The zodiac symbols on a Bryant Park office tower

ZodiacbuildingjulyaugseptZodiacsignsfebmarchThe soaring temple of commerce at 11 West 42nd Street has been casting a shadow over Bryant Park since 1927.

Now home to NYU’s Midtown campus, the building features 32 floors and an ornate lobby (shown off in this slideshow).

Yet perhaps its quirkiest detail is on the facade: the 12 very detailed zodiac signs carved into the stone entrance, with the corresponding months listed beneath each one.

Eleven West 42nd Street has a few other distinctions. Above the zodiac signs are carved figures representing various professions—a likely nod to the building’s use as a modern office tower.


And on a more bittersweet note, the ground floor was the last home of Coliseum Books, one of New York’s premier independent bookstores until it went out of business in 2007.

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11 Responses to “The zodiac symbols on a Bryant Park office tower”

  1. Gary Says:

    Since the building is to the north of Bryant Park, the shadow it casts onto the park can only be metaphorical. 🙂

  2. ephemeralnewyork Says:

    Ah yes, I’m using it in the metaphorical sense!

  3. Gifting Made Easy: Via Your Zodiac: Part I | missionsharingknowledge Says:

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  4. mykola (mick) dementiuk Says:

    But Coliseum Books also stood on 57 Street & Broadway since the 1970s and what a huge store that was. I’d spend hours in the place, they had every title imaginable. That was an ideal bookstore.

    • ephemeralnewyork Says:

      I loved the store on 57th Street and spent many lunch hours in the late 1990s there. Magical.

  5. OyiaBrown Says:

    Reblogged this on Oyia Brown.

  6. Sam Says:

    Even more amusing is the sculpture above the door. In a Greek mode (continued on the interior mailbox) office workers and artists are horzisontally arrayed. The toga-wearing typist is my favorite.

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  8. snoh Says:

    The 43rd Street entrance has same zodiac sign facade.

  9. The horsecars and gas lamps of West 42nd Street | Ephemeral New York Says:

    […] Today, 42nd Street looking toward Fifth Avenue reveals more glass office buildings, a replica of an old street lamp, but many of the same buildings from 1974, like the Grace Building and the Gothic-like entrance to 11 West 42nd Street. […]

  10. UE Oliva Says:

    Ok, but who are the characters depicted ATOP the same arch?!?

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