Equitable Building, one of New York City’s original skyscrapers and once the world’s largest office building, is set to undergo a $50 million renovation and restoration by Beyer Blinder Belle that will bring the historic 1905 tower to modern standards.
Major changes include the restoration of the main entrance. The iconic green marble arch over the doorway will be replaced by a bronze grille over glass, allowing more light into the building’s lobby. Retail spaces in the lobby area are also to be reopened as well as a tenant lounge, cafe, bike storage and locker room. A rooftop terrace is also included in the renovation project.
Bronze elements are going to be reintroduced throughout the building. Revolving doors and the new lighting system, for instance, will be redesigned with bronze finishing for a contemporary look. This theme will then be accented by granite walls.
The 538-ft.-tall tower’s Beaux Arts-style architectural details including its vaulted ceilings and gold leaf accent marble floors are going to be preserved.
“Our plan is to restore and refine the building’s unique architectural features, and also update the property and its services for tenants,” says Larry Silverstein, the chairman of Silverstein Properties which has owned the building since 1980. “We want to create a 21st century workplace with a distinct Downtown New York character.”
The 1.9 million-sq. ft., H-shaped structure takes up the entire block on Broadway, casting shadows on nearby streets. It is basically the reason why the City Council created zoning laws to set restrictions on the design of skyscrapers.