This website is a big fan of New York City building ornamentation: statues, grotesques, lanterns, and other eye-catching decorative elements.
So it was quite a shock to come across this 1942 photo (published in Over Here: New York City During World War II, by Lorraine B. Diehl) showing workmen removing a cornice from the roof of the Upper West Side’s Ansonia Hotel.
But there was a reason: a World War II scrap metal drive. By the 1940s, the once-grand Beaux Arts gem on Broadway and 72nd Street had fallen into disrepair.
Apparently management did not think the building, which would eventually become luxe condos on the again-fashionable Upper West Side, would miss its cornices.
Tags: Ansonia Hotel, Grand Upper West Side apartment buildings, Lorraine B. Diehl, New York City in World War II, New York City's grandest apartment houses, Over Here: New York City During World War II, scrap metal drives in NYC, The Ansonia Upper West Side