The Louis J. Lefkowitz State Office Building, historically New York State Office Building at 80 Centre Street was constructed as a piece of a master plan for this area. The nine story edifice is composed in a modernist classical style faced in granite to be contextual, but not detract from, the courthouses in Manhattan’s Civic Center. A heavy, rusticated base boasts carved seals of New York State, and “STATE OF NEW YORK”, prominently centered on the façade, rests above the seals. The cornerstone of 80 Centre was laid on December 18, 1928 by Governor Al Smith, who used a silver trowel to apply the first layer of mortar and secured a copper box time capsule containing records, newspapers and photographs into the stone block.
The impetus for the New York State Office Building came down to economics. Throughout the 1920s, the State of New York hemorrhaged money toward expensive rents for State offices, typically in midtown. This building consolidated all State offices to one location, as the New York Times explained its dire need: “Completion of the State Building marks a realization of one of the largest units in a well-defined public building program which has for its aim the unified housing of official activities and elimination of tremendous rents.” (NYT, “Civic Centre Plan Showing Progress.” 11/2/1930)
In 2018 it was announced 80 Center would be demolished to make way for a new 40 story tower that would house the new Manhattan jail. Thankfully, that plan was abandoned, but the building is still not landmarked and therefore under threat.
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 >
Nov 28, 2018
Landmark the Lefkowitz: RFE for 80 Centre Street
“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 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