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
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...Explore the Neighborhood >
“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