Wrecker, Spare That Frieze!

As featureless new buildings replace the old, the faces of our cities are going blank. But evocative relics of an earlier, ornate age are being rescued, to stand once more in a unique garden in Brooklyn.

The desk sergeant at New York City’s twenty-fifth precinct was skeptical. He looked again at the six men and women before him, their work clothes covered with the dust of demolition. Then he turned to the arresting officer. “You say these people were stealing from a construction site at Eighty-sixth and Second Avenue?”
“Yes. sir.”

“What were they stealing?”

Lost Elegance

Home to royal and republican governors, host to a century of great men, stately Shirley Place in Roxbury, Massachusetts, is falling into ruin

The Mansion is what the children of the district call it, knowing nothing of its history. It stands narrowly on its once rural hill, as it has these 200 years, in a peripheral Boston slum where the tide of middle-class respectability ebbed two generations ago. Roxbury, between Uphams Corner and the Dudley Street terminal, is not the place where one would expect to find a royal governor’s residence. There is a mean anonymity to these encroaching streets.Read more »