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Terra Cotta

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Roving Rube

July 23, 2003

Decker Building, 33 Union Square West

1893, Alfred Zucker; New York City Landmark.
Brick with textured terra-cotta ornament. Office building.
(Source: "Terra-Cotta Skyline", by Susan Tunick).

Here is another fantastic building (in context) the Rube never would have noticed had he not been working off the little list of notables from the back of "Terra-Cotta Skyline". Look at what I did with my terra cotta, it seems to be saying.

Certainly if the Rube lived in this penthouse apartment, he would be real tempted to set up his lawn chair sideways on that ledge so that he could sit back and admire both the wonderful facade, and the expanse of Union Square below him. Of course first he would jump up and down on it a couple of times to make sure it would bear the weight.

An important example of the Moorish style, with Venetian touches (such as palazzo style balconies [detail]), the building is profusely embellished with terra-cotta details that enliven and add variety to the facade. Naturalistic plant motifs ornament its enframements [2-jpg, 3jpg]... contributing to the overall impression of animation and movement...The building was an exterior complement to the Moorish look Louis Comfort Tiffany had employed in his interior designs of many nearby Fifth Avenue town houses. (The Landmarks of New York II, by Barbaralee Diamonstein)

All content �2003 on behalf of its creators.

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