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E. V. Haughwout Building

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Source: Pilettes

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The E.V. Haughwout Building is a five-story, 79-foot tall, commercial loft building in the SoHo neighborhood of Manhattan, New York City, at the corner of Broome Street and Broadway. Built in 1857 to a design by John P. Gaynor, with cast-iron facades for two street-fronts provided by Daniel D. Badger's Architectural Iron Works, it originally housed Eder V. Haughwout's fashionable emporium, which sold imported cut glass and silverware as well as its own handpainted china and fine chandeliers, and which attracted many wealthy clients – including Mary Todd Lincoln, who had new official White House china made there. It was also the location of the world's first successful passenger elevator.
Architecturally, the building is fairly typical of the period, with cast-iron facings in an arcaded system with two orders of columns that was derived from the Sansovino Library in Venice. In one respect, though, the building was different from other cast-iron buildings of the time: because it fronted on two streets, it would need two cast-iron facades, the weight of which might bring down the structure. To avoid this, rather than hanging the facades off the brickwork, as was usually done, Gaynor and Badger convinced Haughwout to allow them to use the strength of the cast-iron itself to support the building. This use of a structural metal frame was a precursor to the steel-framed skyscrapers that would start to be built in the early 20th century; in fact, some consider it to be the first skyscraper and "the most important cast-iron structure ever built".


Copyright: CC 3.0

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New York
United States

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