One of my favorite Sunday Times features is actually in the Real Estate section. No, not listings. It's Christopher Gray's "Streetscapes" column, a kind of weekly excavation of old buildings, gone buildings, and other curiosities of NYC history.
This photo, a column earlier this month, is especially approppros in light of the splendid new revival of Sondheim's Follies. The image above is of the half-demolished Helen Hayes Theater (not the current Helen Hayes Theater) in 1982. The Hayes (on 46th between Broadway and 8th Avenue) and an adjoining house, the Morosco, were leveled that year, but not without a spirited fight from the New York theatre community, who came out in large protests.
(The occasion for Gray's column, by the way, was a recent auction of surviving slabs and other detritus from the Hayes demolition.)
Follies, you may recall, is set in an old Broadway theatre about to be demolished, haunted by the ghosts of Ziegfelds past. In fact, legend has it the inspiration for that 1971 show came from a Life magazine photo of aging star Gloria Swanson in the wreckage of the then-recently demolished Roxy Theatre (see below).
And where is the current revival of Follies playing? At the Marquis Theatre. Part of the Marriott Marquis hotel--the very building the Hayes and Morosco were torn down to make way for.