Posts Tagged ‘Chelsea architecture’

The lovely flower petals on a Chelsea factory

October 21, 2011

In 1906, Charles Hellmuth, a maker of printing ink, built a factory at 154 West 18th between Sixth and Seventh Avenues.

Back then, the block was lined with old stables and newer manufacturing buildings.

The Hellmuth factory doesn’t stand out all that much—except for the enchanting Art Nouveau–inspired doorways.

I love the lettering that spells out the building name (especially the interlocked Ls) and the floral ornamentation, so beautifully detailed, especially for an industrial building.

Today it’s a co-op—probably pretty expensive too.

What are these fur district gargoyles doing?

September 26, 2011

Dingy West 29th Street between Seventh and Eighth Avenues was once the heart of the city’s fur district, reaching its heyday from the 1920s to the 1950s.

The block is still lined with fur warehouses and fur showrooms, though slowly their numbers are dwindling.

It’s easy to walk down the street and totally miss what seems to be a Gothic ode to the fur industry in the middle of the block, at number 214.

That’s the location of a curious building called the “29th Street Tower,” the entrance of which is flanked by these two grotesques.

This creepy character above looks like he’s massaging a beaver—or examining a beaver pelt?

The second one is more of a mystery. He appears to be holding a squirrel, letting it chew his finger. Is it kind of a last meal before the squirrel gets made into a coat?