Wednesday, July 29, 2009
☞ WALK: The Lions of Jerusharlem
One of the architectural surprises to be found while strolling south of 125th Street are the pair of striking lions' heads on the building at the corner of ACP/7th Avenue and West 121st Street. While the regally crowned busts adorned with star of David necklaces may allude to the building's Jewish Harlem origins, the base is engraved with E.O.C.C., an acronym that stands for the Ethiopian Orthodox Coptic Church. That church should not be confused with the several Ethiopian Jewish congregations that have worshipped in Harlem since the early half of the 20th century. As a result, the best we can conclude is that the entrance pillars represent a mixture of faiths in the neighborhood.
The photos of the statues were originally taken in early spring, but we have since noticed a chip in the left lion's jawline a couple of weeks ago. It seems either nature or local vandals have been chipping a bigger hole in the bust as the weeks go by. The lions' eyes currently have red glass rubies in them, and those may too disappear in the next few months. Come see it before it's all gone by taking the 2,3 train to 125th street and walking south on Adam Clayton Powell to the west corner of 121st Street.