View Full Version : New York's Best Lobbies

June 12th, 2003, 02:44 PM
Which are the best lobbys in Manhattan?

TLOZ Link5
June 12th, 2003, 07:22 PM
Quote: from emmeka on 2:44 pm on June 12, 2003
Which are the best lobbys in Manhattan?

Grand Central Terminal is certainly the greatest ;)

June 13th, 2003, 12:03 PM
Woolworth Building
Daily News Building
Marriot Marquis

Is Grand Central considered a lobby? It's a great room, but not a lobby. *As for great rooms, the Emigrant Savings Bank on Chambers takes the cake.

June 13th, 2003, 12:12 PM
I understand Trump Tower has a very famous lobby. *Personally, I really like the huge lobby at the Galleria on 57th street.

June 13th, 2003, 12:37 PM
1 Wall Street

Jack Ryan
June 13th, 2003, 05:35 PM
The Film Center at 630 Ninth Avenue is pretty amazing. Small scale, though. 70 Pine Street is beautiful, too.

June 13th, 2003, 10:12 PM
Check out the Daily News Building on 42nd. *It's my favorite (remember the Superman movies?).

June 14th, 2003, 12:27 AM
Why 1251 Avenue of the Americas of course! McGraw-Hill as well as Chase on Pine st are nice. Nothing like the best of International style!

June 14th, 2003, 05:53 PM
Ernst & Young Headquarters tower lobby.
It is not large but very intense.
It is the only one in Times Square to bring inside some of the enrgy of the outside, thereby questioning common ideas of threshold and boundery.
And the entry piece is great.

June 16th, 2003, 01:55 PM
I think the E&Y lobby is good too.
The geometry of the slot above the entry is wild.

June 16th, 2003, 04:19 PM
There's a large pillar running right through it that I find distressing. *Maybe the architects intended that, I don't know. *I do know that I can stare at those displays on either side of the entry for hours.

June 17th, 2003, 07:42 PM
Can someone post photos of those displays?

June 18th, 2003, 02:36 AM

June 18th, 2003, 02:44 AM

June 18th, 2003, 02:58 AM
I always liked the lobby of the New York State Theater at Lincoln Center. *I hope they don't change it too much:



June 18th, 2003, 06:49 PM
Can anyone post new photos of those E & Y entry displays (other than the one which already appears in the E & Y page of this site)?

June 18th, 2003, 07:46 PM
Quote: from dbhstockton on 2:58 am on June 18, 2003
I always liked the lobby of the New York State Theater at Lincoln Center. *I hope they don't change it too much:
I think only Avery Fisher Hall is to be significantly altered.

Jack Ryan
June 22nd, 2003, 07:12 PM
Radio City Music Hall!!!

June 29th, 2003, 02:05 PM
Does anyone know how the lobby of Times Square Tower (10 Times Square) look/going to look like?

February 10th, 2009, 04:47 PM
New York Times Building



Cafeteria (semi-public space)


dnkbdotcom (http://flickr.com/photos/dnkb/2765821084/sizes/l/)

Corey Hunt (http://flickr.com/photos/corey_/2365004331/sizes/o/)

Artem Portnoy (http://flickr.com/photos/hermit75/2804894032/in/set-72157606861085580/)

February 10th, 2009, 06:04 PM
The Ford Foundation

sometimes always (http://flickr.com/photos/thedugs/384275952/)

roryrory (http://flickr.com/photos/roryrory/2851316825/sizes/m/)

sometimes always (http://flickr.com/photos/thedugs/384275948/)

roryrory (http://flickr.com/photos/roryrory/2852150594/sizes/m/)

roryrory (http://flickr.com/photos/roryrory/2852149702/sizes/m/)

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3346/3218615590_4e7f675b08.jpg http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3403/3218615596_732226a5f4.jpg
rpa2101 (http://flickr.com/photos/32224170@N03/3218615596/)

February 11th, 2009, 07:43 AM
What are these things? ^

February 11th, 2009, 09:38 AM

Movable Type— 560 Displays Are Suspended in Two Identical Arrays

Located in the central corridor of the recently completed New York Times Building’s ground floor lobby, Moveable Type is a media arts installation that consists of 560 small displays that are suspended on wires in two identical arrays. Each array consists of 7 rows and 40 columns of vacuum fluorescent display screens (VFD) measuring 4 1/2 inch by 8 1/2 inch each. VFDs are an old technology originally developed during the 1960’s in the form of vacuum tubes. Because of their durability, VFDs are still in use today, mainly in cash registers, microwave ovens, and gas pump systems.

Movable Type is essentially a living, breathing organism. The installation is in a constant state of flux, because it reflects the up-to-the-minute production of the news. The installation draws its content from three sources: a live feed from The New York Times, capturing text and data in near real-time as the information is published; the activities and comments of visitors to The Times’ Web site; and the complete Times archive dating back to 1851, all provide input to the work. Patterns and images are also displayed on the system, for example, outline drawings of all 50 states were displayed during our visit.

Movable Type displays fragments such as quotes, details, questions, numbers, and places from The Times’ real-time news database and to combines these fragments into a series of kinetic compositions using algorithms developed by Ben Rubin and Mark Hansen. Each display unit also contains an audio interface, a speaker and an audible relay, enabling it to produce a variety of small sounds. Ten small full-range speakers mounted near the floor provide ambient background sounds.

The concept and production was developed and managed by New York-based media artist Ben Rubin, founder of EAR Studio Inc, and Mark Hansen, Associate Professor in the Department of Statistics, University at California at Los Angeles. The design was coordinated with the architects of The New York Times Company building, Renzo Piano in Paris, in association with FXFOWLE Architects in New York.

February 11th, 2009, 09:52 AM
Up until 9/11 you could just walk into any office building... if a guard stopped you, you could say you just wanted to see the lobby and it was no prob if you looked cool. My faves were the Chrysler Building, The Empire State, The NBC building at Rock Center. They were like entering a time machine. The murals on the ceilings at the Chrysler and NBC. The Empire State building's elevator bank is an art deco spectacular very 1930's (while the Chrysler was very 1920's). The lobby of the Seagrams looks modern and ancient at the same time. And of course the Woolworth building. Residential buildings: the Osborne on 57th.

It is a great loss that you can't casually see these things anymore.


That NYTimes lobby looks just ok... like a nice community college somewhere... compare it to the lush materials and rock solid construction of the Ford Center lobby above. Ultra chic.


February 11th, 2009, 10:13 AM
That NYTimes lobby looks just ok... like a nice community college somewhere ...

Those are fightin' words :cool:

Methinks it's been awhile since you've set foot inside an American Community College.

While it's true that the materials used in Piano's lobby don't match the extraordinary stone and metalwork in some of NYC's greatest lobbies, the space as a whole really works -- and it grabs the eye when passing by on the sidewalks outside.

February 11th, 2009, 11:00 AM
FYI mister know-it-all: I recently attended a seminar in Pottery Making and Feminist Social Theory at a local community college, and the place looks exactly like those photos.

February 11th, 2009, 11:09 AM
New York Marriott Marquis

sk8bette (http://flickr.com/photos/sk8bette/2398915872/)

shutterBRI (http://flickr.com/photos/shutterbri/2606913075/)

spudart (http://flickr.com/photos/spudart/397389239/sizes/o/)

24gotham (http://flickr.com/photos/iconeon/2156460498/sizes/o/)

24gotham (http://www.flickr.com/photos/iconeon/2156438074/sizes/o/)

Heaven`s Gate (John) (http://flickr.com/photos/59303791@N00/2531284480/sizes/l/in/set-72057594073893878/)

February 11th, 2009, 11:26 AM
Up until 9/11 you could just walk into any office building... if a guard stopped you, you could say you just wanted to see the lobby and it was no prob if you looked cool. My faves were the Chrysler Building, The Empire State, The NBC building at Rock Center. They were like entering a time machine. The murals on the ceilings at the Chrysler and NBC. The Empire State building's elevator bank is an art deco spectacular very 1930's (while the Chrysler was very 1920's). The last time I was able to take pictures was Open House a few years ago.














February 11th, 2009, 11:56 AM
Re: the Chrysler: Thanks for those photos. It is so nice to see that lobby again after all these years. I had the girl move the monitor in a little closer so I could see them better.

Note that the mural celebrates laborers... how quaint.

