Category:

Architecture

From The New York Times:

A shabbily dressed man walked into an opulent restaurant. It was the 1970s, when people still made a sartorial effort for a night out in Manhattan. Alone, he took a seat in the lounge.

The restaurant’s owner, Laura Maioglio, wasn’t wearing her glasses, so her vision was blurry. She didn’t think much of the visitor. But her widowed mother, Piera Maioglio, who was with her, did. “Oh, that poor person, he doesn’t look like he can afford Barbetta,” Piera told her daughter.

Together they observed the man from their usual table in the back of the 100-seat dining room, lit by a majestic chandelier built in 1775, acquired from a palazzo in Turin, Italy.

A Barbetta menu from that era, at the New York Public Library in the Manuscripts, Archives, and Rare Book Division, lists roast rack of lamb for two for $14.50. There was an additional 75-cent cover charge. Back then, it would have cost at least $20 a head for dinner with wine, plus an extra $2 to $3 for shavings of white truffle flown in from Piedmont, in Northern Italy. Dinner would easily cost about $150 for two today.

Piera, who was extremely beautiful, Laura recalled — “a cross between Marlene Dietrich and Greta Garbo” — instructed a waiter to bring the man a menu to alert him what he was in for. Once he saw the prices, she thought, he could make a face-saving excuse to leave and not have to skulk out after being seated in the dining room.

The Maioglio women had been watching over the theater district Italian restaurant, at 321 West 46th Street, since 1962. That was the year Piera’s husband and Barbetta’s founder, Sebastiano Maioglio, died at the age of 82. Laura was their only child.

The man didn’t budge after glancing at the menu, contending that he was waiting for three friends.

Laura went to take a closer look. It was Mick Jagger.

“Who’s Mick Jagger?” Piera asked.

“He’s with the Rolling Stones,” Laura said.

“Who are the Rolling Stones?” asked Piera.

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Photo

The Rolling Stones and Andy Warhol were regulars at Barbetta in the ’70s. More recently, the Clintons and Lin-Manuel Miranda have stopped by. Credit Dina Litovsky for The New York Times

These days at Barbetta, most guests dress casually. On a recent evening, Rick Miramontez, the press agent for “Hello, Dolly!” and “Springsteen on Broadway,” sat tie-less in the lounge, something he would not have dared to do when he visited for the first time in 1979. “It was very dressy, very starched, a necktie place through the ’80s, no question,” he said.

Indeed, from its townhouse exterior to its brocade chairs and swag curtains, Barbetta is a throwback to the days of the fancy restaurant.

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from Lost City:

04 September 2012

Lascoff Drugs Closes After a 113 Years

I thought upper Lexington Avenue had a special force field surrounding it (i.e.—influential rich people) that allowed an inordinate number of old businesses to survive. But, alas, I was wrong. If the bluebloods couldn’t save the iconic Upper East Side pharmacy Lascoff Drugs, what can they save?
Lascoff closed last July after 113 years in business. I don’t know how I missed that. I guess lately I’ve unconsciously learned to avert my eyes when beautiful landmarks shutter. I just can’t bear the pain.
Lascoff, along with Bigelow and one or two others, was one of New York’s great, classic pharmacies. It opened in 1899, when McKinley was President, and was the first licensed pharmacy in New York State, according to the New York Times. It was a store so majestic and solemn, you felt like you were entering a church when you went in. High ceilings, high shelving, a balcony, ancient Pharmacuetical relics, and silence. No music. You could find many old and classic brands there that you couldn’t locate elsewhere. And the vertical sign on the corner building was one of the grandest in the city.
The enterprise was founded by J. Leon Lascoff. He was born in Vilna, then in Russian Poland, and came to New York in 1892. His first drug store was at Lex and 83rd. He then moved across the street and then, in 1931, moved to 82nd and Lex—Lascoff’s final location. He died in 1936. His son Frederick took over the business and ran it until his death in 1970. During Fred’s time, the store had a reputation for odd cures. It sold leeches to boxers and catnip oil to lion hunters. He once sold a mixture of phenol, valerian, asafetida and iodoform to a colleague who had complained that his own pharmacy didn’t smell enough like a drug store.
After Frederick died, the business fell out of the family. It was purchased by Phil and Susan Ragusa. I assume they were still running it when it closed.

2 comments:

upstate johnny g said…

Aaarrrgggghhhhhh!!!!!!!! Another icon, another living link to the past, another glorious example of how time travel is almost possible, is closed. My girlfriend and I popped by Lascoff one morning this past summer and even though it was a weekday, they were closed. We didn’t quite get it, because we’d been there before and business seemed healthy enough. Brooks, we have you to thank for turning us on to Lascoff’s in the first place with your great posting about that neighborhood. We would go to Lascoff’s and then pop over to the Lexington Candy Shop to have a real burger and a Coke made with actual Coke syrup and carbonated water, mixed with a spoon by the fountain guy. Your Yorkville guide opened all of this up to us. Thanks.

