Posts Tagged ‘Figures on New York City buildings’

The lovely draped ladies of 542 Broadway

June 25, 2012

I love spotting faces and figures on the city’s older buildings—like these lovely caryatids on a loft building between Prince and Spring Streets on Broadway, built in 1884.

Lower Broadway has its share of elaborately carved ladies. Two more women are part of the facade of the Cable Building, building just up the street on Broadway and Houston.

Who watches you on the streets of New York

August 22, 2009

Faces and grotesques are all over the city’s buildings, smiling or frowning at passersby through the years. It’s rarer to see a full-length sculpted figure looking down from a tenement to the street below, which is why these two are so eye-catching.


The woman above, who adorns a tenement on a Lexington Avenue corner in the 80s, looks like Botticelli’s Venus flipped around—with the shell on her head instead of at her feet. Her hand clutches what looks like a weapon, not her hair.


Partly obscured by the support bracket of an old fire escape, this figure, on a West Fourth Street and 10th Street walkup, strikes roughly the same pose. I wonder what is at its feet.