Baumann Brothers Building to the left of the statue.

Baumann Brothers Furniture and Carpets Store

22-26 East 14th Street
Architects: D. & J. Jardine
Designated in 2008

The former Baumann Brothers store is located the south side of East 14th Street between University Place and Fifth Avenue. This is a superb example of the use of cast iron for building facades in the period between the Civil War and World War I. Its sign-cluttered ground floor is the product of recent "defacements" by Duane Reade and two smaller establishments, but the four upper floors are in are remarkably good original condition from 1881, when the building was constructed. It is owned by the New School of design which occupies most of the upper floors.

Scottish textile merchant James McCreery commissioned D. & J. Jardine, one of New York’s most prominent architecture firms in the late 19th century, to design the through-block, five-story, timber-and-iron-framed building with a full cast-iron façade that incorporates several ornamental influences including neo-Classical, neo-Grec and Queen Anne styles. It was completed in 1881.

”Baumann’s was built in the heyday of cast-iron façade construction in the City of New York,” Landmarks Preservation Commission Chairman Robert Tierney said at the November 18th hearing. “The façade is a wonderful amalgam of a range of styles that’s nonetheless rhythmic and cohesive.”

Baumann Brothers Furniture and Carpets Store, was a furniture and home furnishings manufacturer that remained in the building until 1897. The ground floor was occupied by a number of 5-10-and-25-cent stories, beginning in 1900 with Woolworth’s and ending with McCrory’s, which left in the late 1970s. The upper floors were leased to makers of girdles and garters; trousers and boxing gloves. The building also housed a gym for the Delehanty Institute, which trained police and fire department candidates.

The New School acquired the upper stories of the building in 1979 to serve as an annex to the Parsons School of Design. The ground floor remains in commercial use.

Brothers David and John Jardine, (D. & J. Jardine) also of Scottish descent, are responsible for a number of other notable cast-iron-fronted buildings in the city, including the former B. Altman & Co. Building at 625-629 Sixth Avenue, as well as many warehouses, office buildings, religious structures and apartment buildings.

Source: Landmarks Preservation Commission & Jack Taylor, USCC Historic Preservation Committee chair

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