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1 Wall Street
1 Wall Street panoramic.jpg
Seen from the east in 2010
General information
Status Complete
Type Commercial, residential
Architectural style Art Deco
Location 1 Wall St., Manhattan, New York City, U.S.
Coordinates 40°42′26″N 74°00′42″W / 40.70722°N 74.01167°W / 40.70722; -74.01167
Construction started 1929 (original building)
1963 (annex)
Completed 1931 (original building)
1965 (annex)
Opening March 24, 1931
Renovated 2018–2021
Owner Macklowe Properties
Height
Roof 654 ft (199 m)
Top floor 52
Technical details
Floor count 50
Floor area 1,165,645 sq ft (108,292.0 m2)
Lifts/elevators 41
Design and construction
Architect Ralph Walker
Developer Irving Trust
Main contractor Marc Eidlitz
References
New York City Landmark
Designated: March 13, 2001
Reference #: 2029

1 Wall Street (also known as the Irving Trust Company Building, the Bank of New York Building, and the BNY Mellon Building) is a skyscraper in the Financial District of Lower Manhattan, New York City, on the eastern side of Broadway between Wall Street and Exchange Place. 1 Wall Street, designed in the Art Deco style, is 654 feet (199 m) tall and consists of two sections. The original 50-story building was designed by Ralph Thomas Walker of the firm Voorhees, Gmelin and Walker and constructed between 1929 and 1931, while a 36-story annex to the south was designed by successor firm Voorhees, Walker Smith Smith & Haines and built from 1963 to 1965.

The facade, made of limestone, contains slight inwardly-curved bays with fluting to resemble curtains. On the lower stories are narrow windows with mullions, as well as ornate entrances. The massing of 1 Wall Street incorporates numerous small setbacks, and the top of the original building consists of a freestanding tower. The corners of the original building consist of chamfers, while the top of the tower has fluted windowless bays. The facade of the annex is designed in a style evocative of the original structure. Inside is an ornate main lobby with colored mosaics.

1 Wall Street had been constructed for Irving Trust, one of the larger banks in New York City in the early 20th century. At the time of its construction, the building occupied what was then considered one of the most valuable plots in the city. The building replaced three previous structures, including the Manhattan Life Insurance Building, once the world's tallest building. After Irving Trust was acquired by The Bank of New York Mellon (BNY Mellon) in 1988, 1 Wall Street subsequently served as BNY Mellon's global headquarters through 2015. The building was purchased by Harry Macklowe and is undergoing a renovation from 2018 to 2021, which will convert it to a residential building with some commercial space.

The building is regarded as one of New York City's Art Deco landmarks, despite initially remaining ignored in favor of such buildings as the Empire State Building and the Chrysler Building. The New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission designated the original portion of the building as a city landmark in 2001. It is also a contributing property to the Wall Street Historic District, a National Register of Historic Places district created in 2007.

Site

1 Wall Street occupies the entire block in the Financial District of Lower Manhattan, bounded by Broadway to the west, Wall Street to the north, New Street to the east, and Exchange Place to the south. 1 Wall Street is adjacent to the Adams Express Building, 65 Broadway, the Empire Building, Trinity Church, and Trinity Church's churchyard to the west; the American Surety Company Building to the north; 14 Wall Street to the northeast; the New York Stock Exchange Building to the east; and 52 Broadway to the south. Entrances to the New York City Subway's Wall Street station, served by the 4 and ​5 train, are adjacent to the building.

Because of the curves in the facade, the original structure does not completely occupy its full land lot, and some 180 square feet (17 m2) of the lot was used as sidewalk space. At the chamfered corners of the building, the facade is recessed by up to 7.5 feet (2.3 m) from the lot line. Consequently, when 1 Wall Street was built, its main occupant Irving Trust embedded small metal plaques to assert the boundaries of its lot.

Design

The original building was designed by Ralph Walker of the Voorhees, Gmelin and Walker in the Art Deco style. The annex was designed by Voorhees, Gmelin and Walker's successor firm Voorhees, Walker Smith Smith & Haines. The original building reaches 50 stories and stands 654 feet (199 m) tall. The southern annex was originally 28 stories tall with a height of about 391 feet (119 m), but in 2019 was expanded to 36 stories with a height of about 494 feet (151 m). Dormer structures of up to two stories are located on the tops of both sections.

