A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from June 27, 2010
Parthenon of Cast Iron (Haughwout Building)

The Haughwout Building, at 488-492 Broadway near Broome Street in Manhattan, was built in 1857 and is a landmark of cast-iron architecture. It was one of the first buildings to have an elevator. The Haughwout Building has been nicknamed the “Parthenon of Cast Iron (Buildings/Architecture)” or the “Parthenon of New York’s Iron Age” or the “Parthenon of New York.” The Landmarks Commission used the ‘Parthenon” nickname by at least 1965.

New York City Map: Soho Map
Haughwout Building
Nicknamed the Parthenon of Cast Iron, this five-story, Venetian palazzo-style structure was built in 1857 to house Eder Haughwout’s china and glassware business. Each window is framed by Corinthian columns and rounded arches. Inside, the building once contained the world’s first commercial passenger elevator, a steam-powered device invented by Elisha Graves Otis. Otis went on to found an elevator empire and made high-rises practical possibilities. / Haughwout Building, standing on the corner of Broadway and Broome Street, is one of the most beautiful building among the cast iron building in Soho. You can see the very fine sculptures on the wall of second street or above.
Address : 488-492 Broadway (at Broome St)

22 July 1965, New York (NY) Times, “Noted Buildings in Path of Road: Cast-Iron Structures on Broome St. Seemed Slated to Go for Expressway” by Ada Louise Huxtable, pg. 62, col. 1:
According to the commission, the outstanding building of the area is the former E. V. Haughwout Store, on the northeast corner of Broadway and Broome Street. Now a dingy dark gray, it was the Tiffany’s of New York when it was completed in 1857, with the city’s first passenger elevator and some of its most expensive merchandise. Its crisply modeled iron facades are patterned after a Venetian Renaissance palace.

The Landmarks Commission calls the Haughwout Store “the Parthenon or New York’s Iron Age.” It wa a reference to this building in a letter from the commission to Mayor Wagner when the expressway hung in the balance in 1962 that is believed to have tipped the scales against its approval at that time.

Google Books
Lost New York
By Nathan Silver
Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin
Pg. 208:
EV HAUGHWOUT & CO. The Lower Manhattan Expressway’s most historic proposed victim is the department store put up for EV Haughwout & Company, which has been called “the Parthenon of New York’s iron age.”

11 March 1973, New York (NY) Times, “Gray Ghosts of Iron Age Survive on Mahattan” by Richard Peck, Architecture, pg. 9:
Farther up Broadway, at Broome Street, Daniel Badger, a rival of Bogardus, built the E. V. Haughwout and Company building. Called in its day “the parthenon of New York,” it boasted the first passenger elevator in the country, installed by Elisha Graves Otis in 1857. It survives, though it is in an advanced state of decay, with flourescent lights glowing through broken windows flanked by fluted iron pillars.

Google Books
Historic Preservation
By National Trust for Historic Preservation in the United States.; National Council for Historic Sites and Buildings.
Washington, DC: National Trust for Historic Preservation
Pg. 17:
...the Haughwout Building, with its two great iron facades on Broadway at Broome Street which architectural historian James Vanderpool christened the Parthenon of cast-iron buildings. The Haughwout Building is probably the oldest iron building still standing in the United States, having been erected in 1856.

Google Books
New York enclaves
By William H. Hemp
New York, NY: C.N. Potter: Distributed by Crown Publishers
Pg. 12:
This is the Haughwout Building, designed by John P. Gaynor and fabricated by Daniel Badger’s Architectural Iron Works. Built in 1857 for a dealer in glassware and china, this flamboyant five-story storefront, with its Palladian rhythms, has been called the Parthenon of cast-iron buildings.

Google Books
New York, a guide to the metropolis:
Walking tours of architecture and history

By Gerard R Wolfe
New York, NY: McGraw-Hill
Pg. 201:
...the Haughwout Building (pronounced HOW-out), at No. 488-492 Broadway. Referred to as the “Parthenon of Cast-Iron Architecture in America,” this impressive building was one of the first designated New York City Landmarks.

New York (NY) Times
Published: May 21, 2000
‘’Desecrate’’ was the word used by a community group known as the SoHo Alliance to describe the suggestion that awnings might be installed in the sumptuously detailed upper windows of the cast-iron Haughwout Building, celebrated as the Parthenon of New York’s iron age.
Still, the Haughwout Building (some say HOW-itt, others HOW-wowt) may be a special case. Evoking the rhythmic, deeply sculptural facade of the the 16th-century Marciana Library in Venice by Jacopo Sansovino, the former china and silver store was completed in 1857 to designs by John P. Gaynor. 

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityBuildings/Housing/Parks • (0) Comments • Sunday, June 27, 2010 • Permalink