Potter Building

STATUS Designated Individual Landmark

38 Park Row

ARCHITECT: Norris G. Starkweather

DATE: 1882-86

STYLE: Queen Anne, Neo-Grec, Renaissance Revival, Colonial Revival

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The Potter Building was commissioned by Orlando B. Potter, a prominent figure in New York politics with prime commercial real estate holdings in Manhattan. Potter was determined to build a structure with the most advanced fireproofing then available. The eleven-story Potter Building was distinguished stylistically from most downtown buildings, with its picturesque, flamboyant fusion of Queen Anne, neo-Grec, Renaissance Revival, and Colonial Revival motifs.

The vertically-expressed design is executed in red brick and brownstone-colored terracotta above a cast-iron-clad base. Among its distinctive features are continuous piers, some of the handsomest brickwork in New York City, a dramatic, colossal three-quarter-round column terminating in a pinnacle on the acute primary corner of Park Row and Beekman Street, walls elaborated by ornamental pediments, segmental arches, panels, and corbelling, and a roofline punctuated by finials and broken scroll pediments with urns.

STATUS Designated Individual Landmark

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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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Erika Petersen: West End Preservation Society

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

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