A City Moment

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First Day Walking New York City cricketdiane - Pigeon in NYC awaiting the walk across signalOne of New York’s law-abiding citizens – a pigeon awaits the walk across signal at the intersection. Ms. K’s favorite picture.

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Exercises in fun in New York City – hmmm – anytime of year

Something nifty that I found when on walkabout in New York City –

Not a winter thing, but this notice that I found taped to a building at Pier 84 describes three wonderful opportunities for residents and tourists alike including build a boat workshops, rowing the rivers around New York City and learning to row. Very nifty.

cricketdiane10 - 11-23-10 - NY Day One - exploring 281-2 - Apollo space capsule and USS Intrepid New York City - cricketdiane photo 2010

cricketdiane10 - 11-23-10 - NY Day One - exploring 281-2 - Apollo space capsule and USS Intrepid New York City - cricketdiane photo 2010

That is very, very nifty also – this is one of the Apollo or Gemini capsules which went with the rockets that took our astronauts to orbit the earth and then, the moon. It is hanging on the side of the Intrepid and can be seen from the pier park on the left hand side of the ship from the Museum entrance.

The same area is where the little boathouse can be found where there are rowing opportunities in the Spring, Summer and maybe also in the Fall for residents and visitors to New York. The sign on the window says there is no cost for participating in the rowing groups. They also have a boat building thing going on in the building which sounds just too nifty to pass up. When would any of us get to help build a boat or have that experience in this day and age?

Wow.

– cricketdiane

In this Google book –

Intrepid: The Epic Story of America’s Most Legendary Warship

By Robert Gandt, Bill White, John McCain

“On the morning of March 23, 1965, the eyes of the world were again on Cape Canaveral, watching the launch of Gemini 3. And in the Caribbean, some 10,185 personnel, 126 aircraft, and 27 ships were waiting to recover the spaceship and its crew. The principle recovery ship, was again, USS Intrepid.”

from –

Intrepid:  The Epic Story of America’s Most Legendary Warship, (2009)

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Also, here is the page for the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum –

It says that February 19 – 17 is Kids’ Week – I think they include big kids in that too – like me . . .

http://www.intrepidmuseum.org/

Countdown to Intrepid Kids Week 2011!
(Monday – Jan. 24, 2011)
Only 25 days until Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum kicks off its annual celebration of all things kids! Kids Week offers nine days of thematic programing and coincides with the New York City Public Schools’ February Break, this year Saturday,. … more>

Did you know that you can volunteer at the Intrepid Museum – hmmmm…… wouldn’t that be the most fun!

The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum is one of America’s leading historic, cultural and educational institutions. Our mission is to Honor Our Heroes, Educate the Public and Inspire Our Youth. As an educational and cultural not-for-profit, the Museum is dedicated to promoting the awareness and understanding of history, science and services through its collection, exhibitions and programming.

Volunteers are integral part of the Museum. Our volunteer staff works either with the public or behind the scenes. Volunteering is a labor of love: time is most valuable.

The volunteer program offers many educational opportunities such as museum services training, docent training, a monthly educated volunteer lecture series, and customer service training. As a volunteer with Intrepid you will receive discounts/reciprocity at other museums, uniform, and unending free admission to the museum for you and a guest.

http://www.intrepidmuseum.org/Support-the-Intrepid/Volunteer-Opportunities.aspx

Volunteer Application If you would like more information on the Intrepid Volunteer Program, Contact our Volunteer Hotline at 646-381-5058 or e-mail volunteers@intrepidmuseum.org

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cricketdiane10 - 11-23-10 - NY Day One - exploring 277_cr2 - Welcome to Row for Free at Pier 84 New York City next to Intrepid - cricketdiane NYC photo 2010

cricketdiane10 - 11-23-10 - NY Day One - exploring 277_cr2 - Welcome to Row for Free at Pier 84 New York City next to Intrepid - cricketdiane NYC photo 2010

Floating Apple.org

Floating the Apple

Free to the Public, Floating the Apple offers traditional, wooden boat building year round and maintains a small fleet for 5 crew, sweep rowing for all ages, seasonally. Boats are launched from its boathouse dock into the cove flanked by the awesome Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum.

http://www.waterfrontalliance.org/partners/floating-apple

There is a mission statement which states, in part –

To restore universal access onto the public waterways and to introducing the public, especially young people, to the joys of rowing and sailing on the urban waters.

