I noticed this keystone figurehead while strolling the Ladies Mile portion of Sixth Avenue.  She resides at 675, the historic Adams & Co. Building, now home to Trader Joe’s.  Like most of the showiest ornamentation along this stretch of buildings, she is perched near the top of the second floor, intended to impress the passengers of the elevated train that once ran along this avenue around the turn of the last century.

Over ten years ago I stumbled upon the same visage, albeit a bit smaller, in the trash room of my apartment building in Brooklyn. My husband and I lugged the new treasure up to our living room. She moved with us to New Jersey and now emerges from the garage each spring to nestle among the hostas around our patio.

Although her gaze differs between the two, her headpiece is nearly identical and very distinctive. Could someone please shed some light on the identity of this mystery lady?

Views of a Ladies Mile mystery lady by Laura Lande. 



54 Bond Street Exterior Restoration, January 2013: Before restoration

The deteriorated facade is riddled with cast iron rust, missing cast iron pieces, metal plate supports, and sheet metal covering.

54 Bond Street Exterior Restoration

August 2015: After restoration

The scaffolding is removed and the facade shines like a gem.

Before and after views of the cast iron facade restoration at 54 Bond Street brought to you by Bradley Heraux.


I don’t think it can be explained, and I kind of like it that way.  In the middle of a run-of-the-mill block on West 38th Street at the edges of the old millinery and trimming districts is this building replete with massive terra cotta Roman Centurion’s helmets.  The letters “SPQR”  are there in sharp relief below some of the helmets.  “Senatus Populusque Romanus”  the Latin for the Senate and People of Rome. Best place to see it without scaffolding?  The dressing rooms at the Men’s department of Lord and Taylor, another fine old building.

View of the terra cotta Roman Centurion helmets brought to you by Dan Allen.

View of the terra cotta Roman Centurion helmets brought to you by Dan Allen.


When I think of copper, I hear sounds of hammers rhythmically shaping pots and pans and samovars by the hands of the coppersmiths in the dimly lit back alley souks of my town; I can picture the dull reflection of the sun on the jugs and vases as they turned in their hands, indented designs appearing like cuneiform poems on the red surface; I can see young women adorning themselves with thin copper coin belts getting ready for a wedding dance.

Now copper tells me of a man who once intoned, “Four score and seven years ago….”; it tells me of the tinkling of pennies dropped into the tip jar at Dunkin Donuts when no one wants to carry the tiny coins in their purse. But copper has mostly become cladding and counterflashing skirts in my imagination… and a giant copper clad lady near Ellis Island.

View of a copper facade brought to you by Shukri Sindi.