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Thread: Herculean Effort to Restore Verizon Building - 140 West Street - by Ralph Walker

  1. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZippyTheChimp
    :shock:
    It never looked this good.
    That may be said for a lot of buildings downtown, as well. They HAD to clean up the buildings, which, for whatever reason, NYC doesn't always do all that well.

  2. #17

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    From the Washington St entrance.

  3. #18
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    Very elegant, without overdecoration. You were allowed in? Or is there just a stop point further down?

  4. #19
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    One word:

    :shock:

  5. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gulcrapek
    Very elegant, without overdecoration. You were allowed in? Or is there just a stop point further down?
    It's from outside on Washington St, which is always closed except for a card-reader entrance. I thought about going around to West St and ask for entry, but I didn't want to start a big deal about the camera.

  6. #21

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    They are still working on the crown, and a few small areas of brickwork remain, but the exterior is mostly complete.

    It is now being powerwashed. The north and most of the west side is done.


  7. #22

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    If you are stading outside of Century 21, looking at say 7WTC, this building is to the left of it, right? I always wondered what the building was with the black on top of it.

  8. #23

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    If you are stading outside of Century 21, looking at say 7WTC, this building is to the left of it, right? I always wondered what the building was with the black on top of it.
    You are correct sir..

  9. #24

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    I used to work there.
    I would tell people I worked AT "West Street" or the Telephone Building,and most everyone knew where I meant.I had a view from the 24th floor,South and East,and I could look down on the WTC construction as it happened.
    When I started work there,the big foundation excavations-the sacred footprints of the twins-were just filling in;when I left,the skin and skeletons of both towers blocked the Southern expanse of sky and water,shutting off the priceless,dead-on views of the Bay and the Statue of Liberty.
    I always liked that building,and although it's mass was intimidating,it's decorative public spaces and it's winsome Arcade lent it a friendly scale.It was,and still is,fabulous Deco,the best--and a great bookend for the neo-Gothic Woolworth Building a few blocks away.
    Hopefully,it will own it's corner forever.
    I was totally shocked that it recieved so LITTLE damage on 9/11.Hundreds of floors of megastructure were collapsing all around,and by an incredible twist of fate and steel,it survived mostly intact!
    Last year I tried to gain entry to the lobby,but Security prevented me from doing anything other than be assured that the ornate lobby was restored,actually looking much brighter than I remember it.
    No photos,no lingering,I was asked to leave,nostalgia be damned.

  10. #25
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    Verizon is locating there executives from 1095 Ave of America's to this building and making this there corporate headquaters, when all is said and done about 1,500 people will be in the building. Other verizon workers that are at 1095 now will be relocated to two other office buildings in Manhattan as well as to the NJ facility they are working on

  11. #26

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    December 9, 2005

    Verizon Unpacks at Its Restored Ancestral Headquarters

    By DAVID W. DUNLAP

    Verizon, the corporate great-grandchild of the New York Telephone Company, came back yesterday to its ancestral home in Lower Manhattan - an Art Deco landmark that was badly battered on 9/11 - after a 33-year absence.

    The company's return of its headquarters to 140 West Street, opposite ground zero, is one step in the assemblage of an extraordinary crossroads, if all the plans materialize. By 2010, the headquarters of American Express, Goldman Sachs and Verizon are each to occupy a corner of West and Vesey Streets, with the Freedom Tower on the fourth.

    The gradual transfer of Verizon's headquarters from 1095 Avenue of the Americas, opposite Bryant Park, began in July and will continue until the middle of next year. But if the head of the table is where MacGregor sits, the true switch-over will occur on Dec. 19 when Ivan Seidenberg, the chairman and chief executive, moves his office downtown.

    Verizon's board will meet for the first time next month in the restored 29th-floor boardroom at 140 West Street, which was designed by Ralph Walker and completed in 1927 as the telephone company headquarters. In reprising this role, the building will house 1,500 employees.

    New York Telephone moved to the Avenue of the Americas in 1972, but held on to the West Street building. In the intervening years, as Nynex and Bell Atlantic, its headquarters shifted several times but eventually returned to the 41-story Midtown tower, which it sold in March for $505 million to Equity Office Properties Trust. Verizon will continue to occupy seven floors there.

    A ceremonial transfer occurred yesterday when Gov. George E. Pataki, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver helped splice a 12-strand fiber-optic cable - in lieu of cutting a ribbon - under the ornate ceiling murals of the barrel-vaulted lobby. The lobby, an official interior landmark, was meticulously restored as part of the $322 million rehabilitation of the 32-story structure, but it is closed to the public.

    Verizon is vigilant in guarding the lobby in part because there is so much telecommunications equipment in the building and also to ensure its employees' peace of mind, said Lark-Marie Antón, a company spokeswoman. Many of its workers witnessed the 2001 attack firsthand. But she said the company was trying to find a way to allow the public to view the restoration.

    Insurance payments covered some of the renovation cost, said Lee Brathwaite, Verizon's vice president of corporate real estate. No economic development incentives were sought, he said. The only government benefits Verizon received were federal historic rehabilitation tax credits worth about $10 million over three years.

    Acknowledging security concerns at such a high-profile crossroads, Mr. Brathwaite said Verizon was "working to enhance the safety of the building." That may include the installation of protective sidewalk stanchions called bollards.

    "We have not heard any concerns expressed for safety on the part of our employees," Mr. Brathwaite said. "As a matter of fact, people are really looking forward to coming back to this building because many of them remember what it was like when - like myself - we were starting in the company."

    That includes Mr. Seidenberg, who recalled a visual acuity exam given to him as an aspiring technician.

    "Almost 40 years ago to the day," he told officials and executives gathered in the lobby of 140 West Street, "down that corridor on the left was the employment office for then New York Telephone. I came in and applied for a job. I passed the test, failed the color test and they sent me to the Bronx.

    "But I'm back."

    * Copyright 2005The New York Times Company









  12. #27
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    Thank you Zippy for such wonderful photos to accompany your post. If we would permit our eyes to follow the vivid architectural details that are so abundant in New York, it would be difficult to travel more than a few blocks in the daylight. These photos call us to be seduced wherever we walk. Thank you.

  13. #28
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    Hats off to Verizon for making this move to such a classy building. Great architecture is timeless. Fantastic!!

  14. #29

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    I was told by a longtime BPC resident that there used to be stores in the arcade of the Verizon building photographed above. Maybe some day, after the FT and 7WTC and 200 Greenwich are built and filled up, the pedestrian traffic will be enough to allow for that again.

  15. #30
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    ^....along with Goldman Sachs across the street and everything else already nearby.

    That would be great - it's a major crossroads with an exquisite arcade that was meant to be seen and used.

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