Mills Building (New York City)

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Mills Building on Broad Street, New York (1882)
Broad Street in 1893. Mills Bldg is second on left

The Mills Building was a 10-story structure that stood at 15 Broad Street and Exchange Place[1] in Manhattan, with an L to 35 Wall Street. It adjoined the building that was the home of Equitable Trust Company. It also adjoined the J. P. Morgan & Company Building on both Broad and Wall streets.[2] George B. Post was the architect of the edifice.

D.O. Mills, a San Francisco, California banker, owned the property.[3] Mills built a palatial home in New York City, while maintaining a lovely villa in Millbrae, California.[4]


The Mills Building was completed in 1882.[1] Wooden piles were driven down to support the edifice until it was found that it was too heavy for its foundation work. It rested on sandy soil, and the structure began to settle. Additional supports were driven down after a means of doing this was discovered. This was performed without the building having to be torn down. Finally a secure foundation was accomplished, although it was different from one composed of bedrock. In the future, this would be achieved by employing caisson foundations.[2]

J.P. Morgan & Company lease[edit]

Beginning in 1920, the Mills Building was leased for 84 years for $27,300,000 to J.P. Morgan & Company. The rent on the structure was fixed at $300,000 for the first 42 years. It was to have increased to $350,000 in 1962. The lease specified that a building of at least 25 stories had to be erected on the site of the Mills Building by May 1, 1928. The banking business had plans drawn by Trowbridge & Livingston for a 33-story edifice that would have cost $8,000,000 to build.[5]

In January 1925, the Mills Building lease was acquired by Equitable Trust. The firm had plans to construct a 34-story structure on the site of the Mills Building. Construction was to begin in the spring of 1926, with completion in the spring of 1928[2] at 15 Broad Street.


  1. ^ a b "The Mills Building", The New York Times, February 3, 1882, pg. 8.
  2. ^ a b c "34-Story, $12,000,000 Structure to Replace Mills Building, First Wall Street Skyscraper", The New York Times, January 16, 1925, pg. 1.
  3. ^ "D.O. Mills Coming East", The New York Times, September 10, 1883, pg. 8.
  4. ^ "D.O. Mills Coming To New York", The New York Times, August 2, 1879, pg. 3.
  5. ^ "Mills Building Lease", The New York Times, December 9, 1924, pg. 44.

Coordinates: 40°42′23″N 74°00′40″W / 40.7064°N 74.011°W / 40.7064; -74.011