Apparently 1913 was the “baby boomer” year of New York City buildings because this year we have 13 buildings’ centennial birthdays to celebrate. Here is a list of 100-year-old landmarks along with a picture of each to give you a sense of New York City during a pre-World War I era:
23 Wall Street or “The Corner” is an office building formerly owned by J.P. Morgan & Co. – later the Morgan Guaranty Trust Company – located at the southeast corner of Wall Street and Broad Street, in the heart of the Financial District in Manhattan, New York City.
The Woolworth Building, one of the oldest skyscrapers, and remains, at 57 stories, one of the fifty tallest buildings in the United States as well as one of the twenty tallest buildings in New York City.
The Times Square Building, formerly known as the New York Times Building, is an 18-story office building where The New York Times newspaper had its headquarters from 1913-2007.
The Shubert Theatre opened with a series of Shakespearean plays, including Othello, Hamlet, and The Merchant of Venice. The theatre’s longest tenant was A Chorus Line, which ran for 6,137 performances from 1975 to 1990 and set the record for longest running show in Broadway history. Later long runs have included Crazy for You (1992–1996), Chicago (1996–2003), Spamalot (2005–2009) and Memphis (2009–2012).
The Booth Theatre is named after 19th-century American actor Edwin Booth, brother of John Wilkes Booth (Abraham Lincoln’s assassin) and was recently home to the critically acclaimed Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize winning musical Next to Normal, originally starring Tony Award winner Alice Ripley and Tony nominees J. Robert Spencer and Jennifer Damiano.
The Longacre Theatre was named for Longacre Square, the original name for Times Square. Rumors exist surrounding a curse that lingers in this theatre. Harry Frazee owner of the Red Sox and the man responsible for constructing this theatre needed money for his theatrical venue and sold Babe Ruth’s contract to the New York Yankees.
The Cort Theatre’s façade was modeled on the Petit Trianon in Versailles and is one of the few Thomas W. Lamb theaters still extant and functioning as a legitimate theater.
Charles Scribner’s Sons Building was originally designed as the flagship bookstore for Scribner’s Sons publishing. The publishing house distinguished itself as the house of American fiction in the 20th century by publishing the works of F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, Edith Wharton, and Thomas Wolfe. The street-level retail space is now home to Sephora.
Grand Central Terminal is the largest train station in the world by number of platforms. It has been described as “the world’s loveliest station”. According to the travel magazine Travel + Leisure in its October 2011 survey, Grand Central Terminal is “the world’s number six most visited tourist attraction”, bringing in approximately 21,600,000 visitors annually.
The World’s Tower Building: Edward Browning constructed this 25-story tower with the interesting idea that he could put a runway for airplanes on the roof so he could arrive and depart in style. Obviously it never happened given this was in 1913.
Grand Army Plaza (not the one in Brooklyn) lies at the intersection of Central Park South and Fifth Avenue in front of the Plaza Hotel. It has a fountain and other decorative elements in the Beaux-Arts style popular at the time and got fancied up during a $3.7 million renovation in 1990.
Hamilton Theatre: The stage itself has been dark for years (the building’s interior is, accordingly, beautifully decrepit), but area residents have been buzzing that it’s destined to get turned into a complex of condos while keeping the protected facade and other elements intact.
Royal Castle Apartments (in Brooklyn): The Beaux Arts style was very popular at the time the building was built. The style was associated with wealth and luxury and considered appropriate for the Royal Castle, erected on one of Brooklyn’s most prestigious residential streets. The name, too, was chosen to convey an image of luxury and social standing.
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