Old New York Sculptures Find New Venue

Brooklyn Museum shortly before sunset on a partly cloudy day.

New York is a city that never sleeps, and it is always in constant flux. Old, stately, even beautiful buildings are often torn down to make room for the future. But just because the old buildings are coming down doesn’t mean that all the beautiful details within the buildings need to be lost. Not at all. Sone of the more exquisite pieces of the buildings, like the ornamental features like statues, sculptures and more, find themselves rescued to the unique environment of the Steinberg Sculpture Garden at the Brooklyn Museum.

The garden is the home to over 40 pieces which include urns, keystones, columns and sculptures, too. Collectively and separately they sing the praises of New York City’s historical architecture. The majority of the work were done during the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th, all by anonymous stonemasons.

There is a wide variety of styles on display here, including marble, brownstone, cast-iron, and terracotta. Some are from the buildings designed by well-known architects such as Louis Sullivan; McKim, Mead & White; Irwin S. Chanin; and Gutzon Borglum.

Some of the delightful pieces you will see when you visit include the hooded figure of Night holding a bunch of poppies, which was saved from a landfill in New Jersey. The piece is beautiful in its intricate carvings. Pegasus is there from its gig as a guard at the entrance to a fire station in Coney Island. There is a 20th century copy of the Statue of Liberty in miniature. There are even moss-covered sculptures laying low on the moss covered ground.


James Allenby is the editor of Gowanus Lounge, bringing to his position a vast background on New York, and especially Brooklyn history, culture and lifestyle. Born and bred in the heart of "the County of Kings" James Allenby knows what it means to be a Brooklynite, and imparts this meaning at all times to his readers. Contact James at info(at)