February 11th, 2009, 12:14 PM
That NYTimes lobby looks just ok... like a nice community college somewhere... compare it to the lush materials and rock solid construction of the Ford Center lobby above. Ultra chic.

Fabrizio, have you ever been to the NYtimes tower lobby?

February 11th, 2009, 12:15 PM
I agree with Fab regarding the NYTimes. The floor has the feel of do-it-yourself laminate flooring for your living room, and the lobby feels like that same living room with the furniture taken out. However I love the space with the trees and I do love the orange.

February 11th, 2009, 01:10 PM
Fabrizio, have you ever been to the NYtimes tower lobby?

No. I can't even remember the last time I was in NY. I think it was to see Uta Hagen in Othello. I can't remember.

February 11th, 2009, 01:58 PM
Oh, OK; I figured as much. Well I would like to think that if you was ever to visit it your take on it would be different and it definitely would be more adequately informed. Pics dont do that lobby any justice. It is a great urban space to be in.

February 11th, 2009, 03:22 PM
^ I hope you are right and you probably are.

(From the latest financial reports though, it sounds like by the time I get back NY, it will be looking like the last scene from "Planet of the Apes". I guess I better get a move on.)

February 11th, 2009, 04:00 PM





Haven't we progressed enough so that we do not have to be so bandwidth sensitive? Having to open 10 windows isn't frugal, it's wasteful and pathetic.

February 11th, 2009, 04:30 PM
There's no need for that nastiness.

CIT Building Lobby, 505 Fifth Avenue & 42nd Street
The lobby features artwork created by internationally acclaimed light and space artist James Turrell.

Bill Miller Photography (http://www.billmillerphotography.com/bm_interior_lobby.htm)


Edward Lifson (http://edwardlifson.blogspot.com/2007/09/love-this-new-york-lobby-by-light-and.html)

24gotham (http://www.flickr.com/photos/iconeon/2712398580/sizes/o/)

jambo ardalan jalayer

February 11th, 2009, 04:37 PM

Also while there is no need to be nasty about saying it I agree that having to open 10 links is laborious.

February 11th, 2009, 05:46 PM
Haven't we progressed enough so that we do not have to be so bandwidth sensitive? Having to open 10 windows isn't frugal, it's wasteful and pathetic.What's pathetic is that you've been on this forum for three years and still don't know the rules. (http://www.wirednewyork.com/forum/showthread.php?t=3711)

See Posting guidelines, (b). The images are 1225 px wide.

You worry about wasting time opening links, when I have to waste time responding to a fool who opens his mouth to change shoes.

February 15th, 2009, 12:11 AM
Id hate to be the front desk guard at 505 5th ave. Those blacklights or whatever lights would give me the worst head ache after 10 minutes.

You are free to check out the Chrysler Building lobby at any time. Within the lobby there are stairs down to a public concourse that connects underground to Grand Central Terminal. I take that route as much as I can to gaze at the lobby. In my top 5 in the city. From pictures I'd say the Hearst lobby seems spectacular except that ive never been allowed up the escalator to see it. They did let me take pictures of the waterfall which was underwhelming

February 15th, 2009, 01:10 AM
120 B'Way's lobby has a beautiful barrell ceiling.

February 15th, 2009, 02:03 AM
I'll only post the new stuff since there are too many exceptional pre-war lobbies to post.

The Westin New York at Times Square







February 15th, 2009, 03:59 AM
A little uninviting, though it's open to the public to walk through.

Conde' Nast Buiding

Esto - Jeff Gordon

Esto - Jeff Gordon

Esto - Jeff Gordon

February 15th, 2009, 05:49 AM
It appears that the last picture shows a block-thru passageway -- Is that open for uninhibited public access from 43rd <> 42nd?

February 15th, 2009, 09:13 AM
It was done about 4000 years ago.


February 15th, 2009, 09:50 AM
Woolworth Building. As good as it gets.


Tony Andersson on Flickr.


February 15th, 2009, 10:49 AM
Lofter it is, and they usually have some kind of artwork to brighten up the space.

February 15th, 2009, 03:18 PM
[font=ariel]I'll only post the new stuff since there are too many exceptional pre-war lobbies to post.

I'd love to see the exceptional pre-war lobbies...

Some mentioned Emigrant Industrial Savings Bank which is now used only for special events:

Photos by:http://www.flickr.com/photos/jpimaging/

February 15th, 2009, 06:44 PM
I hear the Cunard Building has a wonderful lobby, and I've been meaning to visit. Anybody have pics?

February 15th, 2009, 09:50 PM
I like the United Nations lobby. I think they did a great disservice to the design when they installed the crappy drywall for the art and issue exhibits.



February 15th, 2009, 09:58 PM
Gorgeous rotunda at the Tweed Courthouse...


February 18th, 2009, 07:38 PM
Hearst Magazine Tower










oops..I'll add the credits now

February 18th, 2009, 07:42 PM








February 18th, 2009, 08:30 PM
Spectacularium :D

February 18th, 2009, 11:43 PM

February 19th, 2009, 04:12 AM
That Hearst lobby is genius. Thanks for posting those photos.

February 19th, 2009, 08:43 AM
What an amazing space!

February 21st, 2009, 08:11 PM
It's amazing, but you could add it's quite a waste of space.

February 21st, 2009, 08:39 PM
I'd call it ample rather than a waste.

February 21st, 2009, 08:57 PM
The entire former building has been converted into a single room.

February 22nd, 2009, 11:16 AM

A splendid space indeed, but not public.

This is the only public spot of the lobby

February 22nd, 2009, 11:18 AM
It's amazing, but you could add it's quite a waste of space.

Developers' Lingo.

February 23rd, 2009, 03:50 AM
195 Broadway


February 23rd, 2009, 04:09 AM
Up until 9/11 you could just walk into any office building...

It is a great loss that you can't casually see these things anymore.

January 20, 2006

So, You Think You Can See a Landmark?

Sightseers are not allowed in the Woolworth Building lobby, far left, and public access is limited in the 346 Broadway clock tower room; the City Hall lobby, second from right; and the Tweed Courthouse interior.

By DAVID W. DUNLAP (http://query.nytimes.com/search/query?ppds=bylL&v1=DAVID%20W.%20DUNLAP&fdq=19960101&td=sysdate&sort=newest&ac=DAVID%20W.%20DUNLAP&inline=nyt-per)

Old Pennsylvania Station was "vast enough to hold the sound of time," Thomas Wolfe said. The lobby of the old AT&T headquarters at 195 Broadway in Lower Manhattan was easily vast enough to hold the sounds of the 20th century.

What will happen to it in the 21st? "This is going to become some kind of public space," said the building's new owner, David W. Levinson. City officials hope to make the lobby a landmark. Robert B. Tierney, the chairman of the Landmarks Preservation Commission, said configuring the lobby for the greatest public access is a crucial point in discussions with Mr. Levinson and his architect.

If the space at 195 Broadway, with its forestlike rows of Doric columns, does end up opening its doors that freely, it will be in sharp contrast to most of the 14 existing interior landmark spaces downtown. Few welcome casual visitors.

Interior landmarks are defined as spaces "customarily open or accessible to the public, or to which the public is customarily invited." But the law does not discuss what happens when tenants move or owners try to cope with post-9/11 fears.

This reporter set out on Jan. 9 to see what luck he would have visiting the interior landmarks downtown. He showed up unannounced at each place, in the garb of a history-minded visitor - spectacles, old Harris tweed jacket, button-down shirt, bow tie, thick-soled shoes (actually, he dresses like that every day) - with a copy of the official Guide to New York City Landmarks tucked under one arm.

He was allowed to walk through just one space without undergoing a search. Two buildings admitted him after scanning him. He was allowed to glimpse a couple of lobbies and sneaked a peek at another. At two buildings, he was told firmly to leave.

"People should, in a nondisruptive way, be able to see these treasures," Mr. Tierney said. "I have a very specific interest, as the chairman of the commission, to try to make that happen where possible, through the powers of persuasion." But he acknowledged that security made that more complicated.

