Posts Tagged ‘Landmark buildings in NYC’

The lamps and lanterns at Con Ed headquarters

September 21, 2010

The Con Ed building’s handsome limestone 26-story tower, completed in 1929, sports some very appropriate ornamental elements.

Decorating the facade are images of candles and oil lamps—which makes sense for the former headquarters of a huge power company.

“At the base of the tower these include torches, lamps, and urns on the original canopy at the main entrance on Irving Place and torches, suns, candelabra, Jupiter heads, and lightning bolts on the frieze over the first-story shop windows,” states the Landmarks Preservation Commission report from 2009.

And of course, there’s the incredible 38-foot bronze lantern capping the top of the tower.

“This tower was planned to be dramatically lighted at night, advertising the wonders of the electricity that the company sold,” reports New York Architecture Images. “Known as the ‘Tower of Light,’ this was memorial to the company’s employees who had died in World War I.” 

A 1940s view outside the Public Library

March 15, 2010

This postcard was mailed in 1943. But a typical day at Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street doesn’t look much different in 2010.

Here’s a look at what occupied this corner before 1911, when the building opened.