Sunday, July 27, 2008

Flatiron / Gramercy Neighborhoods in Manhattan

(All photos click on to enlarge)

I arrived a little early in Manhattan to meet my daughter and husband at the I Trulli Restaurant I wrote about yesterday, so I did a little walk around the area to take some photos. New York City is comprised of many neighborhoods, and The Flatiron District received its name from the
The Flatiron Building, which when constructed was called the Fuller Building. It was one of the tallest buildings in New York City upon its completion in 1902, and is considered one of Manhattan's first skyscrapers. The building sits on a triangular island block at 23rd Street, Fifth Avenue, and Broadway, anchoring the south end of Madison Square. This triangular plot had been known as the ''Flat Iron,'' hence the nickname given to the skyscraper.

It was designed by the architect Daniel Burrham in the Beaux - Arts style, and it is one of the first buildings constructed with a steel skeleton, which enabled its unusual shape and considerable height for that era. It has beautifully decorated limestone and glazed terra-cotta facade. Some more photos are information about this NYC landmark building can be found here.

Another Beaux-Arts style building is the Appellate Division of The Supreme Court of the State of New York for the First Judical Department. It is located at 27 Madison Avenue and was designed by James Brown Lord from 1900-02.
The front facade on 25th Street, is dominated by an imposing triangular pediment entrance portico, fronted by Triumph of Law by Charles H. Niehaus, and supported by six Corinthian columns. Daniel Chester French's sculpture of "Justice" is on the top cornice.

The Appellate Division, First Department of the New York State Supreme Court was established in 1894 as one of the last of a series of reforms of the judicial system in the later nineteenth century. The right of appeals was extended and this court was to handle them and relieve some of the work load of the State Supreme Court. It hosts over 3,000 appeals and more than 7,000 motions a year, making it one of the busiest appellate courts in the United States. The main work of the Court involves appeals from the Supreme Court, the Surrogate's Court, and the Family Court in New York and Bronx Counties.

There are about 30 figures by 16 well known sculptors representing famous lawgivers like Confucius, Moses, and Justinian that rim the top of the facade.

Frederick Ruckstuhl's sculptures of Force and Wisdom flank the 25th Street entrance portal.

The quote inscrobed on "Force" says: " We must not use FORCE till just laws are defied."

The quote inscribed on "Wisdom" says: Every law not based on WISDOM is a menace to the state."
In 1990, Harriet Fiegenbaum's Memorial to All Victims of the Holocaust was added to the annex. The memorial is a double column of Carrara marble 38 feet high, representing a "crematorium smokestack", carved with flames and the site plan of Auschwitz, modelled from a WWII reconnaissance photo. The inscription reads: "Indifference to Injustice is the Gate to Hell." Click on te photos to enlarge it to see all the detail.

Karl Bitter's sculpture of "Peace" surmounts the Madison Avenue cornice. Some photos of the equally beautiful interior can be seen here.

The Museum of Sex located at 233 Fifth Ave, opened on October 5, 2002 as an institution unlike any other, one wholly dedicated to the exploration of the history, evolution and cultural significance of human sexuality. The Museum is created of a board of advisers comprised of leading experts, activists, academics and artists. The Museum’s advisory board has guided curators and guest curators towards research resources, pertinent collections and exhibition relevant artists. You must be over the age of 18 to enter this museum!

One of the most interesting things to do when visiting New York City is to remember to look up, as some of the most beautiful architecture is vertical!

Here is the Empire State Building touching the clouds.
The golden pyramid top of The New York Life Insurance Company which was built in 1928 by Cass Gilbert, designer of the landmark Woolworth Building, and is a massive 40-story structure.

Below are two views of top of The Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, built by Napoleon LeBrun & Sons' in 1909. The office tower is based on the campanile (clock and bell tower) at St. Mark's Church in Venice. Graced with an enormous clock on each of its four sides, the 700-foot structure was the tallest in the city until the completion of the Woolworth Building. ( see my posts about Lower Manhattan to read more about the Woolworth Building)

Some beautiful older residential buildings surrounding Madison Square Park.

