Posts Tagged ‘East Village tenement’

The cross streets carved into tenement corners

August 26, 2019

It’s fun spotting these: the names of cross streets embossed or engraved on the corners of tenement buildings. From the Lower East Side to Harlem, many still exist.

But what’s their purpose, actually?

Perhaps city officials didn’t care enough about poor neighborhoods to post official street signs on each corner, so having the cross streets on a building helped strangers know where they were.

Or maybe these addresses were intended to be seen by elevated train riders, who had a window-seat view of the second story of every building on the avenue.

They could also exist just to give drab, cookie-cutter tenements a little pizzaz. In any event, more of these street addresses in Manhattan and Brooklyn can be found here.

Neptune’s trident on the 11th Street public baths

December 29, 2010

When city officials began opening public baths in poor neighborhoods all over New York, they could have put up cheap, purely functional structures.

Instead, architects designed lovely, dignified bath buildings, like this Beaux-Arts treasure on 11th Street between Avenues A and B.

Built in 1906 and used as a public bath until the 1950s, it has some enchanting ornamental touches—like the fish framing Neptune’s trident.

Landmarked in 2008, the building is now a photo studio.