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More Historic Images Show Us What’s Changed and What’s Remained the Same

One of our most recently landmarked buildings, the Roosevelt Building at 841 Broadway, has an exciting application for alterations which includes the restoration of its piers at the storefront level. Included in this application are some beautiful images of not just the building but Broadway, Union Square, and East 13th Street which we have just added to our historic image archive. These images illustrate not just the changes to the building and the area but they also show us how much rich architecture remains intact.

841 Broadway c. 1920, c. 1940 and c. 1960

Designed by architect Stephen D. Hatch, 841 Broadway was built in 1893-94 in a transitional Romanesque Revival/Renaissance Revival style. According to the LPC’s designation report for the building, it is one of the many high-rise commercial buildings built in the area south of Union Square during the late-19th century using innovative new technology such as elevators, electricity, and hybrid steel-iron framing. Below, you can see how the building looked in 1894 and below that are images of its current condition and the proposed restoration.

The Roosevelt Building in 1894. The red dashed line indicates where the restoration will take place.
841 Broadway current condition and proposed.

The application also includes some historic streetscapes and it’s interesting to see the buildings still here and those that are gone. Here is a 1912 photo taken from the northwest corner of Broadway and East 13th Street, looking north. On the left is 841 Broadway followed by 853 Broadway. The 853 Broadway in the 1912 photo is not what we see today. Today that lot is occupied by a 1927 23-story structure designed by Emery Roth. It has had some very unsympathetic modern changes at the first five stories. The structures to the near right are no longer there and instead at No. 842 Broadway is a full block structure built in 1998. In the background of the old photo, you can see some of the buildings at the north end of Union Square including 31 East 17th Street, 33 East 17th Street, and 200 Park Avenue South; only 31 East 17th Street was demolished and the other two are individual landmarks.

Broadway looking north from 13th Street towards Union Square, 1912.


Broadway looking north from West 13th Street towards Union Square

Another old picture from this application shows East 13th Street looking west which was taken in 1912. On the near right is No. 841 Broadway. On the left we see some familiar faces with some alterations. What was formerly 58 East 13th Street (and now is part of 835 Broadway) is on the near left which was built in the mid-19th century. The windows and cladding have been changed but the cornice and fenestration remain intact. The lovely loft building at 56 East 13th Street is next down on the left and thankfully the bracketed balcony at the third floor is intact. Looming in the distance is 113 University Place, an eleven-story loft building built in 1902 and designed by Frank Goodwillie. Just east of that is a through-block, Romanesque Revival structure at 48 East 13th Street/35 East 12th Street which was built in 1896 and designed by Albert Wagner.


Looking west along 13th Street from the northwest corner of East 13th Street and Broadway, 1912
East 13th Street looking west from the northwest corner of East 13th Street and Broadway

The Roosevelt building is one of seven buildings in our neighborhood landmarked in June of this year, all of which, like the Roosevelt Building, now have LPC designation reports which can be found on our website with rich historical details about each of the buildings:  817 Broadway, 826 Broadway, 830 Broadway, 832-834 Broadway, 836 Broadway and 840 Broadway.  If you want to help us as we fight to extend landmark protections to more of the area south of Union Square, click here (the seven landmarked buildings amount to approximately 3.5% of the 193 in the area we urged be landmarked as part of a broader historic district).  If you want to access more designation reports for buildings and areas of our neighborhood, containing fascinating historic information, click here. If you would like to see more pictures in Village Preservation’s Historic Image Archive, click HERE.

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