The Gold Angel of the Helen Hayes Theater



At 255 West 43rd Street, two cupids and one angel coated in gold paint live in the lobby of the Common Ground Community’s residence, The Times Square. Saved from the façade of the original Helen Hayes Theatre, the figures keep a protective watch over the residents, according to 10-year tenant Jim Davis.

Davis arrived some four years before the pieces were brought in, but says that they are looked upon with great affection by the residents at The Times Square. “You can go over to St Patrick’s church and see the angels,” he says with pride, “but we have them here in our lobby.”

While the majority of the remnants of the Helen Hayes Theatre were auctioned on November 1st at a warehouse beneath the Williamsburg Bridge in Brooklyn, the three golden pieces reside in perfect condition inside the lobby. Davis had been in the crowd in front of the theater on the day that the first piece of the façade was torn away, saying it marked “the beginning of the end” of what he saw as the “old New York.” But he takes some comfort in living with reminders of that building.

The residence’s Tenant Services Coordinator, Jonathan Sheffield, is a relative newcomer, having arrived in August 2010, but he admires the pieces just the same. “I think it’s wonderful that Common Ground saw value in them,” Sheffield said.