90 West Street
|90 West Street|
Seen in April 2017.
|Former names||West Street Building, Coal & Iron Exchange, Railroad & Iron Exchange|
|Type||Residential (originally offices)|
|Architectural style||Gothic Revival|
|Address||87-95 West Street|
|Town or city||Financial District, Manhattan, New York City, New York|
|Height||324.02 feet (98.76 m)|
|Design and construction|
|Structural engineer||Gunvald Aus|
|Architect||H. Thomas O'Hara|
West Street Building
West Street Building before 9/11
|Location||90 West St., New York, New York|
|Area||0.39 acres (0.16 ha)|
|NRHP reference #||06001303|
|Added to NRHP||January 25, 2007|
|Designated NYCL||May 19, 1998|
90 West Street (alternatively West Street Building) is a building in Lower Manhattan, New York City. It was designed by architect Cass Gilbert and structural engineer Gunvald Aus for the West Street Improvement Corporation. When completed in 1907, the building's Gothic styling and ornamentation served to emphasize its 23-story height, and foreshadowed Gilbert's later work on the Woolworth Building. Originally built as an office building, the main tenant was the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad and the top floor was occupied by Garret's Restaurant, which advertised itself as the "world's highest restaurant".
The building is located on West Street between Cedar Street and Albany Street, just south of the World Trade Center, and shares its block with 130 Cedar Street, a shorter, lesser-known building. It had an expansive view of the Hudson River and Jersey City until the World Financial Center was built on the opposite side of West Street in the early 1980s.
In 1998, the building's exterior was designated an architectural landmark by the city's Landmarks Preservation Commission. In 2006, it received a National Preservation Honor Award from the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Restoration of the lobby revealed some of Gilbert's original terra cotta work that had been covered over during an earlier modernization project. During this restoration, the copper roof was replaced and replacement gargoyles were added. The building was converted into apartments and reopened on March 7, 2005.
The building was severely damaged in the September 11 attacks when the South Tower of the World Trade Center collapsed 300 feet away. Scaffolding which had been erected on the facade for renovation work did nothing to stop the fiery debris from raining down on the building and tearing a number of large gashes deep into its northern face. Two office workers were killed when they were trapped in an elevator. The firestorm raged out of control for several days; the building, which had housed businesses including Hanover Capital, Frost & Sullivan, and IKON Office Solutions, was completely gutted. It is believed that 90 West's heavy building materials and extensive use of terra cotta inside and out helped serve as fireproofing and protected it from further damage and collapse, as opposed to the more modern skyscraper at 7 World Trade Center, which suffered similar damage and collapsed later that day.
On November 26, 2007, a mammoth sewer pipe burst open into the bottom floors of 90 West from the World Trade Center construction site, damaging dozens of luxury cars and causing a two-week evacuation of the building.
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- "National Trust Presents National Preservation Honor Award to 90 West Street in Lower Manhattan" (Press release). National Trust for Historic Preservation. November 2, 2006. Retrieved 2006-11-06.
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- "Downtown Parking Garage Under Water; Residents Evacuated". WABC. November 26, 2007. Retrieved 2010-03-13.
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