To bring people back onto the rivers and bays of NYC and to putting them in daily touch with the wonder, commerce and heritage of the city’s natural harbor, its greatest outdoor space.

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cricketdiane10 - 11-23-10 - NY Day One - exploring 276_cr2

cricketdiane10 - 11-23-10 - NY Day One - exploring 276_cr2

More information from the Waterfront Alliance website – also has some phone number to call for more information –

Since it’s founding in 1992, Floating the Apple has built rowing gigs to be distributed to boat houses throughout the metropolitan area. We have collaborated and held events with boat rowing facilities on piers along the Hudson River, the Bronx and Connecticut.

Rowing our 26’ Whitehall Rowing Gigs at Pier 84 Community Boathouse is open to all and always free of charge. We schedule rows up the river routinely, by appointment. Visit us during rowing hours or contact us below.

Summer Schedule: Thursday – Sunday, 3:00PM to Sunset
Location: Pier 84 43 Street & 12th Avenue

Website:

http://www.floatingtheapple.org/

(from)

http://www.waterfrontalliance.org/partners/floating-apple

Sounds wonderful and so much fun. I think I would enjoy that a lot . . . not sure about rowing around on rivers, though. That is not like a video game where the action can be put on pause . .  .

-cricketdiane

**

Here is something I found that talks about the boat building at Pier 84 in New York along with the boat races which can be seen from there or participants can take a part in –

http://www.buildingboats.org/wp/

Three boats raced per heat and the final races based on best times of the three categories of teams. We have Coast Guard approval which has been sent to Coach Kennedy. We start at 9AM and have permission to race until 5PM. There is no fee and breakfast and lunch are served. Your team should arrive at 9am. We permit three teams maximum per group. High School student age crews are invited to race all boys, all girls and mixed ( two boys, two girls and coxswain (boy or girl) teams. You may bring one, two or three crews ( . . . )

Wowsa –

I also saw this building up the street from there and it is one of several with the naval insignia on it – at one time there were world famous schools of marine and seamanship things right there in New York City in some of these areas – I’m wondering if it is one of them –

cricketdiane10 - 11-23-10 - NY Day One - exploring 320-2 - near Piers 88, 83 and 84 - this building has naval insignia on brass cartouches made onto the exterior - cricketdiane NY photo 2010

cricketdiane10 - 11-23-10 - NY Day One - exploring 320-2 - near Piers 88, 83 and 84 - this building has naval insignia on brass cartouches made onto the exterior - cricketdiane NY photo 2010

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SUNY Maritime College is a maritime college located in the Bronx, New York City in historic Fort Schuyler on the Throggs Neck peninsula where the East River meets Long Island Sound. Founded in 1874, the SUNY Maritime College was the first college of its kind (federally approved, offering commercial nautical instruction) to be founded in the United States.

(nope not this one.)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/State_University_of_New_York_Maritime_College

SUNY Maritime College is a maritime college located in the Bronx, New York City - first of its kind in the United States

SUNY Maritime College is a maritime college located in the Bronx, New York City - first of its kind in the United States - from wikipedia

The school offers Bachelor of Engineering degrees in electrical, facilities, marine, and mechanical engineering; marine electrical and electronic systems; and naval architecture. It offers the Bachelor of Science degree in business administration/marine transportation, general business and commerce (with a humanities concentration), general engineering, international transportation and trade, marine environmental science (with a meteorology or oceanography concentration), and marine operations. All bachelor’s degree programs may be combined with preparation for the professional license as a United States Merchant Marine Officer. The College also offers a master’s degree in International Transportation Management, as well as several graduate certificate programs. The electrical engineering and naval architecture degrees are accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET).

