One of New York City’s original skyscrapers and the former largest office building in the world, the Equitable Building, is set to receive a $50 million renovation and restoration that will bring the historic structure up to 21st century standards.
Built in 1915 in New York’s Financial District by architect Ernest R. Graham, the 1.9-million-square-foot Equitable Building was a pioneer in the city’s skyscraper boom, spanning an entire Broadway block between Pine and Cedar Streets. A simple extrusion of the site footprint, the building was notorious for its overbearing relationship to the street – outcry over which eventually led to the creation of the city’s famous setback zoning laws.
Because of these laws, the building stands as truly unique to the New York skyline. Topping out at 538 feet, the Beaux Arts-style tower is adorned in many hand-carved architectural details, with vaulted lobby ceiling, gold leaf accents marble floors.
Silverstein Properties’ renovation of the building with restore these details to their original intent, including reintroducing bronze elements to many of the lobby spaces, and will update others, such as the installation of a new lighting system and granite accent wall. Other new contemporary program elements to be added include a rooftop terrace, tenant lounge, a cafe, bike storage and a locker room.
“Our plan is to restore and refine the building’s unique architectural features, and also update the property and its services for tenants,” said Larry Silverstein, the chairman of Silverstein Properties, in a statement released with the news. “We want to create a 21st century workplace with a distinct Downtown New York character.”
The $50 million project will be led by Beyer Blinder Belle, who are also tenants in the building. Renovations are expected to begin next year.