These are the interior landmarks, ranked roughly by accessibility.
FORMER AT&T LONG DISTANCE BUILDING, 32 AVENUE OF THE AMERICAS Security turnstiles are located at the elevator banks rather than the main entrance. Without having to go through a scanner, a visitor was welcomed by the guards to spend time looking at Jazz Age mosaics showing the continents linked by golden telephone strands, though he was told photos were not allowed. Later, William C. Rudin, the landlord, said the Rudin Management Company tried to balance tenant safety and property protection with public access. "It's a tough call," he allowed.

FORMER UNITED STATES CUSTOM HOUSE, BOWLING GREEN Now the National Museum of the American Indian, it welcomed a visitor, but made him walk through a magnetometer. The reward was the vast rotunda with murals of New York Harbor by Reginald Marsh.

NEW YORK COUNTY COURTHOUSE, 60 CENTRE STREET After going through a magnetometer, a visitor could linger under the vividly restored mural around the dome, "Law Through the Ages," by Attilio Pusterla. The pleasure was enhanced by being in a working environment that still serves the purpose for which it was built.

FORMER NEW YORK LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY BUILDING, 346 BROADWAY A visitor could take in the small marble lobby, but was told by a guard that the space of greatest interest, the clock tower machinery room, was closed except on Wednesdays.

FORMER WESTERN UNION BUILDING, 60 HUDSON STREET A guard allowed a visitor to stand outside the turnstiles and gaze down the long lobby with its glowing brick vaults. He cautioned that photos were not permitted.

CITY HALL Turning away a visitor, a police officer on duty at the Broadway gate explained pleasantly that tours are offered. "All you have to do is call 311," he said.

TWEED COURTHOUSE, 52 CHAMBERS STREET A guard at this building, now headquarters of the Department of Education, said a tour could be arranged by calling 311.

SURROGATE'S COURT, 31 CHAMBERS STREET A private guard shook her head when asked about a visit. "You have to have a purpose to be admitted," she said. Later, Martha K. Hirst, the commissioner of the Department of Citywide Administrative Services, said her agency would revise its instructions to the guards "so they understand visitors interested in seeing the lobby area as a landmark can be welcomed."

FORMER EMIGRANT INDUSTRIAL SAVINGS BANK, 51 CHAMBERS STREET The main hall, scene of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg's (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/b/michael_r_bloomberg/index.html?inline=nyt-per) inauguration party, is closed. But Ms. Hirst said, "We certainly may be able to work out a way in which folks can see or tour it."

FORMER NATIONAL CITY BANK AND MERCHANTS' EXCHANGE, 55 WALL STREET Now a banquet hall operated by the Cipriani family, it is generally closed. This visitor walked in, unchallenged by any workers, while the hall was being readied for an event.

FEDERAL HALL NATIONAL MEMORIAL, WALL STREET "Closed for reconstruction," a sign says on the padlocked doors.

FORMER CUNARD BUILDING, 25 BROADWAY The Postal Service has moved out. The doors are locked.

VERIZON HEADQUARTERS, 140 WEST STREET A guard approached in 16 seconds. "Unfortunately, we're not allowed to let visitors right now," he said, not even to stand at the entrance and gaze at the painstakingly restored ceiling murals. Asked if the landmark would ever be open for tours, he said, "Probably in the future."

WOOLWORTH BUILDING, 233 BROADWAY Its mosaic-encrusted Byzantine-Gothic lobby is "among the most spectacular of the early 20th century in New York," the landmarks guide says - and among the most zealously patrolled. A sidewalk sign seen in the past, "Tourists Are Not Permitted Beyond This Point," was not on display this day. But a guard intercepted the visitor a mere 12 seconds after he set foot inside.

Guard: "Excuse me. You have to exit out. There's no sightseeing."
Visitor: "I'm sorry?"
Guard: "You have to exit out. There's no sightseeing."
Visitor: "There's no sightseeing?"
Guard: "No."
Visitor, showing the official landmarks guide: "Oh, but this -"
Guard: "I know what it says, but it's wrong. You have to exit, please."
Visitor: "Oh, it's not a landmark? No? It's not a landmark?"
Guard: "It's a private office building."


February 23rd, 2009, 10:47 AM
The Public is allowed in Publicly-owned Buildings in order to take part in the Business of the People.

CITY HALL Turning away a visitor, a police officer on duty at the Broadway gate explained pleasantly that tours are offered. "All you have to do is call 311," he said.

For admittance to City Hall check the schedule for City Council or other Public Meetings and state that you are there to attend.

New York City Council LINK (http://council.nyc.gov/html/home/home.shtml)

The Council Calendar (http://www.nyccouncil.info/html/calendar/calendar_new.cfm) has list of Hearings whcih are open to the Public. When you arrive at the City Hall Security Pavilions (at the south side of City Hall, east and west entrances) state your purpose for admittance.

Information at this LINK (http://www.nyc.gov/html/artcom/html/portrait/portrait.shtml) for tours to see the City Hall Portrait Collection.

Other City Hall Tour information HERE (http://www.nyc.gov/html/artcom/html/tours/city_hall.shtml).


SURROGATE'S COURT, 31 CHAMBERS STREET A private guard shook her head when asked about a visit. "You have to have a purpose to be admitted," she said. Later, Martha K. Hirst, the commissioner of the Department of Citywide Administrative Services, said her agency would revise its instructions to the guards "so they understand visitors interested in seeing the lobby area as a landmark can be welcomed."

This building houses the Municipal Archives (http://www.nyc.gov/html/records/html/about/archives.shtml), an interesting opportunity in itself.

Directions and visitor information are available at the link ^ .

The lobby here is used in many films & television shows, and often seen on "Law & Order."

February 23rd, 2009, 12:32 PM
It's a shame about Wooly B's lobby...
Before 9/11 it was no problem to walk inside-
I did it many times-What a grand space-
Such a waste!!!:cool:

February 23rd, 2009, 03:53 PM
I got to visit the Municipal archives on my internship, gorgeous building.

February 24th, 2009, 03:34 AM
195 Broadway
The last time I was in that lobby, I took a few pictures. The security guard damn near had a thrombo. :rolleyes:

July 14th, 2009, 11:34 AM
There's no need for that nastiness.

CIT Building Lobby, 505 Fifth Avenue & 42nd Street
The lobby features artwork created by internationally acclaimed light and space artist James Turrell.

Bill Miller Photography (http://www.billmillerphotography.com/bm_interior_lobby.htm)

Edward Lifson (http://edwardlifson.blogspot.com/2007/09/love-this-new-york-lobby-by-light-and.html)

24gotham (http://www.flickr.com/photos/iconeon/2712398580/sizes/o/)

jambo ardalan jalayer

CIT is nearly bankrupt. It's one of the country's primary lenders to small-medium sized businesses. Typical story...they gorged on cheap debt, and now they can't pay it back and are going hat-in-hand to the government for a bailout. I wonder why on earth a company that was a lender to small-medium sized business felt the need to occupy such top-rate offices? Probably indicative of other financial decisions that got them into this mess.

July 14th, 2009, 10:02 PM
That debt funds loans so settle down.

July 15th, 2009, 10:35 AM
That debt funds loans so settle down.

It also apparently funded an opulent office space that they could ill afford.

July 15th, 2009, 07:32 PM
Stop the insanity. The cost of their office space is less than 1000th of 1% of their debt outstanding.

The problem here is pretty simple:
borrow at short maturity in order to pay low rates
bet that market will allow rolling of short maturity debt as it comes due
lend to risky borrowers in order to earn high rates

doesn't work so well when you can't roll debt and borrowers are defaulting

CIT's problem is lack of consumer spending, not too much of their own.

July 16th, 2009, 11:23 AM
Their borrower's delinquency rate is 4.7%.

July 16th, 2009, 09:31 PM
Borrowers not paying isn't the problem, it's borrowers' customers not paying that is the issue. That combined with the run on CIT credit lines over the past 2 weeks.

July 16th, 2009, 11:31 PM
Fashion houses fret over possible CIT bankruptcy

Crain's (http://www.crainsnewyork.com/article/20090716/FREE/907169993)
By Adrianne Pasquarelli

Nearly 60% of U.S. apparel makers use the lender to provide financing to fill seasonal orders; retailers may also be negatively impacted.

The potential bankruptcy filing of struggling commercial lender CIT Group Inc. is yet another whammy for the much-suffering fashion industry.

