A piece of Coney Island, NYC’s the Puck Building to Land at The Whitechapel Projects
We are excited to announce another architectural remnant, and piece of history for the New York Metropolitan, area will have a home at The Whitechapel Projects. The Steeplechase Fence, also known as the Puck Building fence, will be showcased in our space once renovations have concluded.
Originating in the early1900s at Steeplechase, a Coney Island amusement park, the fencing, or decorative artifact, moved locations to Manhattan’s famous Puck Building in 1982. This fence represents the “pay-one- entrance-price” concept of world’s first successfully enclosed theme park, as well as decade’s worth of sea-side fun and relaxation enjoyed by people from all over.
While nobody is exactly sure how the fence ended up at the Puck Building in the early 80s, experts are positive the fencing originated in Coney Island. After testing the paint from the fencing at the Puck Building and comparing the results to the fencing displayed at Coney Island Museum, it was determined that they were in fact the same.
Located in Nolita between Lafayette, Houston, Mulberry and Jersey streets, The Puck Building was designed by architect Albert Wagner and built in two sections over the course of twelve years (1885-1893). The building is home to two statues of Shakespeare’s character Puck, which were created by the American sculptor Henry Baerer, and was also once home to the Steeplechase fence. This highly sought after Victorian-era iron fencing adorned the outside ground level of the building, which through the years became home to several printing companies, magazines, black-tie fundraising events and university departments.
Preston Casertano, founder and owner of The Whitechapel Projects, came into possession of the fence after it was removed from the Puck Building and sold to a private collector. From its construction and design to its presence at historic venues, the Steeplechase fence will become a part of the Whitechapel Projects story. It is not only a sought-after work of art but also a link back to artists and creators of generations past.