Walker had designed other Art Deco buildings in the New York City area, mainly telecommunications structures. These included the Verizon Building (1927), New Jersey Bell Headquarters Building (1929), 60 Hudson Street (1930), and 32 Avenue of the Americas (1932), as well as telephone buildings in Upstate New York.

Form

1 Wall Street contains numerous setbacks on its exterior. Though setbacks in New York City skyscrapers were mandated by the 1916 Zoning Resolution in order to allow light and air to reach the streets below, they later became a defining feature of the Art Deco style.

The original 1931 building, on the northern portion of the site, contains a series of small setbacks starting at the 20th story and continuing until the 35th story, above which a slender tower rises. The southern portion of the original building rises as high as a dormer on the 37th floor, though the 36th floor is the highest story that also connects to the annex. It measures 179 feet (55 m) on Broadway by 102 feet (31 m) on Wall Street.

The southern annex, completed in 1965, has fewer setbacks. On the New Street side, there are setbacks above the 5th and 10th floors; the building then rises as a slender slab with setbacks on the 29th, 34th, and 35th floors. Along Broadway, the facade of the annex was originally recessed behind that of the original building, by a width of two vertical bays. In 2018, an entrance to the retail space was constructed in front of the annex, ranging between one and seven stories high. The facade of the 2018 addition projects forward to the facade of the original structure. Five stories were also built atop the initial portion of the annex. In total, according to zoning documents, the annex measures 180 feet (55 m) on Broadway and 132.5 feet (40.4 m) on Exchange Place.

Facade

48-wall-street2
Entrance to 1 Wall Street

1 Wall Street's facade is made primarily of limestone. This contrasts with the brick facades of Walker's telecommunications buildings, the use of which was likely influenced by Dutch and German Expressionism. The original building has indented vertical bays with fluting that are arranged similarly to curtains. The annex is also mostly made of limestone, but the annex's retail entrance is made of glass.

Original building

The facade of 1 Wall Street's original section contains several decorative elements that make it appear as an "organic" design, rather than a machine-produced design. Walker said that 1 Wall Street would "have 200 thousand people looking at it from all sides" in a single year, including workers and pedestrians, and that they should have "mental relief and pleasure" when looking at the building. Walker also stated that in 1 Wall Street's design, he "tried to superimpose one rhythm upon a basic rhythm", and as such, he treated the facade as a series of "rhythmic motifs" in different sizes. Each of the bays is separated by curved, projecting piers that proceed to the top of the setback. Several piers also contain vertical incisions for emphasis. The windows of the original building had to be specifically designed with curved frames in order to fit into the facade.

The base of the original building is composed of the lowest three stories. The section of the base along Wall Street is eight bays wide, with a double-width entrance in the middle of the Wall Street facade, which is reached by a short flight of stairs and leads to the main lobby. The sections of the base on Broadway and New Street are seventeen bays wide. There is an exposed granite basement on New Street with a service entrance. On the upper floors, each of the bays has a single sash window on each floor. The northwestern and northeastern corners of the building both contain chamfers.

Features

The building contains 43 elevators and 14 escalators. When built, 1 Wall Street contained 29 elevators, some of which were near the building's exterior walls. Irving Trust had its own private elevators, while the rest of the building contained three types of elevators, providing service to the lower, intermediate, or upper floors. Because the New Street side of the building was lower than the Broadway side, engineers configured the original elevator shafts so that double-deck elevators could be installed if necessary. These double-deck elevators were never built. At its completion 1 Wall Street was the first office structure in Lower Manhattan to use alternating current for electric power. It contained a network of pneumatic tubes for sending documents between floors.

There is 1,165,645 sq ft (108,292 m2) of interior space, of which the original building had 500,000 square feet (46,000 m2) of floor space. There are also five basement levels under the original structure. A corridor inside 1 Wall Street's basement, stretching between Broadway and New Street, provided access to the northbound platform of the Wall Street station, but was converted to a communications room by 2000.

Upon the building's opening, Irving Trust occupied the basements, lowest ten floors, and uppermost three floors of 1 Wall Street. Following its 2018–2021 conversion, 1 Wall Street contained 678,000 square feet (63,000 m2) of residential space and 166,000 square feet (15,400 m2) of commercial space.