From the History section –

The State University of New York is the oldest institution of its kind in the United States. After the Civil War there was a decline in the American maritime industry and there was a growing concern in the professionalism of its officers. In addition, there was concern over the dangers of accidents on ships, in particular aboard steam vessels. Closely tied into this was the push for a modernized navy as advocated by Stephen B. Luce and Alfred Mahon, with Luce in particular leading the charge for merchant marine professional schools. Through his efforts, an act was passed by Congress in 1873 that enabled individual states to request from the Navy retired or obsolete vessels to train seamen. The state of New York then appealed to the Navy for a training vessel. On December 14, 1874, the USS St. Mary’s arrived in New York harbor and became the home of the longest running nautical school in the United States. Originally run by the Board of Education of the City of New York, it was conducted as a grammar school that taught common school subjects (along with nautical classes) during the winter term, and then held practical cruises during the summer term. As time advanced, the school began to teach more advanced subjects such as navigation and the classification of grammar school became obsolete. During this early period, the school was typically run on an annual appropriation of $20,000 to $30,000 with the school often facing closure because its cost per pupil was much higher than in a regular public school mostly due to the overhead of maintaining a ship where students lived.

In 1907, steam vessels were clearly dominant and the St. Mary’s was obsolete. The school, therefore, acquired he gunboat Newport, a sail-steam hybrid.

With New York City refusing to pay for the school, in 1913, the state of New York took over its management and renamed it the New York State Nautical School, opening enrollment to students state-wide. Despite being under state guidance, the school was close to being closed in 1916, again for budgetary reasons, but efforts from the maritime industry and the school’s alumni kept it alive. After this time, the American merchant marine grew and subsequently a greater demand for trained American merchant marine brought growth to the school.

During this period, the school was administered by a Board of Governors in addition to the Superintendent. In 1921, the school, which had for long moved from berth to berth, found itself at Bedloe’s Island in New York Harbor. There, they were allowed to use the army facilities. Over time, conditions on the island were deemed inadequate to teach modern merchant mariners.

With the growing demand, a push was made by then superintendent James Harvey Tomb beginning in 1927 to acquire a larger ship and a land-based institution. The ship came in the form of the Procyon which was renamed the Empire State. This ship effectively doubled the size of the school.

Finally, the school, now called the New York Merchant Marine Academy, became land-based in 1934 at the Maritime College’s present Throggs Neck campus in Fort Schuyler. One of Franklin D. Roosevelt‘s last acts as governor of New York State was to sign the act turning Fort Schuyler and the Throggs Neck peninsula over to the school for use as a shore-based facility of higher education. Work restoring Fort Schuyler for the academy’s use was done at first by the Temporary Emergency Relief Administration (TERA) in 1934. In 1935, the Academy received a grant from the Works Progress Administration, who restored the fort and allowed the academy to operate there by 1938. In 1946, degree conferring status was granted and the academy became a college. The college is one of the original institutions incorporated into the State University of New York system in 1948 and was the first of its kind to enroll women, in 1974.

The College’s primary ship, Empire State VI, is a 565 foot (172.2 m) vessel driven by a 17,160 horsepower (13 MW) steam turbine engine. Originally built as the SS Oregon, a break bulk cargo freighter for States Lines, it was converted by the Maritime Administration and delivered to the College for use as a training ship in 1990. The Empire State IV is host to cadet watches, classes and work parties during the “Summer Sea Term”, and departs each May with the college’s cadets on board for “Summer Sea Term,” a two-month training voyage. Athens, Dublin, Barbados, Antwerp, Naples, Barcelona, Genoa, London, Tallinn, Istanbul, Dubrovnik, Split, Kiel, and Copenhagen are some of the recent ports of call for the Empire State VI.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/State_University_of_New_York_Maritime_College

***

All very interesting, though. This describes Fleet Week in New York from 2008 which was held May 21 – 28

Fleet Week is a United States Navy, United States Marine Corps and United States Coast Guard tradition in which active military ships recently deployed in overseas operations dock in a variety of major cities for one week. Once the ships dock, the crews can enter the city and visit its tourist attractions. At certain hours, the public can take a guided tour of the ships. Often, Fleet Week is accompanied by military demonstrations and airshows such as provided by the Blue Angels.

from – http://www.newyork-visit.com/new-york-city-fleet-week-2008.html

That sounds fun – and get to see inside the boats and watch the Blue Angels too. Yeah, now that would be fun . . .

I wonder when it is being held this year.

Let’s see if I can find it and what the schedule looks like – there could be some really good stuff there.

Here is a list of the national 100th Anniversary of Naval Aviation – with Fleet Week Celebrations across the country – wowsa –

http://www.navalaviation100.org/eventlist

May 22, 2011 – Jun 2, 2011

NY Fleet Week & Jones Beach Air Show

http://www.jonesbeachairshow.com/

Describes the air show for 2010 with the Blue Angels and Canadian Forces CF-18 Demonstration Team on Memorial Day weekend.

