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1 Union Square South

Between Fourth Avenue & Broadway

Carter Horsley
Review by Carter Horsley
Carter Horsley Carter B. Horsley, a former journalist for The New York Times, The International Herald Tribune and The New York Post. Mr. Horsley is also the editorial director of

One of the city's rare full-block developments, 1 Union Square South on the southwestern corner of 14th Street and Fourth Avenue is a large mixed-use project that includes 240 rental apartments and was designed by Davis Brody Bond for The Related Companies. 

The 27-story building was completed in 1998 and is highly visible from the north on Park Avenue South.

It is one of the city’s most flamboyant buildings because the north façade of its base features a major public art work, "Metronome," created by Kristen Jones and Andrew Ginzel. 

The building has a large Cineplex on the northeast corner of 13th Street and Broadway and a large Circuit City store that replaced a Virgin Records store on the southeast corner of 14th Street and Fourth Avenue.

Bottom Line

Midway between Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s and hovering over one of the city’s most daunting subway stations with some movable boarding platforms, this large, mixed-use building is a non-moving feast of urban hyperactivity overlooking Union Square Park, a former drug haven and now a skateboard-infested hubbub of weekend greenmarketitis.


The building’s very large art work consists of red-brick masonry designed in circles around a hole on the north façade that emits steam, à la the famous old Camel cigarette sign in Times Square, and this part of the design is dappled with bronze inlays in a sunburst pattern.

Adjacent to this large, dynamic sculptural "element," is a 15-digit number that is a clock that is also part of the installation. The art installation, which cost the developer more than $4 million, also includes a sculpture of a hand projecting from the façade that reportedly is very similar to a hand on a statue of George Washington in the park and the artists' website proclaims that the bronze hand "gestures a benediction." 

The art work is 98 by 50 feet and originally emitted a "tympanic tone at noon," according to a September 19, 1999 article in The New York Times by Jeffrey Kastner. "To one side of the brick wall," the article continued, "a sphere slowly rotates in sync with the lunar phases. In the article, Tom Eccles, the director of New York City's Public Art Fund, described the installation as "the most prominent commission of a public artwork in the city since the Statue of Liberty." The fund and the Municipal Art Society had been asked by the Related Companies, the developer of the building, to suggest someone to design an art work for the project and the call for submission generated about 100 responses. Other submissions were made by Tom Otterness, Frank Stella and Matt Mullican. 

The building has many corner windows and a complex fenestration pattern as well as some setbacks in from of slightly indented façades beneath cantilevered façades. 

Completed in 1998, this 27-story building offers stunning views of not only Union Square Park but also the midtown skyline to the north and the Lower Manhattan skyline to the south. 

According to the building's website, "the 15 numbers of the digital clock display time going and coming relative to midnight. Read time going left to right and time coming in the opposite direction....The three numbers in between are a blur of moving numbers."


The building is a full-service luxury building with many amenities. 

This project has a very large cineplex as well as other retail. Public transportation is excellent and the building's location is hard to beat since it is at the foot of the Midtown South business district and the northeastern corner of Greenwich Village. 

The building has a full-time doorman, a roof deck, a garage, a fitness center and central air-conditioning.

There is a major greenmarket in the park on weekends.


Apartment 14D has an entry foyer next to an enclosed kitchen leading to a 20-foot-long living room and an angled 13-foot-flot bedroom.  The apartment also has a second 16-foot-long bedroom. 

Apartment 14K is a one-bedroom apartment that has an entry foyer that leads to a 19-foot-living room with an dining area next to a large, angled, open kitchen. 

Penthouse 3C has a 17-foot-wide entry gallery that leads to a 23-foot-long living room with a 14-foot-long angled corner den and a dining area next to an enclosed kitchen.  The apartment has an angled 22-foot-long bedroom with adjacent dressing area. 

Penthouse 3B is a two-bedroom unit with an entry foyer leading directly to a 20-foot-living room with a dining area next to a pass-through kitchen.

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