Tuesday, November 23, 2010

☞ BESPOKE: Contrasting Cast Iron on East 127th

The final decorative accent on all brownstones can be found in the cast iron work that adorn the facades of the buildings.  We are often fascinated by the various conditions of these century old townhouses and the way they have been maintained.  While walking past 20 East 127th Street, one of the most striking examples can be found at the Langston Hughes house which has both of its decorative finials painted in contrasting colors.  Most folks tend to restore the intricate metalwork with a solid coat of paint but those who know what they are doing can sometimes add a little character by contrasting the details.  The lower photo shows a neighboring house on the same block with a renovated stoop that has somehow consumed part of the side rails and has been remiss in replacing the newel post.  The solid green is nice enough but the missing components makes the renovation look incomplete.  For those who are wondering, the Hughes house is still up for sale but no news at this point.

1 comment:

  1. I always assumed these would have originally been painted black, but maybe they where painted in decorative colors, this is where the old black and white photos are lacking. I understood these iron newel posts, balusters and handrails, made of cast iron to be a cheaper imitation of natural stonework, maybe they where in fact painted to look like faux masonry.