Lobby

At ground level is the Red Room, a large space with a ceiling stretching 33 feet (10 m) high. It was designed as the reception room rather than a banking room. The Red Room measures 100 feet (30 m) long, stretching the entire distance between the western and eastern facades, and 40 feet (12 m) wide.

The walls and ceilings are decorated with 8,911 square feet (827.9 m2) of red and gold mosaics designed by Hildreth Meiere and manufactured by the Ravenna Mosaic Company in Long Island City and in Berlin. The ceiling had an allegorical painting measuring 20 by 66 feet (6.1 by 20.1 m), depicting the influence of wealth on the creation of beauty, was made by Meiere and Kimon Nicolaïdes. The walls are made of Pyrenees black marble, and the columns are made of Verona red marble; a similar design was used in the Stockholm City Hall. The floor was made of red terrazzo tiles; Walker and his associate Perry Coke Smith personally supervised the creation of the floor tiles in Berlin. When the annex was built, the expanded lobby floor was clad in travertine, and the original lobby's ceiling was covered with a dropped ceiling.

Upper floors

The upper floors were accessed from another lobby on Wall Street. As arranged, Irving Trust's directors' room was on the 46th floor, while the stories above it had dining spaces and a 3-story observation lounge. These spaces contained Art Deco furnishings. The executive lounge, at the 49th story, had a ceiling made of gold-leaf seashells. The executive lounge had four full-height windows that faced each of the cardinal directions, as well as walls covered with multicolored patterned fabrics. The other floors, except the lowest ten above-ground floors, were rented out to commercial concerns.

After 1 Wall Street's residential conversion, there have been 566 condominium apartments, 47 of which have private decks. Of the total units, 304 are studios and one-bedroom units. There are also amenities such as a 75-foot (23 m) indoor swimming pool, 39th-floor observation deck, library, golf simulator, dog spa, and playroom. These amenities are mostly clustered in the annex. The upper three floors were converted into a three-story penthouse apartment with 12,965 square feet (1,204.5 m2), four bedrooms and four bathrooms, as well as a private library and chef's kitchen.

Vault

Irving Trust's bank vault, weighing 5,000 short tons (4,500 long tons; 4,500 t) was located 69 to 72 feet (21 to 22 m) below ground level. At the time of the building's 1931 completion, the vault was the second-largest in the city and third-largest in the world, behind those of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York Building and the Bank of England. The vault was encased in a 6-foot-thick (1.8 m) wall composed of iron, steel, and concrete. The vault contained three stories and stretched from Broadway to New Street; the upper floor of the vault was used by bank customers while the lower floors stored Irving Trust's own fortunes. Each story had 2,700 square feet (250 m2) of space. A tank of water, as well as modern chemical, electrical, and mechanical features, were used to prevent potential break-ins.

History

Previous structures

Northern portion

Since the settlement of New Amsterdam in the 17th century, only three buildings on the northern portion of the current skyscraper's site had carried the address 1 Wall Street. The first was a 17th-century stone house and the second was built in the 19th century. The third such structure was an 18-story office building built in 1907 and designed by St. Louis-based firm Barnett, Haynes & Barnett. The structure was known as the "Chimney Building" or the "'chimney corner' building", and its footprint measured only 29 by 39 feet (8.8 by 11.9 m). The Chimney Building was developed by a syndicate from St. Louis, headed by Festus Wade of the St. Louis Mercantile Trust Company. In mid-1905, the company paid $700,000 for the 1,131-square-foot (105.1 m2) plot, or an average of $576 per square foot ($6,200/m2). The next year, the syndicate announced that it would start erecting an 18-story structure at 1 Wall Street. The Chimney Building was completed in 1907, and for years afterward, its site was regarded as the world's most valuable.

Adjoining the Chimney Building were five other structures: a 20-story building at 74 Broadway, the 15-story Union Trust Building at 80 Broadway, and three other buildings of between 10 and 12 stories. The oldest of these was the Union Trust Building, which was erected in 1889 and had 8-foot-thick (2.4 m) masonry walls because engineers of the time did not know how much steel the building required. One of the twelve-story structures surrounded the Chimney Building, and in 1926, this structure and the Chimney Building were sold to a syndicate of bankers.

