In 1894, New York University tore down the 1835 Gothic Revival beauty that was the school’s main building.
This lovely structure on the east side of Washington Square had housed all of the college’s functions.
By the 1890s, NYU had decided to move its undergraduate school to the Bronx, and the main building had outlived its usefulness.
Lucky for us, when the building met the bulldozer, NYU officials saved one architectural detail: a small spire, complete with a handful of grotesques.
But the Bronx campus was sold off in the 1970s, and NYU once again concentrated its educational offerings in Greenwich Village. When the school came back, the spire came returned as well.
Today it sits off West Fourth Street between Bobst Library and Shimkin Hall, a modest sliver of the 1830s hiding in the shadows of the modern city.