Another view of The Metropolitan Insurance Company tower, with a clock face visible.

As I walk across Park Ave South in the photo below I enter the Gramercy or Gramercy Park neighborhood of Manhattan, where the I Trulli restaurant is located.

I still had a few more minutes before our dinner reservation, so I walked over to the famous 69th Regiment Armory building which occupies much of the block bounded by 25th and 26th Streets and Lexington and Park Avenues.

Designed by noted architects Hunt & Hunt in 1904-06 the Sixty-Ninth is a highly special­ized structure built to serve as training and marshaling center for the National Guard. The armory is notable as the home of the Fighting 69th New York City's only official Irish Regiment

On May 6, 1996, the 69th Regiment Armory was entered into listing as a National Historical Landmark.
The major battles of the American Civil War are engraved on either side of the facades which of course caught my eye as I am a Green-Wood Cemetery Civil War Veteran research volunteer in Brooklyn, NY.
The 69th, formed in 1851 by Irish immigrants, is one of the most storied combat units in American military history. It fought in the Civil War, the Spanish-American War, World War I and World War II. To read more about the fascinating history of "The Fighting 69th" Regiment go here.
My next blog post will be about the very beautiful Madison Square Park. I hope you'll join me!


Beverly said...

Good morning, dear Pat. You have given me such a wonderful start to a new day.

I don't know how to tell you how much I enjoy your posts. I love it when you take me around your city. Even though I have never been to NYC, I feel like it is a city that belongs to all of us. You walk me around places that I read and heard about, and I love it all every step of the way.

The Memorial To All Victims Of The Holocaust gave me chills. I pray this is another thing we never forget. A chilling example of man's inhumanity to man.

Edie Marie's Attic said...

Hi Pat!
I had a lot of catching up to do on your posts! WOW! I know when I get to NYC someday the architecture will just blow me away. I love all styles of architecture but mostly the old styles. The restaurant looks so chic and what I call she-she! My DIL & I will have to chose our dining carefully to fit our budget. Have you ever done a dining on a budget post for NYC? If so let me know, I'll need to study that one!!
I am going to try your recipe. I absolutely LOVE eggplant dishes and yours sounds fabulous!
Have a great week! I will be on the road to Toledo to take my brother for another medical test and will be gone for a few days. So will visit everyone when I get back!
Hugs to you Grandma Pat, Grandma Sherry

Picket said...

Morning girl....your photos and history lessons never fail to amaze me...and that is the 'skinniest building I have ever seen! lol I never realized there was so many beautiful buildings in New York with so much history to always make me feel alittle 'smarter' when I leave your post! lol have a beautiful Sunday my friend!

Mel said...

Good Morning Pat,

What a great pic of the Flat Iron. Dennis is directing a production of "The Violet Hour" next semester. It's setting is this building, so I have all sorts of pics of it floating around my house right now. Last summer was the first time we had ventured to this area of the island and it is just so full of history. Can't wait 'til tomorrow - we love the park and "The Shake Shack" YUUUUMMMMY!

Vee ~ A Haven for Vee said...

Great song for today!

Of all the buildings that come to mind when thinking of NYC, I think that the Flatiron building has got to be second right behind the Empire State Building.

Thanks again for another wonderful trou of your town!

Cori G. said...

HI Pat,
I love the triangular building. At the turn of the century wasn't that the beginning of the millener's (?) District. I thought I had read that somewhere, but I could be very wrong :). N.Y. has so many beautiful buildings.
I hope you have a wonderful Sunday. Oh! I joined Pink Saturday and told Beverly "you sent me." Thanks.

Strider said...

The Flatiron Building is really neat. Love the shape! It seems that a lot more thought and art was put into the older buildings verses what is constructed today. Nice post.

steviewren said...

Very interesting as usual. I had no idea there is a Museum of Sex.

Just curious, How many blocks did you have to walk to see all of these sights?

Anonymous said...

Wonderful shots and history!


Donna said...

Thanks for the wonderful tour around NYC and all of the great info! I love the buildings and the architecture. Just gorgeous.

