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Sunday, March 14, 2010

On New York Buildings, High and Low

Fifth Ave, NYC
Photo by myself from a cab on Fifth Avenue, on the Upper East Side.

Yesterday we got 4 inches of rain in Central Park and it's due to rain all day today. Above, a photo from a sunnier time.

Fifth Avenue is lined with stately buildings, most of them built before the second World War. As you can see, all the surfaces of these beauties are decorated, even the undersides of balconies.

The cornices (decorative friezes at the very top) are sometimes are wrapped in copper, which turn green after many years of weathering. Pre-fabricated copper is less expensive than cut stone, lighter in weight and makes for a distinctive look.

ps: I was asked about the building across from the Met, in Friday's post. The building is 998 Fifth Avenue, a gorgeous building designed by McKim Mead and White at the turn of the last century. Architecturally, the building is pristine, and you cannot beat the address.

998 Fifth Avenue
Photo by myself of 998 Fifth Avenue. Note the beautiful stone panels that adorn the building facade.

Last year, a five-bedroom apartment at 998 Fifth was listed in the Times for $34 million dollars. For the incredible listing with photos, click here.


There is a great article in the Times this week about another New York building, on the other side of the tracks.

Much, much less fancy, 104 Bowery was at various times a Yiddish Theater, music hall and flophouse. It is now an inexpensive hotel with rooms for $130 a night, catering to Chinese tourists.

The Times has some incredible photos from the flophouse era, when beds went $5 a night. The last resident was named George and refused to leave, despite being offered $75,000. In 2005 he was finally ordered to vacate by the courts, and was dragged out by the police.

Check out the slideshow for photos of George and his home. You can read the article here.

In the Rain, Midtown, On Rain and the Brooklyn Bridge and Fashion Accessories, Coming Soon.


anne mancine said...

Love the shot of the undersides of the balconies! That building has such understated elegance.

Hm-m-m, I guess elegance is always understated.

Frank de Jol said...

Beautiful shots. Especially first.

Jingfen said...

Hi, I just found something interesting, when you scroll the first photo up and down, it looks quite dynamic!

Pat said...

Four inches of rain? Oh, boy.... Our rivers are so high now, I fear that more rain will really cause serious flooding.

Great photos. I would like to live really high up.

Kitty said...

Thanks Anne!
Yes, it's pretty incredible someone made that. Geez.

Thanks Frank!

Hi Jingfen
Good point. I think the sky is really effective to make the image dynamic. If the sky were white or less blue, it wouldn't be quite the same.

Hi Bibi
Wow, crazy to think this is happening the whole world over. Yikes.

Yes, I can only imagine the incredible views they have up at the penthouse level. It's a nice life indeed!