The Judson Memorial Church at 239 Thompson Street on the south side of Washington Square Park, New York City was designed by Stanford White of McKim, Mead and White 1892. It is a composite of Byzantine, Lombardo-Romanesque or Renaissance Italianate. The building materials are terracotta and brick. The stained glass by John La Farge are amazing.
In 1890 the preacher Edward Judson initiated construction of Judson Church as a memorial to his father Adoniram Judson, the first American Protestant foreign missionary. It was backed by John D. Rockefeller and other prominent Northern Baptists. Judson Memorial Church’s location was intended to unite the immigrants of the tenements to the south of the square with the wealthy upper classes. However, the established rich were not keen on rubbing shoulders with the immigrant poor and attendance declined.
From the 1950’s on the forward thinking ministers of the church helped foster the arts and racial and gay rights. One event I found interesting was Lenny Bruce’s memorial service on August 12, 1966. It was attended by Allen Garfield, The Fugs, Paul Krassner, C Sharp, Alan Ginsberg, Peter Orlovsky, to name a few. Lenny Bruce was famous for his comedy which integrated satire, politics, religion, sex, and vulgarity. He was convicted in 1964 of obscenity and posthumously pardoned.
Perhaps to console myself over the lack of a single sale of my Natural Side of the City book, though it has gathered over 100 likes in a week, I bought a bird pin and some feathers and created this accessory for my birding hat. I just love my hot glue gun.
I created a book of some of my photography. How images interact with each other in this book is as important as each picture on its own. Created as part of the B&H Portfolio Development (@BHEventSpace #BHPortDev).
A Group of Woodcocks (aka Timberdoodle) is called a Fall. New York City just experienced a massive fallout of a huge Fall of Woodcocks after the snow storm. The last couple of days were great days for birders. I saw more Woodcock yesterday in Central Park than I have ever seen in my entire life, 11 of perhaps hundreds. I also saw a Wilson’s Snipe. It isn’t so good for the Woodcocks. The poor Woodcocks were not expecting a snow storm to get in the way of their migration: Many have died hitting buildings; hawks and falcons are dining on them; and cold is also a problem. They have been seen huddled together, probably to stay warm. Normally I rarely see any because they are so well camouflaged. They sure stand out against the snow. In Central Park they are hanging out by streams looking for food. I hope they survive and continue north to breed soon.
Greenwich Village has alleys that remind me of the many old alleys in London. I love exploring these hidden pathways when I find them. They are found in the older parts of many cities. Some were used as passage ways to stables in the rear of houses; and some for rear access to service doors. The word alley is from Middle English from Old French allee meaning to walking passage.
Charles Lane, with its Belgian Block paving, is named for Charles Christopher Amos, who owned the estate where Charles Street and Lane are 10th Street used to be called Amos Street). Charles Lane.
The lane may mark the northern boundary of Newgate State Prison, which stood from 1797 until 1828 when it moved upstate and became Sing Sing.
In 1986 my mother took the family on a vacation to Sienna, Italy. We stayed at a beautiful old rustic farmhouse outside of Sienna. The first morning there I woke up at dawn and went for a walk. The soft air and light sparkled. I knew I was someplace special. I left the road and explored down a path. I saw through the cypress trees and magnolias a ruin with a fresco. I was overwhelmed—tears sprang to my eyes. It was so beautiful; words can’t describe how I felt.
I have only a few pictures that I took with a point and shoot film camera.
The Bowery Savings Bank at 130 Bowery between Broome and Grand Streets was designed by Stanford White, from the firm of McKim, Mead, and White, and built in 1893–95. The “L”-shaped building continues through to Elizabeth Street, and has a designed facade at 228 Grand Street.
White’s architectural portfolio includes: The Washington Square Arch, a Fifth Avenue mansion formerly owned by the Rockefeller family, The New York Herald building, The Tiffany building, The Boston Public Library, several branches of The New York Public Library, and The Bowery Savings Bank building which is now a 40,000 square foot space event space and restaurant called Capitale (opened and landmarked in 1980).
In 1906, at one of White’s most recognized buildings, his life was ended. While attending the opening of Madison Square Garden’s roof show, White was shot and killed by the jealous husband of his mistress.
White’s choice of a Roman classical style for the building set a trend for bank buildings. Greek revival temples were built to inspire confidence after the United States economy collapsed in the Panic of 1893. Many people blamed banks for the depression that followed. So, banks built in that era (until the end of the Great Depression) were meant to suggest strength and stability.
The exterior has Corinthian columns and sculpted pediments by Frederic MacMonnies. The interior is reminiscent of a Roman temple with extensive use of marble, mosaic floors, faux marble scagliola columns, coffered ceilings and stairs and cast iron skylights with a glowing amber Venetian glass ceiling set into the 65-foot-high ceiling.
When I went to Sony Square last weekend for a photo shoot we met at the Metropolitan Life North Building, known as Eleven Madison. It is a lovely 30-story art deco skyscraper overlooking Madison Square Park in Manhattan, New York City. The building is connected by an elevated walkway to the Met Life Tower just south of it.