13 January 2009

Cornerstones of New York

I say, this is a cool little Flikr site. It was recently brought to my attention by its creator, who posted a comment on a recent item.

It's just cornerstones. Pictures of cornerstones. Some old, some not so old. Every other building has one, it seems. Isn't that an appealingly sentimental notion? No matter how crass or worthless the building, it has a cornerstone, signifying the pride of whoever erected it. Imagine setting a cornerstone that reads "Erected 2005"? I mean, who cares? We all remember 2005. We know what it was. Nothing special. But in 50 years, people will gawk: "Wow. 2005."

Many of the cornerstones remind us of politicians long out of power. LBJ. Ford. Pataki. (Uh. Was he really our governor?) Sad. All temporary. Their names on building don't make them any more impressive. Churches, of course, always lay a cornerstone. Why? What do mortal years matters, when the afterlife awaits? Those cornerstones seem like an admission of doubt. Most don't date before 1900. We're such a young city when it comes down to it.

I've post a few nice ones here. I like the bold examples. It's all about font, folks.


New Yorker wannabes said...

Beautiful pictures and post.

It is true I guess that the US is a "young" country. Compared to my goof "old" country, Greece :-)

I wish I can visit NY someday and see these cornerstones myself!

Take care now

Anonymous said...

Credit the photographer(s), please.


This is CORNERSTONES of NY (or rather, the person behind the site).

Thanks for featuring the site. I'm sorry I missed it the first time around. The concept really was simple. I thought it would be a fun exercise, plus I thought there might be a lot to learn from the city viewed this way.

Funny that the three you featured in the body of the post are all mid-century public schools.

For your purposes, also note that we lose these things all of the time. For example, the church on Washington Square South is gone now.

All the best.

PS. That was not my anonymous comment asking for credit. It seems to me that your link to my flickr page is credit enough.