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Terra Cotta

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Roving Rube

July 17, 2003

Stuyvesant Polyclinic, 137 Second Avenue












1883-84, William Schickel; New York City Landmark.
Brick with terra-cotta ornament. Clinic.
(Source: "Terra-Cotta Skyline", by Susan Tunick).

Next door to yesterday's subject (in context), this building was also donated by Anna and Oswald Ottendorfer, and continues in its original usage of a medical clinic (though in this case we hope the interior has changed somewhat since 1884!)

The flower and foliage in 2-jpg appear to have been enhanced by "undercutting", which is described in Susan Tunick's Terra Cotta: Don't Take It For Granite:

The strong shadows, resulting from the undercut leaves, give the decoration a dramatic sense of three dimensionality. This ... was executed by hand after each block was removed from the mold. This technique was necessary since such deeply carved designs would not release properly from a mold and cracking would have resulted. [p. 12, in reference to the Bayard-Condict Building]


































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