THE EMPIRE STATE BUILDING, 640 Broadway

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I have my reasons for calling 350 5th Avenue The King of All Buildings. #1 is, I really think it is, and #2, there’s the original Empire State Building, at 640 Broadway, the southeast corner of Bleecker.

It’s a 9-story building with an unusual shape — there’s a 25-foot frontage on Broadway and 200 feet on Bleecker, with a vaulted basement that is 30′ x 300′. It as designed by future Macy’s architects De Lemos and Cordes in 1897, and originally was home to the Empire State Bank, hence the name. Presently a Swatch watch store and a Two Boots pizzeria take up the ground floor. Until 2011 the basement vault was home to an upscale haberdasher called Nom de Guerre — but it was unmarked and you had to know someone what knew someone to get in.

 

There had been a nameplate at one time identifying it as the Empire State Building, but it’s now buried under the number over the front door.

7/20/13





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