Cowperthwait & Sons Building To Be Demolished

The last remnants of a formerly magnificent Cowperthwait & Sons building will finally be torn down according to Patch:

Looking at the last two remaining floors of this flagship building, it’s hard to imagine that one of East Harlem’s architectural jewels stood (or is standing?) here.


Cowperthwait & Sons opened for business on February 23rd, 1909I at this location. The building now (mostly occupied by “American Outlet”) has been truncated back in the 20th century when landlords would abandon the top floors of properties and only focus on renting the street-level commercial space. 

Columbia University’s collection of postcards give you a sense of what the building originally looked like:


The red/orange brick top three stories were lopped-off and only the lower two floors remain.


Note how the area where the beautiful copper-clad windows were has filled in with brick, and cheap windows were thrown in.  

And note the thinner, yellow brick that make up the pilaster (compare to the standard brick next door), and the cinderblock?  that is now the infill where the copper windows once were:


Finally, the red/brown cast iron pillar at the bottom right and the higher quality brickwork on the pilasters is original. 

To see the Columbia University postcard: