Greenwich Village Terracotta Tour

Continuing on my stroll of the Village, as guided by Susan Tunick‘s  ‘Don’t Take it for Granite’:

376-80 Lafayette Street (6 storey warehouse)
1888-89 Henry J Hardenbergh
New York Architectural Terra Cotta Company

Made of terracotta, brick,  sandstone and cast iron and using a variety of colours and materials creates a lively sculptural surface. Including these jolly characters:

De Vinne Press Building
393-399 Lafayette Street
1885-6 Babb, Cook & Willard

This is an impressive example of C19th commercial architecture. I love its uncompromising industrial façade combined with some beautifully fine terracotta:

(The colours are distorted in the image to the right. The disc with the finely inscribed date of 1885 id a rich red clay colour, the same as the brick of the building)
I couldn’t help but include these wonderful (if slightly menacing) 6ft tall stone owls on the Merchants Building (691 Broadway). I’m spending some time drawing, I couldn’t stop on this busy junction but there are plenty of similar characterful features to spend time observing and enjoying.
716 Broadway
1890, Alfred Zucker
New York Architectural Terra Cotta Company
I was quite capured by this small buidling sandwiched between stone. The copper shone delicately.I rested against a paper stand to steady this shot and found the whole camera vibrating as a subway train rattled past beneath the street!
As Susan Tunick points out you can see where one of the blocks has been replaced as it is a slightly different colour and has a much larger mortar joint above:

Astor Place Building
746-750 Broadway
1881, Starkweather & Gibbs, Boston Terra Cotta Company

This is the oldest terracotta on this tour. It was owned by a co-founder of the New York Architectural Terra Cotta Company

808 Broadway
1887-88, Renwick, Aspinwall & Russell,
New York Architectural Terra Cotta Company

Beautiful Gothic buff terracotta detailing. Compare the sharp terracotta with the ‘melting capitals in stone’ (Tunick)

Church House (First Presbyterian Church of New York City)
12 West 12th Street
1960, Edgar Tafel, Gladding McBean & Company

This is an unusual building and stands out in the area, by Edgar Tafel, a disciple of Frank Lloyd Wright (Tunick). The green glaze works wonderfully against the chocolate brickwork. The pictures don’t do it justice but they are wonderfully chunky extrusions.

I’m clustering The Grosvenor and 37 Washington Square West together as they are similar in their use of glazed terracotta as you can see:
The Grosvenor
39 Fifth Avenue
1922 Emery Roth New York Architectural Company


This was one of the first skyscrapers to be built on Fifth Avenue and contributed to the development of the area.
37 Washington Square West
1928 Gronenberg and Leuchtag
32 Washington Square West
1925 Deutsch & Schneider

A good example of crazed glazing (above) as well as  terracotta rondels with the heads of George and Martha Washington

Judson Memorial Church and Tower
54-57 Washington Square South
1888-93 and 1895-96 McKim, Mead and White
Atlantic Terra Cotta Company
A building with interesting terracotta banding and detailing. I didn’t take a good  overall shot but got absorbed by the geometry.

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