An Art Deco Masterpiece in the Bronx

Right before Christmas, I was scouting up along Grand Concourse in the Bronx near 166th Street, where you find a whole bunch of art deco apartment buildings…

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They’re all pretty neat, but one in particular caught my eye for a small detail I nearly walked right past…

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Surrounding the entrance, beneath a stainless steel awning…

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…A beautiful mosiac aquarium!

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I stopped for a moment to take it in – I love the whimsical design and pops of color…

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So much detail in this guy’s face…

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Aquatic plantlife is also on display…

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As I was taking pictures, someone told me I should check out the lobby. Intrigued, I went in the entrance hallway…

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…and found myself standing in an absolutely stunning Art Deco masterpiece:

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Seriously, how great is this??

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As it turns out, 1150 Grand Concourse, popularly known as the “fish building” for its mosaic,  is widely regarded as one of Grand Concourse’s art deco gems:

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Built in 1937, the red, green, and gold terrazzo floor is particular stunning:

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Really neat wall ornamentation:

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Two murals by Rene and CP Graves adorn the walls, both sadly faded (I adjusted the photos to better make them out):

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The second, following in the aquatic theme:

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Entrance to apartments:

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The elevators:

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Finally,  two rearlit floral stained glass windows adorn the walls near the entrance:

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Ha, wow – I had NO idea this existed. A great reminder for the New Year that no matter how much of New York City you think you’ve seen, there’s always something amazing waiting to be discovered.

-SCOUT

PS – A few additional close-ups of the mosaic:

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30 comments

  1. Sherry Winchester

    Gorgeous! What a delight to see!! Thanks for posting! :^)

  2. How cool would it be to live there?!

  3. Thank you for showing the Bronx, it often gets left out and it is really a beautiful place :)

  4. If I lived there, I would spend all my time in the lobby. Gorgeous! Thanks for posting this!

  5. Wow, words fail me. Stunning

  6. I’m with Chris!! I’d never leave it. Magnificent!

  7. It was recently included in the Grand Concourse Historic District. More info can be found here: http://www.nyc.gov/html/lpc/downloads/pdf/reports/2403.pdf (pp. 83-4 of the pdf).

    Also, it is 1150, not 1050.

    Very cool!

  8. I loved the mosaics at the entrance, but my balls fell to the floor when I saw the lobby photos. Thank you and happy new year!

  9. So cool. My dad grew up near this building — I showed him these pictures and he remembers it (though he was never in the lobby). My dad left the Bronx in 1964, but I think I also remember driving past it as a child when we went to visit relatives. Dad says that, yes, there are lots of wonderful old buildings in the Bronx, though much has changed since he lived there. You may also want to check out Parkchester — my mother grew up there, and it has a fascinating history.

  10. Stuccing Funning!!!! (pardon the pun) … Magnificent!!! SuperDoublePlusGood!

    Many thanks and please keep us informed about the movie!

    Res

  11. Yes, it’s one of many of the Bronx hidden Deco gems.

    -S-

  12. Waiting for Don Draper to step out of the elevator. Beautiful

  13. If I lived there the fact that the carpet in the lobby is ugly and slightly off-center would drive me crazy. I realize that it’s off-center because the elevators aren’t centered, but it’d still drive me nuts.

  14. This is a pretty good example of one of those magnificent Bronx buildings that has continually been maintained, as if they are waiting for a real estate revival that has yet to come to pass.

    There’s quite a few, especially on the Concourse, that, luckily for us, did not fall prey to the arsons of the 70s. Apparently many of these apartments are large, light-filled, and offer decent views also.

    It’s almost better that gentrification has yet to occur; in buildings like this the Bronx working class gets great apartments for a mere pittance compared to Manhattan.

  15. Dude! All I can say is WOW. Maybe squared, make that cubed.

  16. My dad came from the Bronx, Davidson Ave. We used to visit Grandma
    every Christmas at the old house. Really cool borough and the Concourse
    always amazed me. Thanks again for some great memories.

  17. Considering the heyday of the Grand Concourse has long past, it’s a wonder it all remains in such good condition. Not to mention the freeze-thaw seasonal cycles haven’t caused the mosaic tiles to pop off years ago.

  18. Glad to see something about The Bronx.

  19. Wow, this is gorgeous! I love that they kept it looking the same. Nothing is more sad than tearing down beautiful old things for modernization’s sake.

  20. Wow, so beautiful! Thanks for sharing so many of NYC’s hidden gems!

  21. I lived and grew up in the Bronx, remember these bldgs……it was at that time in the 40′s a very expensive and exclusive area to live in………it slowly declined and became quite ugly….what a shame..

  22. Thomas F Flanagan

    That area as a kid I believed all the rich people lived there ?? I lived on Ogden ave in Highbridge up the hill from the Yankee Stadium Tommy Flanagan

  23. As a kid, growing up on the Concourse, I always wondered what the Fish building looked like inside. I’m so pleased it is so well preserved! It is more wonderful than I imagined.
    The terrazzo floors were a frequent feature in those deco buildings. My cousins lived in the pink and white buildings shown at the top of the page. I loved visiting the building. The lobby had terrazzo floors in the entry, deco designed carpeting in the main lobby, circular blue mirrors on the ceiling, and lobby furniture that was either designed by Donald Deskey, or a very skilled imitator. The apartments featured sunken living rooms, and luxurious sprawling layouts. It was a golden era in architecture in the Bronx.

  24. i lived in this building growing up in the 50′s and early 60′s. it is truly a gem. i often dream about the lobby that used to have big cushy burgundy colored leather chairs and sofa.every apartment in the building including the studio apartments had what they called ‘sunken’ living rooms which meant there were two steps down into the room. the proximity to yankee stadium didn’t hurt either……

    • You must remember the super, Chick, and his daughter Mopsy. I don’t remember his wife’s name or other kids.
      My aunt, uncle & cousins Harold and Marty lived on the 3rd floor, a front apartment.
      I was there a couple of times a month, at least — just LOVED going there. I remember the lobby at Christmas, they did quite a job.

  25. My aunt, uncle and cousins lived in the fish building in the 1950s-60s. It was beautiful. They had a large, dropped living room overlooking the Concourse, and the 2 bathrooms were done in the most unusual colored tile (navy, maroon).
    The cross street at the corner was McClellan St. There was an intricate cement “backyard” where we’d play ringolevio. Izzy and Sarah’s candy store was on the next corner.

  26. Thank you once again for High lighting such beauty in the crevices of N.Y. and the Boroughs! My sister and I would march down in the area of the Concourse in our American Legion Band! The absolute artful and Deco era are on display as you portrayed. So many hidden gems, so many places – YAY! thank you for the memories you have conjured up for me. The Murals on walls, buses, and random places are all Masterpieces of people expressing themselves within the beat of the City, Art is Art!! The soda shops, lunch at Woolworths, candy stores, and the like are still etched in my head–The wrecking ball finds and destroys many a forgotten Memory, or loving ones. How about the fire hydrant as our source of cooling down? Mom took us to Beaches, such as The Bronx Beach and Freedom Land and Coney Island!! such treats

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