washington Street 2009 Ennead Architects (formerly Polshek Partnership)
The Waverly / 136 Waverly Place 1928 Walter S. Schneider

NYC Landmarks Map

Google Map

NoHo - Bayard Condict Building

NoHo (Manhattan)

NoHo – for NOrth of HOuston* Street (as contrasted with SoHo, SOuth of HOuston Street) is a landmarked, primarily residential upper-class neighborhood in the New York City borough of Manhattan. The district is wedged between Greenwich Village and the East Village. It is bounded by Broadway to the west and the Bowery to the east, and from East 9th Street in the north to East Houston Street in the south.

Through four separate designations (see below) in 1966, 1999, 2003, and 2008, the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission has preserved almost the entire district. Modern glass towers have sprouted up at the fringes, and even within the district – before the LPC could act.

* Attention, visitors: New Yorkers pronounce this as HOW-ston Street.

NoHo Recommended Reading
NoHo Buildings Pictured
Building / Address Year Architect
10 Astor Place aka 444 Lafayette Street 1876 Griffith Thomas
640 Broadway 1897 DeLemos & Cordes
700 Broadway 1891 George B. Post
Astor Place, 445 Lafayette Street 2005 Gwathmey, Siegel & Associates
Bayard-Condict Building, 65 Bleecker Street 1899 Louis H. Sullivan and Lyndon P. Smith
Bleecker Tower, 644 Broadway 1891 Decatur Hatch
Engine Company 33, 42 Great Jones Street 1898 Ernest Flagg, W.B. Chambers
Schermerhorn Building, 380 Lafayette Street 1888 Henry Janeway Hardenbergh

Google Map

Las Vegas

When my son won a trip to Las Vegas for a national billiards competition, my wife and I went along to cheer him on. Architectural snob that I am, I left my camera at home: What happens in Vegas, I thought, is not architecture.

But I succumbed to the bright lights and the ersatz geography of The Strip: New York, Paris, Rome, Luxor, Venice… I borrowed my wife’s Canon SX50 and shot about a thousand frames, cursing myself for not bringing a tripod.

Lesson learned: Architecture is everywhere, and doesn’t have to be classic to be arresting.

P.S. – What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas….with your money to keep it company.

Las Vegas Highlights

Google Map

West End Avenue (W 76 – W 86)

West End Avenue – the stretch of 11th Avenue above W 59th Street – is one of New York’s architectural time capsules. The avenue boasts four historic districts, from W 70th Street to W 94th Street. The West End Preservation Society even argued that the entire avenue should be an historic district.

Personally, I find this half-mile section between W 76th and W 86th to be the most picturesque.

West End Avenue Selected Buildings

Odd-numbered buildings are on the west side of the avenue; even-numbered buildings are on the east side.

West End Avenue Recommended Reading

Google Map

Prospect Park South Historic District

Prospect Park South Historic District is a neighborhood with a mission: To “illustrate how much of rural beauty can be incorporated within the rectangular limits of the conventional city block.” The myriad home styles were the vision of a single developer: Dean Alvord.

According to the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission, “The most important event in the progress of suburbanization in Flatbush was the purchase in 1899 of approximately fifty acres of land by the real estate developer Dean Alvord for $280,000. Most of this land had been owned by the Dutch Reformed Church and the Bergen family. Alvord intended to lay out a ‘high-class’ suburban community to be called Prospect Park South.

“…Alvord’s objective in Prospect Park South was, in his own words, ‘to create a rural park within the limitations of the conventional city block and city street.'”

Alvord laid out the utilities, put up brick gateposts, and planned lawns and malls. He hired a landscape gardener, and hired architect John J. Petit to design large comfortable houses in a variety of styles. The LPC notes examples of Colonial Revival, neo-Tudor, Queen Anne, Swiss chalet, and even Japanese pagoda.

“The architecture of Prospect Park South is representative of a phenomenon common among the suburbs that were built up in America at the turn of the 20th century. The buildings erected in these developments represent an eclectic mix with houses of many different styles placed next to each other on each street. Each house at Prospect Park South was designed as a separate entity with no consideration given to the style of the surrounding structures or to the appropriateness of the use of a certain stylistic variant for a specific site…. At Prospect Park South houses with Colonial, Queen Anne, Italianate, French Renaissance, Japanese, Elizabethan, Jacobean and other stylistic details were freely juxtaposed. This free mixture of stylistic forms often resulted in such seeming incongruities as the placement of a stucco Spanish Mission style home beside a frame Swiss Chalet.” [LPC Designation Report]

Prospect Park South Historic District Vital Statistics
Prospect Park South Historic District Recommended Reading

WikiMapia Map

Forest Hills Gardens

Forest Hills Gardens is a New York City fantasyland – a pricey, exclusive community that takes its privacy (and rules!) very seriously, yet began with the idea of providing affordable housing.

The Russell Sage Foundation bought 142 acres from Cord Meyer Development Company in 1909 to create a “Garden Cities” community for the working poor. Alas, “affordable housing” soon became a myth. Although architect Grosvenor Atterbury used prefabrication techniques to reduce costs, home prices skyrocketed. It’s fair to say that the only working poor you’ll spot in Forest Hills Gardens are the groundskeepers.

While the working class aspirations of the Russell Sage Foundation have slipped away, the architectural vision, at least, persists. Forest Hills Gardens is beautiful.

Some 800 houses and 11 apartment buildings are precisely laid out on what is now 175 acres, following architectural standards set by Atterbury and landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr. To this day, Forest Hills Gardens Corporation enforces those architectural standards – right down to the paint colors that homeowners are allowed to use – to preserve the residential, garden community atmosphere.

The West Side Tennis Club moved to Forest Hills in 1913, but became a victim of its own success. The Forest Hills Tennis Stadium drew so many tennis fans (and later, concert-goers) that it became a persona non grata because the crowds brought more traffic and trash than prestige. Closed for 20 years, Forest Hills Stadium is trying to make a comeback as a concert venue.

(Also see Forest Hills Inn, one of the apartment buildings – originally a hotel – located on Station Square.)

Forest Hills Gardens Vital Statistics
Forest Hills Gardens Recommended Reading

Google Map