1 East 60th Street, The Metropolitan Club

A spectacular 1893 extravaganza by McKim, Mead & White, the Metropolitan Club is chiefly the work of the firm’s leading partner Stanford White and may be his most flamboyant New York City design, especially when compared to Charles McKim’s University Club at 54th and Fifth.  McKim’s building is a highly ornate but sober monument to… Continue reading

Horse-drawn Cabs

The Plaza District is a gathering place for the famed horse-drawn cabs that take tourists for circuitous routes through Central Park. This is a typical example, little changed in design since the first such tours were advertised nearly 140 years ago. Under attack from animal rights groups who cite the danger posed to the horses… Continue reading

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.