100 Barclay Street – Impressive New Development Opening 2016

I am excited to share that I have been granted early access to 100 Barclay, the 1926 Ralph Walker-designed building considered by many architectural historians to be the first art deco skyscraper and one of his last buildings that will be converted into condos.  Buildings aren’t built like this anymore and the developer has done a great job of maintaining the integrity of the original interior and exterior architecture.  Just like the recently converted condos at Walker and Stella Tower, 100 Barclay is one of a fading group of buildings from a bygone era that can no longer be recreated. The 32-story building takes up the full block between Barclay/Vesey/Washington/West Streets.  100 Barclay is slated to open during the first quarter of 2016 with 161 luxury condos ranging in size from 1 – 5 Bedrooms, some with outdoor space, and over 40K SF of indoor and outdoor amenity space including, Valet Parking 4 Landscaped Terraces and 2 Swimming Pools.  The units start at about $1700 SF and the most impressive will be the football field-sized penthouse on the 31st and 32nd floors with an expected ask of $100M. Verizon will continue to use the first 10 floors and will have a separate entrance and elevator banks.. The interiors are being done by Champalimaud & GRADE, Ismael Leyva is the architect of record, and DXA Studio is the landmarks and exterior design architect.

Rendering by Williams NY

Rendering by Williams NY

The building has a rich history. It was commissioned by the president of the New York Telephone Company, Howard Ford Thurber.  He wanted a central headquarters with enough space for 6,000 employees that would serve 120,000 telephones. It was the first big project that Ralph Walker worked on with the firm McKenzie, Voorhees and Gmelin.  The design was influenced by the recently passed zoning laws of 1916 which were enacted after skyscrapers such as The Equitable building infuriated neighbors because they were so tall and wide that they cast a shadow on all neighboring buildings.  The zoning laws were put in place to set regulations on how tall and wide a building could be so that it wouldn’t block light from other buildings in the neighborhood.  The zoning laws led architects to create ziggurat-like designs with cascading setbacks that receded further and further the taller the building rose.  This became an identifying characteristic of art deco style of the 20s and 30s.

Terrace rendering by Williams New York

Terrace rendering by Williams New York

The design of The New York Telephone Company building was such a success that Walker was promoted to partner not long after the building launched.  Walker went on to become a specialist in the design of telephone buildings. The building was designated a New York City Landmark in 1999 and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2009.

One of my favorite parts of the building is the ceiling of the lobby where there are 12 murals painted by architect and muralist Edgar Williams.  The murals depict the history of communication from African drums and smoke signals to telephone and radio.  The murals and the design of the exterior also depict birds, fruit, vines, and marine life to capture the history of the land on which the building sits.

As was the case with Walker Tower and Stella, 100 Barclay is expected to sell out quickly because of its prime location, historical significance, reasonable price, and landmarked status.  Please let me know if you would like an introduction to the building.

Image courtesy of HWPR

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