In 1993, TTC founder, architect Wayne Turett was invited by the Cooper-Hewitt Museum and the Young Design League to lead a 27-stop walking tour of the Flatiron district’s architecture. The group of architects and design lovers met at the corner of the Flatiron building; fittingly so. The triangular skyscraper is one of the most architecturally notable buildings in Manhattan; something that visitors from around the world come to see. The carefully-planned tour is an exploration of rich architectural New York history, diving deeper into buildings’ histories we might normally walk past without thinking about. Now, 27 years after the original tour took place, we are revisiting the iconic sites that Wayne chose to explore, and discussing the differences at each stop between then and now. Each stop is marked with an address, so you can follow along on foot if you are in New York (hint: start at 23rd Street Station if you are using the subway). But no matter where you are, this virtual tour is accessible and open to all!
This week, from Monday to Friday, we will publish the updated tour in segments – by Friday, all 27 stops will be available on the blog for you to visit.
Today, learn about Stops 11-15.
Name: WJ Sloane Building
Address: 884 Broadway
Architect: Wheeler Smith
Year Built: 1882-1898
(From 1993 pamphlet) Originally opposite City Hall, 884 Broadway was WJ Sloan’s second home before it moved to its final location at Fifth and 45th, the “new” shopping district.
(2020 update) The former carpet and rug retailer is now modern rug and decor retailer ABC Carpet and Home, not far from its origins in the nineteenth century.
1800s (photo from MCNY)
2020 (photo from 4urspace)
Name: Lord and Taylor
Address: 901 Broadway
Architect: James Giles
Year Built: 1869
(From 1993 pamphlet) Cast Iron Renaissance
(2020 update) The former Lord and Taylor store now houses Red Fleece cafe and apartment above.
1800s (photo from MCNY)
2020 (photo from Gothamist)
Name: Teddy Roosevelt’s Birthplace
Address: 28 E 20th St
Architect: Theodate Pope Riddle
Year Built: 1848
(From 1993 pamphlet) A typical brownstones of the period, this building was rebuilt after a fire destroyed the original. Teddy Roosevelt was born here in 1858.
(2020 update) Designated as a historic site, visitors can tour the townhome, which remains as untouched as possible.
1923 (photo from The Hatching Cat)
2020 (photo from Wikipedia)
(From 1993 pamphlet) First named Union Place, Union Square Park was opened to the public in 1839. Before the Civil War, it was one of the grand residential squares with fashionable townhouses surrounding the iron-fenced park (similar to Gramercy Park). By 1854 it had blossomed into the uptown theater district, the park ground was raised for subways below, and the Academy of Music had pride-of-place where ConEd now stands. In 1827 it became New York Speaker’s Corner, and was the center for political left protesters; in 1930 it was the site of clashes between police and unemployment rallies; and it was there that mobs of protestors gathered there to hear about the execution of Sacco and Vanzetti. The annual celebration of socialism (May Day) was appropriately held on the square and many radical publications’ offices (such as the Daily Worker) surrounded the park. Even The Guardian had its offices on West 17 before moving to their present location. In 1986 the Parks Department rebuilt the park to discourage drug use and prostitution, and the success of Greenmarket (Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday) is a sign of many positive changes in the culture of the area.
(2020 update) Union Square is a wildly popular park and gathering place, housing multiple subway lines and, often, farmers markets, art and jewelry booths. Union Square has been a primary gathering spot during the 2020 Black Lives Matter protests.
1800s (photo from Culture Trip)
2020 (photo from Trip Advisor)
SCULPTURES IN UNION SQUARE
Washington, Henry Kirke Brown, 1856
Lincoln, Henry Kirke Brown, 1912
Lafayette, Frederic-Auguste Bartholdi, 1873
Name: 200 Park Avenue South
Architect: Starrett & van Vleck
Year Built: 1988
(From 1993 pamphlet) Originally the Everett House Hotel in 1854, it was convenient for shopping and theater. Eventually it was replaced by what is now called the Everett Building.
(2020 update) After a renovation in 2012, the office building now houses offices of companies like Bank of America and Elizabeth Arden.
1800s (photo from Pinterest)
2020 (photo from 42floors)
Name: Century Building
Address: 33 East 17th Street
Architect: William Schickel
Year Built: 1881
(From 1993 pamphlet) Home of Century Magazine (fine literary publication) and St. Nicholas Magazine.
(2020 update) In line with its magazine origin, the Queen Anne-style building was renovated into a Barnes and Noble in 1995, which is still open for shopping.
1800s (photo from Daytonian in Manhattan)
2020 (photo from Pinterest)
Join us back here tomorrow for the next stops!