Lunchtime Gargoyle Excursion

It was a gorgeous day today, so it seemed a good opportunity to take the camera out on my lunch break and snap a few shots of the gargoyles hanging out around my office at Astor Place in Manhattan. So I wandered up and down Lafayette and Broadway between Great Jones and the south end of Union Square to see what I could find.

376-380 Lafayette Street, between Great Jones Street (3rd Street) & East 4th Street. Built in 1888-1889 by William C. Schermerhorn and better known by some simply as the Schermerhorn Building. It houses a recently opened French brassiere type place called Lafayette, but I remember it most fondly for the days when it’s basement housed the swanky dinner club Fez.

Merchants Building, 693 Broadway, adorned with surprisingly threatening giant owls. There are owls scattered throughout New York City — which some claim to be marks of a powerful secret society. Others just claim that architects liked owls.

A bit of randomness in this batch. 716 Broadway boasts some fantastic gargoyles and polished brass devil heads (as well as the Shakespeare and Co. bookstore). Unfortunately, the devils are dingy right now and almost everything is obscured by tarps and scaffolding. Still, you can catch a glimpse of the devils peeking out at you from behind the construction. Next door is a building featuring all sorts of menacing fellers staring down at you. Also nearby is the old International Tailoring Building, featuring a very determined tailor on its facade. And just for fun always be sure to stop by the entrance of 808 Broadway. Next to the year-round Halloween costume and magic shop is the door tot he building proper — which served as the investigative headquarters for the characters in Caleb Carr’s fantastic novel, The Alienist.

A few of the many adornments on the Grace Church School, 86 4th Ave.

These solemn characters stare at me from across Astor Place.

841 Broadway — truly one of the crown jewels of gargoyles in the area. I need to return with a better lens. The building is positively crawling with devils, Green Men, stern gods, nymphs, and satyrs. A fantastic display. Also known as the Roosevelt Building, named after Cornelius Roosevelt, grandfather of Teddy Roosevelt.

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