The big brass bull at Bowling Green is visited daily by hordes of out of town tourists. (His counterpoint, “Fearless Girl,” has been moved over to the New York Stock Exchange on Wall Street, where she stares down evil stock traders; most of my profits over the last few years have been realized from transactions made by the evil traders).
They don’t come for the quartet of sea nymphs riding half horses half fish, known as hippocamps, on the 19th floor of the Cunard Building, 25 Broadway. The building, on the west side of Broadway, was part of “Steamship Row” containing offices of the great steamship lines that transported passengers across the oceans before the era of air travel. As you may expect, these buildings often contain references to the sea. #1 Broadway at Bowling Green features portraits of Mercury and Poseidon by its front entrance as well as terra cotta escutcheons of the great ports of the world above the second floor.
25 Broadway contained the ticket offices of the Cunard Line, a function it maintained until 1968. The front hall, now a Cipriani restaurant, has faithfully maintained its detailing. The building dates to 1921 and was designed by Benjamin W. Morris, consulting with the Carrere and Hastings firm. our nymphs and hippocamps, meanwhile, were rendered by sculptor Michael Parzini.
The problem with the sculptures is they aren’t apparent when you’re standing on Broadway. I spotted them from Bowling Green, where I got this shot. A better view would be from #26 Broadway across the street. Parzini, meanwhile, sculpted the eagles that stood on the Colonial Road bridge over the Belt Parkway in Bay Ridge. When that bridge was demolished the eagles found their way to the Central Park Zoo.
Info: Manhattan’s Little Secrets, John Tauranac, 2018 Globe Pequot