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The Potter Building, at 38 Park Row on the corner of Beekman Street, a full-block building also known as 145 Nassau Street, in the Civic Center neighborhood of Manhattan, New York City, was built in 1882–86 and was designed by Norris G. Starkweather in a combination of the Queen Anne and neo-Grec styles, as an iron-framed office building.

Potter Building
Potter Building.jpg
from across Park Row (2012)
General information
LocationManhattan, New York City
Address35–38 Park Row or 145 Nassau Street
Coordinates40°42′42″N 74°00′24″W / 40.71165°N 74.0067°W / 40.71165; -74.0067Coordinates: 40°42′42″N 74°00′24″W / 40.71165°N 74.0067°W / 40.71165; -74.0067
Construction started1883
Technical details
Floor count11
Design and construction
ArchitectNorris Garshom Starkweather
DesignatedSeptember 17, 1996

The building employed the most advanced fireproofing methods then available, including the use of rolled iron beams, cast iron columns, brick exterior walls – its walls are 40 inches (100 cm) thick at ground level – tile arches and terra-cotta. Its terra-cotta detailing provoked the developer, Orlando B. Potter, to start his own terra cotta company on Long Island.[1]

The Potter Building was converted into apartments in 1979–81, and was designated a New York City landmark in 1996.[1]

1882 fireEdit

The Potter Building replaced one of the New York World's former buildings, which burned down in 1882, doing more than $400,000 in damage. That building had been completed in 1857 and was the newspaper's first headquarters. Fire broke out in the building around 10:00 pm on January 31, 1882 and destroyed much of the block within a few hours.[2] (The fire is one of the focal points of 1970 time-travel novel Time and Again.)

Prior to the 1857 building, the Potter Building lot, and the adjoining lot immediately to its north (which was occupied by The New York Times), was the site of the Old Brick Church of the Brick Presbyterian Church, built in 1767 by John McComb Sr.[3]



  1. ^ a b New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission; Dolkart, Andrew S.; Postal, Matthew A. (2009), Postal, Matthew A. (ed.), Guide to New York City Landmarks (4th ed.), New York: John Wiley & Sons, ISBN 978-0-470-28963-1, p. 27
  2. ^ Flames in a Death-Trap; The Potter Building Completely Destroyed, New York Times, February 1, 1882
  3. ^ Potter Building,, Landmarks Preservation Commission (September 17, 1996)

External linksEdit