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Features

One Wall Street | Renderings created by DBOX for Macklowe Properties One Wall Street | Renderings created by DBOX for Macklowe Properties
In recent years, office-to-condo conversions have become a staple of New York’s real estate market, particularly in lower Manhattan, where landmarked and preservation-worthy buildings abound; some conversions, however, stand well above the crowd. Among such elites is One Wall Street, a 566-unit conversion of the former Irving Trust Company Building at the junction of Wall Street and Broadway, arguably Downtown’s focal point. Led by Macklowe Properties with Robert A.M. Stern Architects/SLCE in charge of the design, the venture is among the largest recent sale offerings to the Financial District.
The 50-story, 1.1 million-square-foot project is reportedly the largest condo conversion in the city’s history. The 1931 designated landmark was designed by Ralph Walker, “Architect of the Century” as per the American Institute of Architects. Walker crafted a rippling facade and cavernous interiors in a bold Art Deco style. Before we pull back the curtain on the residence layouts, features, and tentative prices, we'll delve into the building’s illustrious history and architecture.

History

1 Wall Street Irving Trust Building at 1 Wall Street circa 1931 | Photo credit: Irving Underhill via Shorpy
By 1925, New York had surpassed London as the world’s largest metropolis, and the Roaring Twenties bulled forward in pursuit of ever-lucrative gains. By this time, Wall Street has long since become the nation’s (and arguably the world’s) prime financial hub, with sky-high real estate tags matched by ever-growing skyscrapers, now synonymous with global success and prestige.
In 1905, a tiny, 30-by-40-foot lot at the coveted corner of Wall Street and Broadway, across from the brooding spire of Trinity Church, was sold for a record-setting price of $615 per square foot (around $17,000/SF in current value). The 18-story 1 Wall Street, finished two years later, was nicknamed the Chimney Building for its slenderness, reminiscent in land-value-driven proportions to modern-day 432 Park Avenue (which, coincidentally, also comes from Macklowe, the group behind One Wall’s conversion). But even this prime office property was deemed obsolete just twenty years later, when it was acquired as part of a larger site by the Irving Trust Company in 1927 and demolished shortly thereafter to make way for a lofty, lavish headquarters unlike any other.
Chimney Building, One Wall Street The
The nation’s fifth-largest financial institution would spare no expense on the crown of their banking empire. The board commissioned the firm of Voorhees, Gmelin & Walker, whose “starchitect” principal Ralph Thomas Walker’s recent rise to fame was propelled by a series of avant-garde commissions. The New York Telephone Building at 140 West Street (now with its condos known as One Hundred Barclay Tribeca) is often cited as the first major Art Deco edifice in New York. Walker's other buildings, many of which were also telephone facilities, mixed historical styles with novel Art Deco flourishes such as walls of undulating brick. One such structure, a former telephone switching station on West 17th Street, was renamed Walker Tower upon its 2012 vertical expansion and condo conversion.
At the time, a skyscraper fever gripped New York, with tower tycoons of Downtown competing against those in Midtown; all the while, both neighborhoods held sky-bound races of their own. In Downtown, the Irving Trust Building at One Wall Street raced against the 741-foot Farmers Trust Building at 20 Exchange Place, much of which was converted to rentals a few years ago; the 927-foot Bank of Manhattan Building at 40 Wall Street, which briefly reigned as the world’s tallest building before the Chrysler Building snatched the title; and the 952-foot Cities Services Building at 70 Pine Street, the tallest and latest of the bunch, completed in 1932 and converted to rentals in 2016. For more on the four-way skyscraper race, read Daniel Abramson’s and Carol Willis’ 2001 book Skyscraper Rivals.
new york city skyscrapers Photo: Credit: DBOX for Macklowe Properties

