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New York Daily Photo: Seven Deadly Sins
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Wednesday, 26 March 2008

Seven Deadly Sins

New York City is an ideal place to commit any or all of the seven deadly sins - temptation looms around every corner. In learning about this cupola and its conversion to residential use, I have to admit I have committed at least one - envy (which I have been guilty of before).
This building's rooftop dome is one spot where it would be easy to commit all seven sins in one place (perhaps with the exception of sloth - I can't imagine the occupants being particularly slothful. Perhaps if a rich child inherits the place.)
There are many of these magnificent, grand Beaux-Arts buildings around town with cupolas and there is a growing trend to develop and occupy the small handful of these domes available. See my posting here on the Police Building, a dramatic structure with an enormous dome (also converted to residential use).
The photo is of the two-story, octagonal gold-leaf cupola atop the Sohmer Piano Building at 170 Fifth Avenue in the Flatiron/Chelsea District. Designed by Robert Maynicke and built in 1896 by developer Henry Korn, the 13 story landmark beaux-arts building was once a piano showroom. After residential conversion, the cupola was was purchased in 2001 by Gregory C. Carr, former chairman of Prodigy.
In reviewing the seven deadly sins, it occurred to me that the optimal way to commit them would be to split them up - some before and some after acquisition of a dome home. Before, we have Envy and Wrath. After hitting the Lotto and buying said property, one can envision a den of sin for indulgence in the pursuits of Pride, Gluttony, Lust and at the end of a "hard" day, Sloth. That leaves Greed, a sin easily committed anytime - before, after or throughout. Your choice :)

NOTE: For your reference, the seven deadly sins in latin are:
Luxuria (Lust), Gula (Gluttony), Avaritia (Greed), Acedia (Sloth), Ira (Wrath), Invidia (Envy), Superbia (Pride). Each sin has an opposite among the seven holy virtues - in parallel order they are chastity, abstinence, temperance, diligence, patience, kindness, and humility.


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