On the corner of Pine and Broadway, amid the Canyon of Heroes. This particular corner is flanked on the right by the former American Surety Company Building from 1895 and its Athenian guardians, and on the left by the Equitable Building, which caused a little revolution in construction laws after its 1915 completion.
The Equitable Building covered almost its entire plot which led to an almost complete blocking out of any natural sunlight into the surrounding streets and to the adoption of the 1916 zoning resolution which permitted a maximum floor area of 12 times the site’s area.
The 1909 Liberty Tower on 55 Liberty Street was once the tallest skyscraper building on such a small footprint. As a brainchild of the early days of skyscraper construction, it was overbuilt with a massive steel foundation reaching five stories into the underground bedrock, which gives the handsome neo-gothic terra cotta-clad mini-skyscraper an unusually strong structure.
In 1979 it was the first downtown commercial skyscraper to be retrofitted for residential use.
The graveyard of the Federal/Greek Revival St. Mark’s-in-the-Bowery Church contains among many other curiosities the vault of Peter Stuyvesant.
The area of the church from 1799 was originally the site of the garden chapel of the Stuyvesant estate. The actual Stuyvesant Street used to be the driveway connecting the former Bowery road to the Governor’s mansion, back in the days when the area was known as the Bouwerie.
In 1867 Edwin Ferguson and Richard Foley came up with the project of a wrought iron tunnel under the East River, connecting Manhattan and Brooklyn, and which would have lines for pedestrians, carriages and trains. Pedestrians were to pay a cent, saddled horses with riders 5 cents and 6 cents for a horse and wagon. The tunnel was never built.
Built in 1907 by Francis Kimball for the Trust Company of America, the Beaux-Arts style building on 37 Wall Street has since been converted into luxury residences and a large retail space for Tiffany & Co. The structure is one of the oldest remaining high-rises on Wall Street.
The first Tiffany store opened close-by on Lower Broadway in 1837 and the opening of this store in 2006 indicated in a sense a return to the historic geographic roots of the company.
The New York State Supreme Court Building on Foley Square was designed by Guy Lowell and built between 1912 and 1927 (the design competition was held in 1912 but construction began much later), thereby replacing the old Tweed Courthouse on Chambers Street.
The massive hexagonal structure predates the Pentagon by some 30 years. The frieze of the front facade portico bears a quote attributed to George Washington.
The most desirable item of curiosity is to be found on the inside: the rotunda which contains a 1930’s Art Deco mural painted by Attilio Pusterla. The mural is subdivided into six sections depicting important cultures and flag-bearers relating to the history of law and ends on a section with Presidents Washington and Lincoln.
The Hook & Ladder company 8 firehouse on 14 North Moore Street dates back to 1903 and was built by the fire department’s in-house architect Alexander H. Stevens, who initially designed it for 2 engines, meaning 2 arched entrances for trucks (see photo 3 of a similar firehouse on 114th Street for comparison. [From the Collections of the Museum of the City of New York]).
Half the station was torn down in the 1910’s for certain financial reasons as well as for a street widening project (notice the slightly different tone in the bricks on the left side of the front facade to repair visible damage during the demolition).
The building is mostly known for its use as the headquarters of the Ghostbusters.