Where is this stupendous architecture when you need it?
Sorry folks, they do not build them like this any more. These imposing structures with all the look and atmosphere of a superhero's (or a supervillain's) headquarters now exist in a time warp, dwarfed by lifeless and faceless obelisks of financial and corporate might, only infrequently noticed by the busy and harried populace below.
I am talking about the 1920s and 1930s imperial style in architecture, loosely classified as Art Deco (although Art Deco is a much wider definition). The gothic and Gotham-styled edifices that were built in Manhattan and Chicago in the heady days before and during Depression are incredibly attractive to our eye, asking to be featured on DRB as often as possible. Well, here is the first installment, with many more (we hope) to come.
First, it sports some truly beautiful ornamental sculptures (including brass dragons!) and second - well, just wait till you see it in the light of a full Moon... it will seem as imposing as Harry Potter's castle, if you squint just right and forget about dozens of bulkier buildings around it).
Trinity Building and Trinity Church are shown together in this postcard (left image); on the right is the photograph from 1914, where Trinity skyscraper is already fully constructed and the work continues on even taller buildings behind it:
"During the September 11, 2001 attacks, as the 1st Tower collapsed, people took refuge from the massive debris cloud inside the church. Falling wreckage from the collapsing tower knocked over a giant sycamore tree that had stood for nearly a century in the churchyard of St. Paul's Chapel, which is part of Trinity Church's parish and is located several blocks north of Trinity Church. Sculptor Steve Tobin used its roots as the base for a bronze sculpture that stands next to the church today."
This is how this area looked on September 11, 2001:
"The Trinity is headed, at the Broadway/Thames angle, by a cupola, while the U.S. Realty is topped by crenellated frontons." It is also worth mention that Trinity Building was constructed on the very place of the first office building in New York.
More interesting gargoyles and also a mystery of a "masked lady" sculpted face on Trinity Building's facade can be seen on Scouting New York: highly recommended site for all interested in discovering hidden NY gems.
These were probably the first twin towers in New York
Trinity Building lives up to its gothic character. It even has a twin tower - the humbly named US Realty Building. But do not be deceived by its ho-hum name: this skyscraper is just as rich in ornaments and Art Deco detail as the Trinity Building. This is great: all the more real estate to explore for those who appreciate art deco and imperial architecture!
Can you imagine trying to look out of the office windows in the towers facing each other? You would stare right into the other guy's sandwich. Not to mention that it will be permanently dark (these towers were built before the famous "stepped-back" skyscraper shapes became the norm, and so this is perhaps one of the few true sunless canyons left in gothic New York).
Incredible building. Together with the Trinity Church, this pair of architectural masterpieces presents the true testimony to the spirit of sophisticated and dynamic place that is New York - with the additional blessing of the Holy Trinity right in the New York's busiest heart.
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