Old New York
| THE MORNING LINE ‣
♥ Neil Patrick Harris
☆ Nemo, 48 E. 21 [Bway/Park Av. S.] 212.505.0009
and also Bella Tile, 178 1st [10th/11th] 212.475.2909
Quality Tile, 2541 Boston Rd [Wallace/Barnes] Bx 718.653.0830
☆ Ann Sacks, 37 E. 18th [Bway/Park Av. S.] 212.529.2800 and 204 E. 58th [2nd/3rd] 212.588.1920
Artistic Tile, 38 W. 21st [5th/6th] 212.727.9331
Bisazza, 43 Greene [Grand/Broome] 212.334.7130
Country Floors, 15 E. 16th [5th/Union Sq. W.] 212.627.8300
Sicis, 470 Broome [Greene] 212.965.4100
Walker Zanger, 37 E. 20th [Bway/Park Ave. S.] 212.844.3000
Waterworks, 215 E. 58th [2nd/3rd] 212.371.9266 and 7 E. 20th [5th/Bway] 212.254.6025
The terra cotta that adorns many building facades is one of New York's more underappreciated treasures. A non-profit group dedicated to the preservation of these decorative tiles and ornaments is Friends of Terra Cotta, founded by Susan Tunick.
Where to See Guastavino Tile Work
Who's Guastavino? [!]
• The Oyster Bar
• The Cathedral of St. John the Divine
• Ellis Island Registry Room
• St. Paul's Chapel at Columbia University
• The Municipal Building
• Bronx Zoo Elephant House (Zoo Center)
• City Hall Station (closed)
Bethesda Terrace Arcade
Next to Bethesda Fountain, the Minton Tiles: over 15,000 tiles manufactured by England's Minton Tile Company in a space designed by Jacob Wrey Mould. Since its restoration by the Conservancy in 2007, once again one of the glories of the park.
Repair: R. G. New York Tile
Caper: The Brooklyn Tile Heist
Learn: Mosaic class
Blog: Tiles in New York
National Mah Jongg League, 250 W. 57th [Bway/8th] 212.246.3052, has over 350,000 members and sponsors tournaments, resolves rule disputes, and will even try to find a match for lost tiles. They have an online Mah Jongg game, too.
The MTA's guide to Art En Route is here [PDF], browse by artist and check out the PBS show Treasures of New York: Art Underground.
Toynbee Tiles Mystery
Finally, the Toynbee tiles. These are tiles that have been embedded into roads in New York, up and down the East Coast, and as far away as South America for many years. Toynbee was an English historian, and his name appears on these plaques. Exactly what they mean, who's doing them, what the references to Stanley Kubrick and the planet Jupiter signify, remains a mystery. Resurrect Dead: The Mystery of the Toynbee Tiles explores the story.
New York City experiment in gardening around 1922