Viewfinder | Looking Up

Vivienne Gucwa on photographing the art and architectural details that exist overhead in the East Village.

Cooper Union, East Village, New York City 2

“The East Village is home to some brilliant historic and contemporary architecture that often gets overlooked since it is above the street level. Some of this architectural detail can be viewed simply by looking up.”

Ottendorfer Branch, Public Library, East Village, New York City 2

“The facade of the Ottendorfer Branch of the Public Library and the Stuyvesant Polyclinic is a great example of the beautiful architectural detail that exists in the East Village. The terracotta trim stands out brilliantly against the brick.”

East Village, New York City 467

“The exquisite architectural details of this East Village building were immortalized on the cover of Led Zeppelin’s 1975 album cover for Physical Graffiti. The building looks virtually the same as it did back in the 1970’s.”

Shepard Fairey Mural, Cooper Square Hotel, East Village, New York City 875

“It’s worth gazing up at the colorful Shepard Fairey mural which graces the wall of the Cooper Square Hotel.”

East Village, New York City 837

“The details of the buildings along St. Mark’s Place can often be overlooked since there is often so much to take in visually. However, the buildings above street level seem to have a life all their own.”

35 Cooper Square Mural, East Village, New York City

“This has been one of my favorite murals. It was put up in 2008 and I have always loved how the air conditioner was incorporated into the skyline. This mural is located on the side of 35 Cooper Square, a 185-year-old Federal-style row house that’s the oldest building of its kind in Cooper Square. It was never landmarked and will sadly be demolished soon.”

Cooper Union, East Village, New York City 2

“The architecture of the Cooper Union New Academic Building is just as stunning when viewed close up as it is from a distance.”

Vivienne Gucwa is a community contributor to The Local East Village. Her work can be seen regularly on her blog.

This post has been changed to clarify the location of the Stuyvesant Polyclinic.