Former A. T. Stewart Store and Former Broadway Chambers Building
280 Broadway, Joseph Trench & John B. Snook, 1845-46
277 Broadway, Cass Gilbert, 1899-1900
280 Broadway is one of New York’s most significant commercial structures. Built for Alexander Turney Stewart’s department store—the city’s first—the building and the business greatly impacted the city’s economic growth and American merchandising. With this building, Stewart introduced America to the pleasant shopping experience and to the idea that architecture can be employed to reflect a business’ image. Its marble façades emulated an Italian Renaissance palace, a trend for commercial architecture in London, with which Stewart was familiar. This style was a major departure from New York’s low-scale, simple commercial buildings, and it was imitated into the 20th century. The Broadway Chambers Building was the first New York City work by Cass Gilbert, who later gained fame for the nearby Woolworth Building. Though Beaux-Arts in style, Broadway Chambers strayed from the light monochrome palette of its peers through rich use of color—granite base, brick shaft and glazed terra cotta crown. Walk on Chambers toward Church Street. The north side of the street is within the Tribeca South Historic District, while the south side is unprotected. 280 Broadway and 277 Broadway are both designated New York City Individual Landmarks, and 280 Broadway is listed on the State and National Register of Historic Places.