Southern portion

The southern half of the block contained two structures: the Manhattan Life Insurance Building on the north and the Knickerbocker Trust Company Building to the south. The 18-story Manhattan Life Building, completed in 1894, was located in the middle of the block at 64 Broadway. The Manhattan Life Building was slightly extended north in 1904 to encompass all lots between 64 and 70 Broadway.

The Knickerbocker Trust Company bought the land immediately south of the Manhattan Life Building in early 1906, and finalized building plans the next year. The 22-story Knickerbocker Trust building at 60 Broadway was completed in 1909 and contained a ground-floor banking room, a private penthouse restaurant, and eight elevators. There was a 23-foot-wide (7.0 m) space between the Manhattan Life and Knickerbocker Trust buildings. A 10-inch (250 mm) strip of land on the northern side of the gap was sold to John E. Schermerhorn in 1912. The Schermerhorn family subsequently built an eight-story structure at 62 Broadway, within the gap.

Planning and construction

1 Wall Street
Looking east from Rector Street

The idea for the current skyscraper was attributed to Irving Trust president Harry Ward. Irving Trust, founded in 1851, had merged with numerous other banks in preceding years, and had outgrown its offices in 60 Broadway, the Equitable Building, and the Woolworth Building. At the time of the proposal, the bank was known as American Exchange Irving Trust, having merged in 1926 with the American Exchange-Pacific National Bank. During the mid- and late 1920s, many Art Deco office buildings were constructed in New York City, peaking around 1929 and 1930. Additionally, banks in Manhattan were clustering around Wall Street, and the corner of Broadway and Wall Street was seen as a valuable location.

Planning

By April 1928, the Central Union Trust Company controlled the buildings from 64 to 80 Broadway, and reportedly planned to build a 36-story structure at the site of the Chimney Building. The following month, American Exchange Irving Trust bought the Chimney Building along with three adjacent structures at 7 Wall Street, and 74 and 80 Broadway, in exchange for $5.5 million in cash and a $9 million mortgage. The transaction cost approximately $725 per square foot ($7,800/m2). Following the sale, the Central Union Trust Company moved to the Manhattan Life Building and modified the structures at 60, 62, and 70 Broadway.

Immediately after the purchase, Irving Trust's board of directors founded a sub-committee for construction oversight, and several Irving Trust employees formed the One Wall Street Unit to coordinate logistical planning for the new skyscraper. Thirty-five potential architects were identified and interviewed extensively. Ultimately, in June 1928, Voorhees, Gmelin and Walker was hired to design the structure, and Marc Eidlitz was hired as builder. Voorhees, Gmelin and Walker filed plans with the Manhattan Bureau of Buildings the next month. The initial plans called for a 46-story building, on a plot of 178 by 101 feet (54 by 31 m). In October 1928, local newspapers reported that Irving Trust had accepted "final plans" for a 44-story building rising 560 feet (170 m). The actual final plans, filed in June 1929, provided for a 50-story structure.

Construction and opening

Demolition of the four buildings on the northern portion of the Irving Trust site began in May 1929, while work on the building itself began that August. The ceremonial cornerstone was laid on January 15, 1930. During the construction process, nearby structures such as Trinity Church were shored up. In March 1930, Irving Trust signed an agreement with the Interborough Rapid Transit Company, at the time one of the operators of the city's subway system, to build three new entrances to the Wall Street station on Broadway and another entrance in 1 Wall Street's basement. The frame involved the installation of 250,000 rivets and was completed within five months of the groundbreaking without any serious incidents. When the steel frame topped out on May 12, 1930, workers hoisted an evergreen tree to the top of the frame. While the workers were securing the final rivets, a hot steel rivet fell from the building's top and hit a truck below, narrowly missing the truck driver's head and causing a small fire on the street.

The exterior was completed by August 1930. Several hundred boxcars were used to transport the building's Indiana Limestone to New York City; according to railroad workers, it was the largest-ever such order. Before being used in the building, the limestone blocks went to a workshop in Long Island City, where they were carved to meet the building's specifications.

