Puck Building

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Puck Building
Puck Building.jpg
from Houston Street (2010)
Puck Building is located in New York City
Puck Building
Location 295-307 Lafayette Street
Manhattan, New York City
Coordinates: 40°43′29″N 73°59′43″W / 40.7248°N 73.9953°W / 40.7248; -73.9953
Built 1885–86
Architect Albert and Herman Wagner
Architectural style Rundbogenstil
NRHP Reference # 83001740[1]
Significant dates
Added to NRHP July 21, 1983
Designated NYCL April 12, 1983

The Puck Building is a historic building located in the Nolita neighborhood of Manhattan, New York City. It occupies the block bounded by Lafayette, Houston, Mulberry and Jersey Streets.

An example of the German Rundbogenstil style of Romanesque Revival architecture,[2] the building was designed by Albert Wagner,[3] and was constructed in two parts. The north section was built in 1885–86, and the south addition in 1892–93.[3] The front of the building – on Lafayette Street – was relocated in 1899 when the street – then called Elm Place[4] – was widened, this was supervised by Herman Wagner.[3] The building was rehabilitated in 1983–84 and further renovated in 1995 by Beyer Blinder Belle.[3] The building sports two gilded statues by sculptor Henry Baerer of Shakespeare's character Puck, from A Midsummer's Night Dream, one on the northeast corner at Houston and Mulberry, and one over the main entrance on Lafayette.[3]

The Lafayette Street entrance (2003)

The building is located at the northwestern corner of Manhattan's NoLIta neighborhood, bordered by SoHo and the NoHo section of Greenwich Village. It is owned by Kushner Properties, the company of Charles Kushner, a major donor to Democratic politicians in New Jersey, and his son Jared Kushner, the owner of The New York Observer.

Since 2004, the building has been used by New York University for the Wagner Graduate School of Public Service and the department of sociology. The building contains both office and retail space as well as ballrooms for large events on both the top and ground floors. The retail space was added when the building underwent a large-scale renovation beginning in October 2011.


Once the printing facility of J. Ottmann Lithographing Company and Puck Magazine, which ceased publication in 1918, the building later housed numerous independent printing firms and related printing services such as typesetters and a printing ink company, Superior Printing Ink. The odor of printing ink permeated the building for many years. An office stationery company, S. Novick & Son, once occupied the second floor. Notable among that firm's salesmen was Alger Hiss, the former Assistant Secretary of State, who was brought down in a spy scandal in the 1950s.[5]

In the 1980s, the Puck Building was the home of Spy Magazine, whose editors informally dubbed it "The Spy Building". In the early 2000s, the building housed the Manhattan Center of Pratt Institute.

Owner Jared Kushner sought approval from the Landmarks Preservation Commission to erect six penthouse apartments at the top of the red-brick building. After initially being turned down in October 2011, Kushner made two modifications and his plans were approved. The first of the six units closed in May 2014, selling for $28 million.[6]

Gilded statues of Shakespeare's character Puck can be found in several places around the building's exterior.

In popular culture[edit]

  • During Little Italy's annual Feast of San Gennaro, which takes place on Mulberry Street, strings of lights are strung from the building's Mulberry Street walls.
  • An exterior shot of the Puck Building is often seen on the popular American television sitcom Will & Grace, as the building where the title character Grace Adler (played by Debra Messing) works.
  • An exterior shot of the Puck Building was seen on the American television Seinfeld in the episode "The Kicks", when Elaine hosts a company party there.
  • The Puck Building serves as the venue for a black-tie party in the 1991 Bret Easton Ellis novel American Psycho.
  • The final scene of the 1989 Kevin Kline film January Man was shot at the Puck Building, featuring both interior and exterior shots.



  1. ^ Staff (2009-03-13). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  2. ^ "New York Architecture Images- Puck Building". nyc-architecture.com. Retrieved 21 January 2015. 
  3. ^ a b c d e White, Norval & Willensky, Elliot (2000). AIA Guide to New York City (4th ed.). New York: Three Rivers Press. ISBN 978-0-8129-3107-5.  p.87
  4. ^ Friedman, Walter & Opdycke, Sandra "Puck" in Jackson, Kenneth T., ed. (1995). The Encyclopedia of New York City. New Haven: Yale University Press. ISBN 0300055366.  p.961
  5. ^ White, G. Edward (2010-11-17). "Alger Hiss's Campaign for Vindication (PDF)" (PDF). Boston University Law Review (HeinOnline) 83 (64): 77. Retrieved December 24, 2015. 
  6. ^ Horsley, Carter. "The Puck Penthouses, 293 Lafayette Street". City Realty. 

External links[edit]