213-215 Water Street

Stephen Decatur Hatch

This building was originally a metal and tin warehouse built for A. A. Thompson & Co. The ground floor of this five-story Italianate structure is cast iron, while its upper floors are Tuckahoe marble. The cast iron was meant to imitate Tuckahoe marble, as marble was the more expensive material. Aside from being cost effective, cast iron was also advantageous for its durability, making ornamental details more feasible and inexpensive. The large, arched openings are supported by cast-iron columns. The windows of the upper stories were designed very similarly to windows of cast-iron buildings of the mid-19th century, providing more light for the interior and improving working conditions. Featured on the upper stories are quoins that embellish the sides of the building and columns that support the recessed window enframements. The cornice is notable for its triangular pediment displaying the building’s date of construction and supported on brackets. In 1983, the building was restored by Beyer Blinder Belle. It is currently an event space called the Melville Gallery, which is part of the South Street Seaport Museum.

213-215 Water Street is located in the New York City and State and National Register of Historic Places South Street Seaport historic districts.