The famed Puck Building takes up the entire block between Lafayette, Mulberry, the alley Jersey Street and East Houston. It was built as a printing plant between 1886 and 1893 by the publishers of the satirical magazine published between 1877 and 1918. It has recently been home to both the New York Press weekly and Spy monthly, though both left the building before going out of business (I write for New York Press’ online successor, SpliceToday). Some of the Puck Building was shaved off when Lafayette Street was extended south.
The gilded Puck sculptures by Henry Baerer don’t resemble the imp of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream fame; that Puck resembled the goats or fauns of Roman myths. This Puck is the one designed for the magazine, resembling a Victorian bon vivant with a top hat, carrying a pen and a mirror as Puck, the magazine, sent up the chattering classes of its era the same way that Spy and to a much lesser degree New York Press did in theirs.
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