City College Grotesques

Where can you find the highest concentration of grotesques in New York City? The answer is on the campus of City College of New York.

Location

City College is located on Amsterdam Avenue near 138th Street. It is in the Hamilton Heights neighborhood of Manhattan just north of Harlem.

How Many Grotesques?

According to “The City College of NY 150 Years of Academic Architecture” written by Paul David Pearson (1997) the buildings are “encased with over 600 grotesque figures that directly relate to the educational function of each building. The figures were designed by Livingston Smith, a staff member in the post’s architectural office, modeled by G. Grundellis and cast in terra cotta.” I got this quote from another website. Scouting NY website says there are 1,000. I don’t think I was able to access close to either of those numbers walking around campus, however, there are a lot to see.

A professor? This looks to be modeled after a real person.
Engineering?
Looks like he has money, so business or finance?
Digging up bones- archeology
Painting- art
Music
How to Get There

In Manhattan take the number 1 subway line to 137th Street- City College station. Exit and walk up Hamilton Place and turn right on 138th Street. When you cross Amsterdam Avenue you are there. Anyone can walk around the campus. There are not many people there on the weekend, but I was still able to walk around the buildings. There are areas you can not walk on campus. Some streets or alleyways may be closed off with fences.

If grotesques peak your interest, it is worth a trip up the 1 train. It may also be a good destination prior to Halloween.

Kingston’s Murals

What happens when prices rise so high in New York City that renting or buying is out of the question for the average person? What happens when the cost of goods can be up to twice that national average and New York City has the highest income taxes in the country? If you said there would be an exodus, you would be correct. Many upstate communities have benefitted from this exodus, Kingston being one of them.

Midtown at Keegan Ales
Midtown area
Town that Supports the Arts

Kingston has benefitted so much so that some are calling it the new Brooklyn. Artists and others have moved up to Kingston due to the town’s much lower real estate prices and cost of living. Also, there are people who make the long commute from the Kingston area.

Kingston promotes art and it has a very active art community. There are several galleries and a gallery hop takes place on the first Saturday night of each month. The Midtown Arts District is trying to promote art tourism to the area. The put on an O+ festival in which murals are created. This fall festival brings in art muralists from around the world.

Uptown behind a building on North Front Street
On the back of a building that faces North Front Street. You can view this from the city parking lot on the side.
Where the Murals Are Located

Many of the murals are in the uptown and midtown areas of Kingston. In the midtown area some can be seen on the sides of buildings along Broadway and on streets that run parallel to it or interest it. In the uptown area, otherwise known as the Stockade District., the murals can be seen on streets that run parallel to North Front Street and on ones that intersect it.

The Kingston area saw a marked decline after the closing of the IBM plant in the 1990s. It is now making a resurgence. A more creative vibe is appearing. It affects other areas such as the restaurant industry. NYC’s loss is Kingston’s gain.

Midtown at Keegan Ales

Broadway in Midtown
The YMCA is on Broadway. If you go to their back parking lot behind the building you will see this one and another.
This is between buildings on Broadway in Midtown.