One Broadway is a building within a building: Strip away the 1921 Neo-Classical white limestone skin and you’ll find a red brick and brownstone Queen Anne-style structure built in 1887.
(For a rare look at the “before,” take a look at Archiseek‘s article.)
Also beneath the facade, you’ll find layers of history – condensed here from the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission report:
The 1887 building, built on the site of a home reputedly used by General Washington, was named the Washington Building. It was built for Cyrus W. Field, whose Atlantic Telegraph Company laid the first transatlantic telegraph cable. The architect, Edward H. Kendall, also designed the Gorham Mfg. Building and the Methodist Book Concern.
J.P. Morgan’s International Mercantile Marine Company (IMMC) bought the building in 1919; Walter B. Chambers re-designed the structure inside and out. With competitor Cunard Line just a few doors up Broadway, the International Mercantile Marine Company Building became the anchor for “Steamship Row.” IMMC operated numerous subsidiaries, including Titanic‘s White Star Line. By 1940 internal mergers reduced the company to United States Lines, which took over the building from 1941 to 1979. Allstate Life Insurance Co. bought the building at a foreclosure sale in 1992 and financed a $2 million restoration in 1993-1994.
The building is now occupied by a branch of Citibank and Kenyon & Kenyon LLP – an intellectual property law firm.
One Broadway Vital Statistics
- Location: One Broadway at Battery Place
- Year completed: 1887; reclad, 1921
- Architect: Edward Hale Kendall; Walter B. Chambers (remodeling)
- Floors: 12
- Style: Neo-Classical
- New York City Landmark: 1995
- National Register of Historic Places: 1991
One Broadway Recommended Reading
- Wikipedia entry
- Wikipedia entry (International Mercantile Marine Company Building)
- NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission designation report
- The New York Times Streetscapes/1 Broadway; A 1922 Facade That Hides Another From the 1880’s (March 26, 1995)
- Daytonian in Manhattan blog
- Archiseek 1882 – The Washington Building, New York
- Scouting New York One Broadway (April 6, 2009)
- Lookze Washington Building