I’ll never forget the first time I walked into an art deco apartment building in the Bronx.
I was taking pictures of a mural on a Grand Concourse building, when a passerby suggested I check out the interior. I headed through the nondescript entrance hallway…
…into what has to be one of the most beautiful apartment lobbies in New York City:
I’ve been in a lot of apartment buildings – trust me when I say it doesn’t get much better than this:
What really blew me away was the gorgeous terrazzo floor, which I wrote about it back in January 2012.
Built in 1937, 1150 Grand Concourse’s floor is an explosion of deco beauty in fiery reds and yellows. At the time, I remember thinking how lucky I was to stumble across such a rarity.
I’ve been scouting a lot of apartment buildings in the Bronx in the past few weeks, and while no building might equal the mastery of 1150 Grand Concourse, there are some beautifully imaginative and unique art deco terrazzo floors out there, many in buildings that have otherwise been forgotten. I wanted to share some of my favorites with you.
Here’s another beauty on Grand Concourse:
Doesn’t the repetition of symbols almost feel like alien hieroglyphics?
Close-up of the floor:
The terrazzo designs continue up into the wings of the lobby…
…where you find this great swoop design:
I would be remiss not to highlight the fantastic mosaics on either side of the lobby’s central fireplace…
…a wonderful menagerie of colorfully depicted animals:
Here’s another great lobby along Grand Concourse…
…which has sort of a ying/yang theme to it:
This is a really unusual one I like on Jerome Ave:
I love the mixture of basic shapes, in almost crop circle-like patterns:
The dashes and squares lead right up to the elevator:
I was told by the doorman that the building below was one of the first art decos to be constructed in the Bronx. And while its terrazzo floor might be a bit more basic…
…I love the two wings…
…where you find the floor pattern…
…reflected overhead on the ceiling:
Even when the lobbies are smaller, the architects still went out of their way to create some distinctive patterns. Here’s a very small lobby on Tiebout Ave…
…which nevertheless has a fantastic mixture of p-shapes and arrows:
What amazes me to no end is that I have yet to see a pattern repeated. Even when the designs are simpler, like this flower burst…
…or these circles…
…or these emblems, each is still totally unique:
Finally, here’s one last example along Grand Concourse, whose entrance alone is worth mentioning…
…a beautiful gold mosaic surrounding its revolving door:
Inside is a compass-like pattern centered around a gold mosaic fountain:
Never underestimate the Bronx – there is a tremendous amount of beauty to be found if you take the time to look.
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