Bank of New York Building

1 Wall Street, originally the Irving Trust Company Building, then the Bank of New York Building (after 1988), and now the BNY Mellon Building (after 2007), was variously a bank headquarters building and remains one of the finest Art-Deco-style skyscrapers in Manhattan's financial district.


It is located in the Financial District of Manhattan and is on the prominent corner of Wall Street and Broadway. Today, it serves as the global headquarters of The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation.


History

Architect Ralph Walker conceived his zig-zag Art Deco skyscraper for the Irving Trust Company as a "curtain wall", not the typical sheet of glass hanging from a steel cage, but a limestone wall rippling like a curtain descending on a Broadway stage.


Because of the curves in the wall, the bank does not completely occupy its full building lot, and by law the unoccupied and unmarked land reverts to the public, but for a number of small markers embedded in the sidewalk asserting the limits of the building's lot.


The building was opened in 1932 but completed in 1931 to the designs of the architectural firm of Voorhees, Gmelin & Walker, it is fifty stories and is 654 feet (199 meters) tall, and measures 1,165,659 rentable square feet.


The Wall Street entrance leads into a dazzling, two-story banking hall whose ceiling sparkles in red and gold mosaics designed by Hildreth Meiere, rivaling the mosaics in the Golden Hall of Stockholm City Hall, and manufactured by the same company, the Ravenna Mosaic Company in Berlin.


In 1965, a 36-floor addition to the site was constructed to the south of the tower to provide extra office space. This site may previously have been occupied by the eighteen-story Manhattan Life Insurance Building (1894), which was the title-holder as the tallest building in the world from 1894 until 1899, and the twentytwo-story Knickerbocker Trust Company Building (1909). Among other alterations was the chiseling out of "Irving Trust" name from the cornerstone and replacement with "Bank of New York."


The building has a steel skeleton, and is covered in limestone. The building has had numerous problems with the limestone exterior and in 2001, the building's owners decided to bring in Hoffman Architects to conduct a survey of the exterior and provide a five year masterplan which consists of mortar repair and window replacements.

Building Activity

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