14th St: Big Capital (3rd to 6th Aves)

26 – Metronome, by Kristin Jones and Andrew Ginzel, the large public art installation on the façade of One Union Square South.  The digits to the left show the time using a 24 hour clock (if read from the left), and a reverse 24-hr clock, i.e. time remaining in the day, when read from the right.

26 – Metronome, by Kristin Jones and Andrew Ginzel, the large public art installation on the façade of One Union Square South. The digits to the left show the time using a 24 hour clock (if read from the left), and a reverse 24-hr clock, i.e. time remaining in the day, when read from the right.

Between 3rd and 6th Avenues, another kind of American landscape prevails – one that is infinitely more dramatic and that belies the big forces that have shaped the very identity of the Nation.

At the very centre of these three blocks is Union Square, one of New York’s most important and historic public squares.  Interestingly, its name does not celebrate the Federal Union of the United States, but rather, indicates that here was the union of two principal thoroughfares in the city – Broadway and 4th Avenue.  As such, Union Square is at heart, an inadvertent symbol of the State of the Union.

And what exactly is this State?  “Big Capital Rules.”  So it would seem, from the gleaming towers that flank the square, and from the rush of development in the blocks surrounding it.

*  *  *  *  *

23 – The story of contemporary New York is the story of Big Capital.  Here is a brand new development that has seen over 90% sales of units.

23 – The story of contemporary New York is the story of Big Capital. Here is a brand new development that has seen over 90% sales of units.

24 – The Consolidated Edison Company Building (1910) at Irving Place and 14th Street. To the left is one tower of the residential Zeckendorf Towers (1987); one of New York’s most important real estate developments in the 1980s.

24 – The Consolidated Edison Company Building (1910) at Irving Place and 14th Street. To the left is one tower of the residential Zeckendorf Towers (1987); one of New York’s most important real estate developments in the 1980s.

25 – NYU Student Dorm built on the site of The Palladium, a popular 1980s nightclub.

25 – NYU Student Dorm built on the site of The Palladium, a popular 1980s nightclub.

27 – The southern end of Union Square, one of the great public spaces in New York, with a view on the residential and retail blocks flanking the square.  15 Union Square – the dark glass building – houses the Amalgamated Bank.

27 – The southern end of Union Square, one of the great public spaces in New York, with a view on the residential and retail blocks flanking the square. 15 Union Square – the dark glass building – houses the Amalgamated Bank.

28 – Statue of George Washington (1856) by Henry Kirke Brown.

28 – Statue of George Washington (1856) by Henry Kirke Brown.

29 – Offices of The New School, housed in an 1880 cast-iron clad building by D. & J. Jardine. It used to be a retail store.

29 – Offices of The New School, housed in an 1880 cast-iron clad building by D. & J. Jardine. It used to be a retail store.

30 – The Victoria Apartments. Reflected in its façade is another luxury condominium development rising on the junction of 5th Ave.

30 – The Victoria Apartments. Reflected in its façade is another luxury condominium development rising on the junction of 5th Ave.

31 – NYC Human Resources Administration – Department of Social Services, awkwardly situated between 5th and 6th Avenues, after the new developments to the west.

31 – NYC Human Resources Administration – Department of Social Services, awkwardly situated between 5th and 6th Avenues, after the new developments to the west.

32 – No. 45: International Union of Painters & Allied Trades, with glass front and cast-iron latticework by architect William Conklin, evoking turn-of-the-century cast-iron architecture.

32 – No. 45: International Union of Painters & Allied Trades, with glass front and cast-iron latticework by architect William Conklin, evoking turn-of-the-century cast-iron architecture.

D - Big Capital (Union Square)

D – Big Capital (Union Square)

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About Kennie Ting

I am a wandering cityophile and pattern-finder who is pathologically incapable of staying in one place for any long period of time. When I do, I see the place from different perspectives, obsessive-compulsively.
Gallery | This entry was posted in Art & Architecture, Culture & Lifestyle, Landmarks & History, New York, Photography and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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