diversion: not in “New York City” any longer

looking back at what you can no longer see
This one hit the inter-toobz a while ago, but the subject matter lends itself to a look-back whenever …. I saw it in a link from The Real Deal, but it was probably elsewhere, as well. The Business insider collected 50 Manhattan buildings that are no longer there; I am guessing that this is not a local publication because the title,
50 New York City Buildings That No Longer Exist, is overbroad: all 50 buildings were in Manhattan. Worth a few minutes of browsing, though the caption descriptions are maddeningly vague about location. (In most cases, there is more information in the links that accompany each image.)

Not surprisingly, many of the buildings were torn down in the 1950s and 1960s, including (of course) Penn Station, whose demolition (eventually) led to the Landmarks Preservation Commission. A couple of comments:

  • the Singer Building (1908-1968) is survived by its smaller sibling, the coop at 561 Broadway, which is one of the most beautiful residential loft buildings in an area full of beautiful residential lofts; I recently read somewhere that this was the tallest building ever demolished


  • the on-site successor to the Equitable Life Building (built 1870, destroyed by fire 1912) led to the first zoning laws in the US when it was built curb-to-curb to 38 stories; as The Wiki puts it, it “cast a 7 acre (28,000 m²) shadow on the surrounding streets, casting a permanent shadow on the Singer Building up to its 27th floor, the City Investing Building up to its 24th floor, and completely cutting off sunshine to at least three other buildings shorter than 21 stories”


  • the New York Herald Building at 34th and Broadway was remarkably small for a major newspaper headquarters; it reminds me of the Gilsey House (former hotel, now coop, 5 blocks south); of course, it gave its name to Herald Square



© Sandy Mattingly 2013

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