I've got some more catching up to do. Have a great day!


Pat said...

Beverly- thanks so much! I love doing this as I'm learning a lot about NYC myself by researching what I see or do each time I go into Manhattan or enjoy some aspect of city life. I think it's easy to take it for granted because we always feel it will "be there" but 9/11 taught me the lesson that isn't true! The Holocaust memorial was chilling! I'm sure many walk by and never notice it though.

Edie Marie- thanks Sherry! I know summer has me visiting less blogs than I'd like to! have a good trip to Toledo and I hope the test goes well for your brother!

Picket - New York is such an old and varied city, and it amazes me all the time too! I'm learning a lot about it too!

Mel -- I have to find out more about "The Violet Hour." If only buildings could talk! I'm sure many old NYC buildings would have fascinating tales to tell! Did you know the old term "23 skidoo" came from men trying to watch the ladies skirts blow up from the wind pattern around the Flatiron building? The police would yell at them to "23 skidoo" as the building is on 23rd St and skiddo was slang for scram!

Vee --thanks! They are both icons, especially after the towers are now gone :(

Cori-- it could be but I didn't read that anywhere. The garment district is about ten blocks away. Glad you joined Beverly's Pink Saturdays as I know how much you love that color and I knew you'd find it fun!

Strider -- so true! I love Beaux-Arts buildings and modern "all glass" ones just don't have the same allure. I guess it would be too expensive these days t put all that workmanship into a building as they use to in the past.

Stevie -- I did not have to walk very far! The Flatiron building, the courthouse, the museum, the armory, the insurance buildings, the park, the restaurant -- they are all within a mile, at the most!

Paz -- glad you like it!

Judi A. said...

I am a big city girl at heart, and a part of me wishes I had grown up in NYC like you. Of course, then I would be a different person than I am now, but... I would love to walk around NYC with you as my guide for as long as it would take to see it all (probably forever!), but since that isn't possible, your blog tours are the next best thing. You make it all come alive, and provide so much more info than I would ever find on my own, or get with another tour guide. Thank you for sharing with us! I do hope to return for another visit to your city some day, and all I've learned from you will definitely come with me. Our local paper had an article yesterday about an exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art in NYC "Home Delivery: Fabricating the Modern Dwelling" through October 26. It really sounds interesting and fascinating, especially the "Cellophane House." I wondered if you had heard of it. We lived near Detroit, MI, for several years, and I miss the many opportunities for dining, entertainment, learning, the Arts, etc. that are available in a large city. There are some beautiful old buildings and churches there, as well, and I loved wandering around inside and outside of them. For now I will just have to be contedt to wander with you. Thanks, again, for thinking of and taking the time to share with us!

Diane@A Picture is Worth.... said...

Hi Pat,
Thanks for another great tour of the big apple!

The Flatiron building is so skinny....wonder how it hold itself up!

And I have never heard of the Museum of would think that this day and time it would be more widely known!

Your photos, comments, and tour are great!
Thanks so much,

Joanne Kennedy said...

First of all, never doubt that I will be back! I love your blog and look forward to my daily mini vacations to New York.

Boy you sure did capture how beautiful so many of the buildings are in New York. Why don't they make them like that anymore?

So tell us, did you ever go inside the Museum of Sex? Leave it to New York to have a museum on even sex. LOL

I think it is so cool that you can just wander down to the city and enjoy all these great places. You live my dream life you know.


Cynthia said...

Though I get to the US at least twice a year, NY is never on my list... but reading your posts have convinced me that I need to make a special trip there.

Cori G. said...

HI Pat,
I stopped by Dana's blog yesterday and was in total stitches. I couldn't believe what a creative idea she had and that all her friends went along with it. I bet she's the life of the party. Have you heard from Tara? She's been missing all week. I hope everything is OK and that she's just on vacation.
Have a great evening.
:) Cori

david mcmahon said...

Fascinating - I'd never heard of the Flatiron.

Mrs. B said...

Hi Pat! What a great post! I love all the architecture you've shown. And I love the quotes from those statues and the Holocaust memorial. They're very moving!

