On the corner of Spring and Bowery stands the magnificent German Bank Building. Decades of urban scrawl cover its granite facade and it has been the home of commercial photographer Jay Maisel and his family for nearly fifty years, he still maintains his studio and gallery there. With six floors and seventy two rooms, this breathtaking monument, now an official New York City landmark, stands as a defiant symbol of past glories while around it the ‘Bowery’ is modernized by a plague of eye watering  neon and glass.  I know that one day some bright young spark from City Hall is going to commission an army of cleaners to descend on 190 Bowery and wipe away all traces of a character that no longer fits into its surroundings. Until then, we can only marvel at its unique, graffiti embellished beauty.

German Bank Building

31 thoughts on “Glorious

    • I’m sure you know this building well. It seems to be a ‘mecca’ for the homeless who sit on its steps and soak in the last fragments of the winter sun. I can’t pass through that area without walking past. It has a strange comfort to it, I have no idea why?

      • Anton, you have captured the comfort so well, that incredible sky with the lone bird with this building sailing down the Bowery . . . Yes, I do know the building well but am reluctant to photograph it because I know I couldn’t get a shot as good as I want to. Like yours! Funny where we find our comfort. BTW, did you read a recent New Yorker piece on the homeless stats in NYC, Oct 28 – grim reading of a problem that seems to be going deeper underground.

        • Thanks, you know, not one of the Mayoral candidates had the homeless anywhere near their future agenda. Not surprising, but very sad as a reflection on the society we live in. Grim is an understatement. Underground is invisible to the naked eye, and that is where they will stay. There are non so blind as those that don’t want to see. Thanks Patti, appreciate your comment, as always.

    • This building has always had a real attraction for me. I have photographed it a thousand times but this is my favorite. Finally, I think I got it right! Thank you for your comment.

    • Thanks Mark, the ‘back story’ is a little more interesting, Jay Maisel bought the building in 1966 for just over $100,000 it is now worth well over 50 million? I wish I had that kind of story. Thank you for the re-blog.

    • I have lost count of the number of photographs I have taken of this building (over 6 years), never satisfied with what I got. Finally I think I nailed it! There is an essence to this place that never looked how I felt about it. Now it does …. I can move on (phew!). Thanks, as ever, for your comment Karen.

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