18 August 2008

What Lies Underneath



New York City gets continually built on and over and around. When you tear down an old building, there's no telling what you'll find inside, behind or under it. Old painted advertisements? An ancient, forgotten graveyard? The foundation of another building long thought lost to history? There's no telling.

This blog has previously and exhaustively detailed the past history of the becoming-extinct-as-we-speak Hamberger Christmas display factory on Warren and Hicks Street—how its previous lives include being the gymnasium for St. Peters Church on Hicks Street, which was built by prolific church architect Patrick Charles Keely; and a hall called the Brooklyn Lyceum, where dances were held.

The building is now being knocked into dust. And the destruction is revealing that the Warren Street facade (far below) of the structure was not always its only handsome aspect. The plain brick wall that faced Hicks Street has been destroyed to disclose a handsome row of arched windows quite in keeping with what once was a religious building.

It's a shame that we have to smash something in order to fully illustrate what we're losing. More pictures follow.

UPDATE: 9:30 AM Aug. 19. They're halfway through the wall of windows. It will be gone by day's end.





1 comment:

Tina J said...

Such a shame. I knew they were destroying part of that block, I had no idea it was 'that' building. It's really a beautiful structure. Also, thanks for the history. I've actually used Hamberger stuff before, I wonder where they're located now.... funny and sad.