Dee Dee said... are an amazing tour guide...I'm just thrilled to see all of these beautiful buildings in New York...we usually only see the tops of them..and the bits of historical information ...I love it!I am pleased that all the monuments and historical writings remain in place and the ACLU hasn't succeeded in destroying them...back in l900 they new how to use architectural is so beautiful to see. Thank you for such a wonderful post...

Penny @ Lavender Hill Studio said...

Hi Pat,
What stunning architecture! When ever I come to your blog, I want to jump on a place and head to NYC and go on a tour with you!

Ted Roth said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog and tipping me off to your wonderful tours. I've taken my first through streets I know well, and you've shown me much I've missed. I'll be back for more, for certain.

Latin Lupe Lu said...

Hotel 17 in Gramercy is the place I usually stay when I am in NYC. It is affordable and clean and within walking distance of everywhere.

Thanks for all your great info when I am in the area again.

Barb said...

Hi Pat,

What lovely photo's. I always enjoy your tours and learn so much. In my "past life" with Clinique, I spent a lot of time in the city but really didn't get to see much. You have helped to fill in the blanks.

Thank you for your kind words. The kids are on their way back to Az from ND. They started driving back yesterday and hope to be home on Tuesday. The girls have moments of tears but then they move on to smiles for a while.

I am slowly catching up but will visit later this week.

many hugs,

Junie Moon said...


I just left a comment on the Domesticali blog about your NY posts as she's visiting your city soon. I suggested she visit your blog and read all your stories--better than any travel magazine or guide on the market.

Laura @ the shorehouse. said...

OK, I'm a born and raised NYer and I'm learning all sorts of things! :-)

I never get tired of looking at the Flatiron building (I think it's my fave) and although I walk through Grand Central nearly every day (the office building I work in is attached) I just never tire of looking up at the amazing ceiling and the light streaming through the windows. In fact, your posts remind me of the PBS special on Grand Central...which also taught me tons that I didn't know!

Keep them coming! :-)

Poetikat said...

Hi Pat!

I really enjoyed this tour through parts of New York city.
We have a Flat-iron building in Toronto, Ontario, but it is not nearly as spectacular as yours.
How deep is the building, do you know? I'm curious. Do the offices inside have windows on both sides of the building? That would be a cool place to work.


Pat said...

Judi A --welcome and thanks! I'm waiting to attend a Van Gogh exhibit at MOMA this fall. There are always wonderful exhibits passing through!

Diane -- many wondered the same thing when the building was first built! The steel skeleton is the answer.

Joanne--No --I never have visited that museum although maybe someday I will!

Cynthia -- thanks and I hope you do visit NYC someday!

Cori -- I believe Tara is away on vacation this week!

David --glad to be able to show it to you!

Mrs B, Dee Dee, Penny --thanks!

Ted -- welcome and thanks!

Latin, Barb, Junie -- thanks!

Laura --welcome and thanks!

Kat -- At the rounded tip, the triangular tower is only 6.5 feet (2 meters) wide. The 22-story building, with a height of 285 ft.
I do believe the offices have windows on both side and are highly coveted rentals.

Rue said...

Hi Pat :)

I always learn so much from you! If only you would've been my history teacher in school ;)


Kathy said...

Pat, you really could be a tour guide or travel writer, I love all the architecture and learning of the history of NY. Kathy.

LOUISE said...

I cannot get over the Flatiron building. This is the first of anything like it, I have ever seen. NY is a mecca for taking great photos of very unusual sights. x

Anonymous said...

What a lovely tour Pat. That sculpture reminded me of that poem which ends "Then they came for me and there was no body left".

Having just heard about chocolate child slavery the justice and wisdom statues hit a note.

Lovely as always -must read al the others I've missed.

Sandi McBride said...

A beautiful tour of a beautiful city Pat...thanks so much for taking me back...the Flat Iron Building is my favorite of all.
David sent me, bless him

Lisa B. said...

Great architecture! "The museum of Sex"...only in NYC!! Very interesting...have you ever toured it?