Architecture

At 654 feet and 49 stories, One Wall Street is the shortest among the four aforementioned giants in the Financial District, yet the seemingly-restrained building is arguably the most original and opulent of the group. Like its counterparts, the building’s basic form was driven by the zoning code, with a girthy base that telescoped in gentle setbacks into a slender tower. The rest of the building’s finesse came from Ralph Walker’s inventive genius.
Limestone has long been a popular material for skyscraper curtain walls, yet Walker took the concept in an almost literal direction with fluted, concave bays that at once soared skyward with confident Art Deco elan and rippled gently and curtain-like in the harbor breeze. The rippling metal facade of New York by Gehry, built in 2011, may be more visually striking, yet even this modern marvel lacks the subtle finesse of the pre-war masterpiece.
One Wall Street’s crown rises to a subtle yet dramatic pinnacle, flat at the summit yet ribbed with undulating chevron surfaces on all sides. In plan, the form bears resemblance to a floral ornament filtered through an Art Deco lens.
Similarly, instead of packing the lobby with gargoyles and lacy trim, Walker opted for an a wholly radical approach to evoke a spirit of refined luxury. At the ground level, dozens-feet-high windows, at once unmistakably Art Deco, somewhat Gothic, and even vaguely deconstructivist, seem chiseled through the stone facade, allowing pedestrians to glimpse the inside of the Red Room. The cavernous banking hall soars like the hearth of an enormous fireplace, with a oxblood, orange, and gold mosaic gradient, designed by muralist Hildreth Meiere, climbs toward and across the ceiling’s angled vaults.
The renovated red room of One Wall Street (DBOX for Macklowe Properties)
One Wall Street The incredible and meticulous renovation of One Wall's flamboyant Red Room | Credit: DBOX for Macklowe Properties
The White Room at the beacon-like skyscraper pinnacle matches the Red Room’s opulence with a flair at once familiar and entirely distinct. The onetime boardroom’s soaring ceilings are similarly notched and angled with cavelike geometries that substitute flamboyant mosaic with mother of pearl Phillipine shells that glimmer in the sunlight that pours through enormous, gently-pointed windows that overlook the skyline and the harbor.
One Wall Street residences The White Room will become part of a 13,000-square-foot penthouse
As the skyline rose to a glorious crescendo, the business district’s fortunes already spiraled in precipitous decline. The Irving Trust Building opened in 1931, two years into the ravages of the Great Depression that brought skyscraper growth to a grinding halt. The Financial District’s recovery would come only three decades later in the 1960’s, when corporate clients traded the prestige of height for the practicality of larger and wider floorplates, enabled by the advent of improved lighting and air conditioning. In 1963, One Wall Street gained a south annex that roughly doubled the area of the lower 28 stories and even emulated Walker’s rippling curtain wall, a rare and welcome contextual gesture for the go-go-modern sixties, albeit one that lacked the original’s finesse.

The Residential Conversion

The original One Wall Street and an elevation of the tower, annex, and additional floors
In 1931, One Wall Street reigned as the tenth-tallest skyscraper in the world. Today, the tower ranks just as the 82nd-tallest in New York City alone, yet Ralph Walker’s zig-zagging chevron crown endures on an ever-growing, 21st-century skyline. Aging office buildings have a hard time meeting exacting demands of tech-savvy tenants, yet their charms also make them increasingly lucrative as residential conversions.
Macklowe Properties bought the lucrative, well-sited building in 2014. The six-year, 1.5 billion project involves a complete interior overhaul of the former office building, meticulous restoration of landmarked interiors, and the addition of a five-story vertical extension atop the non-landmarked, post-war south annex. SLCE Architects is listed as the architect of record.
Like its contemporaries, One Wall Street benefits from its era’s characteristic qualities. Small upper-level floorplates, ill-suited for large corporate tenants, make for exclusive, sun-filled residences that look out upon the skyline, out onto the harbor, and far beyond. Zoning code-mandated setbacks make for lofty terraces. Opulent architecture and indulgent interiors offer luxe eye candy that few, if any, modern buildings can match. The location at the corner of Wall Street and Broadway, once crucial for a major bank, now sits within of a round-the-clock, restaurant-rich, mixed-use neighborhood sited at the center of a greater-than-ever metropolis readily accessible by ample local subways.

The Residences

One-Wall-Street-04 Rendering credit: DBOX for Macklowe Properties
Even on its own, the original pre-war building’s unique form would have provided some of the more interesting unit layouts on the market. However, together with the post-war annex and the new addition, the unit variety expands to a selection range that few properties in the entire city can match. CityRealty looks at a handful of the most intriguing layouts released in the offering. Below is the schedule of units and prices according to the latest amendment.


Unit #601

6th floor | 2,532 SF | 3 bed | 3.5 bath | Offering price: $6.495M
601
The centerpiece of the three-bedroom apartment (or two-bedroom, if you opt to use one of the rooms as a study or a library) is the living/dining room that overlooks the Wa// Street/Broadway intersection with a chamfered 45-degree window.

