Park Row or Ivins Syndicate Building|
Height: 386 feet (118 meters) to cornice
Original owners: William Mills Ivins, head of investment syndicate
Architect: R.H. Robertson
Engineer: Nathaniel Roberts
Constructed from 1896-99
The Park Row Building still stands today facing City Hall Park in lower Manhattan. Commissioned in 1896 by William Mills Ivins, the head of an investment group, the structure was built as speculative office space. It rises 386 feet to its cornice and 391 feet to the lanterns placed atop the structure; counting the four stories in the lanterns, the building is 30 stories tall. The interior could accommodate up to 1,000 offices, and was the home of the first IRT subway headquarters. Under the direction of architect R.H. Robertson and engineer Nathaniel Roberts, the building was under construction for over three years.
The facade of the Park Row Building was a tall rectangle divided into six horizontal sections, with twin cupolas crowned in copper adding to the height. The design was little loved by contemporary critics who termed the towers "insignificant terminations which add nothing," and noted that in their proximity, the Park Row and St. Paul Buildings "stand and swear at each other" across Ann Street.
Text by Melissa Matlins