In 1867 Trinity Church sold the leafy enclave of St. John’s Park, which was on the east side of Hudson between today’s Ericsson Place and Laight Street, presently the approach to the Holland Tunnel, to the Hudson River Railroad, which proceeded to build a new terminal in place of the park. The tunnel followed it, removing the terminal, in the 1920s.
American Express, whose original purpose was to facilitate the delivery of goods (much like Fed Ex does today) was founded in Buffalo in 1850 by Henry Wells and William G. Fargo (who founded Wells Fargo two years later) and made its headquarters on Hudson Street. The company constructed stables on #4-8 Hubert Street in 1866, and it was extended through to Laight Street in 1898 by architect Edward Kimball. The building gained yet another extension in 1902 when a perpendicular section was added through to 157 Hudson Street.
Kimball added the American Express symbol in the late 19th Century, a bulldog holding a key. The first symbol to represent American Express was a white bulldog sitting on top of a freight trunk. The guard dog illustrated the company’s commitment to protecting the shipments of its customers. [Reference for Business] Later, building facades showed the bulldog with keys.
American Express had moved out of the building by 1913 and it later housed the American Railway Express Company and the First Machinery Corporation. By 2004 the building had become completely dilapidated, but found rescue from developer Peter Moore, who purchased the building and converted it to apartments which now sell beginning at 3 million dollars. I presume the building allows bulldogs.