Posts Tagged ‘Fur District buildings’

The bears and foxes in a Garment District lobby

December 1, 2014

224west30thstreetskyscrapermuseumA little south of the main Garment District, in the West 30s and 40s at Seventh Avenue, is one of its apparel-related offshoots, the dwindling Fur District.

And in the small lobby at handsome 224 West 30th Street, the animals who gave the skins off their backs to this industry are celebrated in art.

Walk through the front entrance, and the decorative foyer contains what look like two small bear heads flanking each side.

Farther inside, along a wall above the security desk, are two larger fox sculptures in front of bas reliefs of fox heads and the heads of what might be otters or beavers.

224west30thstreetthreefoxes

This is a building that the attendant told me was still home to many furriers, along with a mix of other businesses.

224west30thstreettwofoxes

224west30thstreetfoyerbearcuThe animal images probably date back to the building’s opening in 1926, when the fur industry was thriving and well before wearing animal fur became a fashion faux pas.

This other Fur District building down the block also pays homage to the animals who built its financial success.

[Top photo: Collection of Andrew S. Dolkart via the Skyscraper Museum]

The foxes of a Fur District building entrance

July 1, 2013

The early 20th century loft buildings that crowd the streets of the Garment District feature some nifty surprises—like these two magnificent fox statues, which guard the entrance of 242 West 30th Street.

Foxes30thstreetentrance

They must be a remnant of the heyday of the Fur District, once a thriving part of the Garment District now populated by a fraction of the manufacturers who once had factories and showrooms in the upper West 20s and lower West 30s.

Fox30thstreetentrancecloseupNewspaper archives show that fur manufacturers did occupy the building. But it’s unclear which company commissioned the statues, stately homages to the animals whose furs brought the company fortune.

This Fur District building has another interesting entrance: two grotesques handling a couple of furry creatures destined to become coats in some rich person’s closet!