The Greater Central Baptist Church at 2158 Fifth Avenue

The last church on Fifth Avenue is unfortunately one of the most uninteresting – at least, from an architectural standpoint.  Built in the 1950s for its present congregation, the Greater Central Baptist Church at 2158 Fifth Avenue is an important center of gospel music. Stained glass brightens the interior.

2151- 2153 Fifth Avenue and 2 East 132nd Street

A somewhat run-down trio of identical buildings, 2151- 2153 Fifth Avenue and 2 East 132nd Street are evidently the survivors of a block-spanning row.  Enough remains to suggest the crude vigor of the original design; corbels, lintels and aggressive stonework enliven the remaining facades. These are unusual in being perhaps among a mere handful of… Continue reading

2140 – 2150 Fifth Avenue

2140 – 2142 Fifth Avenue is a rather battered commercial building that overlooks the Callender Playground; window treatments suggest a budget-Beaux Arts.  The cornice has been removed. 2144-2150 Fifth Avenue is a tall, dark and handsome brownstone row in varying degrees of repair.  The basement-levels of the latter have been partially converted to commercial use:… Continue reading

Just Off Fifth: 13-17 West 131st Street

A whimsical trio at 13-17 West 131st Street: abstracted Queen Anne details create architectural “faces” at the upper levels overlooking the sedate brownstones opposite.

Courtney Callender Playground at West 130th – 131st Streets and Fifth Avenue

This playground honors Courtney Callender (1937-1983), New York City’s first African American Deputy Commissioner of Cultural Affairs and the first African American official in Parks under Commissioner Thomas Hoving and Executive Director Henry J. Stern. He established the Community Relations division, which initiated the policy of including the neighborhoods in park decisions. Callender served as… Continue reading