Jefferson Market Courthouse in New York

A Love Affair with a Landmark in Manhattan: An Arresting Drama in Greenwich Village. [Opinions expressed are the views of OLD JEFF unless attributed to other - - potentially less-reliable - - sources, i.e., newcomers who have not been around since 1832 on Sixth Avenue.]

Friday, December 16, 2005


"A morsel of genuine history is a thing so rare as to be always valuable."
• • Thomas Jefferson [letter to John Adams, 8 September 1817]

The walls of Jefferson Market have been "witnesses of suffering" and at the mercy of the NYPL's Susan C.Y.A. Kent and appalling Paul [Fat Cat] LeClerc. Have these two read any books by John Ruskin?
. . . [T]he greatest glory of a building is not in its stones, or in its gold. Its glory is in its Age, and in that deep sense of voicefulness, of stern watching, of mysterious sympathy, nay, even of approval or condemnation, which we feel in walls that have long been washed by the passing waves of humanity.... It is in that golden stain of time that we are to look for the real light, and color, and preciousness of architecture; and it is not until a building has assumed this character, till it has been entrusted with the fame, and hallowed by the deeds of men, till its walls have been witnesses of suffering, and its pillars rise out of the shadows of death, that its existence, more lasting as it is than that of the natural objects of the world around it, can be gifted with even so much as these possess of language and of life.
• • John Ruskin, The Seven Lamps of Architecture, 1880
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• • Sketch: whimsical Jefferson Market

Jefferson Market.