Tag Archives: Union Square

Roosevelt Building

You’d think that the Roosevelt Building would be a NYC landmark, since it was actually in the Roosevelt family, had a famous movie studio tenant, and exceptional architecture. But it isn’t. Yet?

Teddy Roosevelt’s grandfather, Cornelius, owned the land under this building until his death in 1871. His heirs built the building as the neighborhood changed from residential to commercial. For a time, the structure was known as the Hackett Carhart Building, for a major tenant.

While most of the early tenants – including Hackett Carhart – were men’s wear manufacturers, Biograph Studios also had space here, and a revolving (to follow the sun) studio on the roof. This is where director D.W. Griffith got his start.

Roosevelt Building Vital Statistics
  • Location: 841 Broadway at E 13th Street
  • Year completed: 1894
  • Architect: Stephen D. Hatch
  • Floors: 8
  • Style: Romanesque Revival
Roosevelt Building Suggested Reading

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Union Square and Vicinity II

Union Square was once known for political rallies and the annual May Day rally. The park was overrun by druggies in the ’70s. Union Square has since been cleaned up – figuratively and literally – with new fences, new landscaping and new pavement from East 14th Street to East 17th Street. The peddlers are still out in force, though their products are now veggies, art and souvenirs instead of drugs.

While the square itself has gone through a transformation, many of the buildings ringing the park have retained their 19th century appearance. Here are some favorites:

One landmark that didn’t survive is the S. Klein “On The Square” department store that sat empty for many years – now replaced by the Zeckendorf Towers.

Union Square Vital Statistics
Union Square Recommended Reading

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