The bears and foxes in a Garment District lobby

224west30thstreetskyscrapermuseumA little south of the main Garment District, in the West 30s and 40s at Seventh Avenue, is one of its apparel-related offshoots, the dwindling Fur District.

And in the small lobby at handsome 224 West 30th Street, the animals who gave the skins off their backs to this industry are celebrated in art.

Walk through the front entrance, and the decorative foyer contains what look like two small bear heads flanking each side.

Farther inside, along a wall above the security desk, are two larger fox sculptures in front of bas reliefs of fox heads and the heads of what might be otters or beavers.


This is a building that the attendant told me was still home to many furriers, along with a mix of other businesses.


224west30thstreetfoyerbearcuThe animal images probably date back to the building’s opening in 1926, when the fur industry was thriving and well before wearing animal fur became a fashion faux pas.

This other Fur District building down the block also pays homage to the animals who built its financial success.

[Top photo: Collection of Andrew S. Dolkart via the Skyscraper Museum]

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3 Responses to “The bears and foxes in a Garment District lobby”

  1. Audrey Burtrum-Stanley Says:

    Beautiful dingbats in this building and it is a shame they have not been restored.

    As to your composition’s phrase: ‘fashion faux pas’ — Animal Furs have been worn since before history was recorded. I find this anti-fur movement is a misplaced scheme. It shows the fur-foes to be without merit when they wear leather shoes, coil a leather belt around their middle or sit on leather seatcovers in their vehicle.

  2. Al Says:

    Fur may be fraught, at times, but it is not a fashion faux pas. Such a claim in your post is akin to accusing a person who does not espouse the Tea Party’s views of committing a political faux pas. Furthermore, considering many of your blog readers are probably people who find pleasure in customs of old, you might keep your audience in mind and not stoop to shaming some of them.

  3. ephemeralnewyork Says:

    I’m not trying to shame anyone. My point is that the prevailing fashion wisdom in certain circles these days is that fur is a don’t rather than a do. Everyone can decide for themselves what constitutes fashion and style and wear what they please.

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