April 03, 2005

Lost Landmarks of New York

There are always many things worth reading in the Sunday New York Times, but I'd like to draw your attention to this article on some of the treasures the city has lost over the years. True, preservationists can be a complete pain. But some of the things they work to save ... well, it's terribly sad that some of those things are lost forever. The article (which on the web includes a link to a slideshow) mentions several well known structures like the Singer Building, but it also covers some lesser known sites. This example largely sums to the tale:

MARINE GRILL 34th Street at Herald Square 1912-1990

Tucked into the basement of the McAlpin Hotel, the grill was a vast, kaleidoscopically ornamented terra cotta grotto. Multicolor ceramic embellishments flowed up the thick columns and across the vaults of its ceiling, and maritime murals lined the room. “Even the radiator grills were punctuated with beautiful ornament of ceramic,” recalled Susan Tunick, president of the Friends of Terra Cotta, and the murals, she added, were “absolutely thrilling.” “You could see Wall Street; you could see early schooners,” she said. “It went all the way up to the phenomenal steam liners, the big ocean voyage cruise ships.” While leading a walking tour in 1990, Ms. Tunick stumbled across evidence that the Marine Grill was being demolished. “There was a huge Dumpster outside the back of the McAlpin, filled with the room,” she recalled. “It was really horrible.” After its demolition, the once splendid grotto became a storage room for the Gap. Ms. Tunick and others managed to salvage a few of the maritime murals, six of which are on display in the Fulton Street Broadway- Nassau subway station.
Posted by armand at April 3, 2005 01:03 PM | TrackBack | Posted to Architecture

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