Art Deco Architecture

The Old Modern - Then and Now

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Lobby, 140 West Street, NYC, New YorkPhoto by Michael Nagle for the New York Times
Utterly stunning lobby. Photo from a NYT article on adaptive reuse of historic buildings. As a resident of a 101-year-old former office building, I totally support this. -Wendy 
From the article, which appeared in July

But the 31-story Verizon building at 140 West Street, across from One World Trade Center in the financial district, may be the grandest of the bunch.
The full-block 1927 edifice, which like the other two phone buildings was designed by Ralph Walker, a prominent Art Deco architect, has an exterior lavishly decorated with carvings of vines, flowers and birds; it is a landmark, as is its vividly finished lobby, whose walls are trimmed in gold paint.
Upstairs, the developers the Magnum Real Estate Group and the CIM Group are adding 161 condos, from one- to five-bedrooms, in a project called Barclay Square, which will have the address of 100 Barclay Street, after the developers create a new entrance out of a loading bay.
The units are expected to hit the market in September, for $2,100 to $3,000 a square foot, said Ben Shaoul, Magnum’s president, although the offering plan for the $500 million project still awaits approval.
Phone companies need less equipment these days, but Verizon isn’t leaving completely; it will retain Floors 1 to 10 in a sharing arrangement similar to the Walker and Stella towers.
But to offer 47,000 square feet of amenity space, Magnum will avail itself of about half of that gilded lobby, which will be walled off and turned into a lounge. Residents will be able to enjoy their morning coffee, Mr. Shaoul said, under murals of the history of communication. One painting on the condo’s side shows a megaphone-carrying Egyptian. “You couldn’t build a space like this today,” he said.

Lobby, 140 West Street, NYC, New York
Photo by Michael Nagle for the New York Times

Utterly stunning lobby. Photo from a NYT article on adaptive reuse of historic buildings. As a resident of a 101-year-old former office building, I totally support this. -Wendy 

From the article, which appeared in July

But the 31-story Verizon building at 140 West Street, across from One World Trade Center in the financial district, may be the grandest of the bunch.

The full-block 1927 edifice, which like the other two phone buildings was designed by Ralph Walker, a prominent Art Deco architect, has an exterior lavishly decorated with carvings of vines, flowers and birds; it is a landmark, as is its vividly finished lobby, whose walls are trimmed in gold paint.

Upstairs, the developers the Magnum Real Estate Group and the CIM Group are adding 161 condos, from one- to five-bedrooms, in a project called Barclay Square, which will have the address of 100 Barclay Street, after the developers create a new entrance out of a loading bay.

The units are expected to hit the market in September, for $2,100 to $3,000 a square foot, said Ben Shaoul, Magnum’s president, although the offering plan for the $500 million project still awaits approval.

Phone companies need less equipment these days, but Verizon isn’t leaving completely; it will retain Floors 1 to 10 in a sharing arrangement similar to the Walker and Stella towers.

But to offer 47,000 square feet of amenity space, Magnum will avail itself of about half of that gilded lobby, which will be walled off and turned into a lounge. Residents will be able to enjoy their morning coffee, Mr. Shaoul said, under murals of the history of communication. One painting on the condo’s side shows a megaphone-carrying Egyptian. “You couldn’t build a space like this today,” he said.

Filed under art deco architecture 1930s architecture nyc new york city manhattan adaptive reuse historic preservation nyc real estate real estate

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Photo from a Scouting NY explore of the once-grand Paramount Theatre in Staten Island, NYC. The theater has been shuttered for 25 years now. Some parts of it have deteriorated a great deal, while other elements still retain their elegance. 

