Long Distance Building of the American Telephone & Telegraph Company – Exterior and Interior

STATUS Designated Exterior and Interior Landmark

32 Sixth Avenue

ARCHITECT:  Voorhees, Gmelin & Walker; Ralph Walker

DATE: 1930-32

STYLE: Art Deco

Art Deco Manhattan Tribeca

The huge concentration of equipment of this building made it a communication crossroads for telephone, tele typewriting, and telephotography. Its polychrome, rough-textured brick exterior embodies the Art Deco style through its setbacks, overall sculpted quality, and linear ornament. This progressive technologically-inspired aesthetic successfully broadcasts the building’s role in housing the technologically sophisticated equipment of a critical American industry.

The Long Distance Building first floor interior is a harmonious complement to the architectural character of the building’s exterior, reflected in the use of rippled surfaces, linear ornament, and earth colored materials. This building was the world’s largest long-distance communications center upon its completion in 1932.

The first floor lobby features an iconographic program that clearly and artfully broadcasts the building’s significance as a hub of international communication, and it displays a linear decorative motif which symbolizes the great distances spanned by the telephone lines and radio waves channeled through this operations facility. The first floor interior was appointed with a terrazzo floor, ceramic iron-spot wall tiles with bronze details, and multi-hued glass mosaic tiles, and it is articulated in an Art Deco aesthetic, an especially appropriate treatment given the building’s associations with technology.

STATUS Designated Exterior and Interior Landmark

Take Action

Add the next LPC meeting to your calendar.

Let your local representative know you care.
nyc.gov

Share your photos of this neighborhood

Help preserve New York’s architectural history with a contribution to HDC

$10 $25 $50
Other >
The Neighborhood

Tribeca

The area now known as Tribeca was originally developed in the early 19th century as a residential neighborhood close to the city’s center in Lower Manhattan. Its street grid was laid out at right angles off of Greenwich Street and on a diagonal off of...

Aaron Dexter, Academic Classic, Adamesque, Addisleigh Park, Admiral's Row, African American, Al Smith, American Aesthetic, American Art Deco, American Colonial, ... VIEW ALL

Explore the Neighborhood >

Local Voices

“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

Local Voices

“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

Local Voices

“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

Local Voices

“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

Local Voices

"HDC has begun a series of projects to highlight the Bronx's architectural and cultural history. From booklet's and research highlighting specific sites and historic districts to the HDC's symposium in October 2018 to the latest community-based committee to look into further possible sites to qualify for landmarking, the HDC has established projects that will serve the Bronx community well."

Elena Martinez
City Lore, Folklorist
Bronx Music Heritage Center, Co-Artistic Director

Local Voices

"Welcome2TheBronx is grateful for the advocacy done by the Historic Districts Council on behalf of the people of The Bronx. Through their deep connections and understanding of the importance of preserving our local histories, The Bronx has been able to have several spotlights shown on endangered communities as gentrification creeps into the borough."

Ed García Conde,
founder and Executive Director,
Welcome2TheBronx