052I.jpg (105755 bytes) New York Architecture Images-Soho



Louis Sullivan and Lyndon B. Smith


65 Bleecker Street  




Chicago School


13 floors, 162 feet (49.5m) high
The typical vertical accentuation by pilasters (here even enhanced by the unbroken vertical mullions) ending in ornamental friezes underneath the extruding cornices. The horizontal parts of the 13-storey facade have ample terra-cotta decoration, especially at the top of the building. 


Office Building






At the end of the Nineteenth Century, the worldwide center of the Avant-Garde architecture was not New York, but Chicago, with famous visionaries as John Wellborn Root and Louis Sullivan. They argued against the use of historical elements, rejecting the fact that a modern understructure must be hidden behind a display of another age (later followed by Le Corbusier, Mies van der Rohe, the Bauhaus architects and finally by the International Style defenders). Sullivan claimed that new kinds of buildings required new kinds of architectural expression. Such buildings like the Monadnock or the Reliance (Root, 1891 and 1894), and the Chicago Stock Exchange or the Carson Pirie Scott Dpt Store (Sullivan, 1894 and 1901) with their functional façades mainly composed of vertical piers, large bay windows and geometrical or Art Nouveau ornamentation pushed the contemporary new yorker buildings into the antiques department. Alas, Louis Sullivan created only one work in New York -his favourite-, lost in an improbable area of assorted mercantile interests. The perfectly balanced façade with its elaborate different piers -the larger ones ended by angels, the smaller ones expanding in double arches- translates exactly the simplicity of its structure. The gorgeous and exquisite ornamentation is a personal Sullivan's creation too. Even if the Bayard-Condict used the tripartite arcaded façades of the New York's building code, it remained an oddity.

Wank Adams Slavin Associates/WASA, under the direction of Mr. Gottlieb, designed the unusual restoration method for the all-terra cotta street façade by removing, repairing, and re-installing 1,300 of the 7,000 pieces of terracotta, instead of the usual method of replacing damaged blocks with copies. The Bayard Condict building remains one of the Village’s and NYC’s proudest architectural treasures, and the presentation promises intimate insights into one of our most unique and awe-inspiring landmarks. The restoration was a 2003 winner of an Annual Village Award from the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation.

Built just east of Broadway on Bleecker St. (65 Bleecker), the Bayard-Condict Building, is the only New York Building by noted Chicago architect Louis Sullivan and was his first solo commission. Its significance is not in its height but in its graceful façade, which substantially increased the glass window area in proportion to its solid wall, foreshadowing today’s curtain-of-glass high-rises. So advanced was the Bayard-Condict Building that, six months before it was finished, the Architectural Record proclaimed it as “the nearest approach yet in New York… to solving the problem of the skyscraper.” The Bayard-Condict Building is both an official city landmark and a designated National Historic Landmark.