Excelsior Power Company Building, Manhattan
Address: 33-43 Gold Street
Architect: William Milne Grinnell
LPC Action: Calendared 1977
LPC Backlog Hearing: Removed from the calendar without prejudice
The Excelsior Power Company Building is the oldest power generating station in New York City. 11 power plants, whose energy helped grow New York into the city that it is, have been demolished throughout the five boroughs. The monumental Romanesque Revival style building, complete with rough-cut ashlar and rounded, springing arches, features Queen Anne terra cotta details, while the Art Nouveau letters that read “Excelsior Power Co. Bldg 1888 A.D.” add the final touch. The building, an architectural anomaly in the Financial District, has overcome functional obsolescence in its conversion to residences. Its successful adaptive reuse is a gift to Gold Street.
LPC Statement of Significance:
The Excelsior Power Company Building at 33-43 Gold Street is a Romanesque Revival structure designed by the architect William G. Grinnell. The Excelsior Steam Power Company acquired this Gold Street property in 1887 from the Columbia Heating and Power Company. Two buildings from the 1840s were on the property and were altered to meet the needs of the Excelsior Company. The red brick facade is distinguished by ornamental terra cotta detail. Incorporated in the terra cotta design detail is the name of the building and the date--"A.D. 1888."