Singer Building – 149 Broadway @ Liberty Street

1908 – 1968 = 60 years
Design – Ernest Flagg (also known for: “Little Singer Building”, SoHo)
Style – Beaux-Arts

Also known as Singer Tower, this 47-story skyscraper at its opening in 1908 was the tallest building in the world, until the Met Life building opened just one year later. Located at Liberty Street and Broadway in Lower Manhattan, Singer Tower housed the Singer Manufacturing Company’s headquarters. Prior to the construction of the Empire State Building, the Chrysler Building and the World Trade Center, the recognizable Manhattan skyline featured most prominently, the Singer Building and it’s neighbour, the City Investing Building.

In 1961, Singer sold their namesake building and moved to Rockefeller Center. Singer Tower and the City Investing Building were then acquired by U.S. Steel in 1964. Although the Landmark Preservation Commission had been formed in 1963 following the demise of Penn Station, saving the Singer Building was but a fleeting thought, and only the impressive marble lobby was up for consideration in a preservation effort. With the tower’s individual floor footprints maxing out at 4,200 sq ft, the interior dimensions were deemed to be FAR from economical, and in 1968 the landmark building was demolished to make way for the U.S. Steel Building. At the time of demolition, Singer Tower was the tallest building to be torn down on purpose. This purpose was One Liberty Plaza; a far less charming skyscraper, with a far less charming lobby.