Like its one-block long brother to the south, Cortlandt Street, Dey Street was once much longer, but today runs only for a block, between Broadway and Church Street. It was named for colonial-era Dutch farmer, Dirck Teunis Dey; the road was built through his former property en route to the ferry on West Street.
Today, Dey Street has one address (see below); buildings on its south side have been torn down and if any new developments go there, they will presumably get new Dey Street addresses. Today, a look west down Dey Street gives glimpses of the spiky exterior of the new PATH train terminal, referred to as The Oculus, and the glass dome of the World Financial Center, which has a climate-controlled lobby area in which you have been able to find several palm trees for the past few decades.
Before the Fulton Street Transit Center (confusingly, its eye-shaped skylight is also called The Oculus) opened in late 2014, the MTA opened this glassy subway entrance at the SW corner of Broadway and Dey about a year before.
Since 1916, Dey Street’s main signature has been what was originally the Doric-columned, 29-story American Telephone & Telegraph Building at 195 Broadway, also known as 15 Dey. The first trans-Atlantic phone call was placed from this building, as well as the first Picturephone call, both in 1927.
After AT&T moved out in the 1980s, other tenants moved in–including my Forgotten New York (The Book) publisher Harper Collins, which recently relocated here from its longtime HQ at 10 East 53rd Street off 5th Avenue. Nobu, the iconic (and expensive) seafood joint, also relocated here from Tribeca awhile back.
The building is topped off by an Ionic-columned base and pyramid on which stands “Golden Boy,” or officially, the Genius of Telegraphy, a 24-foot tall sculpture by Evelyn Beatrice Longman, depicting a winged youth standing on a globe, holding telegraph cables and electric bolts.
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