Category:

Architecture

From Bowery Boogie:

Breaking: ‘Cup & Saucer’ Ending Service on Monday After Decades on Canal Street

Posted on: July 12th, 2017 at 12:39 pm by

Say goodbye to that classic 1940s Coca-Cola sign at the corner of Eldridge and Canal Streets. Word on the block is that the fabled luncheonette, Cup & Saucer, is hanging it up. It’s closing shop after decades serving the neighborhood, thanks to a steep rent hike.

And there’s no time for you to process this information, either, as the last day of business is Monday.

Every few years, rumors surface detailing a demise that was continuously eluded. Especially after the building reportedly sold several years ago, creating much uncertainty whether the business would actually survive. Co-owner John Vasilopoulos told Metro in 2015 that he hoped the new owner would maintain the 5-year lease arrangement of the predecessor to keep afloat. Then there was the recent upstairs fire back in January, which no doubt threatened the operation. This time, however, it appears the talk is true. A tipster who frequents the establishment daily was informed by staff of the closure. Apparently, they started telling all the regular customers today.

We don’t really know what to say. The Cup & Saucer is a no-frills Lower East Side treasure that serves all strata of the community. “Giving the people of New York quality food, fast delivery, and great customer service,” as its website prominently touts. On any given morning, you find construction workers, commuters, travelers, and locals mingling at the countertop.

It’s been under the same ownership for nearly thirty years. Partners Nick Castanos (also a cook) and John Vasilopoulos took over the business in 1988, yet local lore suggests the corner kitchen dates back some 77 years. The duo also owns a diner in Ridgewood, Queens.

Our tipster surmises that the luncheonette also fell victim to the effects of failed development (i.e. the Canal Tower) and the encroaching Chinatown Bus situation that’s multiplying along Canal Street between Forsyth and Allen.


Visual Documentation of the distinguishing interior features of the now-bygone The Cup & Saucer Luncheonette (from Untapped Cities.com)

Iconic NYC Diner “The Cup & Saucer” Closing Down After Nearly 70 Years

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Officially releasing on July 15th, the book Secret Brooklyn: An Unusual Guide is written and photographed by Untapped Cities founder Michelle Young and co-founder Augustin Pasquet. To celebrate, we’ll be hosting a launch party for the book on Thursday, July 13th at the Brooklyn Superhero Supply Co., one of the 100+ amazing places in this book.

The party is produced in partnership with the website Brokelyn and will feature a presentation by Michelle and Augustin about their favorite spots and the process of making this book. Refreshments will be served and there will be opportunity to purchase books, get them autographed and meet the authors.

Entry is free, but RSVP is required:

Book Now

Can’t make the event? Purchase the book on Amazon here: http://amzn.to/2tVS4r9

Here’s a little preview of what’s inside:

Discover secret museums, go on an urban safari for wild parrots, locate a landmarked tree, enter the oldest building in New York City, watch a performance of robots in a church, stand tall next to hobbit doors on an otherwise normal residential street, learn how to breathe fire, swallow swords, hammer a nail into your skull and charm a snake, touch the oldest subway tunnel in the world and the world’s smallest Torah, forage for food in Prospect Park, taste wine atop the world’s first commercial rooftop vineyard, step inside a grocery store frozen in 1939, take in a basketball game inside a historic movie theater.

Brooklyn offers countless opportunities to step off the beaten path and is home to any number of well-hidden treasures that are revealed only to residents and travelers who are ready to explore. Secret Brooklyn An Unusual Guide is an indispensable guide for those who think they already know Brooklyn or would like to discover its hidden places, taking you far from the crowds and the usual clichés.

 Brooklyn Superhero Supply Co., Secret Brooklyn: An Unusual Guid

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This documentary travelogue of New York City was made by a team of cameramen with the Swedish company Svenska Biografteatern, who were sent around the world to make pictures of well-known places. (They also filmed at Niagara Falls and in Paris, Monte Carlo, and Venice, although New York 1911 is the only selection in the Museum’s collection.) Opening and closing with shots of the Statue of Liberty, the film also includes New York Harbor; Battery Park and the John Ericsson statue; the elevated railways at Bowery and Worth Streets; Broadway sights like Grace Church and Mark Cross; the Flatiron Building on Fifth Avenue; and Madison Avenue. Produced only three years before the outbreak of World War I, the everyday life of the city recorded here—street traffic, people going about their business—has a casual, almost pastoral quality that differs from the modernist perspective of later city-symphony films like Paul Strand and Charles Sheeler’s Manhatta (1921). Take note of the surprising and remarkably timeless expression of boredom exhibited by a young girl filmed as she was chauffeured down Fifth Avenue in the front seat of a convertible limousine.

