Posts Tagged ‘addresses carved into tenements’

A tenement sign high up at the corner of First Street and First Avenue

July 19, 2021

The corner of First Street and First Avenue is roughly the borderline of the East Village. And what better than an old-school address sign like this one affixed to a handsome brick building to welcome you to the neighborhood as you leave the Lower East Side behind?

These early 20th century address markers can be found on many tenement corners throughout New York City. In some cases, they may have served to let elevated train riders know exactly where they were passing.

Or perhaps these signs—sometimes raised and embossed, other times carved into the building—simply let pedestrians know where they stood in an era when reliable street signs had not yet arrived to ever corner in poor neighborhoods.

Faded street signage of an older Manhattan

May 24, 2012

On a rundown tenement in Harlem, this street address affixed to the building as kind of a scroll is a bit of random loveliness and a reminder of a more fanciful city.

The other corner should have one that says “Fourth Avenue,” the old name for Park Avenue, where this residence is located.

It’s awfully hard to see this faded cross street carving, found on the Soho-Tribeca border. Look closely and you can make out “Greenwich S.” and “Spring S.”

Addresses carved into East Village corners

August 24, 2010

Tenements on street corners all over New York City have the cross streets carved into the facade.

But it seems like the East Village, particularly First and Second Avenues, has more of these carvings than any other neighborhood. 

I love the typeface of the one above, on Seventh and Second.

First and Ninth is ex-elementary school, now performance space P.S. 122.

Second Avenue and Sixth Street: a solid block featuring the century-old Block’s Drugstore.

The East Village may be filled with these address carvings. But I still think the loveliest one in all of New York is this, in Tribeca.