Hmmm…….

This is interesting from the right side of the page –

The Jones Beach Chalet is an exciting way for you and your family to enjoy the Bethpage Federal Credit Union New York Air Show at Jones Beach. Tickets include a VIP viewing location with outstanding food service, private beachfront area at flight line center offering unrestricted views, a shaded tent and reserved parking.

http://www.jonesbeachairshow.com/

(as listed from – )

http://www.navalaviation100.org/eventlist

Marine Corps Public Affairs New York City The Camp Lejeune based 24th MEU will be heading to NYC for Fleet Week New York . New York, New York say hello to your Marines . In recent years the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit fought in Helmand Province, Afghanistan and provided assistance to Haiti .

From Fleet Week New York Facebook page –

http://www.facebook.com/FleetWeekNewYork?v=wall

It includes this entry with more info and a tele number to ask questions about it –

Fleet Week New York Although the ships have not been confirmed for this year’s Fleet Week, once they are our office will release the locations of where each ship will be docked. This annoucement is generally made in mid-April. For your general planning purposes in previous years, U.S. Navy ships have been located at Pier 88 (49th St. & 12th Ave.) in Manhattan and at the Stapleton Pier in Staten Island. If you have further questions, please feel free to contact our office at 757.322.2853.

Another little bit on down the page describes the events from last year, some of which took place at different locations throughout New York City with demonstrations of military / naval informational and educational programs, things of interest, etc.

Randall Clinton ‎@April, last year the Marine Corps had demonstrations in Times Square and Battery Park in Manhattan along with helicopter raid demonstrations in Coney Island (Brooklyn), Eisenhower Park (Long Island), Orchard Beach (Bronx), Corona Park (Queens) and Clove Lakes Park (Staten Island). You can visit us on the ship or join us at these off-ship events to see Marines simulate real-world helicopter-based attacks. Head over to www.facebook.com/NYCMarines and we’ll have the details as we get closer to May.

(from)

http://www.facebook.com/FleetWeekNewYork?v=wall

***

Found this too, may have been in a New York location but the text does not tell about that, or else I just didn’t find it. (still looking for info about that building with the marine / naval insignia that I photographed.)

http://www.mcleague.com/mdp/index.php?ceid=60&func=display&module=ContentExpress

Marine Corps League

The Marine Corps League perpetuates the traditions and spirit of ALL Marines and Navy FMF Corpsmen, who proudly wear or who have worn the eagle, globe and anchor of the Corps. It takes great pride in crediting its founding in 1923 to World War I hero, then Major General Commandant John A. Lejeune. It takes equal pride in its Federal Charter, approved by An Act of the Seventy-Fifth Congress of the United States of America and signed and approved by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on August 4, 1937.

It also includes this which is nice –

The Marines’ Hymn has been sung and played in all four corners of the earth and today is recognized as one of the foremost service songs.

The Marines’ Hymn
“From the Halls of Montezuma
To the Shores of Tripoli;
We fight our country’s battles
In the air, on land, and sea;
First to fight for right and freedom
And to keep our honor clean;
We are proud to claim the title
Of United States Marine.
Our flag’s unfurled to every breeze
From dawn to setting sun;
We have fought in every clime and place
Where we could take a gun;

In the snow of far-off Northern lands
And in sunny tropic scenes;
You will find us always on the job
The United States Marines.
Here’s health to you and to our Corps
Which we are proud to serve
In many a strife we’ve fought for life
And never lost our nerve;
If the Army and the Navy
Ever look on Heaven’s scenes;
They will find the streets are guarded
By United States Marines”

August 16, 1918, one of the first publications of it appeared in the Stars & Stripes, written according to tradition by a Marine on duty in Mexico. (from the text on the Marine Corps League page)

http://www.mcleague.com/mdp/index.php?ceid=60&func=display&module=ContentExpress

**

Here is an overview of the different uses that the Piers have had over the years along with some information about Battery Park and other areas –

It has a list of the piers, along with photos from different time periods. Lots of interesting information.

