• Architectural Lion Keystone Ca 1901

    Now there’s a mystery!
    I looked up the location on Google maps where I removed one of these around 1977- 99th St 2nd ave and much to my surprise the building is still there! but even more surprising is, none of the lion keystones is missing, nor are their patches in the wall where the holes were! As I zoomed in on the facades, nothing looks like anything had been replaced, yet in my 1977 photo I can clearly see 4 holes in the wall over the fire escapes, I only remember removing one because it was way up in Harlem and quite a bike ride up there, the window on the upper floor over the fire escape clearly shows my usual hole in the wall digging down from above and removing the bricks above and behind to pull the keystone up and in.

    So I thought, well there’s new building a block further up on that side of the street, maybe somehow I got 99th street mixed up with 100th street, but the old Bromley fire insurance map for that block doesn’t jive for that scenario as it had 24 foot wide lots with 24 foot wide buildings having 4 windows across, the 1977 photo and the map shows 99th street having 40 foot wide buildings with 6 windows across, so it’s the right block, and in the 1977 view the corner building was gone- just a vacant lot and in the street view is a new high rise building there.
    Now that’s plain wierd, and it means that somehow exact antique replacements were found (unlikely) and installed in the holes, or they hired Boston Valley to replicate them- possible but VERY costly, and these tenements were not historic or anything of the sort.

    99th St 2nd Ave, ca 1977

    99th St 2nd Ave, 2018

    Detail of one of the lion keystones.

    I don’t have an explanation for how the holes were filled up and the 4 lions I know that were removed are back in the wall as replicas or who knows!

  • Architectural Lion Keystone 1901

    I used to have one of these lion keystones, the seIIer of this one wants more than I’m open to paying for it, but they accept 0ffers, so I sent mine in, we’ll see.

    I know they’ve had it quite a while because I bookmarked it in 2016.
    Dimensions: 23″ high- 12″ wide x 10″ deep.

    Interestingly enough it’s crisper and in better condition than the one I had back around 1980, it looks like the one I had was either made in a very worn mold or it wasn’t fired properly because it had a “grainy” pitted look.

    The store emailed that yes, they accepted! funny thing was in 2016 I saved the page it was on, they had it priced at $2,400, NOW they have it at $1,200 and I offered them $950, so that’s quite a lot off their original $2,400 price but like a lot of things they just picked a number and put it there, but after at least 2 years of sitting there taking up space and not selling they decided to halve the price and I’m probably the only one who showed any interest in it!

    After the keystone arrived Friday, I started stripping that crappy gold paint off it, and after fabricating a steel bracket for it, it’s now mounted on the wall.