11th St: Limbo (5th to 7th Aves)

32 – No 16, with its Neo-Roman detailing. One of four houses built by landowner Henry Brevoort Jr for his children in 1844.

11th Street between 5th and 6th Avenues was described by Jane Jacobs as a “dignified and interesting street” to walk on, because of the diversity of uses and ages of the buildings here. Today, most of this block and its adjoining one feels rather eerie constituted, as it were, with historic, turn-of-the-century townhouses looking beautiful and elegant, but somewhat trapped in time. Sitting squarely within the Greenwich Village Historic District, the neighborhood has also been cleaned up so well that it smacks of Disneyland.

Two haunting landmarks can be found here: the Second Cemetery of the Spanish and Portugeuse Synagogue, the City’s smallest cemetery, harboring the bones of its Sephardim dead; and the St Vincent’s Hospital, the main hospitals where survivors from the Titanic and more recently, the September 11th Terrorist Attacks, were taken for treatment. Who knows, the souls of these tragic dead may still be here, trapped in Limbo, unable to pass Beyond.

33 – No 18: The Weatherman House, originally built in 1845, and rebuilt in the modernist style in 1978, after a bomb blew up here.

34 – The Larchmont Hotel: captured inadvertently in the form of a vortex.

35 – Squeaky-clean restored facades in the Greenwich Village Historic District, channeling Disney.

36 – Second Cemetery of the Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue.

37 – No 152: Built in 1836, with a ghostly sheltered front porch.

38 – St Vincent’s Catholic Medical Center, where the souls of the Titanic and 9/11 dead still linger.

39 – A triangular building flanked by 11th St and Greenwich Ave. It looks like a barrier separating the souls of the living from the dead. It also marks the end of 11th Street’s straightforward path.

E – Limbo

PDF: E – Limbo (5th to 7th Aves) (2.2 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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