The Chelsea Piers, 900-foot long and built 1902-1910 with head houses designed by Warren & Wetmore (architects for Grand Central)

The Chelsea Piers, 900-foot long and built 1902-1910 with head houses designed by Warren & Wetmore (architects for Grand Central) - from NY Architecture site

It says on this page – (concerning the image above) –

The Chelsea Piers, 900-foot long and built 1902-1910 with head houses designed by Warren & Wetmore (architects for Grand Central), handled longest liners of Cunard & White Star such as Mauretania, Lusitania, Aquitania, Olympic & Titanic. The Titanic should have docked at Pier 60. The piers became obsolete by 1960s with containerization.

http://www.nyc-architecture.com/MID/MID-Hudson.htm

**

There is a really big boat in between those buildings. Oh wow.

Brooklyn Station, located at 22 First Avenue and operated by the Seaman's Church Institute from 1904-1907 - from the SCI website

Brooklyn Station, located at 22 First Avenue and operated by the Seaman's Church Institute from 1904-1907 - from the SCI website

January 24, 2011
Not too long ago, another behemoth contended with the skyscraper for space in Lower Manhattan. On any given day, hundreds of ships manned by hundreds seafarers carried cargo from around the world to the one-time busiest port in the world. The Seamen’s Church Institute (SCI), a 177-year-old maritime service organization affiliated with the Episcopal Church, greeted seafarers over decades of change to provide for their needs while in port and at sea.

Today, SCI opens the vault of over 170 years of history. [ . . . ] As maritime commerce’s influence on history emerges from this collection, some famous names appear in SCI’s storied past. Former president Franklin D. Roosevelt joined SCI’s Board in 1908 and served in different capacities until his death in April of 1945. Names like Astor, Vanderbilt, and Morgan swayed the direction of the Institute and solidified its presence on the New York City landscape.

Explore the Institute’s Digital Archive Collection here.

(from)

http://www.seamenschurch.org/seamens-church-institute-news/624-digital-archives-provide-window-to-past

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Wait, that was from only two days ago – hmmm…..

Also found this – looks like a nifty way to indulge in the celebrations of love and romance for Valentines’ Day in New York City –

http://www.worldyacht.com/

This page describes the Valentines Day Dinner Cruises being offered for February 12th and 14th with dinner and dancing –

http://www.worldyacht.com/event_info?id=105

“Cuddle up and stay warm on our climate controlled yacht. View the city lights, explore the decks and dance to romantic dance hits with your loved one,” it says.

Make this Valentine’s the best yet- an unforgettable evening
Valentine’s Cruises are sailing Feb 12th &14th

(Dinner Cruises for Valentines Day – now, that is fun.)

Apparently they have Mothers’ Day cruises planned also –

http://www.worldyacht.com/event_info?id=13/Mothers_Day_Cruises_2011

Well, actually I couldn’t find anything about whether it is dinner and dancing or not – maybe people don’t dance on boats anymore. It could just be an eating and snuggly look at the city lights thing . . .

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I saw this the other day and it actually looks pretty nifty –

http://www.themaritimehotel.com/

It has round porthole windows –

363 West 16th Street, New York, NY

Here is where I found out about it originally and it tells a lot about it before the hotel that it is now. However, now people can go there and stay and experience it – would be very interesting.

http://www.nyc-architecture.com/CHE/CHE025-NationalMaritmeUnion.htm

Guest rooms built for members of a sailors’ union – each with windows shaped like portholes – and later used by runaway teenagers and then by visitors from China are now occupied by hip visitors to New York in what is now the Maritime Hotel.

The hotel is the latest incarnation of the white-tile 12-story structure that occupies the blockfront on the east side of Ninth Avenue between 16th and 17th Streets.

The existing walls of the 120 guest rooms and 4 suites, each facing west and with a circular window five feet in diameter, are staying in place. The rooms, with new dark teak built-in furnishings and glossy white ceilings, are vaguely evocative of ship staterooms.

National Maritime Union New York City - now the Maritime Hotel NYC - photo from NY architecture site

National Maritime Union New York City - now the Maritime Hotel NYC - photo from NY architecture site found here - http://www.nyc-architecture.com/LES/LES017.htm

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Merchant’s House Museum

Built in 1832, the Merchant’s House Museum is a unique survivor of old New York.  It is New York City’s only family home preserved intact – inside and out – from the 19th century. Home to a prosperous merchant family for almost 100 years, it is complete with its original furniture, decorative arts, clothing, and personal memorabilia.

