Hendrik Hudson Apartments (Thursday Doors)


shoots and captures–
hand lens in concert–
in or out of focus each subject

developed reproduced
in surprising ways–
shadowed, magnified

I lived in various apartments within ten blocks uptown and downtown from this building at 110th Street and Riverside Drive for 30 years. I must have passed by hundreds of times. But never once, until a few weeks ago, did I look closely at the front door.

I observed to Dan last week that since I started looking for doors I see all kinds of things I never saw before. To be fair, I never knew anyone who lived in this building, so I never actually walked up to the entrance. But still! How could I have missed this?

The Hendrik Hudson Apartments was one of the first large buildings on upper Riverside Drive when it was opened in 1907. The architecture firm Rouse and Sloan were inspired by Italian villas, and the red tile roof was capped with two towers connected by a promenade for the residents. The building also contained, in addition to luxury apartments, a smoking room, a billiard room, a banquet hall, a restaurant with private dining rooms, and a barber shop.

the building as originally constructed

Interestingly, none of the articles I found about the building mentioned the doors.

After World War II, the building fell on hard times, along with the neighborhood. The owners, who had turned it into an SRO, were sued as part of a major effort by the city to get rid of slum landlords who allowed building violations to pile up while their buildings deteriorated. A new owner renovated it in 1960, returning the rented single rooms back into apartments, and even constructing a parking garage for residents on the lower level. At that time, one of the towers was removed.

In 1971, the building became a co-op. There is currently a 3 bedroom apartment for sale for $1,800,000. It’s come a long way back to luxury from its SRO days. As has the entire neighborhood.

My poem is written in the piaku form, which can consist of any number of lines, following a syllable count to match the numbers of pi. This one is 3.14159 26535 long. For Colleen’s #TankaTuesday where the prompt, provided by David at The Skeptic’s Kaddish, is the photo of his father (with camera), below.

And, as always, find more doors with host Dan Antion, here.

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About memadtwo

For more madness, follow me on Instagram @h_zimel methodtwomadness is a blog of two friends, Nina and Kerfe kblog is Kerfe's solo branch on the tree

48 responses to “Hendrik Hudson Apartments (Thursday Doors)”

  1. merrildsmith says :

    The door is lovely, but I would say the entire doorway is amazing. That archway and the carved figures–wow!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Dan Antion says :

    I’ve seen this building, but I so enjoyed learning of its history. It’s magnificent. I’m glad it has been restored, albeit to a price point, I’ll never be able to approach. Your poem is wonderful.

    I, too, notice much more when walking around in a city, since I started participating in this challenge under Norm.

    Liked by 2 people

    • memadtwo says :

      Thanks Dan. Back when I moved into the neighborhood in the 70s it was quite affordable because people were afraid to venture above 96th street. I originally moved in with some friends who were graduate students at Columbia. I bet those apartments sold for about $50,000 then. But who had $50,000?

      Liked by 1 person

  3. yvettemcalleiro says :

    I love your poem and how you connected with David’s picture as a photographer. Those doors are beautiful, and I’m happy they’ve been restored back to their glory. Well done, Kerfe! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  4. msjadeli says :

    First off, I love what you did with the form, a new one that I need to try now. The “eye lens hand in concert.” There is something so satisfying about those concerts. Secondly, very much enjoyed the pics of the building and learning its history. I know this sounds out there, but it almost looks like the decorative stone/concrete figures around the door were added later. The style might mesh, but the materials look different. Without old pics of the doors or access to journals, blueprints, etc., probably difficult to know?

    Liked by 2 people

    • memadtwo says :

      Thanks Jade, yes I like this form a lot too. I knew about it, but not sure if I used it before.

      I’m pretty sure the stone figures were original to the building–so many many prewar buildings on the West Side have them, but nothing postwar, and certainly no one in the 1960s would have gone to the expense. It would be impossible to say for sure though, from what I was able to find out online. The sea theme does go with the Hudson name though, looking out on the river and all.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Sun Hesper Jansen says :

    I am totally intrigued by those two supporting figures. We would be very conspicuous staring at them in real life (I’m trying to identify what they’re resting on) so I’m sure we all appreciate you having photographed them! Also the long shot has a marvelously distorted, almost Expressionistic optical effect. Very cool.

    Liked by 2 people

    • memadtwo says :

      Thanks Sun. There are so many interesting ornaments on buildings that I never noticed before I started taking pictures of them. We must filter out enormous amounts of information as we go through our days.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. harmonykentonline says :

    Very well done with the photo and the doors, Kerfe. The poem fits beautifully 💕🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. boundlessblessingsblog says :

    Beautiful and splendid post, Marta. The doors are wonderful.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. robertawrites235681907 says :

    It is amazing, Kerfe, how looking for doors to photograph makes you so much more observant. I have also discovered this. This door is magnificent. You live in a beautiful area.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Colleen Chesebro: WordCraftPoetry says :

    Kerfe, your poem (piaku) captured the essence of the magic present in David’s photo, but also the ethereal beauty of the carvings around this door. The middle bust looks like Dionysus, the god of the grape harvest, winemaking and wine. The leaves remind me of grape leaves. What a magnificent door. The other two figures are holding up the building! I love these door images! ❤


  10. Colleen Chesebro: WordCraftPoetry says :

    Kerfe, your poem (piaku) captured the essence of the magic present in David’s photo, but also the ethereal beauty of the carvings around this door. The middle bust looks like Dionysus, the god of the grape harvest, wine making and wine. The leaves remind me of grape leaves. What a magnificent door. The other two figures are holding up the building! I love these door images! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Colleen Chesebro: WordCraftPoetry says :

    So… my comments posted twice. And, It is 2:40 in the afternoon, not 6:40 pm. What is WP up to now?

    Liked by 1 person

  12. sustainabilitea says :

    Grand entrance as so many older buildings seem to have but I also love the bits around and on top of the building.


    Liked by 1 person

  13. Claudia McGill says :

    If I lived there I would always say hello to these door guarding. They are wonderful.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Ingrid says :

    I love the door and the history you provide of the buildings here, Kerfe: you must have a near endless supply of material in New York!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Brenda's Thoughts says :

    I enjoyed the way you drew us closer. Amazing doorway!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Valentina says :

    Doors with caryatids are very impressive. Love it.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. ben Alexander says :

    There’s something very enticing about how your photos bring us closer and closer to that door, Kerfe…

    Liked by 1 person

  18. D. Wallace Peach says :

    Beautiful poem, Kerfe, and a door worth a few frames. How fascinating. Thanks for the bit of history too. So glad it’s still there to admire.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Manja Maksimovič says :

    Oh yes, we notice more now. Doors are eye-opening. Extraordinary entrance.

    Liked by 1 person

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