Posts Tagged ‘Salvation Army headquarters’

A Salvation Army Art Deco fortress on 14th Street

August 29, 2016

In 1880, eight missionaries sent to the U.S. by the British-based Salvation Army disembarked at Castle Garden in Lower Manhattan.


Ridiculed at first, the group’s presence and influence grew, particularly in New York, where “officers” ran rescue homes, soup kitchens, and lodging houses and the evangelical mission turned into what founder William Booth later dubbed “social salvation.”

SalvationarmywikiAnd of course, they launched the tradition of setting up kettles on busy corners, asking for Christmas dinner donations for needy families.

So when it came time to build national headquarters in the 1920s, Gotham got the nod.

In 1930, a concrete and steel Art Deco complex consisting of offices, an auditorium, and Centennial Memorial Temple opened.

A women’s residence hall was also part of the complex, its entrance on 13th Street.

Though no longer the Salvation Army’s national HQ, the fortress-like structures of 14th Street stand as examples of streamlined Art Deco beauty and perfection.


The complex was designed in part by Ralph Walker, the architect behind New York Art Deco masterpieces such as the Verizon building (now the pricey residential Walker Tower) in Chelsea.


New York is resplendent with Art Deco: movie theaters, offices, apartment residences, and even subway entrances.

[Second photo: Salvation Army Headquarters from 14th Street, Wikipedia]

When the Met’s home was West 14th Street

September 23, 2010

The stately Metropolitan Museum of Art has anchored Fifth Avenue at 82nd Street for so long, it’s hard to imagine the museum and its collections anywhere else.

Especially 14th Street between Sixth and Seventh Avenues—home to discount storefronts, social services agencies, and seen-better-days apartment buildings of varying styles.

But in 1873, when the Met was a mere three years old and it needed new digs following a first stint at 681 Fifth Avenue, the museum moved here, a stretch of the city that then featuring mansions and wealth.

The Met took up residence at 128 West 14th Street, in what’s referred to as the Douglas mansion. 

It didn’t last long there. By 1880, the growing museum had decamped far uptown to its present site at 1000 Fifth Avenue. Here it is in a postcard dated 1928.

And the Douglas mansion? It burned down in 1918. The Salvation Army had been leasing it as a training school; they rebuilt their headquarters on the site, and are still there today.