Art-deco automat building designated

After two hearings, 1930-built Horn and Hardart Automat finally designated. On January 30, 2007, Landmarks unanimously approved the designation of 2710 Broadway, one of the last remaining structures in the city to once house a Horn and Hardart Automat. Constructed in 1930 by the architectural firm E.P. Platt and Brothers, the Art-Deco style building features glazed terra cotta ornamentation of contrasting colors in stylized floral motifs that remain remarkably intact.

The building’s owner, Norma Teitler, adamantly opposed landmarking, believing it would devalue the property she held for over 20 years. In two hearings, preservationist groups called attention to the well-preserved structure and ornamentation, while community residents and others evoked the memories and cultural significance of the automats. 3 CityLand 94 (July 15, 2006).

At the designation meeting, Commissioner Thomas Pike spoke of how designated buildings are often symbols of prestige and wealth, while the automat was an “emblem of middle-class living.” Chair Robert B. Tierney stated that memories of the automats were “a connection all New Yorkers shared,” and that the building’s “extraordinary design and terra cotta bring it to the level of designation.” Landmarks voted to designate unanimously.

LPC: Horn & Hardart Automat Cafeteria Building, 2710 Broadway (LP-2192) (Jan. 30, 2007).

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