Day 470


Day 470




From the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission's 1976 Landmark Designation Report:

St. Peter's Church, Chapel, and Cemetery form a pleasant and charming enclave in the heart of the old town of Westchester in the Bronx, formerly part of Westchester County. The two strikingly picturesque Gothic style buildings in their quiet graveyard setting dominate the neighborhood and are a tangible reminder of the rural past of this section of the Bronx. The county of Westchester was formed in 1683 and the borough-town of Westchester was named the county seat. . . .

The parish of St. Peter's, one of the oldest in New York City, was organized in 1693 following an act of the Colonial Assembly "for settling a ministry and raising a maintenance for them in the County of Westchester." It was not until 1700 that the town meeting house, previously used for religious services, was abandoned, and a church was erected. . . . The church was situated on the town green adjoining the county court house and jail, the same site as that of the present structure [completed in 1855; interior pictures here].

Day 470

St. Peter’s Chapel

April 13th, 2013



Built 1867-68

Day 470

Chapel door

April 13th, 2013


Day 470

Bible is dead

April 13th, 2013


Day 470



Day 470

A cemetery’s edge

April 13th, 2013


Day 470

My Wife and Child

April 13th, 2013





Their skeletons were discovered in 1926 near the former site of Fort Independence.

Day 470

Matching stone

April 13th, 2013


Day 470

Stoop library

April 13th, 2013



It's kind of hard to see (here's a close-up), but those are book-filled plastic crates wedged in beneath the mail slot.

Day 470

9/11 memorial #138

April 13th, 2013


Day 470




Here is a sampling of the objects, in addition to the stuffed creatures and the "Mommie Where's Daddy" ad seen above, that can be found nailed to the utility poles of Lyon Avenue between Glebe and Castle Hill Avenues: teddy bears, Smurf with Santa hat, Shrek figurine, embroidered wolf, plastic flowers, fake $20 bill, stretched-out Planet Fitness t-shirts, laminated New York Post photo of David Bowie, defaced Connecticut license plate, heart-shaped neck pillow, shell-shaped serving dish, Justin Bieber tabloid photo in an "I ♥ MY DADDY" picture frame, and posters of a leopard, Rihanna, and the Virgin Mary.

Day 470

The Chair in the Square

April 13th, 2013



Owen Dolen Park in Westchester Square is currently closed for reconstruction, but you can still catch a glimpse of this unusual monument inside it. According to the Parks Department:

This bronze piece by New York City artist David Saunders (b. 1954) depicts an armchair and open dictionary set on a granite boulder. The four-foot-high bronze armchair is decorated with a laurel wreath and stars and stripes while the boulder is engraved with wild boars.

The images of the wild boars are reminiscent of prehistoric cave paintings found in Lascaux, France. These are meant to suggest the emotional side of human nature, and contrast with the color plate of “Common Birds of America” that is depicted on the open page in the dictionary underneath the seat, symbolizing human objectivity. The motif of the chair is borrowed from 19th century monuments to figures of stature, who are often depicted seated and surrounded by symbols of learnedness. When the piece was unveiled the artist explained that the empty chair allows the viewer to picture him or herself in the chair; in this way Saunders creates a monument to everyone. In fact, Saunders’ piece is a homage to many works of art; the granite is from the same quarry that supplied the pedestal for the Statue of Liberty (1886) and the artist’s inspiration for the boulder comes from Frederick George Richard Roth’s (1872–1944) Balto (1925) in Central Park.

Day 470




Older than the New York Public Library system, this private library was opened in 1891 in the town of Westchester (now part of the Bronx) by the railroad baron Collis P. Huntington. It fell on hard times financially after the Smithsonian Institution unsuccessfully attempted to seize its extensive American Indian collection in the 1990s; the library prevailed in court, but ended up having to sell off the collection anyway (to Cornell University) after the legal fees and other expenses had depleted its coffers.

(The candle and leprechaun in the foreground are a memorial to a library worker of Irish descent who recently passed away.)

Day 470

Inside the library

April 13th, 2013



Electric light bulbs are now mounted on the old gas-lamp piping.

Day 470

The library in wood

April 13th, 2013



Carved by Patrolman John H. Jones in 1901

Day 470

The Pearly Gates

April 13th, 2013



A playground on St. Peter's Avenue named — obviously — by Henry Stern

Day 470

9/11 memorial #139

April 13th, 2013


Day 470

Magic Touch

April 13th, 2013



Mr. Kleens iz gone! Fortunately, the place is still execuctive.

Day 470

Parkchester

April 13th, 2013



From the NY Times:

Parkchester, although largely forgotten today in the ever-changing whirl of New York real estate, was something of a planning phenomenon when the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company put it up in 1938 to 1942 on the 129-acre site of a Catholic home for wayward boys in the east Bronx. A six-by-seven-foot architectural model was on display at the company's exhibit at the 1939 World's Fair.

It provided rental housing for a community of 42,000 working people in 171 buildings arranged around a central oval and two broad avenues. It had playgrounds and landscaped pathways, its own shopping complex and movie theater. The sameness of the red brick buildings was broken up by 500 terra-cotta statues built into the corners of buildings and small decorative plaques with nature scenes above many building entrances.

Day 470

Two ladies and a dog

April 13th, 2013



More Parkchester terra cotta

Day 470

Feeding the birds

April 13th, 2013


Day 470

Behind the movie theater

April 13th, 2013



Several colorful figures can be found on the back wall of Parkchester's movie theater. You can see more of them, and many other Parkchester sculptures, over at Forgotten New York.

Day 470

And my personal favorite…

April 13th, 2013



It's a little tough to see (take a closer look), but here we have a gun-toting hunter about to get clobbered by a bear waiting for him on the other side of the tree trunk.

Day 470

A much more inclusive ride

April 13th, 2013



than this one

Day 470



Day 470

Portals of the day

April 13th, 2013



According to Forgotten New York:

The story goes, though, that a magnificently apportioned building between Ponton and Roberts Avenues on East Tremont was built as a theater, but never got to fulfill its builders' ambitions. It features glazed white brick that glistens in the afternoon sun, and time hasn't dulled its rich terra cotta figures like the lyre and . . . mask over its front entrance. Locals call it "the white elephant."