Friday, July 7, 2006

Grand Concourse, Bronx, July 2006

The West Bronx is second only to Miami Beach as the place in America with the largest concentration of Art Deco and Art Moderne apartment buildings. Built between 1927 and 1942, these buildings were meant to house a growing urban middle class. In more recent years, some have fallen into disrepair - a few quite badly - but taking a walk along the Grand Concourse is still interesting.

I went on the Fourth of July, and my main goal was to see the "fish building." This 1936 apartment house has an elaborate mosaic of sea life surrounding its main entrance. As you can see, I found it. I was a bit disappointed, though, because the entry way was covered by a massive scaffold, making it impossible to photograph the mosaic in its entirety and to see the Art Moderne brickwork around the door. Oh well.

The mosaic itself is pretty great, featuring two huge angelfish and an assortment of anemones and little jellyfish-like critters. (What ARE those things?)

These are very shiny tiles. Even though I was under a dark canopy and didn't use a flash, I picked up a bit of a sheen, as you can see.

You can see the entire "fish building" mosaic here.

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