new york city gargoyles, from both upper manhattan and brooklyn heights. born to ancient greece, but becoming popular in 1200s paris, gargoyles were originally a way to funnel rain off of rooftops, until they became more and more ornamental in function. growing superstition also lent them the responsibility of being mythic protectors, coming alive at night to fight evil spirits. read about the origins and history at's gargoyles page.

check out possibly my favorite gargoyle in the world, darth vader on Washington DC's National Cathedral, which sports the most modern gargoyles ever created. some hold cookie jars, some wear gas masks. get pdfs of the self guided tour.

more little nyc creatures at a love of monsters, which has suggested walks, locators, and links. if you are visiting the city (or have a day off), you can also take the $22 Gargoyles in Manhattan Walking Tour, a 2.5 hour outing every Friday at 2pm.

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Friday 16 May 2003

holding up skyscrapers: gargoyles of new york city

17 May 03 @ 03:11
This is a really awesome theme for a set of photos, in my opinion. I love them each. Your photography is inspiring, thank you.
20 May 03 @ 21:06
Love the third pic, of the construction guy who was caught when they began pouring the cement and only his head made it out. Fortunately his melon was in the right place to have a gargoyle head, a little plaster and WAH-LA!
Joe G //

23 May 03 @ 18:43
These are fantastic. The fourth photo down is now my desktop background. The strength of the lines in the foreground gives it such an impact.
26 May 03 @ 06:51
If you like gargoyles, you should visit Toronto. Go see the old city hall where over the side door there are gargoyles of the city fathers at the time. Apparently they were behind in their payments to the stone masons, who responded to this lack of attention by immortalizing them doing neat things like picking their noses.
SuN //

26 May 03 @ 12:15
SuN: will definitely have to see that...
03 June 04 @ 17:08
I want to find a guided tour on Friday June 11th, 2004. Can you give me information how to book one?? thanks
Wayne //

23 June 04 @ 13:51
I'm interested in obtaining a copy of the top image; that of a rabbit and dog. Where do I go? Does anyone know what building this is on? Thanks
gail //

07 April 05 @ 12:11
Did you know that a gargoyle is actually a downspout on a building for rainwater. The others (that aren't downspouts) are called Grotesques. Thought you'd like to know. Nice pix.
Stine //

26 June 05 @ 10:19
Wonderful pix. My Husband collect Gargoyle and Grotesques. I know he will enjoy these. Mind if I use one to create a site background for our family page?
SandyK //

21 January 06 @ 14:03
Great photos! will have to look around at all of them
21 January 06 @ 14:04
Great photos! will have to look around at all of them.
PS, your "security code" is nearly impossible to see, pale blue on grey background doesn't work real well.
21 January 06 @ 14:41
thx so much. unfortunately, in order to block spammy bot comments, the contrast must be low between the numbers and the background... otherwise it wouldn't work. -- happily, it hasn't stopped many human commenters.
24 January 06 @ 23:01
I'm a hunter as well. Have a good batch. Where is the bat? Love that one.
Mark Williams //

07 January 07 @ 14:38
please provide location names of your photos. Love your images! thanks, Judi
judi //

27 January 07 @ 23:36
found a neat piece of art. A jester or clown with a mirror for a belly. The back says it's a hand made reproduction and signed GARGOYLES N.Y.C. Any information on this? Thank You. Site's great
cindy //

30 January 07 @ 10:13
Also a NY Hunter of GGyls, perhaps we should form a global association.
Barry //

12 September 07 @ 16:28
I am looking for a specific (supposedly well-known) photo of a gargoyle in NYC that has several famous buildings such as the World Trade Center Towers in the background can anyone help me locate it?
Kate //

14 September 07 @ 16:51
Exquisite photo's, the Gargoyles really bring character to buildings. Great architecture and great imagination to produce some of these wonderful pieces of art
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In architecture, a gargoyle is a carved stone grotesque, usually made of granite with a spout designed to convey water from a roof and away from the side of a building thereby preventing rainwater from running down masonry walls and eroding the mortar between.
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Rion Nakaya is an expat photoblogger in Paris London.

One of the first photobloggers in New York City, Rion has been documenting her photos online in narrative sets since late 2000. (Most are on this site.)


THE TAGALONG PROJECT // moblogging daily. more at flickr »