Mysterious archways in Manhattan

Here’s one in the West 50s off Eighth Avenue. Was it the entrance to the building’s basement, and if so, why was it bricked over? The guy on the left didn’t know either.

And another in Chelsea on 28th and Tenth Avenue:

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2 Responses to “Mysterious archways in Manhattan”

  1. Joe F Says:

    Looks like it could a some type of drain or maybe coal door.


  2. whatthafudge Says:

    Most likely for ice delivery. It was very unfashionable to have the ice-man schlepping up the front entrance steps of fashionable buildings. Ice, coal, even groceries..all delivered via basement entries, fashion and class dictated even in the good olde days! (don’t forget trash removal too)

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