150 Nassau Street

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150 Nassau Street, New York City, NY

150 Nassau Street
150Nassau-NYC.jpg

Historic 150 Nassau Street building
Building Information
Developer American Tract Society
Architect Robert Henderson Robertson
Management Company 150 Nassau Assocs LLC
Number of Units 125
Number of Floors 23
Year Built 1896
Construction Method Steel
Type of Roof IRMA
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150 Nassau Street, New York, NY, United States
Distance to Public Transit Less than 200 feet
Region New York City
Municipality New York City
Zoning C6-4
Title of Land Condominium


Contents

Background

In 1825, the American Tract Society, a nonprofit organization founded for the purpose of publishing and disseminating Christian literature, moved their headquarters to New York City. With the help of several wealthy businessmen, they purchased the lot at the corner of Nassau Street and Spruce Street and built a four-story building. In 1846, the building had grown too small so it was razed and by the next year a new five-story building had been built.


Over the course of the next 40 years, the Society grew, but it was hit hard by the recessions in 1873 and 1893. Finally the Society decided to move their offices to a more affordable space, raze the building at Nassau and Spruce, and build a skyscraper that could be rented out to help fund the American Tract Society. In 1895, construction started on the new American Tract Society building. Architect Robert Henderson Robertson was in charge of the project. He was well known for his numerous buildings, especially churches, throughout New York City.


A photo taken just a few years after the building was constructed
The new skyscraper cost almost 900,000 dollars and was built in the Renaissance Revival style. The construction was not without its problems, including the death of one of the workman in May 1895. In addition, once the building was opened in November 1896, there were three elevators which fell several floors. Several passengers were injured. Then, in September 1897, another elevator fell and this time two people were killed.


Despite the accidents, the building quickly filled with tenants once it opened and remained full throughout much of the 20th century. Tenants of the building included publishing firms Illustrated Record and Ladies’ World. From 1897-1902, the Internal Revenue Collector’s office was located in the building. Other tenants included the Mapes-Reeve Construction Company , the Gold Point Mining Company, and "The Intercollegiate Association of American Athletes". In 1914, the American Tract Society moved their offices out of the building and the New York Sun newspaper moved in.


Shortly after the American Tract Society moved out of the building, it was sold at foreclosure to The New York Life Insurance Company for $1 million. Since the New York Sun newspaper was now located there, the building became known as The Sun Building. In 1919, New York Life sold the property to the 150 Nassau Street Corp. At the end of 1936 the building reverted to The New York Life Insurance Company due to a mortgage default. The New York Life Insurance Company sold the building again in 1945 and the property changed hands several more times throughout the twentieth century.[1] In 2002, the building was converted to condominiums. Karl Fischer was the architect in charge of the conversion.


Location

A view down Nassau Street


150 Nassau Street is located on the corner of Nassau Street and Spruce Street in the Fulton/Seaport area of Manhattan, New York City. Fulton/Seaport is one of the oldest areas of New York City and has some of the best preserved historic buildings. The neighborhood is a mixture of commercial and residential buildings and has a wide variety of amenities.


150 Nassau Street is located right across from City Hall and only a few blocks from City Hall park. There are several good schools in the area and many different day care facilities. Restaurants, grocery stores, coffee shops, and other shopping facilities are within easy walking or biking distance. The neighborhood has low crime and great access to public transportation. The bike lanes in the area are also easy to use.[2]

Construction

The facade of 150 Nassau Street

150 Nassau Street was built in 1894-5 by architect R.H. Robertson. It is a steel-framed skyscraper with twenty full stories plus a cellar, basement, and a three story tower. It's principal facades are on Nassau Street and Spruce Street. There is a five story base made of rusticated gray granite and a main shaft clad in gray Roman brick and buff-colored terracotta. Above the fifth story, the building has curtain-wall construction and a U-shaped plan, due to an exterior light court to the south.


The base of the building is divided into two horizontal sections. The first and second stories have large arches and within each arch are ground floor windows, a stone spandrel panel, and a second-story window framed by wall columns and sidelights. There is a band course above this lower section. The upper part of the base (third through fifth stories) has large paired arches in each bay with stylized capital-topped columns, decorative spandrels, and wrought-iron grilles on the fifth story.


