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19-Sep-2019 14:26

The Terracotta Army in Xi'an, aka Terracotta Warriors and Horses, is a super large collection of life-size terra cotta sculptures in battle formations, reproducing the mega imperial guard troops of Emperor Qin Shi Huang (259 - 210BC), the first emperor of the first unified dynasty of Imperial China.

Being the most significant archeological excavations of the 20th century and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Terracotta Army is no doubt a must-see for every visitor to Xi'an.

To verify, you could use a magnet, but not having one, on my second trip a week later I did the next best thing: I touched the façade and found it smooth, and then, on my way back, I touched brownstone and other genuine stone façades and found them either faintly or decidedly rough.

The use of cast iron for entire façades of buildings dates from the mid-nineteenth century and was especially popular in New York, which today has the largest concentration of such buildings – some 250 of them -- primarily in Soho.

I took a brief stroll through the grounds, reveling in the flowers and foliage and regretting not one bit the prison that once loomed gloomily on the site, its inmates shrieking obscenities and calling down to friends on the street.

Four tiers of Corinthian columns, their capitals adorned with intricately molded foliage, stretch across the beige-tinted façade all the way to Broadway, framing the tall windows, each window topped by a rounded arch.

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Street from the exhibit, the Jefferson Market Garden, open to the public and celebrating its fortieth anniversary, having been created in 1975 on the site of the demolished Women’s House of Detention, a West Village Bastille of ill repute.

Once imported from England, by the 1850s cast-iron products were being made in small foundries right here in Manhattan and Brooklyn, usually near water so supplies could be shipped in and products shipped out by boat.