Starting a Downtown Stroll

Today we start on a series I shot back in August 23, 2011 (yes you read that right). I decided to walk straight downtown from work and see what I could see. I didn’t even start taking pictures until I passed Houston St. Then I saw a whole bunch of this:

While you will see this image everywhere around NYC, I enjoy this one as even the ac units look old so unless I told you, you might think this was taken many years ago (it wasn’t, I took it in August 2011).

As I walked down Centre Street closer and closer to Chinatown, I noticed a building facade I had never seen before as the setting sun lit it up. As it was early evening, a lot of the city was being hit with that “Magic Hour” style of light that just makes ornate architecture pop.

A ridiculously ornate building facade.

As it turns out, this is NOT the Museum of Chinese in America (see their comment below, after some more internet hunting, I have learned that the building houses luxery condominiums and is a NYC landmark since 1978). I have not set foot inside it, but the outside is spectacular. This building used to be a Police Department building for the NYPD. Take a look at all of the statues and architectural aspects of the building itself (note: since the building is mostly monochromatic, I tend to enjoy these pics more in black and white – especially as the sun was hitting the building so directly that it would give off a yellow tint that I was not a fan of. And yes the sky was that blue due to the placement of the sun.):

Some detail work of the facade with many statues.

A closer look in b&w at the tympanum.

Detail of the clocks surrounding the dome and the play of light on the texture from the setting sun.

Slightly imposing, and with the sun setting behind me, the sky looks like technicolor blue.

Detail of the handless (or is it invisible?) female statue with its staff raised.

Columns hold up the clock dome with a handless statue guarding it.

Close up of the clock and spire atop the dome.

Not the NYPL lion, but just like it, it guards the entranceway to its home turf.

A view from the south of the tower to show how much the dome has oxidized (I suspect it is copper, much like the Statue of Liberty and that the elements have turned it green) against an overly blue sky.

Clearly I was fascinated with the dome. As I left and continued downtown I was greeted with this image to remind me that this was indeed Chinatown:

The hungry dragon – a reminder that you are crossing through Chinatown.

Next week: My trip downtown continues into the Judicial Area.

About nsantasier

I am an actor, fight choreographer, playwright, and photographer based in and around NYC. I shoot on a Canon Rebel T5i with either a Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS lens or a Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4.0-5.6 IS Telephoto Zoom lens as they are the only lenses I currently own.
This entry was posted in Architecture, Artsy, Downtown, Magic Hour, Museum of Chinese in America, New York City Police Headquarters building, NYC. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Starting a Downtown Stroll

  1. mocamuseum says:

    Hello! This is the Museum of Chinese in America. Thanks so much for mentioning us, but unfortunately that is not our building (we think it might be converted apartments?) We’re actually just down the street at 215 Centre Street. Come visit!

    • nsantasier says:

      Really!? And here I thought I had been all clever by getting a shot of the flags on the street poles out in front of it so i could remember what it was. Oops.

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