Rare Look at the “Egyptian Rooftop” of St. George Tower

Karl Junkersfeld sent us this YouTube video by DatanBasen of the recently renovated Egyptian Rooftop at the Hotel St. George Tower. You may remember the 2009 destruction of terra cotta columns from the roof raised the ire of many in Brooklyn Heights. Now, as promised, the columns have been replaced and look great! Video after the jump.

DatanBasen writes about the Egyptian Rooftop:

This movie was taken atop the famous St. George Tower at the Hotel St. George in Brooklyn Heights, New York. In order of appearance you will see the Statue of Liberty in upper New York Harbor, cranes on the lower Manhattan skyline showing the new World Trade Center just peeking above the buildings around it for the first time, the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges. And of course, the fabulous midtown skyline.

This recently renovated roof top garden (new furnishings and trees to arrive in Spring 2011) was once quite a sensational nightclub called the Egyptian Club. Opened in 1929, it had a full orchestra on the upper level and tables below.

Adjacent to the roof deck was a three-story indoor portion with a stunning private banquet room and a host of smaller private rooms. The walls were hand painted with frescoes inspired by the recently discovered Egyptian tombs and other dessert treasures which helped to inspire the art deco style. This hotel was on the cutting edge of that style and with its stylish interiors helped to launch art deco as the quintessential design theme of the 1930s.

Built just prior to the first Wall Street crash, it opened before the Waldorf Astoria or Hotel Carlyle and set the standard for sophistication in one of the most romantic periods of New York’s history.

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  • lise

    The best view in New York. You are not up too high and you have a 360 degree view.

  • Eddy de Lectron

    Sorry, IMHO the best view in NYC is from the top of the Brooklyn Bridge towers… although a view few have enjoyed.

  • nabeguy

    I’m delighted to see them back in (re)-place but am a bit confused. Is this video of the new columns? If so, what is all that black stuff over many of them? And why do some of them already appear to be damaged? If anyone’s interested, I’m in possession of remnants of the original columns, as well as the pool mural, that I’d be glad to part with

  • http://selfabsorbedboomer.blogspot.com Claude Scales

    These have to be new because 8 Spruce Street appears near the Manhattan end of the Brooklyn Bridge. It didn’t exist when the old ones came down.

  • AEB

    Darndest thing! I mean, they’re “vestigial,” yet new. A matching nightclub is very much needed.

    How synchronous, though, that Egypt should be evoked when it’s so much in our heads….

  • lise

    Sorry Eddy, if you are on the Brooklyn Bridge you cannot see the Bridge and that has to been in the best view as a whole.

  • Eddy de Lectron

    Sorry lise, Standing atop the tower one does get a view of the bridge, from a awesome perspective… If you want to include the whole Brooklyn Bridge, in the view; the Manhattan Bridge tower offers a great perch, as well.

  • NYClady

    I’m confused. Were these columns were destroyed and then replaced by new ones, or are they the originals that were restored? They look pretty new, but as nabeguy mentioned, there does appear to be some damage.

  • Rider

    Everything “Egyptian” doesn’t appeal to me these days :-(

  • nabeguy

    Eddy, one question…shrooms or cid? Ryan told me it was the latter. IMHO, you’d have to be on ether to scale those cables.

  • http://www.subwaysubculture.blogspot.com Marta Apple

    This is amazing. I’m going to look for this–can you see the terracotta from the ground? Is there any chance for the hoi polloi to go check it out? I belong to the gym downstairs, which looks like it could have matched some day.

  • Eddy de Lectron

    Nabe, it was most often Van Vleck Vodka or good old Budweiser. But yes, a couple of times on shrooms or cid…

  • Eddy de Lectron

    Here is a photo from the one time we brought a camera up there.

  • ka

    the columns that could be repaired were restored. The columns that were beyond repair, were completely rebuilt, with carefull attention to match the original terracotta and glazing.

    open houses almost every sunday will include a trip to the roof.

  • Karl Junkersfeld

    Is there an open house this Sunday? I want to bring my camera and get some more shots.

  • SASmithIV

    These are encasements, for the airways for the plumbing pipes below, They turned out marvelous! It is very windy, and very loud up there as well, but a fantastic view, any time of day. Too bad the building has the UGLIEST sidewalk planters in the 5 bouroughs….. Vacant weed choked lots look better then those green cast concrete monstrosities

  • David on Middagh

    Ugly planters… true dat.

  • Andrew Porter

    Alas, the sidewalk sheds that enclose the tower on the western and northern side are still there, restricting the amount of light the planters get. All work on replacing the surfaces of the setbacks is done except for the one at the corner of Pineapple and Hicks. Completion has been delayed by the extremely cold weather and the snow. The permit for the sidewalk shed expired at the end of 2010. Once it warms up enough for the work to be completed, those sheds are History.

  • Damned Architect

    As an Architect that worked on this job, I’m surprised to see all the fuss over a routine restoration project. It was the intention of the building from the beginning to restore the Egyptian Rooftop terra cotta columns as part of the roof restoration. (The reason that they exist is to hide the vent stacks from the plumbing risers below.) Much of the terra cotta had been so cracked and deteriorated that all of the columns had been covered in black taps for years in order to prevent pieces from falling off! Clearly, not all of the terra cotta was going to be saved.

    The black marks on some of the pieces are indications that they are existing pieces that were reused. Only throughly cracked pieces were replace with new to match. Reuse was encouraged, as the contractors charged for each new piece created up to a previously agreed to project allowance.

    I am proud to have worked on the 111 Hicks Street roof restoration project and am very satisfied at how it turned out.