Posts Tagged ‘55 Park Avenue South’

The curious figures on a Park Avenue facade

June 22, 2020

Whoever designed the entrance of 55 Park Avenue South, an elegant building completed in 1923, had a sense of the curious and whimsical.

Walk to the front door of this 16-story Murray Hill apartment residence, and you’ll be greeted by what look like two squirrels overhead.

Two gargoyle-like male figures are tucked into the doorway as well, facing each other with their hands together, legs crossed.

Most interesting are the robed male figures carved into the building facade away from the entrance.

One holds a broom and a dustpan, though he’s resting and not using it. Another reads. One appears to have a pail or lamp at his side, plus something I can’t make out in his hand.

And one figure is holding something square on a string or rope, perhaps, touching it with the other hand, almost in contemplation.

The men at work and rest on Park Avenue South

December 15, 2011


The apartment building at 55 Park Avenue South looks like a typical expensive and elegant pre-war residence.

So why did the developer put these carved images of men on the facade?

One is reading, one is thinking with a broom in his hand. One looks like he’s tying a string around a small package.

And the man with what looks like a pail? I don’t have any idea what he is doing. But I like him.

The squirrels that decorate New York buildings

November 17, 2011

Considering how many real little acorn diggers make New York their home, it’s no surprise that architects and designers pay homage to them on city buildings and in parks.

This bushy-tailed squirrel with a fat nut in its hand (paw?) is surrounded by a decorative motif that seems to symbolize fruitfulness.

It appears on a panel outside a long-defunct bank building on Fifth Avenue and 41st Street.

This cast iron squirrel statue guards the entrance to a playground at Stuyvesant Town, where about 100 billion gray or black squirrels scamper around all day, or at least it seems like that on a recent fall afternoon.

These twin squirrels mirror each other above an ornate entrance to a 1922 luxury apartment house at 55 Park Avenue South. They come across kinda evil, no?

A couple more squirrels are on an old Williamsburg Bank building and an Upper East Side apartment building.