Decker Building

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Decker Building
Decker Building, 33 Union Square West, NYC (2008).jpg
Decker Building
Decker Building is located in New York City
Decker Building
Decker Building is located in New York
Decker Building
Decker Building is located in the United States
Decker Building
Location33 Union Square West, New York, New York
Coordinates40°44′12″N 73°59′27″W / 40.7368°N 73.9908°W / 40.7368; -73.9908Coordinates: 40°44′12″N 73°59′27″W / 40.7368°N 73.9908°W / 40.7368; -73.9908
ArchitectJohn H. Edelmann
Architectural styleLate 19th and early 20th century American movements, other
NRHP reference #03001179[1]
Significant dates
Added to NRHPNovember 21, 2003
Designated NYCLJuly 12, 1988

The Decker Building—periodically referred to as the Union Building—is located at 33 Union Square West in Manhattan, New York City. Built in 1892 for the Decker Brothers piano company according to designs by the radical anarchist architect John H. Edelmann, working out of the offices of Alfred Zucker, it replaced the earlier Decker Building on the same lot, designed by Leopold Eidlitz and built in 1869.[2] Andy Warhol had his Factory on the sixth floor of this building from 1968 through 1973. It is also where Valerie Solanas shot Warhol and art critic and curator Mario Amaya in 1968.[3]

Building description[edit]

The building is only 33 feet (11 m) wide and 138 feet (42 m) deep on a lot that goes back 150 feet (46 m).[4] It has a right of way to 16th Street from the rear of the building. The style of the building mixes influences from Venice and Islamic traditions. There are numerous terra cotta details on the façade which remain today. There was a minaret on the roof which disappeared before World War II.

The building was valued at $285,000 in 1913, after which it was traded to settle debts.[5]

Warhol years[edit]

In 1967, Warhol had to move his Factory from East 47th street due to the building being torn down. Union Square at the time was hardly an upscale neighborhood, but Paul Morrissey had found the loft, in this building, and Warhol agreed to move there. Morrissey by then had met Jed Johnson and hired him to help out with the refinishing of the space. It was around this time (or just prior to it) that Morrissey introduced him to Warhol.[6]

On June 3, 1968, Valerie Solanas visited the Factory, looking for Warhol, who she felt was taking control of her screenplay away from her. She waited until Warhol returned around 4pm. Within a few minutes, she shot Warhol three times, seriously wounding him, as well as shooting Mario Amaya. Solanas turned herself in to the police a few hours later.[7]

Around 1970, Warhol built a video camera system and taped his visitors and documented the activities around the studio.[8]

In 1973, Warhol moved the Factory to 860 Broadway, a short distance away. As part of packing up, he began to create the Warhol Time Capsules.[9]

Current use[edit]

The building had been vacant and was completely refurbished into apartments by Joseph Pell Lombardi in 1995.[10] Since 2015, the ground floor has been occupied by Dylan's Candy Bar [11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ National Park Service (2007-01-23). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.
  2. ^ Streetscapes/33 Union Square West; Islamic/Venetian Sliver, With Minaret December 18, 1994
  3. ^ Dolkart, Andrew S.; Postal, Matthew A. (2004). Guide to New York City Landmarks (3rd ed.). John Wiley & Sons, Inc. p. 72. ISBN 0-471-36900-4.
  4. ^ NYC Landmarks Presentation
  5. ^ New York Times, June 16, 1916
  6. ^ Warhol Chronology: 1967
  7. ^ Andy nearly dies: Warhol Chronology
  8. ^ Warhol Chronology
  9. ^ Carnegie Museums, Jan/Feb 1996 issue
  10. ^ New York Times, "Habitats: The Decker Building; Palm Beach to Union Sq", December 24, 1995
  11. ^ NY Daily News, "New York's sweets mogul Dylan Lauren opening a Dylan's Candy Bar in Union Square", August 30, 2015