6 Harrison Street

July 21, 2015

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Built by the former New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) 6 Harrison Street served as New York’s major trading center for butter, cheese, eggs, dried fruits, canned goods and poultry for nearly 100 years (1885-1977).

With an imposing exterior, this corner building is so historically and architecturally significant that it was featured on the cover of the New York Landmarks Preservation Commission’s Tribeca West Historic District Designation Report (1991). As the area grew into one of commerce, its double arcade windows are the inspiration for the term ‘window shopping’  coined by New Yorkers.

Despite its significance, the structure was considered seriously at risk.  Project efforts included the reinstatement of the 21 foot tall iconic flagpole spire in decorative copper.  The project scope also included masonry restoration of the soiled and deteriorated rusticated granite pilasters, brick pilasters, decorative brickwork and capitols of terra cotta. Replication terra cotta units were fabricated to replace the most deteriorated elements. The high level of detail in the new terra cotta is easily seen from the street and greatly enhances the building. The prominent mansard roof and dormers were restored in historically appropriate slate. All of the metal flashing, gutters, and dormer caps were replaced in beautifully executed decorative copper. The original wood windows were retained, repaired and repainted.

The effort has restored the architectural integrity of the five-story building and has greatly enhanced the block between Hudson and Greenwich Streets in its far west Tribeca neighborhood. The building is notable both for the important function it housed, serving as New York’s primary commodities exchange for almost a century and for its visionary, yet little known Architect, Thomas R. Jackson (1826-1901).

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