Nearly 60% of U.S. apparel and footwear businesses use CIT as a factor, according to the American Apparel & Footwear Association. Through a factoring agreement, lenders provide businesses with financing based on their account receivables. Ideal for a seasonal business cycle, factoring allows designers to ship orders from six months ago, while using advanced funds to fill orders for the next season. Without such funding from CIT, retailers currently taking orders for winter would not have sufficient credit to pay their costs.

“It might not have an immediate effect on what they’re shipping today, but the orders they’re taking for six months—all of a sudden there won’t be any financing and they can’t prepare letters of credit to overseas suppliers,” said Vano Haroutunian, a partner at law firm Ballon Stoll Bader & Nadler, who has dozens of clients that use CIT as their only factor. “They’re very concerned and we fear some of those businesses will not be able to withstand the impact of CIT filing for bankruptcy.”

CIT, which has over $1 billion in debt coming due by September, said Wednesday that the government will not give it another bailout, news which will adversely affect the 2,000 vendors to which CIT provides factoring services. The news sent the lender’s shares plunging 75% to 42 cents in afternoon trading Thursday ...

July 17th, 2009, 10:01 AM
Brooklynlove - I know you won't like this, and I'm not trying to fan your flame, but I did run across this WSJ article today so I'm posting it. Interestingly, one of the comments on the article noted that it was a previous CIT building on Madison Avenue out of which Cary Grant walks during the beginning of the movie, North by Northwest. I guess you can see the company's logo in the shot, but I couldn't find the clip on youtube.

Wall Street Journal - July 13, 2009
CIT: Small-Town Lender Living Large in the Big City

By Michael Corkery

CIT Group is known as a lender to the little guy, loaning money to hundreds of donut shops, day care centers and other small businesses across the country. But CIT’s headquarters feel more SoHo than Sioux Falls.
Bloomberg News

CIT Group’s New York headquarters.

Located on Fifth Avenue (http://www.505fifth.com/home/) in the heart of midtown Manhattan, the 27-story tower is encased in all glass and concrete with a cool, steel awning adorning its entrance. The lobby is dark, narrow and empty save for a lone security desk. The lobby walls are illuminated by neon lights that change color from turquoise to baby blue and then back to turquoise. The elevator bank is lit by pink lights.

While CIT moved to New York from St. Louis 80 years ago, its biggest splash may have been when it signed a 15-year lease in 2005 to occupy 11 floors of the Fifth Avenue building (http://www.designbuild-network.com/projects/505/), which was talked about in New York real-estate circles because of its sleek design and because of its near-top of the market rents.

CIT didn’t disclose how much it was paying in rent, but nearby rents were $100 a square foot. That was a steep price at the time, though it was eventually eclipsed by even pricier rents a few years later at the height of midtown’s commercial real estate bubble.

The CIT building seems emblematic of how this lender with the small-town mission is at home in the big city. In recent years, CIT has sponsored such cultural events as “Mozart for the Masses,” which provided inexpensive opera tickets at Lincoln Center. CIT also teamed up with magazine publisher Conde Naste to sponsor a series of Webcast interviews with business executives from fashion and other industries, called “CIT: Behind the Business.”

CIT also was keeping up with its bigger, midtown neighbors, such as Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers Holdings, by investing in subprime mortgages.
Now as CIT pleads for help from regulators and Congress (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124744080839729811.html), arguing that a bankruptcy filing would hurt small businesses, its Manhattan headquarters, at least in appearance, feel far from Middle America.

July 17th, 2009, 08:39 PM
Makes for a nice headline I guess. CIT could live rent free for the next 20 years and that would do nothing to help their current dire straights. Let's all hope that CIT and it's lenders figure out a way to keep CIT's business lending ops going.

July 26th, 2009, 07:31 AM
This article spends more time on reality.

A Little Too Responsible? That’ll Cost You
By JOE NOCERA (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/business/columns/josephnocera/?inline=nyt-per)
Published: July 24, 2009
“We are the poster child for the credit crisis (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/subjects/c/credit_crisis/index.html?inline=nyt-classifier),” said Jeffrey M. Peek, flashing a tight, pained smile.
The chief executive of the first financial company since Lehman Brothers (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/business/companies/lehman_brothers_holdings_inc/index.html?inline=nyt-org) to be denied government assistance — I am speaking, of course, of CIT (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/business/companies/cit_group_inc/index.html?inline=nyt-org) — Mr. Peek was sitting in a CIT conference room in Midtown Manhattan early Thursday morning, trying to put the best face on his company’s awful situation. He wore a light blue, pin-striped suit and a powder blue tie. From time to time, he leaned back in his chair, trying to affect a relaxed air that he certainly could not have been feeling. And no matter what I asked, he tried to make it sound as if CIT had a future, which, I’m sorry to say, is very much in doubt. It was painful to listen to.
A week earlier, Mr. Peek had learned that the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/f/federal_deposit_insurance_corp/index.html?inline=nyt-org) had denied CIT’s request to participate in its temporary guarantee program. The government also wasn’t going to allow Mr. Peek to transfer more CIT assets to a small bank in Utah that it owned, which would have helped relieve CIT’s overburdened balance sheet. (Several months earlier, it had been allowed to transfer nearly $6 billion in assets to the Utah bank.)
Having transformed itself into a bank holding company last December, and having received $2.3 billion in loans from the Trouble Asset Relief Program, CIT was hoping for — nay, expecting — more government assistance to stave off its current liquidity crisis and transform a business model that no longer worked. It didn’t really have a Plan B. “We are the only ones with significant TARP money that didn’t get into the T.L.G.P.,” Mr. Peek said. (T.L.G.P. is the initialism for the Temporary Liquidity Guarantee Program, F.D.I.C.’s loan guarantee program.)
“We’re going to have to restructure our balance sheet,” he said gamely, meaning that the company will now need to sell assets, shrink its loan portfolio and persuade its debtholders to take significant haircuts, swapping their debt for an equity position in the company. “We have a lot of work to do over the next 60 to 90 days,” he said. Well, maybe. At this stage, however, it is more likely that bankruptcy is in CIT’s near-term future, something Mr. Peek told me he would “fight to my dying day to avoid.”
As for his remark about being the poster child of the credit crisis, that was his way of saying that whatever mistakes were made on his watch — the company’s ill-timed entry into the subprime lending business, for instance, or its acquisition of a company that made government-guaranteed student loans (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/subjects/s/student_loans/index.html?inline=nyt-classifier) — CIT ultimately was done in by events that were beyond its control. And for the most part, he’s right about that.
“There were some self-inflicted wounds along the way, but when the tidal wave came it was simply more exposed than other financial institutions,” said David Havens, an analyst with Hexagon Securities. CIT historically has relied on the credit markets for its funding needs, then lent out that money to the small and medium-size businesses that were its core customers. In the latter part of 2007, as the credit crisis slowly took hold, it lost access to those markets. It has struggled ever since.
Perhaps Mr. Peek’s real failing was that he didn’t take enough foolish risks. Although Mr. Peek was a former top Merrill Lynch (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/business/companies/merrill_lynch_and_company/index.html?inline=nyt-org) executive, he didn’t lead CIT into bundling mortgages into toxic derivatives (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/subjects/d/derivatives/index.html?inline=nyt-classifier), he didn’t get into credit-default swaps (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/subjects/c/credit_default_swaps/index.html?inline=nyt-classifier), he didn’t create a trading desk that swung for the fences and he didn’t build a company that was so big that it posed systemic risk. In other words, he acted a little too responsibly. So when CIT’s moment of crisis arrived, the F.D.I.C. looked it over and decided it wasn’t too big to fail. To Mr. Peek’s surprise, it turned out to be too small to save.
Ever since the crisis began, there have been few things less predictable than dealing with the government. Surely, we’ve all learned that by now. If Merrill Lynch had gotten into trouble before Lehman Brothers, it is quite possible that Merrill would have been the firm to go under and Lehman Brothers would have been saved. When Chrysler (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/business/companies/chrysler_llc/index.html?inline=nyt-org) filed for bankruptcy, its secured lenders were stunned to discover that the government was giving the United Automobile Workers (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/u/united_automobile_workers/index.html?inline=nyt-org) a bigger stake in the company than they were getting. When financial firms took TARP money, they never imagined the kind of political heat they would subsequently face.
To hear CIT’s supporters tell it, the company had every reason to believe it would get more government assistance. Indeed, according to Mr. Peek, being allowed into the Temporary Liquidity Guarantee Program and transferring more assets to the Utah bank were the last two steps of a six-point plan he and his team had devised to turn the company around. Becoming a bank holding company — which required government permission — was the first step of the plan, giving Mr. Peek the clear impression that federal officials were on board with his plan.
But he misjudged Sheila Bair, the F.D.I.C. chairwoman, and more than that, he misjudged the sentiment in Washington. The fear created by the Lehman bankruptcy had largely receded. The financial markets were stabilizing. Congress was sick of bailouts. So when Mr. Peek and his firm arrived at the government’s doorstep, Ms. Bair was in no mood to hand out guarantees to companies with broken business models. At least not if she could help it.
The F.D.I.C. has been an important player in the various government rescues, of course, but it has also often been a reluctant participant, dragged along by Treasury (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/t/treasury_department/index.html?inline=nyt-org) and the Federal Reserve. The agency’s primary mission is to protect the deposits it insures in the nation’s banks, and it becomes agitated when it is asked to do things that put those deposits at risk. In effect, that is what Mr. Peek was asking.
Without access to credit markets, CIT needed a new source of funding. Eventually, Mr. Peek hoped that the company could use bank deposits, as many large financial institutions do. But to get there, he needed the government to throw the company a lifeline in the form of that guarantee loan program. That would allow CIT to continue raising debt in the capital markets while it beefed up its Utah bank, and changed its business model. Meanwhile, it needed to transfer more assets to its Utah bank to help shrink its own balance sheet.
But the F.D.I.C. didn’t like the nature of the assets CIT was proposing to move to the bank. It also worried that the new deposits the Utah bank would have to generate to fund those assets would be brokered deposits — that is, hot money that could vanish in a nanosecond. To Ms. Bair and the F.D.I.C., Mr. Peek’s plan was simply too risky. If the Utah bank bulked up with poor assets and brokered deposits — and then went bust — the F.D.I.C. would be left holding the bag.
What’s more, CIT’s own credit rating was in junk territory, it had lost money for eight straight quarters, and its goal to change its business model was hardly a sure thing. It was, in other words, a troubled company, just like a thousand other troubled companies across America. The only reason it had a shot at government assistance was because it was a financial institution. Suddenly, that reason is no longer good enough on its own.
The closer the government looked at CIT, the more it believed that if it went bust, disaster would not ensue, as it had when Lehman Brothers defaulted. With a loan portfolio of around $75 billion — and none of those nasty derivatives on its books — the failure of CIT, if it came to that, was something the system could absorb.
Since the government rebuffed CIT, the company has raised $3 billion from a handful of its bondholders. That has been described in the business pages as a rescue, but it really isn’t. While the loan — with 13 percent interest! — has bought CIT a little time, it has also positioned these bondholders to be in control of an eventual CIT bankruptcy. Most of the analysts I spoke to thought that was inevitable. “I think CIT is a lost cause,” said Kathleen Shanley, a credit analyst at Gimme Credit.
The truth is, sooner or later the government was going to say no to somebody. Eventually, it would deem the system healthy enough to absorb the bankruptcy of a financial firm. Unfortunately for Mr. Peek, his company was the one knocking at the door when the government decided not to open it.
Perhaps that result is unfair to CIT and its customers, many of them classic mid-American, midsize companies, who will have to scramble for credit if the company goes under, just as it was probably unfair that Lehman died while American International Group (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/business/companies/american_international_group/index.html?inline=nyt-org) was saved. Besides, why should Citigroup (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/business/companies/citigroup_inc/index.html?inline=nyt-org), which acted so egregiously during the bubble, get bailed out by the government while CIT is left to fend for itself? If you’re Mr. Peek, it has to be galling to see the government bail out the likes of Citi and Bank of America (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/business/companies/bank_of_america_corporation/index.html?inline=nyt-org) not because they are more worthy of government support — hardly the case — but merely because they are considered too big to fail.
For the rest of us, though, the fact that the government is letting CIT sink or swim on its own, even though its prospects are dim, should be a note of optimism. It means that officials believe enough stability has returned to the financial system, and indeed, to the entire marketplace, that the government no longer has to fear the ramifications of a financial firm’s failure. If Mr. Peek manages to save CIT, he will deserve an attaboy. If he doesn’t, the system will shrug and move on.
Is that a green shoot I see?

