The Standard Oil Building, largely erected between 1921 and 1926 and finally completed in 1928, incorporates the company’s original building (built in 1884-85 and enlarged in 1895). Designed by Thomas Hastings of the architectural firm of Carrère & Hastings, with Shreve, Lamb & Blake as associated architects, the building is notable for its distinctive tower, one of the southernmost spires in the Manhattan skyline, and the sweeping curve of the Broadway facade, which is punctuated by the arched openings of the main entrance portal and flanking large windows that dominate the street wall as it fronts Bowling Green. The irregular pentagonal site, one of the largest parcels assembled in lower Manhattan to that time, dictated both the building’s distinctive shape and complicated construction history. The powerful sculptural massing and arresting silhouette of the Standard Oil Building represent the new set-back skyscraper forms that emerged during the early 1920s. Limestone curtain walls facing Broadway,Beaver Street, and New Street are enriched with large-scale neoRenaissance ornamentation that enhance the building’s picturesque quality. The building, erected as Standard Oil approached its fiftieth year of operation, reinforced the presence of the oil industry giant in the heart of New York City’s financial and shipping center. From the headquarters building at No. 26 Broadway, John D. Rockefeller’s associates directed the Standard Oil Company that monopolized the American oil industry, endured a sensational anti-trust decision, and retained a dominant role in the international oil business.

City Historic Landmark (LP-1930)
Visited: 04/16/2018
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