Wednesday, January 27, 2010
☞ REVIVE: The Corn Exchange Building Revealed
The landmark Corn Exchange Building on the corner of East 125th Street and Park Avenue has finally shed its post-demolition scaffolding. Even though the building was protected by landmark laws, the Department of Buildings deemed that it was unstable and declared a state of emergency demolition back in October of last year. Even though some experts who had examined the building earlier in the year believed the building was structurally sound, the DOB took over and dismantled the site. Walking by yesterday, the veil that covered the two story base was finally gone and we got a close up look at the architectural details that remain.
When we started covering the story of the former Mount Morris Bank building, the scaffolding had already been up for some times and not many close up photos of the building were available. The base now reveals many unique details that shows the richness of the the original architecture. There is a mix of stone and masonry that includes cut brownstone, red terracotta oraments, granite columns and vaulted brick work. The second to last photo shows the arched entranceway and the remnants of lettering that spell Corn Exchange Bank can be seen. The gaps at the remaining cornice section as seen in the third and fourth photos are where the grand cast iron oriels used to be (see top photo). It's still unclear what the DOB did with these one-of-a-kind architectural elements, but one would hope that they would be stored for future reference. From the last picture, one can see that the walls are about three feet thick, so there's definitely no instability left.
We mentioned in the past that the Octagon Building on Roosevelt Island was rebuilt with much less remaining, so let's hope the right developers come in to restore the beloved East Harlem landmark in the future. Read more about the long history and efforts to save the Corn Exchange Building in our past post: LINK. Archival photo courtesy NYPL