MoMA’s restoration of New York 1911 is derived from the original nitrate print of the film.

New York 1911. 1911. Sweden. Produced by Svenska Biografteatern. Silent, with music by Ben Model. 9 min.

This presentation is part of an ongoing series that makes film and video works from MoMA’s collection available online.

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Tuesday, July 11, 2017 6:30-8:00 pm

Anthony W. Robins Book Talk

New York Art Deco
A Guide to Gotham’s Jazz Age Architecture

SUNY Press, 2017

Lively and informative, New York Art Deco leads readers step-by-step past the monuments of the 1920s and ’30s that recast New York as the world’s modern metropolis. Anthony W. Robins new walking tour guidebook traces itineraries in Manhattan and across the boroughs. Maps by John Tauranac and color plates by Art Deco photographer Randy Juster enrich the mix. Join Tony for a talk that distills his thirty years experience hunting the urban Art Deco.

A native New Yorker, Anthony W. Robins is the author of books on Grand Central Terminal, the World Trade Center, and the art and architecture of the New York subway system. A popular leader of walking tours all over the city, he specializes in Art Deco, having organized series for many organizations, including the Art Deco Society of New York and the Municipal Art Society. He is the recipient of the 2017 Guiding Spirit Award from the Guides Association of New York City.

The Skyscraper Museum offers 1.5 LUs for AIA Members for this program.

Reservations are required, and priority is given to Members and Corporate Member firms and their employees.
All guests MUST RSVP to programs@skyscraper.org to assure admittance to the event. Not a member? Become a Museum member today!

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From The New York Times:

Photo

The railroad station at Westchester Avenue was designed by Cass Gilbert and is considered endangered. Credit Left, Library of Congress; Nicole Bengiveno/The New York Times

Built in 1908 and designed by Cass Gilbert, those that have not been demolished are near collapse, like the Westchester Avenue station. It is a sublime glazed terra-cotta temple, its little tragedy now exposed on all four sides with the opening of the new Concrete Plant Park.

A dozen stations were projected in 1904, when the railroad began upgrading the Harlem River Branch from the southern Bronx up to New Rochelle. But not all were built and, in addition to Westchester Avenue, three survive today: Morris Park, Hunts Point Avenue and City Island, which is a ruined shell. (The historian Joseph Brennan has closely investigated the stations and has posted his research at columbia.edu/~brennan.)

Gilbert, newly minted as a starchitect with the 1899 commission for the United States Custom House at Bowling Green, got the job of designing the stations, and gave them widely different styles.

The Morris Park station was chunky and low, with arched windows framed by brightly colored terra-cotta bands that also ran under the eaves. Oddly shaped iron torchiers gave it something of the feel of the Secession style as practiced contemporaneously in Austria, although Gilbert was anything but adventurous.

Photo

The Morris Park station as it appeared in 1915 and today. Credit Top, Library of Congress; Nicole Bengiveno/The New York Times

That said, his Westchester Avenue and Hunts Point Avenue stations are particularly striking. At Westchester Avenue the station projects out over the tracks, and so floats on a frame of steel. At street level, high above the rails, the main tower is a little display case of glazed terra cotta, cream-colored panels set off by colored floral medallions, lozenges and crisscross bands in gold, azure and dark red.

It is hard to decipher from old photographs and present conditions, but the portion over the tracks looks as if the terra-cotta panels were framed in iron straps. These must have been painted, but are now pure rust, giving the building a strange, skeletal aspect.

The Hunts Point Avenue station, just visible from the northbound Bruckner Expressway, bridges the tracks from one side to the other, along the avenue. French Renaissance in style, it might have been the royal stable of a French king. The delicate copper roof cresting had spikes big enough to impale an ox, and below run lines of little scalloped dormers.

