Two small buildings near City Hall Ave. designated

Nineteenth-century dry-goods warehouses approved as individual landmarks. On March 13, 2007, Landmarks designated 23 and 25 Park Place, cast-iron buildings built between 1856 and 1857 in lower Manhattan, as individual landmarks. Architect Samuel Adams Warner designed both buildings, which also have Murray Street entrances and share a party wall and facade, for the dry-goods firm Lathrop Ludington and Company. Warner designed several buildings in the SoHo-Cast Iron and Tribeca Historic Districts, as well as the individually-landmarked Collegiate Reformed Church. Decorative elements of the buildings include carved ornamentation around the windows and Corinthian columns.

During the mid-1800s the area below Chambers Street and west of Broadway was known as the “dry goods district.” The buildings at 23 and 25 Park Place were among the storehouses built to warehouse goods and furnish an attractive space for shoppers. Lathrop and Ludington sold fabric and associated supplies. Later, a series of similar merchants, a boxing gym, and apartments occupied the buildings. In 1921, The New York Daily News leased the space. The ground floor at 25 Park Place is currently home to an off-track betting parlor and both buildings are now primarily residential.

At the January 16th hearing, Elise Wagner of Kramer Levin represented the owners. Wagner argued that the buildings were a generic example of Italianate style, better examples of cast-iron storefronts existed, and the buildings were not historically important. Wagner also claimed that the buildings would be difficult to adaptively reuse and, if designated, the owners would need to apply for hardship relief.

Supporters of designation included the Historic Districts Council, Council Member Alan Gerson, the Metropolitan Chapter of the Victorian Society in America, and the Municipal Art Society.

Landmarks voted unanimously to designate both buildings.

LPC: 23 Park Place Building (LP-2217); 25 Park Place Building (LP-2223) (March 13, 2007).

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