On Tuesday the Landmarks Preservation Commission designated 154 West 14th Street, at the southeast corner of Seventh Avenue, an official New York City landmark!
One of the few Viennese Secession-style buildings in the New York, 154 West 14th Street has anchored this bustling corner for nearly one hundred years and appears today almost exactly as it did at the time of construction. Its classic “base-shaft-capital” massing is typical of speculative loft buildings that sprang up in this area in the late 19th Century and throughout the first decades of the 20th Century, when Seventh Avenue – soon to be extended – was being heralded as the new Broadway and a new subway line was being constructed underneath. Constructed by real estate developer Leslie R. Palmer in 1912-1913, 154 West 14th Street is most distinguished by its base, decorated in a unique, striking geometric pattern of colorful terracotta manufactured by the prominent New York-based Architectural Terra Cotta Company. In fact, Palmer himself was a director of the company, so the building literally advertised his product!
Herman Lee Meader, the building’s architect, was the mastermind behind some of the more imaginative architectural ornament of the time. On the façade of his celebrated Cliff Dwellers’ apartments on Riverside Drive, limestone friezes depict an intricate array of Native American motifs. Snakes and cattle skulls decorate the façade of his B.W. Mayer Building on East 25th Street.
GVSHP voiced our support for landmarking 154 West 14th Street back in June of 2010, when the Landmarks Preservation Commission held a public hearing on the potential designation. We are more than thrilled to finally see it receive the protection it deserves!
To read designation reports for all the landmarks in the Village, visit our Resources page.