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, January 17, 2007

Broadway to Church

Back at Chambers Street, on the southeast corner, is the Broadway-Chambers Building, Cass Gilbert's first structure in New York, 1900.

Don't forget to look up It's a designated NYC landmark, although much less famous than his Woolworth Tower a block or two downtown.

The block between Broadway and Church has long been characterized by bargain stores and fast food restaurants catering to the many office workers in the area,
but it is undergoing rapid change and gentrification.

This is not the ony 19th century store-loft building undergoing transformation to residential.

Some of the upper stories are quite elegant.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

A little detour

Visitors to New York City can be excused for thinking that either the Municipal Building or the Tweed Courthouse is City Hall. In fact, City Hall is a much older and more modest building. I think it's one of the most most beautiful municipal buildings ever, and I usually laugh at New York City boosterism.

To see City Hall, which is directly to the south of the Tweed Courthouse, turn left at Broadway. You'll be able to peek into the windows of the Tweed Courthouse.

At the moment there are some Alexander Calder sculptures in City Hall Park.

Here's City Hall

The Mayor's actual office is in the building. City Hall was designed by Joseph-Francois Mangin and John McComb Jr., 1802-11. Although it has undergone various alterations over the years, it maintains the character of an eary Federal building. Its deteriorated original skin, Massachusetts marble in front and brownstone in the rear was replaced in the mid-1950s with limestone over a granite base. The building was designated in 1966 and its interior, ten years later. It is also listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Before the mayoralty of Rudolph Giuliani, it was much easier to see the interior. After the events of 9/11, security became even tighter, but the interior is still worth making an effort to see, especially the double flying staircase and the ten Corinthian columns that support the dome. There is a significant portrait gallery inside as well.