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, May 08, 2006

Vernon Boulevard, 4

Long Island City is still more industrial than any other part of the New York City, and that shows on the next stretch of Vernon Boulevard.

This big green building is the home of Paragon Paints. IMG_1655 (Small) It used to be salmon pink and blue.

From 45th Avenue there is a good view of Citicorp Tower, to the west, in Manhattan, designed by Hugh Stebbins & Assocs, 1978
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and, to the east, the tallest building in New York City outside of Manhattan, the Citicorp back offices, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, 1989

An unusally attractive traffic island is named Gordon Triangle, for a local boy who was a World War I casualty. IMG_1662 (Small)

The red brick building beyond is in the process of being re-developed for residential use, according to Department of Buildings permits in a lower window. That is not to say that people haven't been living there for some time. It's the zoning that is being changed. Artists have long been permitted to live in loft buildings zoned for manufacturing in certain areas. Residential zoning will allow a wider range of tenants, cooperators or owners. There are some ghost signs remaining on the building from its earlier uses. IMG_1668 (Small) The earliest alteration noted by the buildings department dates from 1900; it was registered as an interim dwelling (loft) in 1995.

Not quite on Vernon Boulevard, but hard to miss is IMG_1670 (Small) Manhattan Cabinetry, manufacturers of many a paneled Park Avenue library.

Back on Vernon Boulevard is a large building with an art moderne feeling, dating from 1935-38. It’s a storage facility for the City of New York IMG_1671 (Small)
.

If you look down, you'll see that the Cambridge Paving Stones company has set samples in the sidewalk. IMG_1818 (Small)

Across the river, there's a view of the Manhattan skyline with both the Chrysler Building and the Empire State Building in one frame. IMG_1673 (Small)

The Con Ed Learning Center is a campus, of sorts, on the west side of Vernon.

On the east side is an ivy-covered building, dating from the mid-19th century, with the old street names incised in stone. It is enjoying an adaptive re-use with food-related business on the Vernon Boulevard side.
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A ghost sign, mostly covered by ivy this time of year, shows that Mayflower ice cream (available on subway platforms) used to be manufactured here. Tom Cat Bakery was located in this building for a number of years.

In the back is an event space with a name that recalls the building's original function. IMG_1815 (Small)

The Taxi Depot IMG_1816 (Small)
rents out taxis for film production.

There are a number of studios nearby, including Silvercup, (named after the bread that used to be baked in its quarters.) Silvercup will be expanding into space just south of the 59th Street Bridge. The neo-Tudor headquarters of the New York Architectural Terra-Cotta Company, a designated NYC landmark, occupies part of the site.
IMG_1684 (Small) The building was designed by Francis Kimball, 1892, to serve as a three-dimensional advertisement for the company's wares. Some of the ornament was removed and put into storage; some was covered up. Silvercup plans to restore the building as part of its expansion. Since the head of Silvercup is married to a member of the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission, I am actually hopeful that it will happen. Take a look at the chimney pots. IMG_1685 (Small)

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