Reaktor 4
August 13th, 2009, 04:39 PM
Post photos of building lobbies! DO IT.

Here's one of mine. I need to go take more.

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2656/3815621826_14d409946d.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/25945400@N02/3815621826/sizes/l/)
CIT Group Inc.
505 Fifth Avenue

I plan on taking one of 17 State Street next. Last time I tried, I didn't realize that the guards don't have the legal right to tell me to stop if I'm off the property line and on a sidewalk or other public place.

P.S. I searched the forum to see if there was a thread of this type and didn't find one. If there isn't another, I'll edit out this message.

August 15th, 2009, 08:09 PM
old word ceiling of a Garment District lobby on 38th between 8th and 9th,
with reflection of new Sam Chang crap on the door!

August 15th, 2009, 08:48 PM
A very large hotel on Broadway in the heart of Times Square: forget the name. :confused:


August 15th, 2009, 11:17 PM
I posted that. The Marriott Marquis.

August 31st, 2009, 05:03 PM
A New Spin on Emery Roth

By MICHAEL M. GRYNBAUM (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/g/michael_m_grynbaum/index.html?inline=nyt-per)
Published: August 28, 2009

WHEN Devonshire House, a 1928 Emery Roth building, was sold in 2008 to a group of developers, marking the end of decades as a prime Greenwich Village rental, residents knew change was afoot.

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2009/08/30/realestate/30lobby_650.jpgCourtesy of William Felder
OLD An undated photograph of the Devonshire lobby.

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2009/08/30/realestate/30lobby2_650.jpgJon Walsom
NEW A rendering of changes planned by new owners.

Construction workers and machinery filled the hallways as the developers, including the real estate magnate (and partial Mets owner) Fred Wilpon (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/w/fred_wilpon/index.html?inline=nyt-per), began the process of carving spacious modern condominiums out of the building’s 131 modest one- and two-bedroom units. Leases for market-rate tenants were not renewed, leaving only a few dozen rent-stabilized stalwarts in place.

But of the longtime residents who managed to stay, many assumed that the Devonshire’s unique aesthetic — a hodgepodge of English, Spanish and Gothic influences — would be left alone. The building, perched on the southeast corner of East 10th Street and University Place, has an eclectic Old World charm and a name-brand architect to boot: Roth, the maestro of Central Park West’s Deco skyline, is considered one of Manhattan (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/classifieds/realestate/locations/newyork/newyorkcity/manhattan/?inline=nyt-geo)’s finest residential designers. Surely, such features would still prove marketable today.

Turns out that prewar appeal has its limits. A large-scale redesign has already ripped up part of Devonshire’s distinctive lobby, a time-warped salmagundi of faux-wood walls, Gothic details and an imposing coffered ceiling that brings to mind the faded Oxford common rooms of “Brideshead Revisited.” Now tenants are anxious about the fate of what they consider the jewel of their meticulously designed home.

“It’s such a destruction of an architectural wonder,” said Susan Bolotin, 59, the editor in chief of Workman Publishing and a 30-year resident of the building. “It’s a sense of aesthetic outrage. We’ve been told they can do whatever they want.”

Longtime residents consider the lobby singular and charming, a homey but elaborate space that often impresses guests. Stained-glass windows, topped by gothic arches, allow a view of a sunny courtyard, guarded by a row of small Corinthian columns. Elevator doors are embossed with the Cavendish coat of arms, the seal of a family whose ancestral home in England shares a name with the Manhattan residence.

“For as long as I owned the building,” recalled William Felder, the former proprietor, “people would come in off the street and just fawn over that lobby.”

But the new owners, conscious of the real estate consumer’s fickle taste, say they are looking to brighten a dingy space. “We are trying to take a tired property and freshen it up,” Susan Hewitt, the project’s lead developer, said in a telephone interview. “The general effect we are trying to do is make it seem slightly less sepulchral.”

Ms. Hewitt, who has done condominium conversions on other properties with historic significance, does not draw her adjectives from thin air. The lobby had a sense of shabby elegance: the ornate ceiling is dulled by a tobacco-stained hue, and the yellowish faux-wood floor, a rare feature in Manhattan buildings, is scuffed and scratched.

