And down it goes….213 Pearl Street being demolished
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November 7, 2007, 4:53 pm
1830s Warehouse in Lower Manhattan Is Demolished
By David W. Dunlap
History is disappearing by the inch today on Pearl Street.
A five-story, 176-year-old warehouse between John and Platt Streets that survived the great fire of 1835 — and every other calamity to befall Lower Manhattan since then — is being pried apart by a demolition crew from A. Russo Wrecking, which received a permit from the Department of Buildings on Monday. The building is not a designated landmark.
It is as spartan as you might expect a hardware warehouse to be. Its red-brick facade and squared-off windows are unornamented. Unlike its next-door neighbor, it cannot even boast of an association with a famous name. (The counting-house at No. 211 was built in 1832 for William Colgate, the founder of what is now Colgate-Palmolive. All that remains is its facade, which was saved as part of the 2 Gold Street residential development. This year, three mysterious shapes were found on a section of the brick facade, as City Room reported in July.)
The plainness of No. 213, remarkably preserved over time, spoke quietly and directly of the early 19th century. Its presence helped conjure an era recorded in 1833 by an English traveler named I. Finch: “In Wall Street the bankers have their offices — in South Street the wholesale merchants transact their business — in Pearl Street the dry-good merchants have their warehouses.”
Given the new jobs and business that will be created in its wake, the loss of 213 Pearl Street will almost certainly help make New York an even wealthier city. But it will leave New York a poorer city, too.