Posts Tagged ‘Ghost buildings NYC’

The brick and mortar ghosts all over Manhattan

January 16, 2017

The history of New York City is written on its walls—the walls of apartment houses and commercial buildings still standing, bearing the faded outline of those that met the bulldozer long ago.


These phantom buildings are on every block (above, Fourth Avenue and 1oth Street), especially in today’s city with its constant renovation and rebuilding—what Walt Whitman called “knock down and pull over again spirit.”


The roofs of these faded ghosts are often slanted and peaked—hints that a Federal-style house or stable once existed there. I’m guessing this outline on 11th Avenue in the west 20s, above, was a stable.


Many of the outlines resemble the shells of tenements. This phantom at Rector Street, above, is likely all that remains of an anonymous tenement where generations of New Yorkers lived and raised families.


The ghost building on Great Jones Street near Lafayette Street above, with what appears to be the outline of three chimneys, looks too short to be a tenement. Probably just a walk-up with a couple of flats per floor.


The painted-white outline here on Third Avenue in Gramercy could have been a single family home, similar to the one on the left side of the photo hidden behind scaffolding.


On West 57th Street a lonely tenement bears the remains of its neighbor, which had what looks like a central chimney or rooftop exit door.


Is this the ghost of another stable or carriage house? It’s on the far West Side around 42nd Street, where the city’s last remaining working stables are.

New York is a brick and mason wall ghost town

January 18, 2016

The construction boom across the city has this upside: after an old building has been flattened by the wrecking ball, its faded outline remains behind for a little while, before something new and shiny covers it up.


These building phantoms give city streets an eerie vibe; they’re red brick and mason wall palimpsests of another New York. Look at the little chimneys that warmed what looks like a former Federal-style home on Bond Street?


In Downtown Brooklyn, traces of a two-story tenement on the right hint at what kind of residences lined the streets of the independent city in the 19th century.


On East 17th Street in is a reminder of what this Flatiron block looked like when it was all low-rises, not tall lofts.


This corner building in Chelsea must have cut a handsome, sturdy profile. The rooms of the second floor are still outlined too.


Back when Jane Street was just a tiny lane in the village of Greenwich, there was a little house under this steep little roof.