The renovations — assigned to the designer Victoria Hagan — call for the installation of a black-and-white checkerboard floor; a lighter shade of paint for the walls and an off-white hue for the ceiling. A concierge desk is also planned.

The starkest departure from the current look is the black-and-white floor, which some tenants worry will clash with the old-English atmosphere. Ms. Hewitt said the design had “ample historical precedent” in Manhattan prewar buildings, and Ms. Hagan said she was being “very sensitive” to the original.

“That’s something I think I’m good at, understanding something that’s old and giving it fresh life for a new time,” Ms. Hagan said recently, while overseeing construction of a new apartment on the building’s fourth floor.

It would seem unthinkable to tinker with Roth’s more famous works in the city, including the Beresford and San Remo apartments on the Upper West Side; both have landmark status. And wealthy buyers happily snap up 1920s co-ops on Fifth Avenue that contain the best (rock-solid walls, original moldings) and worst (ancient plumbing) qualities of prewar construction.

But the success of 15 Central Park West, Robert A. M. Stern (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/s/robert_a_m_stern/index.html?inline=nyt-per)’s homage to old-school New York living, may suggest that buyers want a more modern take on the classics: prewar with postwar perks.

Meanwhile, the tenants at Devonshire remain unimpressed. A few reached out to preservationist societies in hopes of halting the renovation, to no avail. Interior spaces cannot be declared landmarks in New York.

“The lobby, as it is, is quite beautiful,” said David Mann, the president of MR Architecture and Decor, who has rented a penthouse studio in the building for nearly two decades. “I am fearful about what they might do that may never be changed back. To rip out the floors, to me, is a crime.”

Ms. Bolotin sounded pained when discussing the changes. “I remember moving in and learning about Emery Roth and the buildings he had done on Central Park West; there’s a sense of—” she paused, then sighed — “I guess this doesn’t mean much, but there’s a sense of neighborhood pride.

I raised my children there. We’ve seen generations come and go. People love living there.”

The former owner, Mr. Felder, said that the Devonshire’s purchasers had every right to change the lobby. “In their defense, I have to say, throughout the years, we’ve always had trouble maintaining that floor,” he said. “You can clean it, but it just always looks dirty.”

But Mr. Felder paused when told that a black-and-white checkerboard pattern was under consideration.

“That could be fairly atrocious,” he said, after some contemplation. “If it was my decision and I had to replace the floor, I would replace it with some kind of stone.”


Copyright 2009 (http://www.nytimes.com/ref/membercenter/help/copyright.html) The New York Times Company (http://www.nytco.com/)

August 31st, 2009, 10:27 PM
Welcome back, brianac. Good to see you posting again.

September 1st, 2009, 04:35 AM
Hi Lofter.

September 1st, 2009, 06:31 AM
Ahoy there, Brianac :).

Devonshire House is lovely.

The building and some of the lobby woodwork.

http://cdn0.curbednetwork.com/cache/gallery/3511/3874591021_a9f22f64de_s.jpg (http://cdn0.curbednetwork.com/cache/gallery/3511/3874591021_e5d1f2d309_o.jpg) http://cdn0.curbednetwork.com/cache/gallery/3221/3875379582_025d745012_s.jpg (http://cdn0.curbednetwork.com/cache/gallery/3221/3875379582_1a6705e5b7_o.png) http://cdn0.curbednetwork.com/cache/gallery/3498/3875379316_58dfea84f2_s.jpg (http://cdn0.curbednetwork.com/cache/gallery/3498/3875379316_b274be6914_o.png) http://cdn0.curbednetwork.com/cache/gallery/2650/3875379704_8b73caeb27_s.jpg (http://cdn0.curbednetwork.com/cache/gallery/2650/3875379704_b523b617a8_o.png) http://cdn0.curbednetwork.com/cache/gallery/3514/3875379516_650494ab2b_s.jpg (http://cdn0.curbednetwork.com/cache/gallery/3514/3875379516_8d05a83f21_o.png) http://cdn0.curbednetwork.com/cache/gallery/2650/3874590581_8a1a55037b_s.jpg (http://cdn0.curbednetwork.com/cache/gallery/2650/3874590581_5b1b4f91b8_o.png)
(click thumbnails to enlarge}



September 1st, 2009, 07:44 AM
It is lovely and I imagine that the original old-English-style funky lobby was pretty gruesome (but also rather cool). Changing the dark wood to a honey color and adding that ovesized checkered floor doesn't look like such a happy solution though. Keep the dark wood and add a grey stone floor, redo the lighting...


September 1st, 2009, 08:37 AM
The 'before' is better.

September 7th, 2009, 02:17 AM
zoltaan (http://www.flickr.com/photos/zoltaan/3356771370/sizes/o/)
The rotunda of the US Custom's House. Did not know they planned to demolish the building in the 1970's.

Devon T.
September 26th, 2009, 11:59 PM
The 'before' is better.

Devonshire House alert for potential buyers!

The tenants' association, representing the current rent-protected residents, is contesting the conversion plan on warehousing grounds. This matter went back to the Attorney General, and could postpone any sales from closing and even prevent the owners from selling apartments for years to come.

The tenants' association is in possession of an engineer's report they commissioned before the Black Book was out. This report exposes serious conditions in the building that possibly will rise in the future to haunt buyers. This report is leaked to interested parties who would like to get an objective examination of the property.

Aesthetics aside, anyone can see the shoddy work done on the lobby floor - cheap and mismatched tiles were laid unevenly and already started to crack. 
The old water/ drainage systems that will keep serving the rental units runs through the renovated apartments. This could potentially expose the buyers to the risks of well documented leaks and mold. Same for the old electric supply that will remain buried in the walls.

According to members of the association, the sample apartments on the fourth floor that are currently being shown had to be furnished twice - leaks have destroyed the new surfaces the first time around.

The facts are out there. Just ask for them.

October 6th, 2009, 06:27 AM
Old Meets New at Devonshire House

October 5, 2009, by Joey

The current look of the controversial lobby renovation, with new checkerboard floor and a lighter faux-wood wall color. The windows at right look out onto a viewing garden, currently getting a new pergola!


http://cdn0.curbednetwork.com/cache/gallery/2599/3984271090_75ee2b64da_s.jpg (http://cdn0.curbednetwork.com/cache/gallery/2599/3984271090_709772bc78_o.jpg) http://cdn0.curbednetwork.com/cache/gallery/2577/3984244036_77c8fe9455_s.jpg (http://cdn0.curbednetwork.com/cache/gallery/2577/3984244036_e7d12fe569_o.jpg) http://cdn0.curbednetwork.com/cache/gallery/3533/3984239856_9f41a8d3c1_s.jpg (http://cdn0.curbednetwork.com/cache/gallery/3533/3984239856_bf41747c86_o.jpg) http://cdn0.curbednetwork.com/cache/gallery/3461/3984266520_f5e21d723c_s.jpg (http://cdn0.curbednetwork.com/cache/gallery/3461/3984266520_1c3656654b_o.jpg) http://cdn0.curbednetwork.com/cache/gallery/3536/3984262418_28eed7da80_s.jpg (http://cdn0.curbednetwork.com/cache/gallery/3536/3984262418_f63b8a4fba_o.jpg) http://cdn0.curbednetwork.com/cache/gallery/3469/3983429035_9cc23c0030_s.jpg (http://cdn0.curbednetwork.com/cache/gallery/3469/3983429035_80c06abb46_o.jpg) http://cdn0.curbednetwork.com/cache/gallery/2639/3983388845_4218453d63_s.jpg (http://cdn0.curbednetwork.com/cache/gallery/2639/3983388845_5180638abd_o.jpg) http://cdn0.curbednetwork.com/cache/gallery/2423/3984162310_2b39ed5e25_s.jpg (http://cdn0.curbednetwork.com/cache/gallery/2423/3984162310_259486f5b0_o.jpg) http://cdn0.curbednetwork.com/cache/gallery/2452/3984153922_518a7cb233_s.jpg (http://cdn0.curbednetwork.com/cache/gallery/2452/3984153922_083e6bb24b_o.jpg) http://cdn0.curbednetwork.com/cache/gallery/3465/3984176030_d273f6aeda_s.jpg (http://cdn0.curbednetwork.com/cache/gallery/3465/3984176030_161fca5492_o.jpg) http://cdn0.curbednetwork.com/cache/gallery/2564/3983411517_c1097df76b_s.jpg (http://cdn0.curbednetwork.com/cache/gallery/2564/3983411517_8ef1659c93_o.jpg) http://cdn0.curbednetwork.com/cache/gallery/2633/3984462046_dbe981bc2d_s.jpg (http://cdn0.curbednetwork.com/cache/gallery/2633/3984462046_a7ee34e119_o.gif)
(click thumbnails to enlarge)

[Photos by Will Femia (http://testofwill.blogspot.com/).] Would you look at that? A $4.1 million apartment (http://www.stribling.com/propinfo.asp?webid=1150460&type=SALE) just went into contract at the Devonshire House, the renovation and condo conversion (http://curbed.com/tags/devonshire-house) of the Emory Roth-designed rental building at East 10th Street and University Place. It's the first sale in the building, and it just so happens to coincide with our visit to the Dev House to get a look at that controversial lobby (http://curbed.com/archives/2009/08/31/development_du_jour_devonshire_house.php) and 4BR, 3.5BA model apartment. Why'd we scope out the model? Curiosity, mostly.

