Located at 490 Broadway, at the corner of Broome St., the Haughwout Building, one of New York's ten greatest landmark properties is under grave threat of desecration. The Corcoran Group has recently leased the 2nd and 3rd floor of The Historic Cast Iron District's most well recognized building. They have proposed to install forty window awnings, branded with the words, "Corcoran Real Estate," across the entire lengths of the 2nd and 3rd floors obfuscating the magnificent colonnade of keystone arches and fluted columns. Awning were not part of the architect's original vision. Awnings were seen briefly on the building around the turn of the century to block out the sun. Today A.C. renders them functionless. This is just another attempt by a large corporation to commercialize our streetscapes that have been desecrated by vulgar signs and billboards over the past couple of years. It is up to preservationists and the community at large to prevent this disaster from occurring. YOU MUST SAY, "NO."
The Haughwout Building was built in 1857, designed by architect John Gaynor who was inspired by the San Sorvino Library located on the Piazetta in Venice. The cast iron was forged at Daniel Badger's famous foundry, Architectural Ironworks, located along the East River. Its entire facade is comprised of 92 keystone arches crowned by an entablature comprised of several bands of intricate friezes. The facade was handsomely renovated at great expense several years ago. The building featured the world's first passenger elevator, powered hydraulically, designed and installed by Elijah Armstrong Otis.
The Haughwout Emporium was world famous in its day as manufacturers and purveyors of cut glass, porcelains, mirrors , chandeliers and more. Their clients included the Lincoln's, who purchased a service for the White House, the Czar of Russia, the Imam of Muscat who purchased chandeliers to illuminate the royal harem. Gifts from Haughwout's were presented to the Emperor of Japan and King Rama IV of Siam in the age of gunboat diplomacy.
Hon. Jennifer Raab, Chair
Landmarks Preservation Commission
100 Old Slip
New York, NY 10005
-or- e-mail to the Commission Chair via New York City Links:http://www.ci.nyc.ny.us/html/misc/html/maillpc.html
SoHo Alliance Preservation Committee
435 Broome St
New York,, NY 10013
last revised June 3 2000