The Cunard Building has a pivotal location within the fabric of the city, its street walls maintaining the masonry “canyons” of lower Manhattan and its limestone facade commanding a significant presence at the juncture of Bowling Green and Broadway. Morris’s design received much critical acclaim for its arrangement of subtle setbacks and ample, well-located open courts, which addressed the natural light and ventilation demands made by the zoning resolution.
The interior consists of a five-bay entrance lobby, and a narrow passageway. It is modeled on ancient Roman and Renaissance Italian prototypes. The decoration, made of polychrome stucco, painted murals, and metalwork, expresses the adventure of travel over the open sea through the depiction of mythical and historical figures associated with the sea, as well as imaginary and real sea creatures. This interior and the exterior of the building have a neo-Renaissance character.
STATUS Designated Exterior and Interior Landmark
“I don’t know what the City would be without HDC. [They] testified before LPC time after time and helped us focus on the right issues. We would not be an historic district without HDC! ”
Doreen Gallo: DUMBO Neighborhood Alliance
“Use HDC as a resource because they know what they are doing and can offer advice on how to go about creating a district from every front: architectural, political, LPC, and the media. I had floundered prior to my involvement with this invaluable organization.”
Fern Luskin: Lamartine Place Historic District; Friends of Lamartine Place & Gibbons Underground Railroad Site
“HDC provided guidance and shared information during that process—we knew which Council members were going one way or another and we changed a few minds. I don’t think NoHo would have had as cohesive a district had it not been for HDC’s aid.”
Zella Jones: NoHo Historic District; NoHo East; and NoHo Extension
“I remember Richard saying at a meeting, we have someone here from HDC, Nadezhda Williams, Director of Preservation and Research, to help us. She said to us, ‘You are not the only ones going through this.’ HDC included us in an enormous community”
Erika Petersen: West End Preservation Society