I was walking uptown on Madison Avenue with my wife today when I noticed something up high out of the corner of my eye. On the corner of East 80th Street, just a short way off to the right, I could see these four khaki-colored figurative sculptures on the rooftop. They were swaying slightly with the wind, but it was still hard to tell what they were. You can get a somewhat better look via the zoomed-in image below, but it’s still a bit mysterious as to what these things are supposed to be.
I can’t find any information about the sculptures via an online search, and it’s hard to tell from the angle of my top picture whether they’re on top of the 1st brick building in from the corner, or the 2nd. If it’s the first, that would be 49 East 80th Street, which has some interesting history. It was designed by Harry Allan Jacobs and built in 1930 for the banker Lionello Perera (whose private bank eventually merged with Bank of America). It has art deco design elements (see below) and utilizes materials such as sandstone, brick, and thin slabs of terra cotta. The house was later sold to Walter Edward Sachs, a grandson of Marcus Goldman who founded Goldman, Sachs & Company in 1869. The next well-known owner of this same home was Barbra Streisand*, who owned the home circa 1969-1970 before moving to California.
Despite finding all of that info about this home, I still can’t find anything about the sculptures … if you know anything about them, please let us know in the comments section below.
*(I just realized this is the 2nd time that Barbra Steisand’s name has come up in my arts adventures … the first time was in San Francisco on Lombard Street – see more here. It’s kind of funny, because I’m not a Streisand fan, I’m not looking for any connections, they just find me)