Inside the Paramount Theatre, Shuttered For Over 25 Years
Whenever I drive down Bay Street in Staten Island……I always wonder about the boarded-up movie theater between Union and Prospect.
Shuttered for over 25 years, this was once the art deco Paramount Theatre, one of Staten Island’s grandest movie theaters. Built on the site of Cornelius Vanderbilt’s childhood farmhouse, the Paramount opened in October, 1930, with seating for up to 2,300.
Like most of New York’s once great movie palaces, The Paramount eventually succumbed to changing times and closed in 1977. It later reopened as a nightclub, and then an entertainment venue. Among the bands that played the former Paramount were The Ramones, Metallica (opening for Venom), the Dead Kennedys, and the B-52s. The Paramount finally closed for good in the late 1980s, and has been locked up ever since.
For the longest time, I’ve wondered if anything remains of the former theater inside. Then, completely by chance, I happened to get in touch with the owner, and he agreed to a rare tour. Last weekend, I drove out to Staten Island to visit the Paramount.

Photo from a Scouting NY explore of the once-grand Paramount Theatre in Staten Island, NYC. The theater has been shuttered for 25 years now. Some parts of it have deteriorated a great deal, while other elements still retain their elegance. 

Inside the Paramount Theatre, Shuttered For Over 25 Years

Whenever I drive down Bay Street in Staten Island……I always wonder about the boarded-up movie theater between Union and Prospect.

Shuttered for over 25 years, this was once the art deco Paramount Theatre, one of Staten Island’s grandest movie theaters. Built on the site of Cornelius Vanderbilt’s childhood farmhouse, the Paramount opened in October, 1930, with seating for up to 2,300.

Like most of New York’s once great movie palaces, The Paramount eventually succumbed to changing times and closed in 1977. It later reopened as a nightclub, and then an entertainment venue. Among the bands that played the former Paramount were The Ramones, Metallica (opening for Venom), the Dead Kennedys, and the B-52s. The Paramount finally closed for good in the late 1980s, and has been locked up ever since.

For the longest time, I’ve wondered if anything remains of the former theater inside. Then, completely by chance, I happened to get in touch with the owner, and he agreed to a rare tour. Last weekend, I drove out to Staten Island to visit the Paramount.

Filed under staten island historic preservation movie theater movie palace cinema paramount theatre architecture 1930s architecture nyc

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Always Iconic, Empire State Building Now Goes for Hip

Commercial real estate feature on recent upgrades at the Empire State Building< meant to attract high-end tenants. This after the building’s lobby has completed a total renovation and the building has undergone a massive overhaul to meet or exceed modern energy standards. -Wendy

From the NYT:

Workers inside the Empire State Building may soon be able to imagine testing their weight-lifting prowess or other muscle-building regimens against the mythical feats of King Kong who once scaled this building’s facade.

This summer, a 15,000-square-foot fitness center for tenants and their employees will open in the concourse of the Empire State Building, part of an effort to reinvent the 83-year-old tower as a modern day urban campus.

The gym, with white, undulating tile walls and dark wood finishes, can accommodate the building’s roughly 10,000 workers. Executives who don’t want to work out with the rank-and-file will have access to a private gym suite.

Other changes to the Art Deco landmark are also meant to appeal to a high-end market. Empire State Realty Trust, which owns and operates the building at 34th Street and Fifth Avenue, is also adding a conference center on the 67th floor and a 100-seat white-tablecloth restaurant on the lobby level, with private dining below. The restaurant, State Bar and Grill, wants to cater to a business clientele, rather than the millions of tourists who visit the observatory every year (about 4.3 million in 2013).

Filed under empire state building skyscraper real estate nyc new york city manhattan commercial real estate

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Feeling Like A Kid Again At FiftyThree’s Creative NYC HQ

Article with video on a NYC IT firm based in the former Western Union building in TriBeCa:

FiftyThree is located in the historic Western Union building, which was a nexus for communications back in the days of the telegraph and continues to be a key networking hub for the Internet today. Built in the late 1920s and early 1930s, the Western Union building is a prime example of Art Deco architecture, so it’s fun to experience the contrast of passing through the building’s Deco-ed out lobby on the way to FiftyThree’s much more modern and Zen inspired space.

More…

Filed under fiftythree western union building nyc new york city manhattan real estate interior design