The owls that adorn New York City

It makes sense that many old city school buildings are decorated with carved owls; owls symbolize wisdom.

But owls—some spooky, some goofy—adorn all kinds of buildings and structures in New York City.

At right, one of many huge owls guarding a (NYU-owned, maybe?) building on Broadway and East Fourth Street.

This funny little owl on the tree limb at left is part of a gate at Central Park’s Bethesda Terrace.

I’ve always been partial to this terra cotta owl carved into the ornate Stuyvesant Polyclinic building on Second Avenue and St. Mark’s Place. He looks menacing.

At left, big peepers on a midtown Lexington Avenue building.

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10 Responses to “The owls that adorn New York City”

  1. modestine Says:

    You’ve got an incredible eye. You see things I would be oblivious to. That’s why I read every one of your blog posts —

  2. wildnewyork Says:

    Thank you, I’m always looking up!

  3. Cully Says:

    Don’t forget Athena’s owls on the Bennett clock at the north end of Herald Square, they even have light up glowing green eyes!

  4. wildnewyork Says:

    Oh yeah, they’re amazing! Here’s a link for anyone interested:

  5. Heather Says:

    And the owl hidden in the folds of Alma Mater’s robes at Columbia! Nick over at Scouting NY had a post about it last year –

  6. Manhattan Organizer Says:

    Wow, i’ve been all over new york and never noticed a couple of those, Great eye and great post!

  7. Esta de Jong Says:


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  10. Karen Coral Heather Says:

    I think the most famous owls in NYC are in Herald square, I noticed these one night when their eyes started glowing green & was stunned, some people who have lived their whole lives in NYC had’nt noticed them! Check them out here-

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