The main shaft of the building is from the sixth to the eighteenth floor and is divided horizontally into three four-story sections. The first story of each section is quite simple with a band course on the top and bottom. Each bay of the upper three stories of each section, however, is more richly ornamented with a large molded surround with animal head corbels, decorative spandrels, and a bracket/capital on the central pier. The 18th story has large scroll brackets flanking single windows and supporting a decorative cornice.


The upper section of the building is two stories high and clad in brick and terracotta like the main shaft. It has regularly spaced rectangular windows and decorative spandrels. The top of this section has a solid brick parapet. A three-story tower rises from one corner of the building. The rest of the twentieth-story roof serves as a deck. The tower is also clad in brick, terracotta and topped with a pyramid roof of asphalt tile shingles.[3]


In 2002, the building was completely renovated and converted to condominiums.

Layout and Features

150 Nassau Street was renovated in 2002. The new units merge original details such as high ceilings with luxurious modern amenities. The building has a roof deck, gym, and a lobby designed by Florence Knoll.[4]


The units each contain a selection of the following:

  • Boffi chef's kitchens
  • Stained walnut cabinetry
  • Carrere marble counter tops
  • Miele and SubZero appliances
  • Calacatta bathroom with Kohler fixtures
  • French wide-plank oak wood floors
  • Eight-foot tall solid wood doors
  • Oversized windows
  • Walk-in closets

Floor Plans

150 Nassau Street has four apartments per floor and a duplex penthouse; there is a total of 125 units. Floor plans vary from studios to the four bedroom penthouse. Samples can be seen below:


Amenities

The roof deck of 150 Nassau

Building amenities include:

  • Doorman
  • Gym
  • Parking available
  • Live-in superintendent
  • Landscaped roof deck
  • Laundry on each floor

Bylaws

150 Nassau Street Bylaws
Rentals Yes
Pets Yes
Age No



  • Pets are allowed in this building.
  • Rentals are allowed in this building.
  • There is no age restriction placed on residents.


Sustainability

150 Nassau Street was built in 1895 before the idea of sustainable housing was an issue for most consumers. However, the 2002 conversion to condominiums kept sustainability in mind. If you are concerned about your carbon footprint, consider the following:

  • Renovations have installed some energy-efficient appliances in the units.
  • Public transportation is very convenient with several subway and bus lines just a few blocks away.
  • There is a communal roof deck with some greenery.
  • There are lots of restaurants, grocery stores, coffee shops, and other amenities within walking distance.
  • There are good bike lanes in the area and a "Citi Bike" center less than 100 feet from the building.
  • There are several car share centers less than 250 feet.[5]


Trivia

The penthouse suite at 150 Nassau Street has a huge stainless steel slide
  • Michael Melvin, a young plasterer’s assistant, slipped and fell fourteen stories to his death while working on the building at 150 Nassau Street in May, 1895. The laborer had earned $2.75 a day and had been supporting his wife and three children on that wage. His family was left without any money and many people expected the owners of the building, the nonprofit American Tract Society to offer some support. However, the Society refused. This led to a lot of bad press for the Society and the building.[6]
  • On September 10, 1897 an elevator car dropped 19 floors killing engineer Richard Neilson and Isaac Bachrach, the 18-year old elevator boy.[7]
  • In 1906, a man named John Craven-Burleigh sold a product called “True Hair Grower” from his offices at 150 Nassau Street. Craven-Burleigh promised “This is not a patent medicine, but a compound following minutely the original private formula given me by a learned Swiss Savant, while I was traveling in Switzerland a few years ago. I was bald myself then, but by using this compound in forty days my hair grew out again, thick, silken and strong.”[8]
  • The penthouse at 150 Nassau Street has a slide installed. The slide is made of polished stainless steel and it twists its way from the attic of the 7,000-square-foot apartment down four stories to where it expands out to create a huge metal mirror.[9]
  • In June 2013, the condominium board of 150 Nassau Street filed a $10 million dollar suit aimed at blocking a 24-hour Denny's restaurant from operating from the commercial space on the ground floor. The legal complaint says that a Denny's restaurant would require renovations that could compromise the building's structural integrity, block the building's handicapped access, cause insurance rates to rise, cause unpleasant odors, and be a draw for rowdy college students.[10]


References

  1. Daytonian Manhattan
  2. Walk Score
  3. Landmarks Preservation Commission
  4. Street Easy
  5. Walk Score
  6. Daytonian Manhattan
  7. Daytonian Manhattan
  8. Daytonian Manhattan
  9. NY Daily News
  10. NY Curbed


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