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Terra Cotta

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Roving Rube

July 20, 2003

73-75 Christopher Street












1932-33, Phelps Barnum; New York City Landmark.
New York Architectural Terra Cotta Company. Brick with glazed and lustered terra-cotta ornament. Commercial.
(Source: "Terra-Cotta Skyline", by Susan Tunick).

Looking for 73-75 Christopher St., the Rube almost walked right past this building until he glimpsed this medallion on the far end (by the tree in this picture). Then he walked back around and saw all the detailing was terra cotta (2-jpg, 3-jpg), which "chameleon-ates" itself as easily to yellow brick as it does to red or white.

Two story buildings like this are a rarity in New York, and are sometimes called "taxpayers" -- something to pay the taxes until you can build your skyscraper.

On the other hand, you do not find many skyscrapers in Greenwich Village, and this is partly because the bedrock is much deeper below the surface here than in midtown and downtown. You would have to expensively sink the foundation that much deeper to reach it.






































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