To visit the Merchant’s House is to experience what life was like for a wealthy New York City merchant family in the middle of the 19th century.

When built in 1832, the house included all of the modern technological conveniences of the era, including piping for illuminating gas, a 4000-gallon cistern, and a bell system that summoned the four live-in servants.

Three floors of the house are available for viewing, including the ground floor, with its original kitchen, and one bedroom floor.

The Museum Today
The museum is a member of the Historic House Trust of New York City, which works in partnership with the City of New York/Parks and Recreation to preserve, promote, and support the 19 historic houses located in parks in all five boroughs.

The Merchants House Museum New York City (1832) can be toured - includes collections of period clothing, furnishings are in place, historic landmark

The Merchants House Museum New York City (1832) can be toured - includes collections of period clothing, furnishings are in place, historic landmark - photo from NY Architecture site

The museum offers educational programs for adults and schoolchildren, walking tours, lectures, readings, concerts, and other events throughout the year. Today it survives as the only material link to that important era of New York City history when maritime commerce flourished, and New York became the preeminent port of the nation.The Museum is open Thursday through Monday noon to 5 p.m.  Group tours are by appointment throughout the week.If you have any questions, please contact them at nyc1832@merchantshouse.com.


The directors of the Merchant’s House Museum at 29 East 4th Street

Merchant’s House Museum
29 East Fourth Street
New York, NY 10003

212 777 1089
212 777 1104 fax
www.merchantshouse.com

(from)

http://www.nyc-architecture.com/LES/LES017.htm

***

From the wikipedia entry about it – (sounds like a great place to take my daughters, they are so grown up and in their early twenties asked me the other day if I grew up with telegraph phones – )

Merchant’s House Museum, known formerly as Old Merchant’s House and as the Seabury Tredwell House, is a Federal-style red-brick row house built in 1832 by Joseph Brewster. It is located at 29 East Fourth Street, between Lafayette Street and the Bowery, Manhattan, New York City. It was designed by Minard Lafever. It became a museum in 1936 and is the only nineteenth century family home in New York City preserved intact – both inside and outside.

The building’s facade is reminiscent of earlier Federal-style homes, but the interior, especially the formal double parlors, represent New York’s finest example of Greek revival architecture. The interior also contains the Tredwell family’s original furnishings, including pieces from prominent New York cabinetmakers, like Duncan Phyfe and Joseph Meeks..

Considered one of the finest surviving Greek Revival rowhouses in America, the house is a miraculous survivor of old New York. The house is important for its outstanding collection of original furnishings, decorative objects, magnificently preserved 19th century clothing and other personal effects of the Tredwell family. Stepping through the front portal is stepping into a time when New York City was becoming the most important seaport in North America and the house reflects these fortunate circumstances.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Merchant%27s_House_Museum

In addition to its magnificent period rooms, the Museum presents many performances, presentations, lectures, exhibits and special events throughout the year. Ongoing research and state-of-the-art documentation and conservation techniques assure that more is constantly being learned about the House, its furnishings and outstanding textile collections, and “what life was really like” for a 19th century New York family.

***

The Merchants’ House website –

Built in 1832 just steps from Washington Square, this elegant red-brick and white-marble row house on East Fourth Street was home to a prosperous merchant family for almost 100 years.

Complete with the family’s original furnishings and personal possessions, the house offers a rare and intimate glimpse of domestic life in New York City from 1835-1865.

http://www.merchantshouse.org/

***

Yes, a place from before cellphones . . .

– cricketdiane

***

The history of spite in America – New York City

During the searches online that I was making about New York City and New York architecture, I happened upon this story about the “Spite House” . . .

