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

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Between Lexington and Third

There are only three buildings on this entire block. The south side is occupied in its entirety (and through to 41st Street) by the stainless steel-clad, landmarked Socony-Mobil building, designed by Harrison & Abramowitz, completed in 1956.

I've always found it amusing that the curve of a typical NYC street phone echoes the curve over the entrance to the building across the street from it, as if it had been designed for that specific
site.


On the north side of the street is the Chrysler Building, an interior (lobby) and exterior landmark, designed by William Van Alen and built in 1930. A peek inside at the multi-colored marble and stainless steel lobby is a must. A pair of binoculars is needed to truly appreciate the wealth of automotive ornament that graces the tower. It comes as a surprise to read the contemporary architectural criticism of the building, which was less than enthusiastic.
This is my favorite NYC skyscraper.

Cooper Union, the art, architecture and engineering school located on Astor Place, owns the ground under the building; the rent it collects pays for the tuition of its students.

This is the re-worked (1998) Chrysler Building extension. It is attributed to Philip Johnson.

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