In 1909, The Real Estate Record and Guide noted the “marked architectural beauty” of the new stations. John A. Droege, in his 1916 book “Passenger Terminals and Trains” (McGraw-Hill) noted that “the ordinary wayside passenger station is not the proper field for the architect who wishes to rival the designer of the Paris opera house.” But he reviewed Gilbert’s stations in depth, apparently with approval.…

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From The North Shore Local-Staten Island Local:

SI Then: The Goethals Bridge

After the First World War, the U.S. was on the move.

With the new prosperity, wanderlust and mass-produced automobiles, the Goethals Bridge was built to accommodate interstate travel.

The bridge opened on June 29, 1928, the same day as the Outerbridge Crossing. Both were designed by John Alexander Low Waddell. This was the first successful bi-state development project by the then-new Port Authority. It sported two 10-foot-wide lanes in each direction.

The new bridge was named after Major General George W. Goethals. Construction supervisor of the Panama Canal and the first consulting engineer of the NY/NJ Port Authority, he died just three months before the bridge’s opening, which also would have been his 70th birthday.

The same month saw the establishment of the Port Authority Police. Its 40 original officers, known as Bridgemen, were deployed to patrol and protect both the Outerbridge and the Goethals bridges.

The Goethals did not recoup its original construction costs until 1964, when the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge was completed.

This year, 3,566,101 EZpass equipped vehicles crossed over it between January and March.

It was finally closed this month when the first of two new parallel bridges opened to replace it. The second will open in 2018. Built higher and wider, they will accommodate more traffic and larger ships passing under them.

Until it is finally dismantled, the original Goethals is truly now only a bridge to the past.


As of July 4th, 2017, the original Goethals Bridge is closed for good, and the first of the new parallel bridges has been officially opened. What name, if any, will be given to them, remains to be seen.

_____________

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New York City in the 1970s was perceived as a place of danger, decay, and paranoia, where people “didn’t get involved” — especially following high-profile crimes like the 1964 murder of Kitty Genovese. Read more about the legacy of the Genovese murder here.

Reviews

“Offers several dozen movies about New York that were made in the ’70s and consistently showed a city with a fading pulse. One way or another, they depict a city spinning toward a hell.”
– Clyde Haberman, The New York Times. Read the full article here.

“A MAMMOTH THROWBACK TO A GRITTIER ERA OF CITY LIFE!” 
– Ben Kenigsberg, The New York Times

“Celebrates New York at its 1970s scuzziest.” 
– J. Hoberman, The New York Review of Books

One of the most fertile periods of filmmaking in cinematic history comes back to life!”
– Robert Levin, AM New York. Read the full July 5 cover story here.

“[In the 70s,] urban blight crossed paths with Hollywood’s new interest in true grit, creating a perfect storm of films that showed the city at its worst, its people at their most desperate.”
– Matt Prigge, Metro

“FABULOUS! The films shot on location in NYC in the 1970s have become relics of a very different New York: accidental documentaries of what the city once was.”
– Jason Bailey, Flavorwire 

Trailer

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From Flushing Town Hall:

Taking it to the Streets: 1950s NY through the Lens of Flushing Photographer Frank Oscar Larson

June 25th, 2017 – August 6th, 2017

Taking it to the Streets: 1950s NY through the Lens of Flushing Photographer Frank Oscar Larson

tickets

Before cell phones documented nearly every aspect of daily life, street photographers captured the humble, the mundane, and the ordinary. Flushing resident Frank Larson documented New York in the 1950s. When we view Larson’s work 60 years later, we still see ourselves, even if New York has changed around us.

Opening Reception: SUN, JUNE 25, 1-3 PM Lecture: WED, JUNE 28, 6-8 PM

 

Photography Tour & Lesson: SUN, JULY 9 & 16, 2 PM (more info here)

 

Gallery Dates: SUN, JUNE 25 – SUN, AUG 6

 

Gallery Hours: SAT & SUN, 12-5 PM

 

 

$5 Suggested Donation/FREE for Members & Students 

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New York Now Scavenger Hunt
Saturday, June 17, 2017
Check-in: 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Hunt: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Closing Reception: 5:30 – 7:30 PM

Open House New York challenges you to show how much you know about New York’s recent past!

