Nassau Street cast-iron building designated

Early cast-iron structure attributed to pioneer of the technique. At a vote attended by preservation advocate Margot Gayle, Landmarks unanimously designated 63 Nassau Street, an 1844 cast-iron building in lower Manhattan attributed to cast-iron pioneer James Bogardus, who was among the first to use cast iron in building facades.

Renovations to 63 Nassau Street had stripped several details from the building, leaving a question as to Bogardus’s involvement and prompting the current owner’s claim at Landmarks’ public hearing that the building was a “knock off” of Bogardus’s techniques and not his original work. 3 CityLand 171 (Dec. 15, 2006).

Opening the vote, Landmarks Chair Robert Tierney explained that the only way to decide the issue was to go to “the definitive source,” referring to Margot Gayle, who coauthored a monograph on Bogardus and is well known for her pivotal advocacy on behalf of preserving SoHo’s cast-iron buildings. With Gayle’s assistance, Landmarks’ staff concluded that Bogardus designed the building, making it one of only five remaining Bogardus buildings in the country and the only one in New York City to contain a medallion of Benjamin Franklin, a signature aspect of Bogardus buildings.

Landmarks voted unanimously to approve, thanking Gayle and noting that she had just celebrated her 99th birthday.

LPC: 63 Nassau Street Building, 63 Nassau Street (LP-2213) (May 15, 2007).

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