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www.bobestremeraphotography.com

In addition to the black and white photography of New York City architectural details found on this site, you can discover a wide variety of black and white New York City photography at my new site, www.bobestremeraphotography.com

There you will find black and white of New York City photography themes including New York City street photography, New York City nighttime photography, New York City Noir black and white photography and, of course, the latest in dramatic black and white portraiture.

FOTOARCHITECTURA has been a labor of love but it’s content remains at the new site, www.bobestremeraphotography.com

Hope to see you there!

Bob Estremera

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Final Days of Look Up New York, Days 86 – 91

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I feel like singing ‘My Way’ by Frank Sinatra. These are the last images from the LookUp New York campaign. But before we close, I need to thank two women who made, and helped make, the campaign such a great success. First, there’s Nicole Oge of TOWN Residential, who inspired by the ‘mermaids’ seen in today’s day 91, imagined the entire campaign. Inspired by her architectural muses across the street, she searched for and found, me. Shooting for this campaign, and the people at TOWN was a dream come true. This was a heart-felt campaign with trust and love in abundance.  A photographer could not wish for more. The other woman I need to thank is Elizabeth Finkelstein. It was her research and engaging context for each image that kept people coming back and helped to make each photo relevant, informative and has helped to drive an awareness for the need to maintain and preserve New York City’s most important architecture. OK. wiped away the tear so here we go. Day 86 is the Cartier building, actually an old mansion renovated in 1911 to become the home of Cartier. Day 87 is The Dakota. When it was completed in 1884 in an area so far removed from life in the city, it was known as pure folly. Never listen to the pundits. Day 88 is 220 Fifth Avenue in the Flatiron district. It’s one of those amazing buildings that is very ‘castly’ when you look up at it upper floors. Incredible stuff. Day 89 is 145 Franklin Street in Tribeca. This is one of the millions (an overreach? I think not) of examples of screaming faces embedded in New York City architecture. Start looking for them all over town. They’re everywhere. Day 90 is 34 Gramercy Park East. Built in 1883 due to rising property prices, it’s 10 stories tall and the oldest coop building in New York City. It even ran old-style hydraulic elevators until 1994. And lastly, the architectural details that inspired this entire campaign. The TOWN offices at 110 Fifth Avenue are directly across the street from 91 Fifth Avenue. These are the mermaids, actually ancient Greek caryatids, that spoke to Nicole Oge and inspired her to think, “what other marvels of architectural details would we see in New York if we just – looked up?”

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Look Up New York, Days 81 – 85, Waldorf Astoria, Little Singer, Gilsey House, Paramount Hotel, Helmsley building

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These images are from some of the city’s most iconic buildings. Day 81 is the Little Singer building in SOHO. Using the TOWN writeups by Elizabeth Finkelstein, the Little Singer has been called the ‘crown jewel’ of SOHO. And I’ve got to say, it has so many beautiful little architectural embellishments and, as Elizabeth describes, some beautifully ‘lacy’ wrought iron work. It’s like it’s wearing a camisol. Day 82 is the Paramount Hotel, just one of the many new Times Square buildings from the early 1900’s vying for attention; and getting it. I love the low-relief artwork topped by the old-fashioned ‘Paramount’ lit, not by neon, but by billions and billions of little points of light. Was that an exaggeration? Day 83 – The Waldorf. ‘Nuff said. It’s the frickin’ Waldorf with some of the coolest deco details in the city. Interestingly, the original Waldorf Astoria was demolished to make way for the Empire State building. Day 84 is the Helmsley. Here’s a direct quote from Elizabeth’s write up lifted right from the TOWN website, “The design, engineering and construction of the New York Central Building (now called the Helmsley Building) must have been no easy task. Straddling Park Avenue, the building is a skyscraper, a bridge and a tunnel all-in-one.” Pretty cool archtectural I’d say. And lastly, Day 85, we have the Gilsey House. It’s one of those buildings with a greatly storied past. You should really go to the TOWN website to read about this one but here’s the beginning of the writeup, “It is said to have been the first hotel in New York to offer telephone service to its guests. Rooms featured carved marble fireplaces and bronze-gilt chandeliers. Oscar Wilde and Diamond Jim Brady frequented the hotel bar, where the floor was made of silver dollars.”

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Look Up New York, Days 78 – 80, Financial District, Lower East Side and Grand Central Terminal

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This group includes one of my all-time favorite architectural details. Day 78 is the top of the Standard Oil building way downtown at 26 Broadway. The building is designed by the same architects that did one of my favorite buildings, the New York Public Library on Fifth Ave. The cauldron at the top actually burned kerosene 24 hours a day until 1956! The next is just a really cool little detail at 162 Broadway on the Lower East Side. There is so much cool stuff down there. And the pies de resistance (I don’t care if I spelled it wrong. It’s French for God’s sake) is a detail of Minerva on the largest Tiffany Clock in the world atop Grand Central Terminal. Minerva, pictured here is so lifelike despite her gargantuan size. The look is like that of a real portrait, so reflective and lovely. What masterful mason’s those workman must have been.

