Empress Hotel, Asbury Park, NJ


The Empress Hotel is a well-known landmark on the Asbury Park boardwalk. Originally built in 1961, the hotel has great mid-century details including the signature signage. Like the Asbury Park waterfront in general, the Empress followed the general decline of the area, closing in the late 1980s. A strip club opened in the 1990s but eventually the building was abandoned. Music producer Shep Pettibone bought the building in 1998 and completely restored the complex, adding the Paradise Nightclub to the establishment (see photo below).

IMG_6725The blue panels above the Paradise Nightclub are also a very nice mid-century detail although more often seen on office buildings than hotels.

IMG_6691Closeup of the colorful mosaic tile next to the entrance


Posted in New Jersey | 2 Comments

Salvation Army, Bedford-Stuyvesant, NYC


I came across this Salvation Army building in Brooklyn’s Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood recently. According to the cornerstone, it dates from 1965, but I don’t know much else. It is a multipurpose space with a utilitarian design. There is little exterior design besides the Salvation Army crest above the entrance and the simplified pediments above the narrow windows to the left of the entrance.

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Congregation Ezrath Israel, Ellenville, NY


This synagogue is located in the small Catskills town of Ellenville. While sleepy today, the town has significant connections to larger Jewish culture, being close to where many of the Borscht Belt resorts were located and also being in the town where the Chabad-Lubavitch summer camp network (now the largest summer camp network worldwide) originated.

IMG_7875Congregation Ezrath Israel’s current building looks to date from the late 1960s or early 1970s, although it could be even later. The textured concrete block facade was usually employed in later 1970s buildings, what some refer to as Brutalist. Here the severity of the facade is enlivened a bit by the narrow colored-glass windows and the prominent projecting entrance canopy.


Posted in New York State | 4 Comments

Bank of Greene County, Catskill, NY


This bank is located on Main Street in the upstate town of Catskill surrounded by an intact, older downtown. I could not find a date of construction but it looks to me to date to the late 1950s or early 1960s. It has some nice details including the aluminum trim at the roofline, on the flat entrance canopy, and around the windows; as well as thin brick courses; and what could be marble in the panels above the windows. IMG_7863IMG_7859

Posted in New York State | 2 Comments

St. Francis Xavier High School, Ladies Mile, NYC

IMG_7902This 7-story Catholic school addition is part of the St. Francis Xavier complex on West 16th Street. It was built from 1960-65 and designed by architect Joseph H. Belfatto, who designed several Catholic churches around the city.


The building sits between the massive and recently restored St. Francis Xavier Church by Patrick Keely and the 1920s portion of the high school. The mid-century wing replaced an earlier Victorian building.




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Chadwin House, Chelsea, NYC


Chadwin House is a low-rise apartment building, now condominiums. It was built in 1963 to designs by prolific architect Horace Ginsbern, most well-known for his deco-style apartment buildings on the Grand Concourse in the Bronx. He was still designing until his death in 1969 and his son carried on the firm until at least the 1980s.


The bands of white brick on Chadwin House contribute to its horizontality and also enliven a fairly utilitarian facade. Columbia University has a sales brochure of Chadwin House that makes it seem like the building was trying to fit in well with its older Chelsea neighbors. The brochure also shows a simpler, curved mid-century entrance canopy and a decorative metal screen on the windows to the left of the entrance.


With much new construction going on in Chelsea, this block of Seventh Avenue is a low-rise anomaly given the Chadwin House’s placement directly across Seventh Avenue from a one-story power station.

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Lovingston Post Office, Lovingston, VA


At 131 Main Street is this small mid-century post office. Built in 1960, the building incorporates a wall of marble to the right of the entrance as well as beige brick, enamel panels around the windows and aluminum trim on the entrance and at the roofline. There are several mid-century buildings in this small town of otherwise older structures.

As always, if you have local mid-century buildings that you love, send us photos and information! We always like featuring reader submissions for Mundane Mondays.

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