Are these statues the faded remains of lions? Dogs? Or mythological creatures, like griffins?
At 73 St. Marks Place between Second and First Avenues stand these crumbled visages of some aggressive animal, now weathered and faceless.
They’re embracing shields—a fierce touch.
Imagine the foreboding welcome they offered visitors who approached this basement doorway on St. Marks, more than a century ago the main drag of Kleindeutschland.
This was the city’s former Little Germany neighborhood until the early 1900s, resplendent with beer gardens, theaters, libraries, churches.
And shooting clubs—like this one across the street, its emblem still on the facade.