• New acquisition: terracotta cornice lion, Boatman’s bank 1915 annex, St Louis MO

    I purchased one of these cornice lions last week, it came from the 1915 annex of the Boatmans’ bank building, St Louis.

    27″H 11″W 17″D, 130#

    The building was originally 7 stories high, but in 1920 they added 4 more floors on after removing the roof and cornice, and then either replacing the original cornice or re-installing it all. There were 69 lions that were scaled for a 7 story building, and when it was 11 stories they looked someone “small” scaled.

     


    Boatman’s bank annex ca 1915
    Architect: Eames and Young (active 1885-1910s)

     

    The terracotta and the lions were made by the Winkle terracotta Company, St Louis

    Photo from 1883

     

  • Architectural Artifact of the month (August 2019)

    I thought I would start a new feature here, each month I will feature and detail one artifact from my collection.

    Artifact: Corinthian Capital
    Material: Cast iron
    Identification marks: J.L. Jackson New York (foundry)
    Dim’s h/w/d:
    11” x 18-1/2”
    Weight:
    40#

    The 1850 U. S. Census recorded James L. Jackson, Iron Foundry as having invested $32,000 in capital, and owning materials consisting of 1200 tons of pig iron and 500 tons of coal valued at a combined total of $24,600. The foundry employed an average of 95 workman and paid average monthly wages of $3700. The annual product consisted of 500 tons of “grate castings” worth $50,000 and 500 tons of other castings valued at $40,000 for a combined total of $90,000.

    Thirty years later James L. Jackson, iron foundry, was enumerated again in the 1880 U. S. Census for industries. At that time capital invested had increased to $250,000. The greatest number of workmen employed was 230, and the total amount paid in wages during the year was $78,552. The value of materials owned was $106,258, and the value of the past year’s product was $210,598.

    In the early 1850s J. L. Jackson opened a second location at 55-65 Goerck St. Then in 1857 his directory listing announced that the business would “remove in September to Twenty Eighth street, a few doors east of Second Av.” The business prospered and expanded on E. 28th St., and remained there until selling out in 1882.

    James had a brother who was part of the foundry for a period from 1853 to 1874 when he moved to California, ironwork cast during his time of involvement and ads had his brother included per; “J.L. Jackson & Bro” My artifact either dates to before or immediately after the brother’s involvement, dating it to ca 1853 or ca 1874.
    Jackson’s foundry was the oldest in the city, and provided iron to some notable buildings, including- the one I lived in on Broadway!
    but also the Metropolitan Life tower, Carnegie Hall, the Puck Building and others. They incorporated in 1885 so I have to assume they changed all references to the name to & Co, Company, or similar then, so that dates my artifact to before then.

    The following obituary appeared in the New York Times, 7 Oct. 1888,

    “James L. Jackson died at his home in Yonkers Friday. He was born in this city Aug. 29, 1818, and established himself in the iron manufacturing business here in 1840. For many years he was very prominent in his line of business, and when he sold out in 1882 to what is now known as the Jackson Architectural Iron Works he was one of the oldest men engaged in it. He erected the iron portion of many prominent structures of this city, among them the Harpers’ building, the Potter Building, Cooper Institute, the Grand Opera House, and the Mills & Gibb building. He was an inventor, and obtained about 100 patents. During the war he made shells for the Government.”

     

    Goerck Street where the J.L. Jackson foundry was located no longer exists. It ran From Grand Street north to East Third Street. Named by surveyor Joseph Mangin to honor his partner, Casimir Goerck. Goerck died in 1798 before the survey could be finished.

     The Corlears Hook Houses, now the ILGWU Cooperative Village (south of Delancey) and the Baruch Houses (north of Delancey) were built over the street and what was there.

     

  • My book: The Gargoyler of Greenwich Village (update)

    I am pleased to say I now have printing for the book arranged again and the quality of the printing is excellent as before. I tried an alternate printer that was a little less cost and as soon as I got the two samples I ordered I immediately regretted it, the photos were muddy and dark, the colors washed out and even the actual photos as printed were not as clear and were somewhat “hazy” as you can see in the photo below, the upper photo in each set is the alternate printer, the bottom was printed by Amazon/KDP, mind you the original Kodak print dates back to the 1970s and has damage to it that isn’t going to go away like magic at the printer, but you can clearly see how poor the alternate printer’s work was- darker, not clear, foggy or hazy, detail is lost, the colors are dull. In contrast the Amazon/KDP is warmer, clearer/sharper, no “haze” and more vibrant colors.

    These are just quick snaps with an iPhone of the two books laid on the kitchen counter;

     

     

    The gloss cover on both printed books however looked the same and excellent;

     

    You can order a signed, numbered copy directly from me for $35 total, ppd,  or you spend more and get it from Amazon for $39.95 plus tax and shipping but they won’t be signed or numbered as they won’t pass through my hands, link to order the book;

    My BOOK The Gargoyler of Greenwich Village