Thursday, September 2, 2010

Bond Street Beauty

I've been thinking about Bond Street lately, mostly because the eastern-most block between Bowery and Lafayette seemed to change overnight.  It was always one of those relatively well-preserved blocks I liked to walk through in the morning because the rising sun shone straight down the street, creating long shadows in the cobblestones and on the sidewalk.

Bond St in the Morning II

Workers were usually active at this hour, reminding me that this was once a semi-industrial neighborhood.  These storefronts lent themselves well to some good street art.

Judith & Katsu

A. Charles Baby

The transition from gritty side-street to luxury condo block seemed to swoop in like a sudden storm.  All at once, both sides of the street were under construction and tenements/garages made way for modern glass and steel creations.

Bond Street in the morning

This sudden change made me really appreciate the beauty of #7 Bond, between Lafayette and Broadway.  It has one of the most beautiful facades and roof lines in the city.  It's so attractive, I know I've photographed it many times.  Yet, somehow, I cannot find a single image of it in my archives.  The best I can do is this recent shot taken from the intersection of Lafayette and Great Jones:

Great Jones & Lafayette

In it, you can see the bluish-gray and white cake-like building topped with a water tower.  Curious about its history, I found this 1926 photo of the same intersection:


Image: NYPL

#7 was built in 1904, so that must be it to the right of the little building with the dormers.  Unfortunately, I could not find any other old photos that show it clearly.

Does anyone know the history of this building?  I've been unable to find out much at all, except for a little bit of background here. With such an amazing facade and mansard roof, I would think this building had a special origin or purpose.  A factory?  Warehouse?  Mansion?  Business?

It's a bit of a mystery, so if anyone has any details, please share!

UPDATE:  I was finally able to get a decent shot of that lovely roofline.