Friday, October 12, 2007

Around Union Square: MacIntyre Building To Shine Again




This 1892, 12 story classic on the Northeast corner of 18th Street and Broadway has long been a favorite. For me, it has always been the amount of window area for the size of the building and the fact that irt was where I saw one of my first great lofts for rent back in 1990. For others it is that elaborate mix of Byzantine Columns, Romanesque Arches, and Gothic finials combined by architect, Robert H. Robertson.
Funniest about the building is that it was built for Ewen McIntyre (a well regarded druggist at the time), but it is called the MacIntyre Building due to a colossal typo in the tile mosaic just inside front hallway. Imagine his reaction when he saw that f*#k-up! Mr. McIntyre never lived in the building which were rented out as offices, then home to many in the china and textile business in the 30's, and eventually bought and co-op'd in the 70's by a group largely made up of artists and others in the creative fields. One of the first tenants paid $17,000. for an entire floor. It is no wonder then that the cash was available for a recent renovation which included a painstaking replacement of it's still wooden windows, and a complete refacing. The building is now restored to it's original grandeur, and the veil is about to be lifted on this New York beauty.

4 comments:

  1. Ewen McIntyre was my grandfather and his son Thomas MacIntyre was my uncle. Thomas was a big time operator and bought some of the land for the building. So, I say he specified the mosaic. He also had large family vacation place in North Carolina with fine house and boats and horses to ride and bears to hunt. The land is now Camp Lejuene Marine Base.
    Alan B. MacIntyre, Chapel Hill, NC

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  2. That's awesome. Send any more history if you can!

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  3. The building was sold, around 1978, to a syndicate of individuals, before any zoning variances had been granted for residential in the neighborhood.
    There are 10 floors in the building, counting the commercial ground floor and the multi-story tower space. An average floor then, would have been around $18,000. The building was an office building with minimal plumbing and electrical....and no gas service...no legal venting, a rope operated elevator, no legal separations, etc. Each owner paid a great deal to upgrade the individual lofts.
    The windows were replaced more than several years ago. The building was not "refaced" during the recent renovation. The masonry was repointed, and crumbling terra-cotta was replaced with new castings. The tower roof was completely reflashed and retiled. The building was power washed.

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  4. It is always great to read about a building being restored to its former glory, instead of being demolished.

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