"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

Where & When: Game 34

Nope, you’re eyes do not deceive you, we are back with yet another Where & When.  It’s been a rather tight few weeks for me, but here I am popping in for a minute with another challenge for you to tackle.  I’ve been sifting through a number of sources for interesting photos that are also large enough to post; that’s been an issue for me because there are quite a few pictures I would like to use, but they are just too darn small.  I’ll finagle with Adobe Illustrator when I have time so that I can resize the small ones without pixelation, but in the meantime let your eyes fly over this fancy:

Where & When Game 34

The city seems to have a a long love affair with fire escapes, and this was certainly no exception.  I feel this one’s distinctive enough to come up with the answer fairly quick, so your job is to find out the address of this building and the date the year the pic was taken (that will be surprisingly easy as well), and also tell us if you can how long the building has or had existed (year built, how old it is now or when it was shut down/demolished) .  Bonus points if you know anything about the photographer(!)

As usual, show us how you came to your answers. Your favorite brand of hot cocoa in a giant mug if you are the first with the answers, a nice cup of tea for us stragglers and a cookie for the bonus.  I will be in and out through the day, but I’ll be studying so please forgive me for not getting back right away.  No peeking at the photo credit and feel free to answer and discuss in the comments.  Have fun folks, see you later in the day!

[Photo credit: Read Media]


1 RIYank   ~  Feb 7, 2014 10:49 am

Chrysler building in the background, right?

2 RIYank   ~  Feb 7, 2014 11:27 am

Googling 'circular fire escape new york' reveals this nice story of the Murray Hill Hotel, Park Ave between 40th and 41st.

3 TheGreenMan   ~  Feb 7, 2014 11:40 am

I'll let others discuss the building. It's a pretty easy find with the right search phrase. The photographer was the very interesting Berenice Abbott. I don't know for sure, but this photo was probably a part of her "Changing New York" project from 1935. She was hired by the Federal Art Project for the series, and she had a number of assistants to produce her work. It was all about contrasting old and new NY using odd camera angles and/or lenses. Sounds like really cool stuff.

She did something else really interesting a bit later in her life. Traveling on US1 from end to end (Key West to Maine), documenting the small towns and all the new automobile related architecture that the country was turning towards. That sounds like a fun trip!

4 RIYank   ~  Feb 7, 2014 11:43 am

1935, it says in that story.

There used to be a hill that was Murray Hill. I guess there's still a rise, but they sliced the top off for land fill. When I was growing up that neighborhood was conservative and staid. I hear it's pretty hopping now.

5 rbj   ~  Feb 7, 2014 1:58 pm

[2] Circular, huh. round fire escapes new york didn't work. nor did unusual.

6 RIYank   ~  Feb 7, 2014 10:23 pm

[5] Hm, neither did "bay fire escapes new york", which I tried first. (They are hugging the bay windows, and that round corner protruding architectural features is a bay.) I guess you just have to try a few till you find one that a web page author thought was the natural description.

7 RIYank   ~  Feb 9, 2014 1:05 pm

So, what sorts of things did you have in mind?
Spill, Chyll Will!

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"This ain't football. We do this every day."
--Earl Weaver