Scholar’s Gate, Central Park

The southernmost entrance to Central Park on Fifth Avenue, Scholar’s Gate was created in opposition to then-prevailing trends for highly ornate and monumental entrances to parks.  Instead it is a low sandstone opening intended by park designers Calvert Vaux and Frederick Law Olmstead to represent a great civic park open to all classes. The name… Continue reading

The Sherman Monument

A major work by the American sculptor Augustus St. Gaudens, whose Farragut Memorial graces Madison Square Park more than a mile and a half to the south, the Sherman Monument commemorates the controversial Civil War general William Tecumseh Sherman, infamous for “Sherman’s March,” one of the earliest “scorched earth” campaigns of modern warfare. As depicted… Continue reading

785 Fifth Avenue, The Park V

Known as The Park V, 785 Fifth Avenue is, alas, completely banal. A ground floor bank tenant is kitted out in well-intentioned pseudo-classical frills.

781 Fifth Avenue Sidewalk Clock

The ornate cast iron sidewalk clock at 781 Fifth Avenue was manufactured by the E. Howard Clock Company; it was presumably installed in 1927 when the Sherry Netherland Hotel was built, although its design suggests the whimsicality of the 19th Century.  The flower-basket is a particularly pleasant touch. This is the northernmost of Fifth Avenue’s… Continue reading

781 Fifth Avenue, The Sherry Netherland Hotel

A glittering fantasy, the former Sherry Netherland Hotel at 781 Fifth Avenue is one of the city’s most remarkable towers.  Designed by Schultz & Weaver in 1927, the French Renaissance rocket is capped by a minaret that would do Arthur Rackham or J.R.R. Tolkien proud. The amazing visuals continue on the interior where the spectacular… Continue reading