Terra Cotta New York

Exploring the Ornamentation of New York Architecture

With Lucie Levine

Terra-Cotta, or “fired earth” is the clay chameleon of the concrete jungle: it can mimic stone or sport a rainbow of Technicolor glazes. Both lightweight and highly malleable, its ideal for both slim curtain walls and ornate sculptural ornaments. By the turn of the 20th century, many of the city’s most eminent architects, including Cass Gilbert, Henry Hardenbergh, George B. Post and Ely Jacques Khan, worked in terra-cotta, and the clay faced some of the city’s most iconic facades, including the Flatiron Building, the Woolworth Building and the Plaza Hotel. In fact, the New York Terra Cotta Company was commissioned on more than 2,000 projects through the US and Canada. On this virtual tour we’ll visit terra-cotta structures throughout the 5 boroughs and see the material in of its most beautiful and diverse forms, from a Technicolor Moorish-Revival Temple to a French Renaissance Chateau to an Italian Mannerist school.

Saturday, July 18
1:00 PM — 3:00 PM

Virtual Tour

Member: $10
Non-member: $20

Terracotta exterior of the Woolworth Building
The Woolworth Building . Photo: Wikimedia Commons, Tony Hisgett. Modifications: photo cropped.