The majestic sheep heads of East 13th Street

Lots of New York buildings are adorned with animals: horses, squirrels, even elephants.

But you don’t see a lot of sheep—except for the two bighorn sheep heads on the facade of a handsome 12-story limestone building at 114 East 13th Street.

The building was converted into a pricey co-op in 1984. Luckily the sheep heads remain; they provide a clue as to who the original tenant was.

The company that used to occupy the building, the American Felt Company, “made felt used in pianos,” states

It’s fascinating how many former factories and manufacturing buildings paid homage to the animals who helped fill their coffers—like the beaver and squirrel of West 29th Street and the silkworm clock on Park Avenue South.

Tags: , , , , ,

7 Responses to “The majestic sheep heads of East 13th Street”

  1. Parnassus Says:

    These ram heads are really well done. The fact that felt is (or used to be) made of wool is apparent to people who work with old pianos or collect old felt pennants–moths like these as much as they do old clothes.

  2. wildnewyork Says:

    I love them. (Incredible horns!) And interestingly, before the turn of the century, Union Square was the city’s piano showroom district (among the music halls and theaters).

  3. Ricky Says:

    There is also a building with ram’s heads on it in Harlem. You can see them from the east side of the Metro North train when you pull into the 125th Street station coming from Grand Central. I have always admired them and wished I could see them without a dirty window in between.

  4. wildnewyork Says:

    I wonder if the building had a wool/fabric manufacturing connection….

  5. Quid plura? | “…and the little ones chewed on the bones-o….” Says:

    […] Ephemeral New York spots sheep heads on East 13th. […]

  6. The cats and dogs of East 68th Street « Ephemeral New York Says:

    […] sheep, owls, rabbits, and squirrels are some of the most popular animal […]

  7. The seahorses of a 57th Street apartment house « Ephemeral New York Says:

    […] buildings are decorated with all kinds of creatures. I’ve seen birds, horses, elephants, even the heads of sheep. But I’ve never spotted a seahorse, until […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: