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 6-10.
Name: Albert Buildings
Address: University Place and 11th Street
Architect: Henry Hardenbergh
Year Built: 1882
(From 1993 pamphlet) Originally the Glenham Hotel
(2020 update) The hotel, originally popular among artists, writers, and activists, is now an apartment complex.
1800s (photo from Greenwich Village Society)
Name: New York Life Insurance Buildings
Address: 51 Madison Ave.
Architect: Cass Gilbert
Year Built: 1928
(From 1993 pamphlet) Once the tallest in New York, this Gothic building was originally the site of the Union Train Depot for the Harlem and New York lines until Grand Central opened in 1871. It was also the site of the second Madison Square Garden designed by McKim, Mead and White. The red light on top has never failed, and was once used as the slogan for New York Life.
(2020 update) What was once called the “Cathedral of Insurance” continues to house the offices of New York Life Insurance, and rents out a few unused floors. Many amendments and restorations have been made to the building, which is Cass Gilbert’s last skyscraper in Manhattan.
1928 (photo from Pinterest)
2020 (photo from Pinterest)
Name: Ladies Mile
Address: 15th Street to 24th Street
(From 1993 pamphlet) This section of Broadway was the home of New York’s smartest stores and was frequented by what was called the “Carriage Trade.” The shopping on Sixth Avenue was called the “Transit Trade.”
(2020 update) At the heart of the Gilded Age, wealthy New Yorkers and visitors shopped at stores like B. Altman, Best & Co., Arnold Constable, Bergdorf Goodman, Gorham Silver, W. & J. Sloane, Lord & Taylor, and Tiffany & Co. Now, shoppers visit Bed, Bath & Beyond, Burlington Coat Factory, The Container Store, Marshalls, Old Navy, Sports Authority, Staples and Trader Joe’s.
1896 (photo from Pinterest)
2020 (photo from WordPress)
Name: McIntyre Buildings
Address: 874 Broadway
Architect: Robert H. Robertson
Year Built: 1892
(From 1993 pamphlet) An eclectic mix of Byzantine Columns, Romanesque arches, Gothic finials and crockets, Robertson used the entire arsenal of history.
(2020 update) Glamorous apartments, now aptly named “The McIntyre” can be purchased for around $3 million, above a Mattress Firm.
1892 (photo from Daytonian In Manhattan)
2020 (photo from Flickr)
Name: Goelet Buildings
Address: 900 Broadway
Architect: McKim, Mead & White
Year Built: 1887
(2020 update) Above a cheese shop, the Goelet Building rents out office space to companies like Roman, the male lifestyle pharmacy. The building was originally commissioned by the Goelet family, who ran a real estate empire.
1800s (photo from Daytonian In Manhattan)
2020 (photo from Wikimedia Commons)
Join us back here tomorrow for the next stops!