Unit #2601

26th floor | 2,211 SF (+463 SF terrace) | 3 bed | 3.5 bath | Offering price: $7.295M
2601
Unlike unit #601, this three-bedroom unit reserves the corner room for the master bathroom, while the living/dining room opens onto a Trinity Church-facing terrace.

Unit #2912

29th floor | 1,411 SF (+406 SF terrace) | 2 bed | 2 bath | Offering price: $4.470M
2912
This two-bedroom unit, situated at the northwest corner and overlooking Wall Street, sits high enough to put its terrace right across from the colonnaded, pyramid-topped pinnacle of 14 Wall Street, a 1912 landmark modeled after the Halicarnassus Mausoleum, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.

Unit #3301

33rd floor | 2,277 SF (+456 SF terrace) | 2 bed | 2.5 bath | Offering price: $6.150M
3301
This two-bedroom unit offers exposure in three directions, and its chamfer-cornered living/dining unit is flanked by terraces that open onto both Wall Street and the Wall/Broadway intersection, with sublime skyscraper panoramas in both directions.

Unit #3304

33rd floor | 2,964 SF (+1,358 SF terrace) | 3 bed | 3.5 bath
3304
Unit #3304 is among the few apartments that sits within the new addition atop the south annex, and offers rare perks such as broad, chevron-shaped bay windows in every room, including the master bathroom, and a 115-foot-long terrace that runs the length of the apartment and wraps around the southwest corner.

Unit #3702

37th floor | 2,232 SF (+990 SF terrace) | 3 bed | 3 bath | Offering price: $8.175M
3702
Perched atop a setback, freestanding on three sides, and flanked with two unit-length terraces, unit #3702 feels like a private mansion in the sky, with utmost privacy and ample outdoor space.

Unit #4001

40th floor | 3,506 SF (+1,514 SF terrace) | 4 bed | 4 bath
4001
Holy unusual floor layouts, Batman! The serpentine unit #4001 snakes three-quarters of the way around the floor perimeter, allowing for views in all four directions, while also making space for a pavilion-like living/dining room that opens on three sides onto a massive private terrace that extends to the south in an entirely unique, Mickey Mouse-eared promontory.

Unit #4101

41st floor | 2,742 SF (+787 SF terrace) | 3 bed | 3 bath
4101
Unit #4101 extends across all four sides of the building, allowing for observatory-like views from its 41st-story perch, and boasts a 34-by-18-foot, harbor-facing terrace that makes for one of the most spectacular house party settings in the city.

Units #1516-1616, #1720-#2110

15th - 21st floors | 1,092 SF | 2 bed | 2 bath
#1516-1616, #1720-#2110
Fans of compact city living with traditionally-arranged but uniquely-angled layouts ought to look into units #1516-1616, or #1720 thru #2110 (with minor variations). The 1,092-square-foot apartments are exposed on two sides, maximizing sunlight for the relatively compact space and opening onto dramatic urban canyons of Wall Street and the vicinity.

The Amenities

The 176,000-square-foot amenity suite spans several floors, with the choicest spaces located at the 38th and 39th floors by the building’s principal setback. There, residents may find a 75-foot indoor pool with panoramic floor-to-ceiling windows on three sides, a fitness center that overlooks Wall Street and the World Trade Center, several lounges, and a two-level landscaped terrace.
One Wall Street will liven up Broadway with 106,000 square feet of retail spread across three levels, with a 44,000-square-foot Whole Foods providing a much-needed major supermarket for the neighborhood. The lower levels of the post-war annex, not protected by Landmarks ordinances, are shedding the somber stone cladding in favor of transparent, pedestrian-friendly glass frontage.
Glass prudently recedes on the annex’s northern side, which abuts Ralph Walker’s landmarked tower. There, the tall-ceiled Red Room readies to accept a retailer, though the tenant remains unknown. To some, the landmarked banking hall’s transformation into a shopping emporium may seem irreverent, yet the move will democratize the astonishing interior, providing access for the average person for the first time.
While the White Room at the pinnacle is similarly preserved and restored, it will sadly lack public access like its red counterpart, much as we would have loved to see the shell-clad space become a public observatory. The singular space will go to the lucky owner of the penthouse.

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Additional Info About the Building

 
Content & Research Manager Vitali Ogorodnikov
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