The spooky spider web windows on 57th Street

The scary season is upon us, and Halloween-loving New York City residents are decorating their front stoops, windows, and terraces with witches, skeletons, and spider webs. But one East Side apartment building flaunts cast-iron spider webs across its front windows all year long.

The spider web windows are at 340 East 57th Street, a 16-story vision of prewar elegance between First and Second Avenues. Look closely at the service door above: this web has a black spider sitting in it, waiting and watching. It looks particularly Halloween-like with the orangey glow from the inside light.

The building’s architect, Rosario Candela, was one of the legendary designers of Manhattan’s most exclusive residences in the 1920s. I’ve posted about this building before, and I still don’t know if he had a hand in creating those spider web window guards.

If so, I appreciate Candela’s sense of spooky playfulness. Also playful but not quite spooky: the whimsical seahorse reliefs below the second-story windows.

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4 Responses to “The spooky spider web windows on 57th Street”

  1. Says:

    Esther . . .

    Those grilles are not the original ones.

    Candela had nothing to do with them.

    They are delightful, but this door on East 81st Street beats them.

    • ephemeralnewyork Says:

      Thanks Andrew for the info. I wish they were from Candela’s imagination, but alas, they still make this stretch of East 57th Street a lot of fun. What door on East 81st are you referring to?

      • Says:

        It’s on a private house on the south side of East 81st Street between Madison and Park avenues.

        As for 340 East 57th, I cannot now recall what the source was for my statement, but in my Candela book, I wrote in the caption for my new photo of the front of he building, “Entrance to 340 East 57th Street with original terra cotta ornament and later :spiderweb” window security grilles.

    • Bob Says:

      The spider web grills appear on 340 East 57 Street in the c. 1940 tax photo of the building to the west (330). That is about 10 years after 340 was built.

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