Irving Trust use

By December 1930, Irving Trust announced that 80% of the space had been leased in the nearly-completed building. Tenants started moving into 1 Wall Street by mid-March 1931, before its formal opening. Among the tenants were several members of the New York Stock Exchange and Curb Exchange. The Irving Trust Company moved into the building on March 23, 1931. Two hundred guards armed with machine guns moved the bank's $8 billion holdings from its former location at the Woolworth Building. The next day, 1 Wall Street opened to public use, with thousands of visitors. By that time, the building was 90% occupied. Shortly afterward, the Fiduciary Trust Company of New York also moved its banking quarters to the 30th floor, making that space the highest banking quarters in New York City. In a 1938 incident, an electrical transformer on the 21st-story setback blew up; though the windows were shaken, nobody was injured.

The original building soon became too small to accommodate the operations of Irving Trust and its tenants. Accordingly, in 1961, Irving Trust purchased from Hanover Bank the three buildings at 60, 62, and 70 Broadway, thereby giving Irving Trust control of the entire block between Broadway, Wall Street, New Street, and Exchange Place. The company initially anticipated that the annex would cost $25 million. Voorhees, Walker Smith Smith & Haines were hired to design the annex. By mid-1963, the site had been cleared; in preparation of the work, Irving Trust took a sublease at 2 Broadway. To finance construction, Irving Trust sold the building to a subsidiary, which then sold $30 million of secured notes to investors. Renovations also took place in the original building; tenants continued to use 1 Wall Street during construction, but the vault in the basement was emptied. A refrigeration plant was installed on the annex's roof to provide air-conditioning to both buildings. The project was finished by late 1965.

Bank of New York Building (One Wall Street) (7237042502)
Cornerstone, modified to contain the words "The Bank of New York"

Between 1987 and 1988, Irving Trust held negotiations to merge with the Bank of New York, which at the time was headquartered nearby at 48 Wall Street. Irving Trust initially rejected buy-out offers from the Bank of New York because the latter had "undervalued" Irving Trust's assets such as 1 Wall Street. By October 1988, with a merger imminent, Irving Trust placed 1 Wall Street for auction; at the time, the building was valued at $250 million. With the Bank of New York's acquisition of the Irving Trust in December 1988, the company became known as BNY Mellon, and its headquarters moved to 1 Wall Street.

BNY Mellon opened a museum on the 10th floor in 1998, which was dedicated to the history of both banks. During the same time, BNY Mellon hired Hoffmann Architects to conduct mortar repair and window replacements. While 1 Wall Street was not damaged following the September 11 attacks at the nearby World Trade Center in 2001, BNY Mellon's operations were disrupted, and 1 Wall Street had to be cleaned up.

Sale and conversion

By January 2014, BNY Mellon was looking to sell its headquarters, as it was moving to a location with less space. In May 2014, BNY Mellon sold the building to a joint venture led by Harry B. Macklowe's Macklowe Properties for $585 million, though BNY Mellon continued to occupy the building until September 2015. Macklowe added up to 174,000 square feet (16,200 m2) of retail space at the base. He initially planned to make 1 Wall Street a mixed-use residential and office building, but in early 2017, changed these plans so that it would be almost entirely residential condominiums, since an all-residential building would require less debt. Macklowe Properties partnered with former Prime Minister of Qatar Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani in a bid to convert the office property into 566 condos with retail at the base. The renovation was originally supposed to be undertaken by Robert A.M. Stern Architects, though it was replaced by the firm SLCE Architects. Deutsche Bank provided $750 million in debt for the conversion.

As part of the renovation, 34 elevators and 16 escalators were removed. The original layout of the building included elevators near the perimeter wall, but this took up usable space near windows. As such, Macklowe removed 20 of the elevators that served upper floors and added 10 new elevators in the building core; new stairs were also constructed to replace the existing stairs. The demolition of the interior was completed in November 2018. In addition, the Red Room was restored between 2016 and 2018, in advance of its conversion into a retail space. The Red Room's restoration used tiles that had been placed in storage and unused when the building was originally erected. The third floor was demolished to make a higher ceiling for the retail space. A new entrance was also constructed on Broadway, with a design based on one of Walker's unrealized plans for the building, and five stories were added to the southern annex.

Financial District Sep 2020 23
1 Wall Street's glass addition

Retail leases were signed for the lower floors. In 2016, for instance, a 44,000-square-foot (4,100 m2) lease was signed for Whole Foods Market. Three years later, Life Time Fitness signed a 74,000-square-foot (6,900 m2) lease to open a gym on the first four floors of the building. The residential units, the Red Room, and Whole Foods would open in 2021.

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