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Terra Cotta

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Roving Rube

July 15, 2003

Department of Water Supply, Gas & Electricity, 226 West Broadway












1912-18, Augustus Shepard.
White terra-cotta cladding. Office building converted to apartments.
(Source: "Terra-Cotta Skyline", by Susan Tunick).

The Rube gathered that this building had something to do with plumbing, and thought the white glazed terra cotta appropriate -- it looks like the enamel on a bathtub or sink or something.

2-jpg: "A simple way to recognize glazed terra cotta is to look for a fine network of lines or cracks on the surface of the block. These crackle lines are caused by the differential between the cooling rates of the clay body and the glaze after firing. Excessive crackle in the glaze is known as crazing." (Terra Cotta: Don't Take It For Granite, by Susan Tunic, p. 5.)

1-jpg, 3-jpg: "Originally built as the Fire Department's High Pressure Services headquarters, the iconography on this slender building's glazed terra-cotta facade includes representations of fire hydrants, hoses, valves, couplings, and other tools of the firefighter's trade. It is crowned in its central pediment by a fine rendering of the official seal of the City of New York. (One Thousand New York Buildings, Brockmann and Harris, p. 113.)


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