While top-to-bottom pre-war renovation with hefty price tags are nothing new, this one is in the heart of the Central Village. A downtown Apthorp (http://www.curbed.com/tags/apthorp), if you will. The model unit is a 2,720-square-foot sprawler up on the fourth floor, combined from three apartments (most Dev House rentals were studios-2BRs). It hasn't yet been released for sale, but expect an asking price around $5 million. Handling all design duties is Victoria Hagan (http://www.victoriahagan.com/), a big name with the Architectural Digest set. Is the market ready to absorb this bad boy? We'll see if other sales follow, but a slightly testy StreetEasy thread (http://www.streeteasy.com/nyc/talk/discussion/13349-devonshire-house) does mention some packed open houses.

Devonshire House (http://devonshirehousenyc.com/) [Official Site]
Devonshire House coverage (http://www.curbed.com/tags/devonshire-house) [Curbed]

http://curbed.com/archives/2009/10/05/curbed_inside_old_meets_new_at_devonshire_house.ph p?o=1

http://curbed.com/archives/2009/10/05/curbed_inside_old_meets_new_at_devonshire_house.ph p?o=1#

November 4th, 2009, 07:04 PM
I'm pleased that Derek2k3 included the lobby of the Hearst Tower in his post.

Since it opened, Hearst Tower has become my favorite mid-rise skyscraper. It's brilliant geometric design (a bold statement from Norman Foster) causes it to leap out of it's original skin, a 6-floor Art Deco base designed by Raymond Hood and meant for a never- finished skyscraper.
Foster gutted the old building and planted the new building inside the shell.
It's a perfect meld of the new to the old.
Shortly after the building was completed--in 2006, I think-- I went in, to lobby gaze and get a feel for the place, and I met the architect who did the main lobby.

He took my picture against the aluminum and glass "waterfall" and passed me through security and up the escalator to the 3rd floor elevator lobby, where he described his vision of how he translated the space--esentually the 1920s Art Deco shell of the old Hearst headquarters-- into a modern, 21st Century departure lounge.

He did a pretty good job.

My ex-favorite lobby is located in the Barclay-Vessey Building near the WTC site. The heavy Deco space is filled with murals and sculptered figurines. It's 3 floors high and elongated, like the Empire State Bldg ( Another favorite). When I worked there, the artwork was smoke-faded, the brass was green and some of the grandeur in the architecture was encapsulated behind false ceilings and walls.
It was recently cleaned and re-gilded, and is said to be stunning. I wouldn't know. Security stopped me when I went in to visit in '07, and my stories of passing through their damn lobby on my way to work for 6 years made zero impression on them. They simply denied me a photograph and sent me on my way.

The lobby of the Hotel Pennsylvania is another favorite. It's 3 stories high, as big as a football field and festooned with heroic, 20-foot high paintings of New York scenes. You have to walk up two sets of well-worn marble steps to get there. A dozen 40-foot high pink marble columns hold the building up, and there is brass everywhere. Catch it if you can. Someday soon it will be all dust and rubble.

I think that Trump's interpretation of a lobby--the one at Trump Tower on 5th-- is hilariously over the top. All the gilding and gold plating make it look like a refugee from Las Vegas or the inside of a pirate's chest. It's got all the cliches--marble, shiny gold walls, a waterfall, glass escalators, etc. The only thing missing is a revolving Disco ball.
The first time you see it it's a "Gee Whizz" moment, but after a couple of visits you get it--it is a room with an EGO and it's tackiness shouts "I'm CLASSY, dammit" !!!

The most impressive lobby belongs to the Ford Foundation. I have watched the Atrium Jungle grow over the years, and I've often wondered what they do when a tree gets TOO large. Uproot it and send it to Central Park, or what???
Although I have admired the building since it first appeared, I have never actually been INSIDE. It never seems to be open and you never see people walking around, even on a Wednesday.

I always have looked at the Ford jungle through glass.

The most original space belongs to the Guggenheim Museum. Is the main floor a lobby, a grand entry, a surrealistic loggia ? Or is it simply the base of a pretentious sculpture? Either way, it's a space I long to BE in, and I'm always impressed with Frank Lloyd Wright's genius when I enter.

January 1st, 2010, 03:12 PM
Yea, the Ford Foundation is spectacular. When inside, I feel like I'm in one of the bio-halls in the Bronx Zoo.

rpa2101 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/32224170@N03/tags/ford/)

rpa2101 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/32224170@N03/tags/ford/)

rpa2101 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/32224170@N03/tags/ford/)

January 9th, 2010, 04:05 PM
Cunard Building (25 Broadway) Booking Room:


Photo by Joseph Baretto : ohny.wordpress.com

Details on the building & lobby:

January 9th, 2010, 05:58 PM
On 25 Broadway (Cunard Building) From the City Review article:

The Greenwich Street elevation ... Above the basement rises a three-story arched opening with its deeply-set multi-paned metal-framed windows and two metal balconies.

The way this single window is elevated and angled on the west facade makes me think it was done to offer a view from inside the Cunard Building to the Hudson River (a few short blocks to the west) and a vista of Cunard's ships as they began their journey out of NY Harbor.


January 9th, 2010, 06:08 PM
LINK (http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=9501E0D6113FEE3ABC4953DFB366838A 639EDE) to a terrific NY Times article from May 1, 1921 with lots of details about the building and interior:

NEW CUNARD BUILDING; Imposing Office Structure at 25 Broadway Opens Its Doors Tomorrow--Striking Architectural Features

The Cunard Line will take possession tomorrow of its new home in New York City's most recent architectural triumph, the towering twenty--two-story office building at 25 Broadway.

January 11th, 2010, 10:52 AM
The lobby of the Hotel Pennsylvania is another favorite. It's 3 stories high, as big as a football field and festooned with heroic, 20-foot high paintings of New York scenes. You have to walk up two sets of well-worn marble steps to get there. A dozen 40-foot high pink marble columns hold the building up, and there is brass everywhere. Catch it if you can. Someday soon it will be all dust and rubble.

It will be tragedy if they tear it down.:mad:

January 11th, 2010, 08:35 PM
The lobby of the Hotel Pennsylvania is another favorite. It's 3 stories high, as big as a football field and festooned with heroic, 20-foot high paintings of New York scenes. You have to walk up two sets of well-worn marble steps to get there. A dozen 40-foot high pink marble columns hold the building up, and there is brass everywhere. Catch it if you can. Someday soon it will be all dust and rubble.

It will be tragedy if they tear it down.:mad:

I am intrigued by Hof’s description because today's Hotel Penn lobby is anything but what Hof describes (I thought it had been that way for a long while):

It once had a classic two-story, open air lobby:

Hotel Penn's qualifications for landmark status aren't its interiors but its history and magnificent McKim Meade & White architecture.


Hof, are you talking about Hotel Penn before the lobby "renovation" or did you mean the similar looking (from the outside) Hotel Roosevelt, which definitely qualifies for interior landmark status:




Or maybe The Peninsula lobby?

Or The Palace lobby?

January 11th, 2010, 09:36 PM
That's nice.
I guess LPC hasn't landmarked it because it's not in the developer's interest. Shame.

