I love the huge typeface and style variety of the house numbers painted on or carved into city residences and businesses.
Walk down any street in Manhattan, and you’ll likely see a fantastic mix: decorative lettering from the late 19th century, sans serif fonts from the 1920s and 1930s, spelled out numerals that are supposed to be classy.
Like this script above the front entrance to One Sheridan Square, a West Village apartment house built in 1920.
I like this understated plaque, affixed to the Greek Revival-style column fronting a residence on Murray Street near West Broadway. Streeteasy says it was built in 1920, but it looks older.
The No. 9 of this Flatiron address feels very Gilded Age New York. It must have housed a pretty swanky business.
The terracotta Water Street address is truly lovely. Unfortunately, a search through the New York Times archives reveals that in 1894, a night watchman who lived at 251 Water Street, a widower with five children, was murdered at the candy factory where he was employed on Franklin Street.
The killer, an ex-employee, admitted he’d been caught stealing by the watchman. So he murdered him with a double-headed hammer. Just one of the city’s thousands of forgotten tragedies.