New York, NY
2012 - 2017
Rose Associates Inc.
70 Pine Street is a 66-story iconic Art Deco skyscraper that was completed in 1932. The building is one of Lower Manhattan’s most prominent towers and one of the finest Art Deco buildings in New York City. At 952 feet it was the tallest building in lower Manhattan. In 2008, the building was vacated and became a prime candidate for a residential or mixed use conversion.
Originally designed by Clinton & Russel, Holton & George, it was constructed with a broad podium entirely filling its site, setting back gradually through its midsection up to the 30th floor, becoming a faceted tower and terminating in a slender pinnacle which contains an observatory with spectacular views in all four directions and is crowned by an illuminated lantern.
Adaptive reuse of obsolete mercantile buildings for residential purposes is always difficult because the proportions of the buildings are not readily adapted to housing prototypes. This case was particularly problematic because of the width of the base. The challenge was to find an architectural approach that preserved the historic integrity of the building while at the same time created desirable market rate rental units and two hotels.
The solution was to zone the dwelling unit into habitable spaces and place them in close proximity to the windows and then to create large foyers at the apartment entrances that could be used for home occupation or other non-habitable purposes. In some cases, particularly in the studio units, a tenant might choose to sleep in the foyer, so each apartment is heated and air conditioned by a water-cooled heat pump system with a separate unit at the rear of the apartment. As the base steps back and the building’s depth diminishes, the apartment layouts become more conventional.
The renovation preserved and restored all of the architectural features of the building including its ornate lobby. Because of the change of use, nine elevators were removed and the elevator shaft space was cleverly utilized for mail rooms and other back of the house functions at the lobby level and thus maintains all of the extant details and ornamentation.
Exterior restoration included repointing of much of the brick, replacement of all of the windows and stone fronts, modification of some of the terrace openings to make them handicap accessible, and cleaning and restoration of the ornamental limestone.