The Mercantile Building, once considered the world’s fourth-tallest building, was owned by Frederick William Vanderbilt. Frederick was grandson of Cornelius “The Commodore” Vanderbilt, whose New York Central Railroad was headquartered a few blocks away in what is now the Helmsley Building.
The building was also known as Chase Tower – named for Chase Brass and Copper, not the bank.
The Mercantile Building was the last building in New York City to leave Thomas Edison’s original DC (direct current) power grid. It switched to AC on Nov. 14, 2007.
Mercantile Building Vital Statistics
- Location: 10 E 40th Street between Fifth and Madison Avenues
- Year completed: 1929
- Architect: Ludlow & Peabody
- Floors: 48
- Style: Art Deco
Mercantile Building Suggested Reading
- Wikipedia entry
- Emporis database
- Skyscraper page
- Architecture Week feature
- Leasing agent website
(The leasing agent’s website erroneously shows 1911 as the construction date.)
- NY Times: Switching to AC