Louis J. Lefkowitz State Office Building

STATUS Threatened


ARCHITECT: Sullivan Jones and William Haugarrd

DATE: 1928-30

STYLE: modernist classical

Al Smith

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.

 

STATUS Threatened

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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...

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Landmark Activity

Nov 28, 2018

Landmark the Lefkowitz: RFE for 80 Centre Street

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Fern Luskin: Lamartine Place Historic District; Friends of Lamartine Place & Gibbons Underground Railroad Site

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Zella Jones: NoHo Historic District; NoHo East; and NoHo Extension

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