Madison Square North Historic District highlights

In 2001, the Landmarks Preservation Commission designated the Madison Square North Historic District, encompassing 96 buildings from roughly 25th to 29th Streets and Madison to Sixth Avenues. Contained within the district are fine examples showcasing the area’s historical evolution. Six hotel buildings still stand in the district, including the Beaux-Arts style former Prince George Hotel (Howard Greenley, 1904-05), located at 14 East 28th Street. It was one of the largest hotels in the city at the time of its opening. The earliest commercial buildings in the district were small in scale, but varied in their architectural styles. These include 1180 Broadway (Stephen Decatur Hatch, 1870), a five-story, Classical Revival structure with a cast-iron façade and 21 West 26th Street (Thomas Stent, 1883), a red brick Queen Anne style building. As various industries, and thus residents, were thriving in the district, financial institutions began to emerge. The ground floors of many office structures were converted into banks, including the Lincoln National Trust at 208 Fifth Avenue (John Duncan, 1902) and the Emigrant Savings Bank at 206 Fifth Avenue (Townsend, Sternle & Haskell, 1919). Structures built specifically as banks include the Lincoln National Trust’s Beaux-Arts style building at 204 Fifth Avenue (C. P. H. Gilbert, 1913) and the Second National Bank of the City of New York at 250 Fifth Avenue (McKim, Mead & White, 1907-08), a strong institutional structure designed in the Classical Revival style. Taller commercial structures, the area’s most common building type, were constructed beginning in the 1890s, mostly in the Classical Revival and Beaux-Arts styles. One of the most magnificent of these is 1170 Broadway (Shickel & Ditmars, 1902-03), formerly known as the Johnston Building, but recently converted into the NoMad Hotel. Its Beaux-Arts limestone façades reach their crescendo with a dome at the rounded corner bay. A late example of a large-scale commercial building in the district is 261 Fifth Avenue (Buchman & Kahn, 1928-29), a 28-story, Art Deco style tower with rich polychrome terra-cotta ornament.