January 11th, 2010, 11:12 PM
Holy crap! I had an inkling stuff like this existed, but I've never actually been in anything like it (basically a hostels/B&B person ... due to my wallet more than preference!). Phenomenal.

I can only imagine what sort of IKEA-minimalism lobby ("Please, sir, have a seat on the Antauug next to the Heploong lamp -- all costing a mere $26.94") these fairy tales would be replaced with if developers were allowed to tear down and rebuild glorified McSams on their sites.

February 15th, 2010, 02:49 AM
Heading to the bank to make a deposit in the mid-20th Century:


Doing the same today:


Different bank, this time applying for a loan, 50 years ago:


Here is where we do the same today:


Waiting for a train mid-20th C:


Waiting for a train today:



A night at the movies, mid-20th C:


And to the movies today:




February 15th, 2010, 07:11 AM
^ Also note the difference in dress,


BTW: What lobby is this?


February 15th, 2010, 01:05 PM
^ Hallway at The Roosevelt.

May 27th, 2010, 03:01 AM
Devonshire House's $12.5M Penthouse: Six Pieces, One Big Puzzle

May 26, 2010, by Joey

Looking toward the master bedroom from a few rooms away

http://cdn.cstatic.net/cache/gallery/4032/4639422387_a1ace341d6_s.jpg (http://cdn.cstatic.net/cache/gallery/4032/4639422387_cf8d13e1a1_o.jpg) http://cdn.cstatic.net/cache/gallery/4004/4640029422_6cbda9737c_s.jpg (http://cdn.cstatic.net/cache/gallery/4004/4640029422_b6a187bcae_o.jpg) http://cdn.cstatic.net/cache/gallery/3368/4639422283_704d80b6bd_s.jpg (http://cdn.cstatic.net/cache/gallery/3368/4639422283_9ca3833e83_o.jpg) http://cdn.cstatic.net/cache/gallery/4004/4639422545_987f26f497_s.jpg (http://cdn.cstatic.net/cache/gallery/4004/4639422545_71b2090c54_o.jpg) http://cdn.cstatic.net/cache/gallery/4048/4640029968_b69550087c_s.jpg (http://cdn.cstatic.net/cache/gallery/4048/4640029968_1b1c2cde3f_o.jpg) http://cdn.cstatic.net/cache/gallery/4043/4640029612_3c6e586a22_s.jpg (http://cdn.cstatic.net/cache/gallery/4043/4640029612_96c7dd585f_o.jpg) http://cdn.cstatic.net/cache/gallery/4044/4640031918_1be8ecdf58_s.jpg (http://cdn.cstatic.net/cache/gallery/4044/4640031918_9cec8aabf8_o.jpg) http://cdn.cstatic.net/cache/gallery/3365/4640032076_2a46966766_s.jpg (http://cdn.cstatic.net/cache/gallery/3365/4640032076_3d8307d5db_o.jpg) http://cdn.cstatic.net/cache/gallery/4022/4640033018_0acde1aff6_s.jpg (http://cdn.cstatic.net/cache/gallery/4022/4640033018_56e0227d4b_o.jpg) http://cdn.cstatic.net/cache/gallery/4053/4640034140_58892bf679_s.jpg (http://cdn.cstatic.net/cache/gallery/4053/4640034140_4336da095b_o.jpg) http://cdn.cstatic.net/cache/gallery/3366/4640033158_76d60f287e_s.jpg (http://cdn.cstatic.net/cache/gallery/3366/4640033158_c7bd3aa31b_o.jpg) http://cdn.cstatic.net/cache/gallery/3369/4639424885_ca07994e6b_s.jpg (http://cdn.cstatic.net/cache/gallery/3369/4639424885_d490c8feb1_o.jpg) http://cdn.cstatic.net/cache/gallery/3353/4639424719_f2a687a43d_s.jpg (http://cdn.cstatic.net/cache/gallery/3353/4639424719_cf85a15bf2_o.jpg) http://cdn.cstatic.net/cache/gallery/3385/4640034610_929a54f04d_s.jpg (http://cdn.cstatic.net/cache/gallery/3385/4640034610_712aa5625b_o.jpg) http://cdn.cstatic.net/cache/gallery/4053/4640033890_629ec40768_s.jpg (http://cdn.cstatic.net/cache/gallery/4053/4640033890_1894e00af7_o.jpg) http://cdn.cstatic.net/cache/gallery/4025/4640034678_6b9e7954aa_s.jpg (http://cdn.cstatic.net/cache/gallery/4025/4640034678_e4155447cc_o.jpg) http://cdn.cstatic.net/cache/gallery/4043/4640028662_445eeee80e_s.jpg (http://cdn.cstatic.net/cache/gallery/4043/4640028662_425f6afb2d_o.jpg)
(click to enlarge)

We've been all up in the condo conversion (http://ny.curbed.com/tags/devonshire-house) of the pre-war Devonshire House at East 10th Street and University Place, but it seems like all anybody wants to talk about are the penthouses (http://ny.curbed.com/archives/2010/04/19/devonshire_houses_penthouses_now_up_for_grabs.php) . So here's something to chew on: A peek into the the build-out of the 1929 Emery Roth building's newly configured $12.5 million lower penthouse. The 4,137-square-foot duplex (http://www.stribling.com/propinfo.asp?webid=1176392&type=SALE) is being combined from six original apartments—two studios made up the "Great Room" on the upper floor , and four apartments got all smashed up for the main living spaces—and the walls only recently came tumbling down.

We'll be checking in along the way as construction progresses, or as long as building reps will have us (once the place goes into contract the door will likely be slammed in our faces). Check out the cool restructoporn in the photo gallery above, and the floorplan for the finished product is below.

Listing: 28 East 10th Street (http://www.stribling.com/propinfo.asp?webid=1176392&type=SALE) [Stribling]
Devonshire House (http://www.devonshirehousenyc.com/) [Official Site]
Devonshire House coverage (http://ny.curbed.com/tags/devonshire-house) [Curbed]

http://ny.curbed.com/archives/2010/05/26/devonshire_houses_125m_penthouse_six_pieces_one_bi g_puzzle.php#more

July 31st, 2010, 01:17 AM
Fancy Refuge for a Homeless City Council



The Emigrant Industrial Savings Bank, once a sanctuary for Irish immigrants looking for a place to store valuables, welcomed refugees of a different sort on Thursday: the New York City Council.

A $106 million renovation of City Hall has pushed the Council out of its traditional digs, forcing lawmakers to convene meetings at the site of the historic bank a few blocks away in Lower Manhattan.

Life could be worse: the Beaux-Arts building is one of the city’s more elegant properties, with a limestone facade, marble walls and stained-glass skylights. Tellers’ windows line each side of the hall.

The reviews of the new space were mixed as Council members approved development projects in Flushing, Queens, and Williamsburg, Brooklyn. The Council also passed bills to improve recycling and limit the use of sulfur in heating oil.

The bank’s 40-foot-high ceilings, almost double those in the City Hall chamber, created some acoustical problems.

“It’s a little loud,” acknowledged the Council speaker, Christine C. Quinn, who struggled to hear questions from reporters. “If you get a bunch of New Yorkers in a room together they’re destined to be loud.”

Councilman Brad Lander of Brooklyn joked that the city, in need of cash, should find a way to take advantage of the tellers’ windows. “The obvious uses are problematic,” he said.]

While the Council is in exile, its chamber at City Hall will get a face-lift (the ceiling had become famous for water leaks and falling chunks of plaster). The City Hall press corps, somewhat less fortunate, has temporarily relocated to a trailer.

The Council must also make do without its coveted members’ lounge, where lawmakers went to socialize or plot strategy between votes.

Councilman Lewis A. Fidler of Brooklyn said the disruption could hurt collaboration.
“It’s not a good thing,” he said. “Building those relationships helps you build coalitions. The sooner we’re back, the better for everyone.”

But it may be a year before the construction is finished, leaving some Council members miffed.]

“I’m going back and putting a folding chair next to Mike Bloomberg,” Speaker Quinn said, “whether it’s done or not in 12 months.”

...gilded teller windows


January 27th, 2011, 05:30 AM
Developers Closing in on Reopening Landmark Former AT&T Lobby (http://wirednewyork.com/forum/showthread.php?t=8234&p=350726&viewfull=1#post350726)