Posts Tagged ‘art nouveau’

Art Nouveau flower petals on a Chelsea factory

March 12, 2018

It’s not a factory anymore, of course—working-class Chelsea has long since bit the dust.

But outside the former Hellmuth printing ink building at 154 West 18th Street, the company name still decorates the entrances, with lovely Art Nouveau floral ornamentation in terra cotta above on beside the doorways.

It’s hard to imagine a time when industrial businesses commissioned architects to build inspiring factories and work spaces.

And though the rest of the 8-story Hellmuth building may seem like a pretty typical loft building turned co-op, the two entrances on 18th Street near Seventh Avenue still inspire.

Art Nouveau’s naturalism and curvy lines didn’t take hold in New York the way it did in other major cities in the early 20th century.

But this design style can be found in small pockets of the city, like this Park Row building and this low-rise holdout on a Midtown corner.

[Third photo:]

The strange and scary faces of Chelsea

June 15, 2011

Every city neighborhood has its share of fascinating figures and faces carved into buildings.

But the ones staring out from the 19th century tenements of Chelsea have got to be some of the oddest.

On some blocks, it seems like every other residence has a few—like this woman at left, on 21st Street off Seventh Avenue, with vacant eyes and fruit around her neck.

This mustached man (top right) peers down from a doorway on 22nd Street off Seventh Avenue.

The grayish-blue head (at right) is also from the same stretch of 22nd Street. His wide eyes and open mouth give the impression that he’s frozen in fear.

I love the helmet-clad soldier who looks to at his head-scarfed partner across the facade of a 22nd Street building. They’ve been meeting each other’s eyes for probably a century.

Female fashion flashback: Spring in the 1890s

March 10, 2010

Here’s what trendy urban ladies on the cusp of the 20th century were frolicking around in.

Butterick was a leading dress pattern company; The Delineator a general-interest and fashion magazine they put out for women. Think of it as the Vogue of its day.