The photo above is my unsuccessful attempt to imitate Berenice Abbott. It’s unsuccessful in part because a phone’s camera doesn’t have the optics of her large-format film camera, in part because I simply lack her eye for composition, and in part because the angle I choose hides the two oldest buildings from direct view.
In the center is the top of the second (2009) One World Trade Center. Below it, with two visually contrasting curtain walls (horizontal gray stripes and horizontal white stripes) is 100 Church Street, an office building constructed in 1959. The tower on the far left, including both the upper (sunlit) portion and the lower (shaded) portion below the setback roof is 99 Church Street, a not-quite super-tall apartment house completed in 2016.
If you look closely between 100 and 99 Church Street you see a corner of 90 Church Street, a federal office building and post office completed in 1935 that is, somewhat oddly, on the National Register of Historic Places but not a New York City Landmark. It’s very much in the style of 1930s federal-government architecture, which means, among other things, that it’s got huge cubist eagles carved into its limestone.
Above 100 Church and to the right of 1WTC is the top corner of the second 7 World Trade Center, completed in 2006. It’s a nice-enough but bland high-rise office building, most notable for being much less ugly than the first 7WTC. Off to the right of 100 Church is 200 West Street, an office building completed in 2009 and the tallest building on the Battery Park City landfill.
The sidewalk bridge on the right is at 27 Park Place, in the process of being repaired after a severe fire a few years ago. It’s a loft building originally constructed around 1851 and renovated many times, used for both manufacturing and office space. It’s a good example of the flexibility of generic loft space. And finally, the fire escape at the upper right is attached to the front facade of 25 Park Place, a landmarked 1856 loft building that we’ve been working on, for small repair and renovation projects, for some time.
So there’s a 165-year spread here, although heavily weighted toward recent decades, and a decent mix of original occupancies.