The insects that adorn New York

Why would designers choose to decorate some of the city’s loveliest facades, fences, and clocks with bugs?

When it comes to the honeybees on this once-working bank clock on 14th Street and Eighth Avenue, it probably has something to do with what bees symbolize—industry.

The clock—affixed to the Roman Temple–like 1897 New York Savings Bank building—once featured a beehive, a symbol of thrift.

The moth-like critter on the right comes from one of the posts surrounding the entrance to Trinity Church Cemetery, the burial ground in the 150s off Riverside Drive that gently slopes down to the Hudson River.

The dragonfly and caterpillar mosaic, by Andrea Dezso, are part of the Bedford Park Boulevard subway stop in the Bronx.

Why two garden bugs? It must have something to do with the fact that this is the New York Botanical Garden stop.

Carved into the concrete of the Schwarzbock Building on Lexington Avenue and 32nd Street is this moth surrounded by mulberry leaves.

It makes sense: The building was once the headquarters of Schwarzbock looms. Another insect image, a silkworm adorns the building’s beautiful clock.

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2 Responses to “The insects that adorn New York”

  1. Karena Says:

    So fascinating, I love to see the little creatures incorporated into our architecture!

    xoxo
    Karena
    Art by Karena

  2. petey Says:

    “The clock—affixed to the Roman Temple–like 1897 New York Savings Bank building—once featured a beehive, which symbolize thrift.”

    my old bank, the manhattan savings bank (bought by republic savings bank, bought by hsbc) also had as its logo a beehive. can’t find an image tho’!

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