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Bowery Message Mix

Bowery & Great Jones Street Signs

353 Bowery condo from Bowery and Great Jones Street

On frigid days, stainless architecture reflects the snowy streets and takes on a stark profile under clear winter blue skies. Once the kingdom of forgotten men, the Bowery and the rest of NoHo is being transformed by new construction. There is a strident element to the architecture, which is at odds with this very old part of the city. On Great Jones Street, amidst empty storefronts and scaffolding, you will find vestiges of cobblestone charm.

Wall Lamp in The Future Perfect

Lamp at The Future Perfect

The Future Perfect, the Williamsburg decorative arts shop that opened a Manhattan outpost at 55 Great Jones in 2009, remains a showcase for innovative design. Alex Randall’s Squirrel Wall Lamp caught my eye, but I was unsure how my chihuahua would react to the stuffed rodent, poised to leap from its wire perch.

If you’re in the mood for Cajun comfort food, you’ll find much more appetizing fare at the Great Jones Cafe, the downtown haven at 54 Great Jones Street. Well-priced shrimp gumbo, red beans and rice and a spicy Cajun Mary hit the spot.

Great Jones Café

Cajun Comfort Food at Great Jones Cafe

353 Bowery & Cooper Square Hotel

Cooper Square Hotel and Cooper Union Building

From the corner of Great Jones Street, you can see 353 Bowery, the 15-story Robert Scarano-designed condo, which also has the address of 52 East 4th Street. The aluminum-clad Cooper Square Hotel designed by Carlos Zapata Studio and the dramatic new Cooper Union academic building at 41 Cooper Square complete this trifecta of modern architecture.

Cooper Union's New Academic Building

New Academic Building at Cooper Union

Founded in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art has been a radical model of higher education. The new academic building continues that tradition. Designed by Thom Mayne of Morphosis Architecture, it is the first academic structure New York City to meet Platinum-level LEED standards for energy efficiency. Highlights include a full-height Grand Atrium, prevalent interior windows and floating interior skyways. It houses The Cooper Union’s School of Engineering and Art.

Carl Fisher Building and One Astor Place

The Carl Fisher Building and One Astor Place

Across Cooper Square, the mysterious shadow play of Gwathmey Siegal’s One Astor Place condominium against the painted clef on the side of its prewar neighbor, The Carl Fischer Building, punctuates the paradox of this architecturally evolving neighborhood. The Carl Fischer, a prestigious office building erected in 1926, is now also a condo.


  1. barryblogs wrote:

    I recently saw a great PBS documentary on the origins of Cooper Union. Interesting to read these observations–and see your photos. Your description of the neighborhood gave this mid-nineteenth century bldg. some context. Looking forward to more of your iconic posts!

    Monday, January 31, 2011 at 2:39 pm | Permalink
  2. Richard Martino wrote:

    I’ve always wanted to roam Manhattan streets and report what I see and discover, and you’re doing it! Beautifully! Favorite phrase:”kingdom of forgotten men”. Poetic!

    Wednesday, February 2, 2011 at 8:07 am | Permalink
  3. Cherie hinson wrote:

    Who designed Carl fisher building ? Architect ???

    Saturday, April 18, 2015 at 4:34 pm | Permalink
  4. Andrew Kay wrote:

    I have not been able to find out the name of the architect of 62 Cooper Square. A good question! Thanks for asking.

    Thursday, June 25, 2015 at 7:46 am | Permalink

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