Walks in New York and elsewhere

My comments on buildings, shops, restaurants that catch my eye as I wander around New York City and other places.

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Location: New York, New York, United States

Monday, August 22, 2005

East 57th Street begins at a cul-de-sac east of Sutton Place. Sutton Place (really an extension of Avenue A) was developed in the early 1920s. The area immediately to the south was occupied by warehouses, piers, slaughterhouses and some very modest dwellings. In a very short time, it became one of Manhattan's priciest and most exclusive neighborhoods. One Sutton Place, (Mott B. Schmidt, 1920), on the right, if you are standing with your back to the East River, was built for Mrs. William Vanderbilt. It is entered from East 57th Street. If you look to the right you will see 3-5 Sutton Place, designed by Schmidt at the same time as #1. This is the home of the Secretary-General of the UN. Mr. Annan and his family share the rear garden with his neighbors. Like the neighborhood? Here's a house for sale. It belonged to the late Cy Coleman, perhaps best known as the composer of "Sweet Charity."

This little building is probably one of the oldest on the street.
I'll check others as I go along, but this one was built in 1868.
It was greatly altered over the years, with the major change ocurring in 1920.

I liked the brickwork on this 15-story building. It dates from 1926 and was designed by George and Edward Blum. The bricks are a dark red, very rough, and set with recessed mortar joints in English bond. The surface is very lively due to the use of clinkers --bricks that didn't come out so well in the firing, but that can be used for decorative purposes, as they are here. You see more of this kind of brickwork in London than you do in NYC. Next: from First to Second Avenues.

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