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Unrelated Issues

I was walking down the street and this corner seemed worth memorializing. The tenement to the south, with the graffiti, has the ghost of the former adjacent building, which was either a rowhouse or a smaller tenement. That building has been replaced by a brick tax-payer, which is almost invisible underneath the stores’ signage.

Midtown East isn’t much of a residential area anymore, so we’ve got several generations of office tower surrounding the low-rise buildings, including the Chrysler Building. Chrysler is the one with the winged-hubcap ornament. Just to its left is the Socony-Mobil building, which was one of the first high rises in the city with an all-metal-panel facade.

I’ve spent a good amount of time here looking at Berenice Abbott’s Changing New York project from the late 1930s, but 85 years later the changes continue. I’m not going to make art of them the way Abbott did, but they’re always fodder for discussion of how buildings and cities age.