Marine Midland Bank Building Enters Designation Process

140 Broadway. Image Courtesy: Cushman & Wakefield.

Gordon Bunshaft-designed Mid-century Modernist office tower on trapezoidal site enters process towards designation. On November 20, 2012, Landmarks voted to calendar the Marine Midland Bank building, at 140 Broadway in Lower Manhattan’s Financial District, as potential individual City landmark. The building was designed by Gordon Bunshaft, partner at Skidmore, Owings & Merrill. Other individual landmarks in the City designed by Bunshaft include the Manufacturer’s Company Trust Building, and Modernist icon, the Lever House. The Marine Midland Bank building opened in 1967 and the tenants have primarily been in bank and other financial-services industries.

The 49-story Marine Midland Bank is an example of mid-century Modernism, with a minimalist curtain wall of black aluminum and bronze-tinted glass. The building occupies a trapezoidal site, covering an entire block, leading to an imposing free-standing form. The building’s ground floor maintained the structure’s stark simplicity, with no signage or retail space. Sculptor Isamu Noguchi’s 28-foot-tall “Red Cube” stands in the building’s plaza, facing Broadway. The building has undergone changes since its construction, including modifications to the entrances in 2000, but it retains most of its original fabric, as well as its character.

The commissioners voted unanimously to calendar the property, with Chair Robert B. Tierney stating that he was “looking forward” to considering its significance further. No date has been set for a hearing on the potential designation.

LPC: Marine Midland Bank, 140 Broadway, Manhattan (LP-2530) (November 20, 2012).

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