"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

Where & When: Game 10

Welcome back for another round of Where & When, the geography detective game that’s keeping your brain warm for the impending Hot Stove season. Or at least that’s the intention; the more you play this, the more exercise your mind gets and hey, the smarter you become! Plus, you get to brag to your buddies that you know something about the city that they probably don’t; if nothing else, it cuts down your chances of getting mugged >;)

Speaking of challenges, here is the latest:

Where & When 10

This place was within the five boroughs until recently. It had been around for quite a long time, and unfortunately it was in this condition for a considerably long time as well.  If you know what the name of this building is and where it’s located, then tell us also when it was built, when it first opened for business and when it was closed for good. Bonus if you find a picture of when it was pristine and intact.

Send your best guesses to cixposse at gmail dot com.  Alert me on the thread that you’ve sent in your guess and I will verify; as per rules of the game, do not click on the photo credit to find the answer. You’re welcome to discuss any aspects of the challenge, including your tracking methods or knowledge of the general area, without giving away the answer (so be discreet if you can).  Above competition, this is also a general place to discuss what you know or learned, so feel free to discuss either.  I’ll try to get back with the answer in the evening around six EST.

A Sea Dog for you if you can find all the answers requested first, and a Jones for those who follow.  Don’t burst a vessel over this, since I’m asking for a lot of specific info it might take some time to track it all down.  Take your time and have fun!

[Photo Credit: Nathan Kensinger ]


1 kenboyer made me cry   ~  Oct 17, 2013 7:59 am

I now know the answer after a simple google search. Is that allowed?

2 Alex Belth   ~  Oct 17, 2013 8:23 am

1) No it is not! Or maybe it is. Will's the arbiter here.

Alls I know is that it reminds me of "The Fisher King."

3 RIYank   ~  Oct 17, 2013 8:48 am

[1] I guess it depends on what your search terms were.

I have no idea, at first glance. The clues in the picture are minimal. I'll have to think about the verbal clues Chyll Will gave us...

4 RIYank   ~  Oct 17, 2013 9:40 am

Nope, I'm getting nowhere. I'll have to come back to this later.

I need a new lead or two to work on. I can think of two NYC buildings in approximately the same style, maybe that will help...

5 JDM   ~  Oct 17, 2013 10:46 am

Just sent an email. Small Hint: the two buildings in the picture are part of the same complex.

6 Shaun P.   ~  Oct 17, 2013 10:49 am

Hmmm . . . I have a thought as to what it might be, because I think many of those buildings had the same style, but no time to search now. I'll give a try later . . .

7 RIYank   ~  Oct 17, 2013 11:06 am

I've sent in my answer, but looks like I'm behind some others.

[6] I had that thought too. One of the two buildings it reminded me of does have the same function that this one used to have.

I got thrown by Will's wording. I at first thought he meant ("This place was within the five boroughs until recently.") that the geographical location was no longer within the city limits -- probably I was primed to interpret it that way because of the funny situation of Marble Hill, which figured in an earlier W&W. So I wasted some searching and thinking on that mistake!

What got me to the right place was a pretty good idea of the period, plus one of my guesses about the function panned out. (That's a little hint!)

8 Chyll Will   ~  Oct 17, 2013 11:48 am

[1] I think the best way to put it is: explain your math. I'm not so restrictive about finding answers on the internet (I encourage it), but for the sake of making the game compelling for all, I always ask that one explains how he or she arrived to the conclusion. Sometimes it's anti-climactic, sometimes it's a comedy of errors and sometimes it's a shining example of critical thinking. Others who host may have a different take on it and that's fine as well. I'm more of a "enjoy the journey" kinda guy >;)

9 TheGreenMan   ~  Oct 17, 2013 1:30 pm

Sent you my wild guess. :)

10 TheGreenMan   ~  Oct 17, 2013 1:43 pm

Crap...just did a little research, found it and I was wrong. But I had the right idea!

11 rbj   ~  Oct 17, 2013 2:58 pm

Finally got it, took an awful lot of different searches. Barked up a lot of wrong trees until I found the key word to use. Didn't find this picture but did find a site that has others. Damn shame they let such a building get roached.

12 kenboyer made me cry   ~  Oct 17, 2013 3:17 pm

(8) I googled demolished castle buildings in NYC.

13 Chyll Will   ~  Oct 17, 2013 3:38 pm

[12] Had to edit that a little bit while the game is still open, hope you don't mind >;)

14 RIYank   ~  Oct 17, 2013 5:10 pm

[12] I demolished NYC google in castled buildings.

15 RIYank   ~  Oct 17, 2013 5:35 pm

Okay, Will, spill, you said 6.
Oh, wait. You said 6 EST. I guess it's still only 5:35 EST. Gotta read the fine print...

16 Shaun P.   ~  Oct 17, 2013 6:35 pm

[15] Now it's 7:35 EDT so Chyll has no excuses :)

But who am I to complain? I didn't even submit an entry this week, ran out of time . . .

17 Chyll Will   ~  Oct 17, 2013 6:51 pm

[15] Nope, you got me. I got sidetracked by an unnecessary errand...

The answer is: The Samuel R. Smith Infirmary in Staten Island. The original structure seen here on this postcard was built in 1887, according to the site opacity.com, and opened for business as a hospital in 1890. It was closed in 1979 and lay abandoned for 33 years until this happened and thus demolished last year.

I'd come across a few more beautiful shots of the infirmary that were too small to use for this challenge; it's very sad that a structure like this did not survive the ravages of time and neglect. To be honest, what often takes their place is not really worth remembering; odd that form is often not regarded in function unless a gray or glass box is considered good form.

The Sea Dog goes to JDM for providing the correct answers first, and Joneses for RIYank, rbj and kenboyer for following suit. Thanks to all who participated and we'll get together again next Monday. Feel free to discuss.

I'm going t try to figure out a way to get a less restricted discussion going; perhaps leaving your answer in the comments is the key? I welcome your thoughts.

18 Chyll Will   ~  Oct 17, 2013 6:59 pm

I gave a little leeway on the first date because I'm certain other sources gave a different date for when the structure was built.

JDM's formula: "I figured that your reference to the 5 boroughs was a clue, so I was looking more at Brooklyn and Staten Island. I thought that the building looked like it could have been a rectory or maybe a hospital of some sort, so I googled those, along with brick and turrets and eventually came along a description of the place. It was an article about a building that was going to be torn down, but based on the descriptions, I became convinced that it was the building from your picture. The article gave the name. Once I had the name, I could google the infirmary and find out all about it."

19 rbj   ~  Oct 17, 2013 7:03 pm

I was chasing turret buildings and old brick building in new york boroughs, came up bupkis. Key was using "castle"

I think emailing answers is better. Otherwise everyone will just google other's answer.

20 RIYank   ~  Oct 17, 2013 7:06 pm

I went down to the Sam Smith Infirmary
To see my baby there
But I found the place had been demolished
Guess that's urban renewal, so unfair.

Let her go, let her go, god bless her
Wherever she may be
They can search all over New York City
But they'll never find a castle like me....

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