Bill Cunningham, St. Paul’s Chapel and Churchyard (built ca. 1766-96), ca. 1968-76. Gelatin silver photograph. New-York Historical Society, Gift of the photographer. Now on exhibit in Bill Cunningham: Facades.
Bill Cunningham launched his Facades project in 1968 by photographing his models at some of the oldest buildings in New York. These included St. Paul’s Chapel, one of Manhattan’s only pre-Revolutionary buildings. Cunningham’s eye caught the manner in which the period’s sheer, high-waisted dresses and sculptural bonnets echoed the elegant delicacy and understatement of Federal-style architecture.