The Makeover of Canal Street Continues

The sad little gray building (419-421 Broadway) on at the northwest corner of Canal and Broadway is going to be torn down, along with the two-story building to the west (301 Canal). This isn’t a huge surprise—United American Land owns both, having picked up 301 Canal in March, and just look at the buildings. According to a flyer posted nearby, spotted by T., the developer plans a “new office building on both lots with ground floor retail use.” The lots are within a historic district, which I assume is why Community Board 2 either posted about the meeting or insisted the developer do so. I was thinking about how helpful it would be if CB1 were to follow CB2’s lead on such matters, and then I went and visited the CB2 website. Lo and behold, CB2 links to the presentations in advance of the meeting! (Now that would really be helpful.) And that means we get a sneak peek at what’ll be unveiled tonight.

What the flyer doesn’t say is that the proposed new building by Morris Adjmi Architects is nine stories, counting the bulkhead, and that it would dramatically recast the intersection—both because it’s substantially taller that what’s around it, and because the façade has a funky element running through it. (See the fourth rendering below; they all get larger if you click on them.) Whatever Community Board 2 thinks about the design will be passed along to the Landmarks Preservation Commission, which makes the decision. We can assume that the LPC will have no issue with demolishing the buildings; the question is what kind of replacement it will deem contextually appropriate. In June, the LPC had serious issues with the massing of a similarly scaled new building proposed for 312-320 Canal, across the street.



  1. Hmmm…seems a bit tall after what preceded it, but not bad, considering. I’m curious what everyone else thinks. I had to blink a few times to get used to the idea of something so substantial on that lot, but it might be an improvement.

  2. It’s out of proportion with everything around it. I’d be surprised if landmarks will allow such a monstrosity. It should be capped at 5 stories like the rest of the buildings nearby.

    Also, not a particularly attractive or imaginative design in my eyes.