Before there was an Empire State Building . . .

There was just the plain-old Empire Building, an 1898 neoclassical office tower at 71 Broadway at Rector Street.

Impressive enough to warrant is own postcard, it held the distinction of being one of the city’s first steel-framed skyscrapers and was praised for its ornate beauty.

[One critic, however, did complain that it had a “grotesque resemblance to a waffle iron” according to this 1996 report by the Landmarks Preservation Commission.]

For 33 years, it was the only skyscraper with Empire in its name. Then in 1931 came the Empire State Building—82 stories taller and an instant icon.

The humbled Empire Building stuck it out until 1997, when it was converted to apartments.

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4 Responses to “Before there was an Empire State Building . . .”

  1. Mark Says:

    I used to live in this building on the 14th floor overlooking Trinity Church.

    Lovely building and it has its own entrance to the subway in the basement too.

  2. wildnewyork Says:

    It looks lovely. And Trinity Churchyard views!

  3. mk Says:

    ‘DSK’ briefly held under house arrest in this building before
    being moved to the Tribeca townhouse.

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