Tag Archives: neo-Classicism

Staten Island Savings Bank

Staten Island Savings Bank is a tall single-story structure filling the triangular plot across Water Street from Tappen Park and Edgewater Village Hall.

According to the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission, “The bank is a fine example of Beaux Arts classicism. It presents two well-defined facades replete with classical symmetry, recognizable Renaissance motifs such as the rusticated wall and arched windows framed within pilasters, and ideal proportions. More importantly, the subtle insertion of the circular colonnaded portico between the acutely angled facades, thus creating the main entrance, is a masterful means of turning an otherwise difficult acute angle into a positive element. A precedent for this treatment had been established by Sir John Soane in his design for the Bank of England in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century which may be the source for Aldrich’s design.”

Staten Island Savings Bank Vital Statistics
Staten Island Savings Bank Recommended Reading

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Cliff Dwelling

Cliff Dwelling is an oddly shaped, exotically decorated apartment building overlooking New York’s Riverside Park at W 96th Street.

The shape – dictated by the parcel of land left over after other developers picked their plots – is a thin north-pointing wedge. The decoration, white terra cotta in desert-Western motifs, is from the imagination of Herman Lee Meader (who used similar designs on the Friends House on E 25th Street). Don’t be shocked by the swastikas – they were used by the Navajo (and many other cultures) centuries before Nazism.

While the yellow brick facade is memorable, the apartments inside were not (at least in their tiny original five-to-a-floor form). After the building went co-op in 1979, residents began buying up and combining adjoining apartments. According to City Realty, the building now has just 43 units.

Cliff Dwelling Vital Statistics
Cliff Dwelling Recommended Reading

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