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

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

From Eighth Avenue to Ninth Avenue

Two classical revival former bank buildings, both landmarks, flank 14th Street at Eighth Avenue. On the n.w. corner is the former New York Savings Bank, designed by R.H. Robertson, 1896-7, a designated interior as well as exterior NYC landmark. It underwent a major renovation in 1994, prior to housing Central Carpets, with a touch-up last year before it became, more or less, Balducci's. Balducci's was a highly-regarded food emporium in Greenwich Village whose illustrious name was bought by a much larger corporation. They are trying to live up to the new name. The interior of this building is spectacular, with columns, stained glass windows and a coffered ceiling under the dome.


IMG_1177 (Small)The symbol of the bank, not of Balducci's, although not inappropriate, was a beehive.

On the south side of 14th Street is the former New York County National Bank, by DeLemos & Cordes, 1906-7. A very visible addition, containing a theater and apartments was designed by Hudson River Studios and John Reimnitz in 1999.
IMG_1204 (Small) I did not hear the discussion at the LPC when this project was reviewed, but I find it difficult to reconcile what I see with the typical LPC demand that a rooftop addition be "minimally visible." Most of the the addition is to the south of the main part of the building and is therefore, possibly, not strictly a rooftop addition, although it appears to be. That being said, the glass and metal are not incompatible. I am reminded of I.M. Pei's glass pyramid in the courtyard of the Louvre.

IMG_1167 (Small) Here's where Our Lady of Guadelupe moved. This brownstone Gothic Revival church was built in 1875 for The Church of St. Bernard, designed by Patrick Charles Keely.

Most of the buildings on the block are four and five-story walk-ups, similar to those on the block between Seventh and Eighth avenues, but these two, IMG_1206 (Small) 315 W. 14th, with some art deco details

IMG_1207 (Small) and 317 West 14th, seem to be trying harder. Someone should tell the owner of 317 that shutters, even if they are purely decorative, should look as if they would, in fact, cover the entire window as if they were functional.


Anonymous Tana said...

Oooh, what a pretty walk. And look how good your blog looks in the sunshine!

Just beautiful! I think this is your prettiest entry yet.

11:04 PM  

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