Do you have any idea what will become of Lascoff’s?

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From Walter Grutchfield.net:

FThe J. M. Horton Ice Cream Company
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The J. M. Horton
Ice Cream Company
In 1860 James M. Horton was listed in Trow’s New York City Directory as an agent for the Orange County Milk Association.

In the 1861 New York city directory this ad for the Orange County Milk Association listed James M. Horton as president of the company. It also says that the company was organized in 1842 and incorporated 1 May 1860.

By 1873 James M. Horton was listed at 305 Fourth Ave., 1264 Broadway and 77 Chatham St., New York City. These, apparently, were the earliest locations of the J. M. Horton Ice Cream Co.

305 Fourth Ave.and 1264 Broadway are on this Horton’s Ice Cream ad from 1877.

305 Fourth Ave. and 75 Chatham St. are also on this Horton’s Ice Cream ad from 1879. 305 Fourth Ave. remained a Horton address from 1873 through 1914.

302 Columbus Ave. first appeared in directories in 1892 and remained a Horton location through 1922.

An F.Y.I. article in the New York Times, 19 March 2000, by Daniel B. Schneider, had this to say regarding 302 Columbus Ave., “At the turn of the 19th century, when the building at 302 Columbus was erected, the Horton company was supplying over half of New York City’s ice cream, but like other small local producers it was ultimately unable to compete with larger, more mechanized operations and by 1930 was absorbed by the Pioneer Ice Cream Division of Borden. Most building construction on Columbus Avenue followed the arrival of the Ninth Avenue el in 1881, and the fancy pediments on many former factory buildings were originally intended as rooftop advertisements, to be seen by riders on the trains passing overhead but all but invisible from the sidewalk below.”

The founder of the J. M. Horton Ice Cream Company was James Madison Horton (1835-1914). His obituary in the New York Times, 27 June 1914, read, “James Madison Horton, the well-known ice cream manufacturer, died yesterday at his home, 112 West 126th Street, at the age of 79. Mr. Horton was born on a farm near Middletown, N. Y., and in 1853 came to this city with his brother to engage in the milk business. From 1858 to 1869 he was President of the Orange County Milk Association and in 1870 first started in the ice cream business. He bought out a small business and reorganized it under the name of J. M. Horton & Co. In 1873 the firm was again reorganized, this time becoming the J. M. Horton Ice Cream Company, with a nominal capital of $40,000, and Mr. Horton became its President and chief stockholder. From this later start the business grew until today there are six stores and distributing centres in this city and several in Brooklyn. Mr. Horton was largely interested in real estate. In 1912 he transferred eleven pieces of property to his children, James M.…

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Wednesday, December 20, 2017, 6:30 p.m.

Program Locations:

Fully accessible to wheelchairs
Program is free, but advance registration is recommended. Priority will be given to those who have registered in advance.
REGISTER

The oldest building in New York City, the hobbit doors of Dennet Place, a hidden museum in a Williamsburg apartment—Brooklyn is filled with secrets.

Secret Brooklyn book coverAway from the crowds and standard attractions, Brooklyn offers countless offbeat experiences. Michelle Young and Augustin Pasquet, founders of the online magazine Untapped Cities, join us for a conversation their book Secret Brooklyn: An Usual Guide.

After presenting an overview of the borough’s hidden treasures, the authors will discuss their popular website and the power of urban discovery. A Q&A follows.

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A mural depicting New York City in the 1800s may soon be lost to time. The 1954 canvas painting by Julien Binford, entitled “A Memory of 14th Street and 6th Avenue,” is a 110-foot-long piece that is currently housed in the lobby of a now closed, one-story bank building, which stands at the intersection of Chelsea, the West Village and the Meatpacking District. The site is slated to become condominiums and retail space at the hand of developer Gemini Rosemont, which purchased the property for $42.4 million earlier this year. The New York Times reports that the interior has already been stripped. 

Andrew Cronson, a junior from New York University, spotted the mural back in October and contacted several local preservationist groups once he saw demolition permits posted on the building. Save Chelsea responded to the call, and now, alongside City Councilman Corey Johnson, it’s urging the developer to preserve the mural or turn it over to someone who will. While Gemini Rosemont is open to doing so, the company has not committed to the cause. In the meantime, it has been considering the options and contacting galleries to determine their interest in acquiring the piece, and its actual value. So far, there have been no bites.


The lobby of the former HSBC bank building

However, real estate company, Jamestown, which owns the Chelsea Market, has shown interest in taking the mural. Google has also stated that it would like to help protect the painting, The Times reports. Because the bank building is still in the design phase, no date has been set for the demolition.

The mural, which is painted on canvas, depicts what 14th Street and 6th Avenue might have look during the late 1800s: women are depicted carrying parasols; there are horse-drawn carriages and commuters are seen running to an elevated train. Before it was gutted, the building (101 W. 14th St.), designed by Halsey, McCormack & Helmer and constructed in 1953, formerly housed a HSBC branch. Binford, however, painted the mural for what was then known as the Greenwich Savings Bank.

