nolita

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Landmark: Elizabeth Street Gallery 
Date opened: 1991

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History: The 20,000-square-foot Elizabeth Street Garden sits on a portion of the site of a former school. When the school was demolished in the late 1970s the lot lay vacant and undeveloped until 1991 when the Elizabeth Street Gallery leased the site and installed an antique sculpture garden. The Gallery houses a collection of extraordinary pieces including second-century Greek and Roman carved-stone vessels.

Fun note: This garden is one of the last remaining green spaces that exist in lower manhattan. Since the start of 2013 the garden has become increasingly used as a space to host community events, display mural art, and launch city-wide festivals (like The New York Festival of Light tonight!). It is a gorgeous parcel of land we hope stays undeveloped. To visit, check out the garden hours at http://elizabethstreetgarden.org/

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Building: The Puck Building
Date built: 1885
History:

The Puck building derives its name from Puck Magazine, America’s “first successful humor magazine”–that is, humor in  social satire and political cartooning. The magazine is also the first to successfully use full-color lithography in weekly prints and the first magazine to carry illustrated advertising.

puck logoPuck-Building-new-york-354045_400_600Puck, originally a mischievous character from Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s dream, served as the personified symbol of the satirical magazine. The magazine’s cover always quoted the character, Puck, as saying “What fools these mortals be!” Today, Puck can be found at the corner of the building and above the western doorway with a top-hat and a hand-mirror, ostensibly repeating his famous refrain to admiring pedestrians.

Architecture:
The Puck building serves as an example of “German Romanesque Revival” architecture. The façade of the building certainly exhibits a Romanesque style given the copious number of arches and the long lower arcade that adorns the entirety of the edifice.

372447-4Puck, the personified character after which the building was named, stands over the entrance of the building as a reminder of old publishing district that once stood in its place. Taking a moment to appreciate this building’s stunning bright, red brick façade pays tribute to a magazine that once “served as a major institution in the city’s civic and cultural life”.

Fun Note: Puck magazine harshly criticized corrupt politicians and tycoons via its political and satirical cartoons. In 1916 media mogul William Randolph Hearst, an often satirized figure, bought the magazine and after two years the magazine, suspiciously, stopped printing. Conspiracy theorists unite!

This post is for Peter Boyce who now works in this gorgeous building.  

 Sources: http://www.neighborhoodpreservationcenter.org/db/bb_files/1983PuckBuilding.pdfhttp://goo.gl/bNc9EK, http://www.nyc-architecture.com/SOH/SOH037.htm,

source: urban compas

source: urban compass

 

Name:
Nolita derives its name as the abbreviation of ‘North of Little Italy’. This name follows the portmanteau pattern started by SoHo (South of Houston Street), and TriBeCa (Triangle Below Canal Street).

Screen Shot 2013-10-23 at 9.01.49 PMBrief History:
The neighborhood was long regarded as part of Little Italy, but has lost much of its recognizable Italian character in recent decades because of the migration of Italian-Americans out of Manhattan

Fun Facts:
Today, the Feast of San Gennaro, dedicated to Saint Januarius (“pope of Naples”), is still held in the neighborhood every year following Labor Day, on Mulberry Street between Houston and Grand Streets. The feast, as recreated on Elizabeth Street between Prince and Houston, was featured in the film The Godfather Part III.

Landmarks:
The Basilica at St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral. Opened in 1815 and  rebuilt in 1868 after a fire. The cornerstone was laid on June 8, 1809. This building served as New York City’s Roman Catholic cathedral until the new St. Patrick’s Cathedral was opened on Fifth Avenue in Midtown in 1879.

The Puck Building. An ornate structure built in 1885 on the corner of Houston and Lafayette Streets, which originally housed the headquarters of the now-defunct Puck Magazine (Puck was America’s first successful humor magazine of colorful cartoons, caricatures and political satire of the issues of the day. Puck was the first magazine to carry illustrated advertising and the first to successfully adopt full-color lithography printing for a weekly publication).

Elizabeth Street Gallery/Garden. Located in a renovated 1850s  firehouse with an adjacent sculpture garden of nearly one acre. The Gallery houses a collection of extraordinary pieces including second-century Greek and Roman carved-stone vessels.

Lombardi’s. Gennaro Lombardi started the business in 1897 as a grocery store and began selling tomato pies wrapped in paper and tied with a string at lunchtime to workers area’s factories. In 1905 Lombardi received a business license to operate a pizzeria restaurant, and so it became the first pizzeria in the United States.

Urban Compass Nolita Pics:

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