Singer Tower, 149 Broadway, New York, New York County, NY
Significance: One of the outstanding works of architect Frank Flagg, the Singer Tower was for sixty years a familiar silhouette on the New York skyline. Ironically, the height of the building had established two records; in 1908 it became the tallest building ever constructed, and in 1967 it became the tallest building ever demolished. The lobby was renowned for its elegant marble and bronze decor. Perhaps most importantly, the tower exemplified Flagg's ideas on city planning, which were incorporated in part into the New York City zoning ordinances of 1916. In order to provide adequate air and light for all offices, Flagg envisioned a city of towers, in which the first five or six stories of every building would extend over the entire lot, but the upper stories would cover only one-quarter of the lots. The height of the tower would be limited only by structural considerations.
Survey number: HABS NY-5463
Building/structure dates: 1908 Initial Construction
Building/structure dates: 1967 Demolished