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If time travel were possible, someone visiting New York City during late November through December 100 years ago would find familiar scenes: these 17 photos show how those living in New York City between 1900 and 1915 shopped and stocked up for the holiday season. Despite the pervasiveness of online shopping in modern times, New Yorkers still crowd sidewalks and public places, and do their share of in-person shopping before the holidays. Special, temporary “holiday markets” have become increasingly popular, despite the great improvements made to online shopping in recent years. While those photos from the previous century seem to show that commercialism wasn’t as rampant as it is today, the late 19th century saw the trappings we now associate with Christmas start to spread to all levels of society, although with less thoroughness than in our times. There were some cultural differences, though. Apparently, Christmas postcards were big.

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From the Fraunces Tavern Museum website:

Washington’s Farewell

  • Google Calendar ICS
  • To commemorate Washington’s emotional farewell to his Officers that took place in the Long Room on December 4, 1783, a special reenactment of the farewell will occur throughout the day in the famous Long Room.

    This year we are thrilled to announce that actor Ian Kahn, who portrayed George Washington on the hit AMC series TURN,will be at the Museum to reprise his role and reenact the toast given by George Washington in Fraunces Tavern’s historic Long Room on December 4, 1783. Joining Ian to reenact the toast will be Dan Shippey, a George Washington reenactor and expert from the Breed’s Hill Institute who served as Ian’s mentor and inspiration during his time working on the show. Come and witness the toast, interact with “George,” and talk with Ian about his life-changing experience playing the General on TV.

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    Visitors will enjoy $1 admission for this exciting day of events; which will also include additional tours and activities throughout the day; such as a colonial costume photobooth, and hands-on family activities.

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From The Fraunces Tavern Museum website:

 

Presented by Robert Watson

Moored off the coast of Brooklyn until the end of the war, the derelict ship, the HMS Jersey, was a living hell for thousands of Americans either captured by the British or accused of disloyalty. Throughout the colonies, the mere mention of the ship sparked fear and loathing of British troops. Join Robert as he explores the long forgotten story of the bloodiest “battle” of the Revolution, when an old British prison ship claimed more American lives than were lost in combat during the entirety of the War and how the affair would help rally the cause and win the War.

Tickets for this event go on sale October 13*All attendees must purchase a ticket for Special Lectures. There is no reserved seating for this lecture. 

Tickets can be purchased online or at the door.
For tickets purchased online, you will receive a confirmation email from Fraunces Tavern Museum with further event details within 24 business hours.

Purchase Tickets:

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The page, http://www.vintag.es/2015/11/rarely-seen-autochrome-photos-of-new.html , claims to display

Rarely Seen Autochrome Photos of New York in the Early 20th Century .

The images themselves span 18 years, from the earliest one dated with the year 1900, to the last, a photo of buildings with banners and signs exhorting the public to buy war bonds, with the date given as 1918. Not all of them are from New York City, several are attributed to places in Upstate New York. Though they are lovely to look at, and a few provide a glimpse of what everyday life for everyday people looked like in the thick of NYC, some people who have written into the comments section have revealed that the provenance of the images is not in all cases what the site represented them to be: some are not genuine Autochrome images at all, but colorized photos or lantern slides, and the one of two men playing chess was reportedly taken in Germany, not New York. Here are the comments, correcting some of the attributions of the images:

Some of these are not original autochromes but colorised black and white photos, e.g. the couple in Saratoga Springs, which is a detail from a colorisation by Sanna Dullaway: http://sannadullaway.com/0r…

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A number of critical errors. Image #1 (from the top down) is not an autochrome. Images #2 & 3 are autochromes by Charles Zoller (Rochester, NY). Image #4 is not an autochrome. Image #5 ( Foolish House) is an autochrome by Zoller. Images 6, 7, 8, & 9 are not autochromes. Image #10 (rooftops) is an autochrome in the collection of Wm. B. Becker and should be credited to him. Images 11, 12, 13, & 14 are by Zoller. All the Zoller autochromes are owned by the George Eastman Museum and should be credited to them. Image # 15 (chess players) is probably by Alfred Stieglitz or possibly by Edward Steichen and was taken in Germany. The last image (war bond rally) is an autochrome by J. D. Willis from the collection of Mark Jacobs.
Nearly all the non-autochrome images identified in this post are actually black & white lantern slides that have been digitally colored

 

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    Right! 6-7-8-9 are not color photographs at all, but Photochrom prints made from black and white negatives. You can see the originals online at the Library of Congress — the process is explained here: http://www.loc.gov/pictures…

    And if you’re interested in real Autochromes, including the rare New York rooftops image (#10 above), see the original postings online at the American Museum of Photography: http://photographymuseum.co…

 

 

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