I don't stroll down Washington Mews much. Though the ancient alley, north of Washington Square Park, is beautiful, it reminds me too much of New York University's bottomless appetite for real estate; so many of these former carriage houses are now owned by the monster, Village-eating college.
Still, it's a shame to deprive myself of such quiet beauty. So the other day I accepted the invitation offered by the open gate and walked the length of the Belgian-blocked path.
These former carriage house look like carriage houses. Former carriage houses always do. But a few possessed a feature I haven't seen in other converted carriage house around town—a demi-roof sheltering the entrance. They're all on the northern side of the mews, which is the older side; many of the stables on the south side were converted to artist studios in the early 1900s.
I can't be sure these are original, but they certainly seem to be. The one above is so weathered and peeled, it looks like it could be on a side street in an old Tuscan hill town.
The above house, No. 46, has a curious fixture. On either side of each support under the eave are circular ceramic decorations depicting the same, vague-Greecian, crouching figure. What can it all mean?