Former Tammany Hall Near Union Square Enters Landmarking Process

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Former Tammany Hall at 100 East 17th Street, Manhattan. Image Credit: CityLand.

Hall served as home to powerful City political organization after abandonment of 14th Street headquarters. On May 14, 2013, the Landmarks Preservation Commission voted to calendar the former Tammany Hall, formally commencing the structure’s consideration as an individual City landmark. The building is located at 100-102 East 17th Street, just off Union Square.

The Neo-Georgian building was completed in 1929 based on the designs of the firm of Thompson, Holmes & Converse and architect Charles B. Meyers. Three-and-a-half stories tall, the structure was loosely modeled on Wall Street’s Federal Hall, where George Washington took his oath of office. The building replaced the organization’s former headquarters on 14th Street, a structure that is no longer standing. The building possesses a stone base, with the upper floors primarily clad in brick. Decorative elements include a pedimented portico and sculptural reliefs in limestone and terra cotta.

The Tammany political organization, which originated in the late 1700s, was at the pinnacle of its power at the time of the building’s construction. The building was intended to convey both Tammany’s origins in the Federalist era, and its renaissance as a significant fixture in City politics. Within a few years, however, Tammany-backed Mayor Jimmy Walker resigned in 1932 amid corruption scandals, and Tammany foe Fiorello LaGuardia was elected as Mayor.

Tammany sold the building in 1943, and it has subsequently served as a union meeting hall, as the Roundabout Company’s theater, and most recently as the home of the New York Film Academy.

The building remains relatively unaltered since its construction, though five storefronts have been created on the ground floor facade facing Union Square, and various commercial signs and banners have been installed on street-level facades. The building has also undergone changes to its rooftop, which are concealed by the building’s parapets.

The unanimous vote to calendar the item was met with applause from assembled members of the public. Chair Robert B. Tierney commented that the building was “obviously rich with a lot of interesting things,” and looked forward to further consideration. No date has been set for a public hearing on the item.

LPC: Tammany Hall, 100 East 17th Street, Manhattan (LP-2490) (May 14, 2013).

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