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195 Broadway is a 29-story building on Broadway in the Financial District of the New York City borough of Manhattan. It was the longtime headquarters of American Telephone and Telegraph, as well as Western Union for a time. It occupies almost an entire block on one side of Broadway, running from Dey Street to Fulton Street. It also has the address 15 Dey Street, and is well known as the site of one end of the first transcontinental telephone call. The same building, using the "195 Broadway" address, was the New York end of the first intercity Picturephone call in 1927[3] and of the first transatlantic telephone call, made to London, England, also in 1927.[4]

195 Broadway
195 Bwy south sun jeh.jpg
Alternative namesAmerican Telephone & Telegraph Company Building, Western Union Building
General information
StatusCommercial Real Estate (Main Tenant: Thomson Reuters)
TypeCorporate headquarters
Architectural styleNeoclassical
Address195-207 Broadway
Town or cityFinancial District, Manhattan, New York City, New York
CountryUnited States
Coordinates40°42′40″N 74°00′33″W / 40.7111°N 74.0093°W / 40.7111; -74.0093Coordinates: 40°42′40″N 74°00′33″W / 40.7111°N 74.0093°W / 40.7111; -74.0093
Construction started1912
Completed1916
OwnerL&L Holding Company
Height
Tip422 feet (129 m)
Roof398 feet (121 m)
Technical details
Floor count29
Lifts/elevators30
Design and construction
ArchitectWilliam Welles Bosworth
DesignatedJuly 25, 2006
Reference no.LP-2194
References
[1][2]

195 Broadway is also known as the Telephone Building, Telegraph Building, or Western Union Building, due to its history. The building is still in use. The building includes an entrance to the Fulton Street station on the New York City Subway's IRT Lexington Avenue Line (4 and ​5 trains).

Planning and constructionEdit

 
195 Broadway, left center

From 1885 to 1910, AT&T was headquartered at 125 Milk Street in Boston.[5]

The building at 195 Broadway was constructed under the leadership of AT&T's president Theodore Newton Vail, who had taken the AT&T helm in 1907 and added the same title at Western Union in 1909 when that firm was purchased by AT&T. In 1912, Vail developed a two-phase plan for a 29-story headquarters building that would be constructed on Broadway on the block stretching from Dey Street to Fulton Street. The plan entailed constructing one wing on the Dey Street corner, followed by the second wing on the Fulton Street corner.

The first portion of the building, the Dey Street wing completed in 1916, was an L-shaped structure at the corner of Dey Street and Broadway with an extension reaching Fulton Street.[4]

William W. Bosworth, the architect who designed the John D. Rockefeller estate at Kykuit, was commissioned to create the Fulton Street wing of the building. Bosworth's designed featured layers of gray granite columns in Doric and Ionic styles, and a lobby that included 43 oversized Doric columns made of marble.

ArtEdit

The most famous artwork commissioned for the building was a gilded bronze sculpture originally called Genius of Telegraphy, placed atop the pyramidal roof of the tower-like west end of the Fulton Street wing of the building in 1916. The artist Evelyn Beatrice Longman created a statue depicting a 24-foot-tall (7.3 m) winged male figure on top of a globe, wrapped by cables, clutching bolts of electricity in his left hand.[6] After a court-ordered divestiture of Western Union, the statue's official title was changed to Genius of Electricity by the time it was installed. The statue was renamed again to Spirit of Communication in the 1930s, but has been better known by its nickname, Golden Boy.[4] In 1984 when AT&T moved to 550 Madison Avenue, the statue was relocated to the foyer. In 1992 AT&T moved again, and the statue went to Basking Ridge, New Jersey, and in 2005 to Dallas, Texas.

 
Commemorative plaque

One of sculptor Paul Manship's earliest public works was "The Four Elements," a set of four bronze reliefs that is on the lower facade of the building.[7]

Demise as headquartersEdit

In 1978, AT&T commissioned a new building at 550 Madison Avenue and moved. This new AT&T Building was designed by Philip Johnson and quickly became an icon of the new Postmodern architectural style. The building was completed in 1984, the very year of the Bell System divestiture. It proved to be too large for the post-divestiture corporation and in 1993, AT&T leased the building to Sony, who owned it until 2013.[8]

Current tenantsEdit

In popular cultureEdit

The 1987 film Wall Street used the building's ground floor lobby as Charlie Sheen's character's office.

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "195 Broadway". Emporis. Retrieved March 13, 2017.
  2. ^ "AMERICAN TELEPHONE & TELEGRAPH COMPANY BUILDING" (PDF). Landmarks Preservation Commission. Retrieved March 13, 2017.
  3. ^ TV History Two-Way Television by Bell Laboratories at 195 Broadway
  4. ^ a b c Gray, Christopher. "Streetscapes/AT&T Headquarters at 195 Broadway; A Bellwether Building Where History Was Made", The New York Times, April 23, 2000. Accessed October 13, 2008.
  5. ^ Jarzmbek, Mark. "Designing MIT: Bosworth's New Tech", UPNE, 2004, p. 161. Accessed October 13, 2004, via Google Books.
  6. ^ Teltsch, Kathleen. "LANDMARK STATUE BEING RESTORED", August 31, 1981. Accessed October 11, 2008.
  7. ^ Morrone, Francis. "An Icon of the City Gets an Opening", The New York Sun, November 3, 2006. Accessed October 13, 2008. "Manship's earliest public work in the city is the set of four bronze reliefs, The Four Elements, adorning the lower façade of 195 Broadway, one of the city's most beautiful skyscrapers, between Fulton and Dey streets."
  8. ^ 550 Madison Ave.
  9. ^ HarperCollins Lands at 195 Broadway
  10. ^ Omnicom grows in 195 Broadway, now at 260,000 square feet
  11. ^ Contact - Omnicom Media Group