700 Broadway seems to have an ongoing identity crisis. Originally the Schermerhorn Building*, it was designed by George B. Post as a store. A decade later the Romanesque Revival structure was converted to showrooms, offices, storage and workshops. Then it became lofts. The building was vacant and abandoned for most of the 1980s, until the National Audubon Society took it over as their national headquarters in 1989. Lincoln Property Company bought the building in 2006, but sold it in 2008 to the law firm Weitz & Luxenberg.
The building became “green” as the Audubon House: A two-year restoration project triple-insulated the structure’s walls and roof, rebuilt interior spaces to make better use of natural lighting, and installed high-efficiency lighting and heating/cooling systems, among other improvements.
When Weitz & Luxenberg took over, the firm discovered that routine facade maintenance was anything but routine: Years of subway vibrations and freeze/thaw cycles had created severe structural damage – major cracks had developed and parts of the walls were leaning out over the street. Another two-year restoration project ensued, rebuilding and repairing the walls, cornice, and terra cotta ornamentation.
Architect George B. Post also designed the landmark New York Stock Exchange and Brooklyn Historical Society.
* Not to be confused with the Schermerhorn Building just two blocks away at 380 Lafayette Street.
700 Broadway Vital Statistics
- Location: 700 Broadway at E 4th Street
- Year completed: 1891
- Architect: George B. Post
- Floors: 8
- Style: Romanesque Revival
- New York City Landmark: 1999
700 Broadway Recommended Reading
- Wikipedia entry (George B. Post)
- NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission designation report (NoHo Historic District, page 71)
- The New York Times STREETSCAPES | A ‘Howling Wilderness’ of ‘Riotous’ 1890’s Buildings (September 26, 2004)
- The New York Times Stepping Into the 1800’s on Broadway in NoHo (November 16, 1990)
- Audubon House… Building for an environmental future …
- Audubon Society: Lincoln Property Company Acquires Audubon House
- Seaboard Weatherproofing & Restoration project description