Erected in 1890-91, to the designs of the prominent architect James Brown Lord, this striking Renaissance Revival restaurant and office building is the only surviving building associated with the world-famous Delmonico’s Restaurant. Founded in 1827 by Swiss-born brothers, John and Peter Delmonico, Delmonico’s was one of the first restaurants in the United States to specialize in fine Continental cuisine. When their restaurant burned in the Fire of 1835, the Delmonico brothers acquired this site, where they erected an elegant four-story building that quickly became a favorite gathering place for New York society and visiting dignitaries. In 1890 the Delmonicos replaced that building with the current eight-story building, which provided additional restaurant space as well as several office stories. Delmonico’s was Lord’s first major non-residential work and is a notable example of an architectural style for which he achieved renown. Praised by the New York Times as “admirable in its simplicity and elegance,” the building is skillfully adapted to an irregular site. Faced in orange iron-spot brick, brownstone, and terracotta, the facade features giant arcades and a rounded corner bay which is distinguished by two tiers of giant columns and a semicircular entrance porch. The sensitive handling of materials, rich colors, and elaborate decorative program incorporating Renaissance motifs makes this one of the finest surviving late-nineteenth-century buildings in Manhattan’s financial district.
• City Landmark (LP-1944)