Tektonomastics: Mapping Buildings With Personality
A collaborative online project aims to map of the forgotten landscape of named residential buildings in New York City.
Tektonomastics is a collaborative effort by Haruka Horiuchi and Frank Hebbert to highlight a hidden side of New York’s buildings by creating a map of named residential structures in the state. The duo has initiated a community project and invites residents to contribute by putting named buildings on their online map, thus evoking memories of a time when owners and builders used to name their residential properties.
We first started noticing intriguing names on residential buildings around where we live near Prospect Park in Brooklyn. A lot of these names refer to famous people (like Martha Washington, Woodrow Wilson, Abraham Lincoln), while others are typical “nice place” names (like Majestic Court, Park Central, The Lakeview). But some building names are more enigmatic and poetic (Ada, Launcelot, Lillianette), making you wonder why someone chose that name for a building. And some names are just downright quirky (Mattowacks). We began finding named buildings everywhere – in Astoria, Inwood Heights, Chelsea, and more – and realized just how many named buildings exist in New York City.