Hunting Gargoyles at City College

Near Harlem in Manhattan, in a neighborhood called Manhattanville, is the City College of New York. Although City College has roots going back to the 1840s, the college didn’t move to the Manhattanville campus until 1907. You wouldn’t know it from looking at the original campus buildings though – architect George Browne Post designed them in the neo-Gothic or Collegiate Gothic style, making the campus feel much older than it actually is.

What make City College’s architecture fun are the approximately 600 grotesques. (I know – I titled this post “Hunting Gargoyles,” but as I’ve done further research I’ve learned that gargoyles are decorative waterspouts, while grotesques refer to the broader category of gothic creatures and humans.) Yesterday was such a sunny spring day that I thought it was a perfect day to hunt gargoyles – and grotesques!

Let me take you on a tour:

Want to hunt gargoyles and grotesques for yourself? Take the 1 Train uptown to the 137th Street – City College stop. It’s just a short walk from the station to the campus entrance.

Art in the Details: Looking Up in the Financial District

A couple of months ago I wrote this post about the architectural art at the Eastern Parkway/Brooklyn Museum subway station. You may remember, the exhibition at that station consists of architectural details that were salvaged from demolished New York City buildings. That post, along with inspiration from my friend Meg’s blog, 12 Months in Warsaw, has made me take a much closer look when I walk through New York City neighborhoods. There’s so much to discover that I decided to start a new mini-series of posts that I’m calling “Art in the Details.”

For my first “Art in the Details” post, I looked for inspiration in the Financial District, located in Lower Manhattan. My starting point was where Broadway begins near Battery Park. As I walked along Broadway searching for the granite markers for the Canyon of Heroes (which I wrote about last week), I also looked up and around much more than I would have done normally. Almost immediately I discovered some unique details on the Cunard Building at 25 Broadway.





I love how the building across the street is reflected in this window.


As I walked along the next few blocks I found these details.




I glanced across the street at 65 Broadway and saw the Federal Express Building, with this incredible bronze eagle.



Overlooking the historic Trinity Church cemetery, which has its own interesting architectural details, I found this gargoyle/knight.


Below, I also spotted this plaque commemorating the founding of the American Institute of Architects on this site in 1857.


Across the street, at 100 Broadway, I spied these lovely details.





On just the next block was the old Equitable Life Building, with these incredible details above the entry.



At 195 Broadway, I found these bronze and stone details on the side of the building.





Further along, I discovered this incredible bronze detail work.


I walked as far as the historic Woolworth Building, located across Broadway from City Hall Park.




When I turned around to head towards Wall Street, I saw this incredible red brick building with terra cotta details at 15 Park Row, juxtaposed against a modern steel building in the background.


Back in the heart of the Financial District, I headed to the New York Stock Exchange, located at the corner of Wall Street at Broad Street. There, I noticed this classical pediment stationed above the Stock Exchange’s stone columns.


Around the corner on Wall Street nearby buildings displayed these cherubic details.



By this time I’d wandered quite some time and decided I should take a break. That doesn’t mean that these explorations have ended for good, however – I will soon be looking for the Art in the Details in another New York City neighborhood!

It just dawned on me that this would make a good post for Jo’s Monday Walks. If you haven’t checked out Jo’s blog before, I recommend it!