After years studying New York architecture, I often think I know what I’m looking at.
This Horton Ice Cream pediment in the red brick Romanesque style looked like some antique corporate headquarters and a contemporary of our ClockTower. Time to get out the camera.
But I was wrong on both counts.
First, despite the round top windows,
The terracotta inserts, and the fancy zigzag brick, all classic 1885 Romanesque.
This building went up in 1910, a full quarter century after our Victorian home. It missed the Romanesque period of our ClockTower by 25 years.
And it turns out this building never had anything to do with ice cream, either. What?
The Columbus Avenue EL, an elevated subway, ran along Columbus Avenue from 1879 through 1949.
This vintage shot from 1936 shows the 72nd street subway stop two blocks away from Horton’s. A pot bellied stove in the subway. Right.
So the Horton sign is just a billboard at subway level that has survived since 1940. Nice.