A lot has changed in New York City since the first Open House New York Weekend took place on October 11 and 12, 2003. From the High Line and Hudson Yards to Citibike and the Second Avenue Subway, the city and our experience of it has changed dramatically over the past fifteen years. 40,000 new buildings were built, 450 miles of new bike lanes were laid, and more than a third of New York’s neighborhoods were rezoned.

Through it all, Open House New York was there, opening doors and giving New Yorkers access to the changing city. Now Open House New York invites you to test your knowledge about this vibrant and volatile period in New York’s history! To celebrate the 15th anniversary of OHNY Weekend, Open House New York has organized a citywide scavenger hunt of recent architecture, planning, and development. Travel the five boroughs while answering clues that send you to New York’s most breathtaking new buildings. Relive some of the city’s most heated preservation battles and uncover the policies and politics that shaped contemporary New York. Join us in celebrating a city that remains the greatest metropolis in the world!

To learn more about how the hunt works, click here.

Closing Reception Hosted by

Registration
$35 per person. Advance registration is required, and early registration is encouraged as the number of participating teams is limited.

REGISTER TODAY

 

 

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I saw this story posted on facebook, with a number of cynical comments gathering underneath about how it wouldn’t be long before the fire would be used as a rationale to demolish the building, and put an unaffordable condo complex in its place.

Bowery Boogie reports the following concerning the situation:

“The Lower East Side is covered in smoke right now. Several readers are telling us that the historic synagogue on Norfolk Street – Beth Hamedrash Hagadol – is currently up in flames. The FDNY labeled it a 3-alarm fire. One eyewitness riding his bike along Delancey told us that he heard a “big explosion” followed quickly by the plume. We have yet to confirm this detail.

A smaller fire reportedly broke out in the building on May 7, but was extinguished.

UPDATE: the 3-alarm fire is under control as of 7:50pm. Thankfully, there were no injuries reported in the incident.

More as it develops. Drop us a line if you know what’s happening.”

The fears of it being destroyed are not groundless: Bowery Boogie had previously reported:

“Beth Hamedrash Hagadol congregation in 1885 for $45,000 (about $1.2 million today). The New York City Landmarks Commission found that “Beth Hamedrash Hagadol Synagogue has a special character, special historical and aesthetic interest, and value as part of the development, heritage and cultural characteristics of New York City.”

This historic, religious edifice has been making headlines for some time now, mostly with regard to its preservation. The upkeep became too expensive for congregants. Moreover, even though it’s been protected since 1967, Rabbi Mendel Greenbaum had, at one point, petitioned the LPC to de-landmark the structure so that condominiums could be built instead. As a trade, a small synagogue would be built on the ground floor for the floundering congregation.”

If the worst happens, these photos below might be the only way people have to see this beautiful house of worship.

From Bowery Boogie:

Inside the Decaying Beth Hamedrash Hagadol Synagogue on Norfolk Street [PHOTOS]

Posted on: February 20th, 2014 at 11:06 am by

Sanctuary of Beth Hamedrash Hagadol in ruins, Photo: Landmarks Conservancy

Sanctuary of Beth Hamedrash Hagadol in ruins, Photo: Landmarks Conservancy

“SAVE the FIRST Eastern European [Russian] Synagogue in the Americas,” reads the inactive Facebook page dedicated to Beth Hamedrash Hagadol.

The historic Gothic Revival synagogue was built in 1850 as a Baptist church and purchased by the Beth Hamedrash Hagadol congregation in 1885 for $45,000 (about $1.2 million today). The New York City Landmarks Commission found that “Beth Hamedrash Hagadol Synagogue has a special character, special historical and aesthetic interest, and value as part of the development, heritage and cultural characteristics of New York City.”

This historic, religious edifice has been making headlines for some time now, mostly with regard to its preservation. The upkeep became too expensive for congregants. Moreover, even though it’s been protected since 1967, Rabbi Mendel Greenbaum had, at one point, petitioned the LPC to de-landmark the structure so that condominiums could be built instead. As a trade, a small synagogue would be built on the ground floor for the floundering congregation.

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