Historical, and Physical, Graffiti

St. Mark’s Place is 3 blocks long, and it has an amazing history. At various times, all of the following people lived there:

Alexander Hamiltion’s son (also named Alexander – the building he built still stands)
James Fenimore Cooper
Lenny Bruce
Sylvain Sylvain (New York Dolls guitarist)
Abbie Hoffman
Joan Mitchell (painter)
W.H. Auden
Leon Trotsky
Klaus Nomi
Uriah P. Levy (first Jewish Commodore U.S. Navy)
Ishmael Reed
Lyonel Feininger (expressionist painter)

The following people have either performed, had gallery showings, given speeches, or worked on St. Mark’s Place:

Thelonius Monk
Emma Goldman
Theodore Roosevelt
William Randolph Hearst
The Fugs
Andy Warhol’s Exploding Plastic Inevitable
Jimi Hendrix
The Velvet Underground
Keith Haring
Jean Michael Basquiat
Ann Magnuson
The Fleshtones
Fab Five Freddy
Nikolai Ivanovich Bukharin (Bolshevik revolutionary)

The buildings above at 96 and 98 St. Mark’s Place might very well look familiar, as they have been immortalized twice over in classic rock: First as the cover for the Led Zeppelin album Physical Graffiti, and Second as the setting for the video for “I’m Just Waiting On A Friend” by the Rolling Stones. For the Physical Graffiti cover art, one story of the five-story building was removed in the darkroom. They would have called it “photoshopped” but the word wasn’t invented yet. Also, if you look at the bottom right of the image, you will see part of the sign for the store “Physical Graffitted,” which gave the album its name.

This was taken yesterday morning at about 7:15am, and processed using the new Nik Color Efex 4.0. I spent about 2.5 hours covering those three blocks and parts of the surrounding neighborhood yesterday, so there is more to come.


This Post Has 15 Comments

  1. I love the symmetry and the grunge in this composition! The back story is fascinating as well. I must ask however, was it “Physical Graffiti” that you were after, or “Asian Body Work”? Be honest! 🙂

  2. Fantastic shot mark. What an amazing building and history.

  3. This is awesome Mark! Great detail and textures and so much a part of history! Very good my friend!
    Jim Denham recently posted..Black DirtMy Profile

  4. Wow, this is some really cool stuff Mark, love this bit of history. Outstanding processing here as well!
    Dave DiCello recently posted..Stockyard roundupMy Profile

  5. Interesting bit of history. So much texture and patterns, awesome building.

  6. Really liking this shot Mark. The lines and patterns are fantastic, and the processing really brings out all the character of the building.

  7. Wow. Very cool. And very intense.

  8. Awesome shot Mark. I like the gritty feel combined with the uneven lighting.
    Chris Frailey recently posted..Water’s EdgeMy Profile

  9. I recognized this building almost immediately. I am a HUGE Led Zeppelin fan. What a great interpretation of this icon, Mark, really a most wonderful capture my friend!
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  10. The grunge look has really brought the details in this image to the fore, especially in the relief work on the first floor. Nice POV for the symmetry too.
    Mark Summerfield recently posted..Pike Place Market Seattle at NightMy Profile

  11. Real gritty processing here – suits this so well. Great shot
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  12. Jumped on the site for the complete history. Thanks!

  13. Great shot of this classic building, really like the processing!

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