11th St: Purgatorio Grandissimo (Broadway to 5th Ave)

24 – No 67: The Cast-Iron Building (1896), looking like a latter-day Venetian palazzo.

Between Broadway and 5th Avenue sits some of the grandest residential buildings on 11th Street, in a variety of opulent styles: cast-iron, mock Tudor, Beaux-Arts and somewhat more Contemporary.

The intersections, in particular, stand out for the European cities they recall. The first, at 4th Avenue, framed by Grace Church, the majestic Cast-Iron Building and a few other cast-iron clad loft buildings, reminds one of a fashionable street corner in Florence or Venice.

The second, at University Place, dominated by the Albert Apartments building, channels a busy intersection in Westminster, Central London. Finally the third, at 5th Avenue, adorned with Beaux-Arts apartment buildings, as well as by the imposing Gothic edifice of First Presbyterian Church, reminds one of Paris, albeit a high-rise, Big Apple version of the City of Lights.

Purgatory never looked so good.

25 – No. 80: The St. Denis Hotel (1848) was once a legendary hotel boasting the likes of Abraham Lincoln, Sandra Bernhard and P.T. Barnum as guests.

26 – No 62: Another cast-iron apartment block.

27 – No 42: The Albert Apartments, formerly the Hotel Albert (1887), boasting literary guests such as Robert Louis Stevenson, Hart Crane and Thomas Wolfe.

28 – 5th Conservative Synagogue: the only Jewish House of Worship on the street and also its humblest establishment. It was once a stable dating from 1898.

29 – View past high-rises to the magnificent Judge Crater House (1929), adorned with a neo-classical temple.

30 – This Beaux-Arts apartment building, built in 1905, was the grandest building in Lower 5th Avenue.

31 – First Presbyterian Church (1846): the Gothic Revival tower is inspired by Magdalen College in Oxford, UK, though it somewhat recalls Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris instead.

D – Grand Purgatory

PDF: D – Purgatorio Grandissimo (Broadway to 5th) (2.6 MB)

I am indebted to New York Songlines (www.nysonglines.com) for detailed information about the landmarks on this street.

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.
This entry was posted in Art & Architecture, Landmarks & History, New York, Photography and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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