On the City Pattern Project: Washington Heights Lobbies Will Blow Your Mind On or Off Drugs
In which The Gay Recluse is blown away by grand, tessellated spaces.
On Friday we went apartment hunting with a friend of ours who wants to move uptown. We didn’t have much time — we were with a realtor — but managed to snap a few shots of these foyers. (We’ll try to get some more in the coming weeks.)
All of this work was done between 1910 and 1930. Incredibly, this was before they had computers!
Washington Heights is filled with these buildings.
None of them are landmarked.
Of all the Manhattan venues available to the gay recluse, Washington Heights is undoubtedly the preferred. Here we live among extremes of material decadence and breathtaking neglect, apparent in the crumbling cornices of Ft. Washington Avenue and eroding limestone facades of St. Nicholas, not to mention the tiled mosaics in the entrance foyers of the apartment palaces of upper Broadway — grand, tessellated spaces reminiscent of The Alhumbra — through which uncountable millions of apathetic feet have passed in the decades since their painstaking construction. Only here among the ruins can we permit ourselves the indulgence of a certain wistful nostalgia for the past, knowing it is one that we can never hope to live.
The Gay Recluse, September 2007
Filed under: Architecture, City Pattern Project, The Gay Recluse, Washington Heights | 4 Comments
Tags: apartment palaces, Foyers, Landmarks, Mosaics