Beautiful as a park, with its trees and lawns and fountain and statues, the Square is set amid distinguished surroundings. On the west is the Fifth Avenue Building, on the historic Fifth Avenue Hotel site. In the northeast the Madison Square Garden lifts its graceful tower with the gilded Diana poised on the pinnacle. On the east is the Appellate Court House, described on a following page.
The edifice of the Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church (the pulpit of Dr. Charles H. Parkhurst) with its massive columned portico, tiled dome and gold lantern is in design and liberal use of color a noteworthy departure from the Gothic style of the old church, with spire dwarfed by the surrounding skyscrapers. The Metropolitan Life's stately home is one of the largest office buildings in existence; one should not fail to see the white marble court at the Madison Square entrance and the great central hall.
The Madison Square is dominated by the Metropolitan Tower, one of the architectural wonders of the world, and by the Fuller Building, which stands at the 23d street intersection of Broadway and Fifth avenue, two of the most famous streets in the world. The building is popularly called the FLATIRON, because the plot on which it stands is of flatiron shape, with the rounded point toward Madison Square. "The Ship" would be a sobriquet quite as fitting, for from Madison Square the structure has the semblance of an immense ship, bow on, about to plow its way through the Square. From viewpoints far up on Fifth avenue the Flatiron towers up impressively. It is 300 feet high, with twenty stories, and 456 offices above the fourth floor.
On the south side of the square, east a few doors from Broadway, are the American Art Galleries. On Twenty-sixth street, at Madison Manhattan Club, a leading Democratic organization. The large office and loft buildings surrounding the square are significant of the steady and resistless northward march of business on Manhattan Island.
In the northeast corner of the Madison Square is Bissel's bronze statue of CHESTER ALAN ARTHUR, Twenty-first President of the United States of America. Vice-President Arthur succeeded to the Presidency after the assassination of President Garfield in 1881. In the southwest, near Twenty-third street, is the statue of Roscoe CONKLING, Senator from New York, 1867-81. The figure is of bronze, by Ward, and represents the orator in the attitude so familiar to his audiences; we may hear him as when in a political convention he stilled the opposition uproar with the words, "The shallow murmur, but the deep are dumb." The memorial was erected by friends on the spot where bewildered and over-come in the terrible blizzard of March 12, 1888, he fell exhausted, and suffered exposure which resulted in his death. Conklin and Arthur were closely associated in public life and were warm friends; it is a suggestive fact that the chance circumstance of a winter's storm should have caused their memorials to be given place here so near together.
The drinking fountain at the southeast corner, designed by Miss Emma Stebbins, was given by Miss Catherine Lorillard Wolfe, whose benefactions to New York's religious, educational, art and charitable objects where very important.
The memorial of WILLIAM H. SEWARD occupies a conspicuous position in the southwest facing Broadway. It is of bronze, by Randolph Rogers, and represents the statesman seated in a Senatorial chair, with pen in hand. Those who knew the living Seward aver that the legs were not the prominent features here presented; on the contrary, he is spoken of as a man who was "all head and no legs." Seward was Governor of New York, United States Senator, and Secretary of State of the United States under Lincoln.
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