One of New York's urban mysteries has been solved thanks to Nick Carr of built history blog Scouting NY, now reporting for the Wall Street Journal. The story captures a vintage oddity hanging out on the roof of 77 Water Street: a rusted out, World War I airplane, including abbreviated runway.
The plane has lived on the rooftop ever since the William Kaufman Organization hoisted it to the top of its new 26-story office tower in 1970. Historical sticklers might not be too jazzed to learn that instead of an actual World War I-era plane, the piece is an "artistic re-imagining" of a 1916 British Sopwith Camel.
Funny enough, it isn't the only easter egg on a Kaufman building in New York: 767 Third Avenue has a three-story chess board painted on one facade, 77 Water Street's plaza has a life-size replica of a 19th century candy store, and the tiles at 127 John Street depict a cat chasing a canary.
· Lower Manhattan's Mysterious Warplane [Metropolis/WSJ]