The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Picture Collection, The New York Public Library. (1915). Seamen’s Church Institute of New York, 25 South Street
The campaign to landmark and restore the Titanic Memorial Lighthouse, a monument in New York City built in 1913 to honor those who died aboard the Titanic, continues. Designed by Warren and Wetmore, the architecture firm behind Grand Central Terminal, the 60-foot-tall lighthouse originally sat atop the roof of the Seamen’s Church Institute and featured a working time ball that dropped down the pole each day, along with a green light. Preservationists are now raising funds that would help restore the lighthouse, currently located at the entrance to the South Street Seaport, to its original condition.
A rescued collection of terra cotta building facade figures–including naked cherubs, smiling porpoises and the head of Neptune–that once adorned an 18-story office building next to Grand Central Station are in need of a new home. The building was demolished to make way for the under-construction One Vanderbilt skyscraper; at the urging of New York Landmarks Conservancy Chair Lloyd Zuckerberg, the new building’s developer, SL Green Realty Corp., saved the three terra cotta panels from the facade of 51 East 42nd Street. Warren and Wetmore, the building’s architects, also designed the station.
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Grand Central Station in the early 1900s
Historic photos of the original Penn Station are almost as common as images of the current site, since its demolition in 1963 is often credited with spearheading the modern preservation movement (and because its grandeur is a startling reminder of how loathed the current station is). Conversely, Grand Central is typically celebrated as a preservation victory. In 1978, the courts ruled in favor of the Landmarks Preservation Commission when Penn Central Railroad sued them to build a huge tower atop the terminal and demolish one of its facades. But believe it or not, the 1913 Beaux-Arts building was not the first Grand Central, and photos of these grand earlier structures are rarely shared.
See them here and get the full history