Posts Tagged ‘Atlas clock Tiffany’

The beautiful street clocks along Fifth Avenue

April 26, 2012

A grand avenue like Fifth should be adorned with lovely, stately street clocks, right?

New York business owners whose shops were located on this pricey stretch of real estate seemed to think so. These towering timepieces (which also functioned as advertising vehicles) sprouted up in the late 19th century until about 1920, when watches became more popular.

Several extant timepieces keep us informed to this day—like this beauty. It’s stood on 59th Street in front of the Sherry Netherland since the hotel opened in 1927.

At 57th Street is the clock that tops Tiffany & Co. The nine-foot figure of Atlas was carved in 1853 and first adorned Tiffany’s when the jeweler had its store on Prince Street and Broadway.

This 20-foot, cast-iron sentinel at 44th Street was built in 1907. It originally stood at 43rd Street, but when the bank it fronted moved up a block, so did the clock.

One of the most beautiful of the city’s street clocks is the “gilded cast-iron masterpiece,” as the Landmarks Preservation Commission called it, at 200 Fifth Avenue.

The 19-footer dates to 1909—when the Madison Square neighborhood was very posh, and the Fifth Avenue Building it stood outside was so well-known, it shared a postcard with the Flatiron Building across the way.