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Look Up New York, Tribeca, Upper East Side, Lower East Side, Gramercy Park

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This is a great string of images. The first is 146 Duane Street, Day 72. I love this old clock and it’s alway right! Twice a day. Then there’s Day 73, 173-175 East Broadway on the Lower East Side. It’s condos now but was built in 1897 to house the Jewish liberal newspaper called the Jewish Daily Forward, complete with an advise column and images of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels on the facade. The images shown here are NOT either of those two. I’ll bet Joe McCarthy loved this place. Day 74 is a one of our beloved cast iron facades with an addition of clear blocks. Sooo 1950’s Miami. Day 75 is 239 East 79th on the Upper East Side. Nothing really to distinguish the architecture but up at the tippy top, there was some great geometry going on. Day 76 is the Player’s Club at 16 Gramercy Park South. Until the TOWN writeup by Elizabeth Finkelstein, I didn’t know that Edwin Booth, brother of John Wilkes, founded the club in 1888. He hired Stanford White to reconfigure the building, originally built in 1845 as a place to socialize and bring together people in the arts. And lastly, Day 77, we have just your normal, run of the mill, exquisite architectural details at the top of 285 West Broadway in Tribeca.

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Chinatown, Cooper Union and the Financial District

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These are Days 68 – 71 of the Look Up New York campaign.  The first photo, 31 Canal Street, is way down in Chinatown. It’s near the top of a short little 4 or5 story walkup. But there at the top was this really cool Egyptiany (I just made that word up) detail. Like something you’d see in a Pharaoh’s tomb. Then there’s an abstract detail of the new Cooper Union building. Taken as a whole, this building is proof that the Borg have landed and live among us. Next, 88 Greenwich Street is proof of what an amazing photographer I am, able to make a snazzy geometric composition from a very simple building. And last, is the Surrogate’s Court building downtown. The top of this bad boy is a target rich environment when you’ve got the big lens and a dramatic sky.

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Look Up New York, Financial District, SOHO and Midtown East

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So here we have Chrysler Building, 240 Centre Street, Trinity Church and City Hall. The Chrysler Building is always simply amazing. Everybody thinks about the details of the top and spire but as you can see, stylized automotive art deco motifs are everywhere. I never even knew the wheels and car here were even there until I put my big telephoto on it. Next to it is, as Elizabeth’s TOWN writeup suggests, is one of the New York’s most splendid examples of Beaux Arts architecture. This is the back of what was, when it was built, a tribute to the beauty and majesty of the law because THIS was the the Police Headquarters to the whole city. Now, it is the Police Building Apartments. Wonder if you can still live behind bars there. I’m not so religious so I don’t know who the seated saints(?) are on the facade of Trinity Church. And lastly, a simple, or not so simple, dark oaken door set against the concrete columns of City Hall.

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Look Up New York, Days 58 – 63

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The Lookup New York campaign is about 2/3 complete. Wow. It seems like only yesterday that we had the rollout party. Nicole Oge’s (VP of TOWN marketing and brilliant originator of the campaign) loves the Day 60 shot of the gnome sitting with crossed legs. What IS he thinking? Architecturally, I’m drawn to the shot of Day 63, the details of the Municipal building at 1 Center Street. There’s so much going on but the foreground and background details complement each other and really impart the richness of the architecture. Of course, you gotta love Day 58, 487 Broadway in SOHO. Those buildings are just fantastic. Thank God they are Landmarked or the developers would tear them down in an instant for more parking.

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Look Up New York, and my next body of work

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Been a little out of commission so here’s a massive catch up job. Three of these images are going to be a part of my next series. It’ll take a while but New York City’s wonderful ‘grotesques’ and other carved stone people and faces are so diverse and beautiful that finding and ‘capturing’ them will be a compelling body of work. I will encourage anybody that has some favorites to let me know where they are. The first one in this gallery is at 254 West 54th Street. The next is, of course, the NY Stock exchange. I love how that one turned out. Lastly, we have 152-156 East 22nd Street in Gramercy Park. I nearly fell over when I saw that crazy Indian headress, bearded crazy man. I have never seen another face like it. At first I thought it was porcelain but an architect told me that it was probably some kind of glazed stonework.

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Look Up New York, FIDI, Upper East and West Side, SOHO and Flatiron

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Here are some great shots from days 45-49. The first image is from one of the most beautifully detailed buildings I’ve seen in the city. It’s 1133 Broadway. Just stunning. And when you see a big print of this, you’ll get lost in the details. The next photo is the Angelika Theater on Houston. The owl is from 116 East 68th Street on the Upper East Side on a building that is detailed with a variety of animal sculptures, great and small. The two ‘capitals’ are from the Customs House in the Financial District. Funny, but on this Facebook album, the little faces are framed because FB has applied face recognition. The last detail is from Julliard. Very much more modern and geometric.

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