A. A. Low Building

167-71 John Street
Architect unknown

Owned by the South Street Seaport Museum, this structure was built by traders who parked their China clipper ships across South Street. It was commissioned by the famous export firm of Abiel Abbot Low and Brother, illustrious merchants who amassed a fortune in trade between New York and China (A. A. Low was the father of Seth Low, whose career included serving as Mayor of Brooklyn, Mayor of New York City and President of Columbia University, among other things). This building, which was the firm’s home until well after the 19th century, is five stories high and eight bays wide. Many layers of stucco and paint were removed to uncover and restore the brownstone underneath. The cast-iron double storefront is notable because it was produced by Daniel D. Badger of the renowned Architectural Iron Works firm. As a whole, the building represents the success and importance of the company.

The A. A. Low Building is located in the New York City and State and National Register of Historic Places South Street Seaport historic districts.