Posts Tagged ‘Grotesques in New York City’

The faces and figures lurking above New York

January 12, 2011

The huge variety of nymphs, grotesques, demons, gargoyles, and other mysterious creatures carved into the facades of New York buildings is pretty astounding.

At left is a creeper perched inside the doorway of the Gotham Comedy Club on West 23rd Street.

And then on the right is another scary dude face, on the Orpheum Theatre on Second Avenue in the East Village.

Of course, they’re not all designed to scare you. This terra cotta female profile (and musical instruments) brightens up a church on West 57th Street.

And at the entrance of an East Village tenenent, this lovely lady greets you.

My favorites are the funny or goofy ones. These two decorate the front of a City University of New York building in the West 130s.

One is impish and silly, while the other seems to be warning students not to end up like him, breaking his back while earning a living doing hard labor.

Characters checking you out on East 27th Street

September 13, 2010

The 27th Street side of luxe condo building 15 Madison Square North has some wonderfully whimsical, mischievous-looking characters carved into the facade.

A little research turned up nothing on who the original business tenants and building designers were. 

So right now, we’ll just have to guess the inspiration for some of these guys, like the whiskered fellow sticking two fingers out and the book-reading, sage-like elder.

There’s a biblical-looking guy with a tablet, and then there’s this one, who look like an escaped mental patient. He’s a real grotesque; that grin is kinda creepy, no?