Apparently at one time, when the streets were put in, the tiny bits of land left over made odd parcels in strange shapes and often small strips. So in this story, one neighbor with a strip of land only five feet wide by over a 100 feet long that sat next to Lexington Avenue in New York decided to spite his neighbor that wouldn’t pay him as much as he wanted for it. Instead of accepting the $1000 for it when he wanted $5,000 for it, the man fixed his neighbor by building a four story building on the strip of land – although it was only five feet wide and the full length of the property along the street.

http://www.nyc-architecture.com/GON/GON005.htm

From this page –

Undaunted, Mr. McQuade hired the prolific architect Alfred B. Ogden to design his apartment buildings, including windows on the lot line under the assumption that Mr. Richardson’s lot would forever remain vacant. Construction of the pair of buildings began on May 22, 1882, triggering Richardson’s spitefulness. Fresh from just having completed the construction of a marble-fronted row of three conventional one-family residences adjoining to the north, he returned to the drafting board and less than a month later, filed plans for a pair of buildings of his own, each 51 feet long, on the Lexington Avenue sliver lot. While each house was nominally only five feet wide, advantage was taken of a clause in the New York City building regulations that permitted corner houses to have bay window extensions. This enabled the main rooms on each floor to be a little more than seven feet wide. Since the Richardson buildings were much smaller than those of Mr. McQuade, they took less effort to construct, and were completed in November 1882, almost five months earlier than the side-street houses. Perhaps exhausted from the battle with Richardson, Mr. McQuade sold his two apartment houses on September 1, 1884, to Heyman Sarner, a local clothier.

It became known as the ”Spite House.”

Richardson died in the house in 1897; during his lifetime the intersection of 82nd and Lexington was one of the most talked about in New York. In 1900, Richardson’s daughter from his first marriage, Dellarifa Richardson, tried to have his widow, Emma (her stepmother), evicted from the house. What happened is unclear, but by 1902 a new owner had converted the ground floor to stores.

**

It also says that when Lexington Avenue was put in between Park and Third Avenue, it left those strange parcels of land as a result. Apparently that was in the 1860’s, and then the man who built the Spite House, Joseph Richardson, had purchased the odd-shaped lots including one in the middle of the block where he built three marble faced “brownstones” and the 5 foot wide by102 feet deep strip along Lexington where he built the four story apartments to spite his neighbor. He made the purchase through his niece and then applied for the building permits. It was torn down in 1915. Richardson and his wife lived in the ground floor apartment in the building which was so small that a stove and furniture had to be built specifically for it in order to fit.

The halls and stairways in the house were too small for two people to pass at the same time and even the kitchen table had to be made for it which was listed in the article, as 18 inches wide. But, Mr. Richardson had managed to build the four story tall building and cover all the Lexington Ave side windows of his neighbor’s property . . .

There is a photo of the building on the New York architecture page above, which is very hard to see where the building width of five feet ends and the next building begins. The three marble facade “brownstone” style row houses that Richardson built still exist according to the article. Both the “Spite House” and its neighboring building were torn down by Bing and Bing who put up another building in its place (around 1915).

Hmmm……..

Just to be spiteful.

– cricketdiane

**

There is a picture of the “Spite House” here on the NY Architecture site –

http://www.nyc-architecture.com/GON/GON005.htm

**

cricketdiane10 - 11-23-10 - NY Day One - exploring 324-2

Skinny tall buildings in New York City are stuck between other things and there can be very interesting stories about why that is . . . (this one is my photo - of many I took of the skinny buildings in New York, never knowing about the Spite House story)

Very interesting to see the lengths that people have gone to “fix” their neighbor in America (and elsewhere) – maybe it is just as my daughter said, that we are all spiteful, mean-spirited and ugly to one another as human beings. Maybe it is as she said, the basic human-ness that we work with at our very nature and then we all try to do better, learn better, and act better despite that.

– cricketdiane

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Originally, knowing nothing about the streets being put into place which created odd shaped parcels of land – I was in New York taking pictures and noticed many small width, deep and tall buildings that were here and there stuck between other things that seemed totally out of place and out of scale with their surroundings.

Here is another one that is sited next to a street corner –

00 - cricketdiane10 - NY - Day 5 - samsung 056-2

Another skinny building in New York City - this one on the corner lot where two streets come together - sometimes they are in the middle of the block also - cricketdiane NY photo 2010

There are some buildings that are no more than two windows wide – now I know why that is . . .

I should go back and take more pictures of them. That would make a great book. Also, although I had not known this before doing a bit of research at home, the terra cotta and stone on many buildings was intended partly for fire-proofing the living and working environments after a massive fire had been so costly early in the city’s history. I’m going to write some about that on future posts.

It would be great to know where those terra cotta and stone elements were created, who created them, and who designed them. Many of these elements are so beautiful and elegantly done. And, they are everywhere in New York City.

– cricketdiane

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