American Surety Building
The American Surety Building is a historic skyscraper located at 100 Broadway, New York City, New York, opposite Trinity Church. It has been declared a landmark as one of Manhattan's most influential early skyscrapers.
The building was constructed 1894-1896 to designs by noted architect Bruce Price, and was one of Manhattan's first buildings with steel framing and curtain wall construction. At its original 21 stories, it was Price's first tall building and the second tallest building in New York.
In an interview, Price described his design as "a campanile with four pilaster faces, the seven flutes being represented by seven rows of windows". The building is set on an irregular, trapezoidal lot, and designed as a Neo-Renaissance tower clad in Maine granite with a 3-story base, an 12-story shaft, and a 6-story cap. (Its 4th and 15 stories are transitional.) The base is an Ionic entrance colonnade topped with sculptures in a classical style by J. Massey Rhind. Above rises a middle section of horizontally banded piers with vertical strips framing the windows, which culminates in a row of figural sculptures extending from the 14th to 15th stories. A further six-story cap (subsequently modified) featured a colonnade of Corinthian pilasters, stone cornice, and a crowning parapet of gilded metal acroteria on the setback 20th and 21st stories.
In 1920-1922, New York architect Herman Lee Meader supervised alterations which included a new L-shaped annex that widened the tower from 7 to 11 bays, and addition of several stories, which greatly modified the original cap.
- Landmarks Preservation Commission report
- Matthew A. Postal, Andrew S. Dolkart, Guide to New York City Landmarks, John Wiley and Sons, 2003, page 12. ISBN 0-471-36900-4.
- Barr Ferree, "A Talk with Bruce Price," The Great American Architects Series, Architectural Record, 5 (June 1899), in Great American Architects Series Nos. 1-6; May 1895-July 1899 (reprint New York: Arno Press, 1977), page 76.
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