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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Landmark Activity

Nov 28, 2018

Landmark the Lefkowitz: RFE for 80 Centre Street

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Doreen Gallo: DUMBO Neighborhood Alliance

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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

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"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,