THIS TOUR STARTS AT E. 19th ST. & IRVING PL.
81 Irving Place
If I had the money, I would live at 81 Irving Place just on principle.
Whoever designed this building was my kind of person. A monster kind of person.
the imps of 81 Irving Place are available, I'm sure, in
the gargoyle section of your local lawn & garden store. It's easy to see
why they're so popular. These smirking little devils wrap around the corner
of the building, hunching along at eye level like a gang of New York street
urchins watching and waiting for mischief to happen their way.
Look up now. This place is just encrusted with medallions
and spouts and balcony supports- all covered with monsters.
Come around the
corner onto 19th Street and walk along the length of the building to the
alleyway between 81 Irving and 119 E. 19th. The gargoyles on the rest of the
building are clearly reminiscent of classic European building guardians, but
the figures carved over this alleyway are something else entirely. If anybody
out there knows what the story is behind these hobo/ creepy carny guys,
please let me know.
119 East 19th Street
showy as its neighbor, 81 Irving, this little building tucked away
on a shady Gramercy area side street is home to a pair of winged gargoyles
and a row of expressively carved heads. I am partial to the older
gentleman in the center (not pictured).
34 Gramercy Park East
(not pictured) This beautiful Victorian brownstone is gloomy Gotham gothic at its best.
One glance from across the street and I just knew some kind of creatures had
to be calling this place home. And indeed, there are bands of lovely carved
heads and cherubs set in a sort of mixed floral relief. Unfortunately, they
are set several stories up and it takes a bit of neck craning to do them
justice. If no one is around and you are feeling bold, go on up the steps and
peek into the lobby. Great mosaic tile work on the floors. They don't make
buildings like this anymore.
36 Gramercy Park East
This building, with it's churchy white stone and extensive carving, is a
real standout even in Gramercy Park.
find this one a bit overdone
(maybe it's the pair of silver knights in front of the entrance), cherub
lovers will be pleased with the dozens of chubby putti scaling up and
down the building front. 36 Gramercy Park East is also the nesting place of
a few winged waterspouts up at the top.
Neighborhood Notes: Monster hunting can be thirsty work. They
have a nice honey porter on tap at Pete's Tavern on Irving, and there
are plenty of chic and trendy restaurants along the avenues. Gramercy
is a nice neighborhood to stroll through. I'd give you my impressions
of the park itself, but I've never been inside. It's the only remaining
key park in New York. Oh well! Try another of the Monster