Height 135 m
Town or city New York City
Architect Francis Hatch Kimball
|Address 61 Broadway|
Owner RXR Realty
Construction started 1912
|Location Financial District, Manhattan|
Cost 1914: $2,000,000 1998: $58,000,000
Architectural style Palazzo style architecture
Similar 65 Broadway, Equitable Building, Marbridge Building, Baudouine Building, Grand Hotel
Adams Express Building is an office building owned by RXR Realty and located at 61 Broadway in lower Manhattan, New York City.
Map of Adams Express Building, New York, NY 10006, USA
Architect Francis Kimball designed the 32-story building, and construction began in 1912 on the property numbers 57-61 Broadway, with numbers 33-41 Trinity Place. Cost was estimated in 1912 at $2,000,000. Upon completion in 1914, the building was the seventh tallest structure in Manhattan. Construction required 3,300 tons of steel and over a million square feet of terracotta. The New York Times described the architectural style as "Florentine" below the fifth floor, and "severely simple" above. Another critic called the style "utterly utilitarian," but the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission identified the architecture as palazzo.
The Adams Express Company occupied part of the Pinkerton Building at 57-59 Broadway. A 1904 fire that began in the basement of the Morris Building at 63 Broadway damaged the Pinkerton and other buildings in the block. Twenty-four engines and six hook and ladder companies responded. The Fire Department of New York recorded that the Adams Express Company building was destroyed, but Adams Express continued to occupy the site.
By 1906 Adams Express was planning a new, fireproof building to be constructed on the site of the Pinkerton Building.
In 1910 Industrial World Magazine reported that Adams Express was proceeding with a 10-story, brick and limestone building designed by George K. Hooper of Hooper-Faulkenau Engineering Company. Then in 1911 Adams Express finally purchased The Pinkerton Building. Although Hooper's plans would have blended with existing buildings in the Wall Street area where, in 1912, nearly half of the buildings were five stories or lower, the Hooper design was never constructed. Apparently it was too small for the times ahead.
When construction began in 1912 on the straight up, 32-story Francis Kimball design, first The New York Times and later city planners became concerned about sunlight and airspace. The Adams Express Building was one of a growing number of behemoths, most notably the Equitable Building, that cast shadows not only on the street but on nearby smaller buildings and drove down real estate value, rent, and tax revenues. F.W. Fitzpatrick complained that the Adams Express Building cast an 875-foot shadow. The 1916 zoning code provided a remedy in the form of setbacks where new buildings would be stepped back at certain heights depending on the width at the street. The restrictions applied to all but one quarter of the ground area of the building. Fortunately for Kimball, groundbreaking on the Adams Express Building occurred before the new zoning restrictions were adopted.
The building sustained heavy damage in 1916 when 300 windows were blown out in the Black Tom explosion.
When the building was purchased by Metropolitan Life Insurance Company in 1988, an engineer discovered goldfish living in a pool of water below the basement heating system and now have resident turtle who fed and kept healthy by the RXR building engineers.