Drexel Building, The Corner, 23 Wall Street, NY

Timeshifter

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The Corner
Yesterday I was re familiarizing myself with some photographic work, and I was reading the book 'The photograph' by Graeme Clark. I was reminded of this image by Paul Strand, 23 Wall Street, 1915.

Wall_Street_by_Paul_Strand,_1915.jpg

My 1st thought was, how big are those windows? (Thinking giants) my next thought was wow, what an ugly monolith.

So I did a little digging, whilst thinking along the lines of giant windows for giant people… When I suddenly discovered that this 23 Wall Street, was actually the 2nd Building on the plot, it was new build,,,

Here is the original Drexel building, finished in 1873 and demolished in 1913. It survived just 40 years, this beautiful building, are we to believe this?

ab26eec99fd619d1028ab8265610b06a.jpg

‘Drexel, Morgan & Co. commissioned architect Arthur D. Gilman to design the structure which The Times predicted would be “magnificent.” Work commenced on May 1, 1872 with an anticipated completion of April 1, 1873. The six-story building would be clad in gleaming white Vermont marble and while Gilman described the style as “Italian renaissance” it would be deemed French Second Empire today. There would be a grand mansard roof above the fifth floor cornice, crowned by a faceted cap at the corner. On either side dormers would line up with military precision.’

Source: The Lost Drexel Building - Broad and Wall Streets

I managed to find 2 images of its ‘Demolition’ Im sure there are more out there... :) and again, 1913/14 and horse and cart ?

0326327-NYC-WALL-STREET-1913-Demolition-of-the-JP-Morgan-Bank-at-23-Wall-Street-in-New-York-Ci...jpg

demolition-of-the-j-p-morgan-bank-at-23-wall-street-in-new-york-city-1913,2254231.jpg

Demolition of the J.P. Morgan Bank in 1913:
So now my thoughts are, why the hell would you replace that elegant build with this monolith monstrosity?

141111_23wallstreet_jcrice_9_101870883-e1416114892494.jpg

Now of course, the bankers are involved, and no less than JP Morgan et al.

Get this: ‘In what was nearly a foreshadowing of things to come, on April 14, 1907 The Times recalled the Drexel Building’s origins and future. “The firm ‘at the corner,’ J. P. Morgan & Co., was one of the very first, if not the first, to occupy a building designed in part, even, for their own use. It was when the name was Drexel, Morgan & Co. that the Drexel Building was erected at Wall and Broad Streets, a showplace in its day and a landmark so long as it shall stand.’

Mmmmm :unsure:

Some details about the new build, Waki:
  • Designed by Trowbridge & Livingston and built in 1913, the building was so well known as the headquarters of J.P. Morgan & Co. – the "House of Morgan" – that it was deemed unnecessary to mark the exterior with the Morgan name. The building is known for its classical architecture and formerly for its well-appointed interior, including a massive crystal chandelier and English oak panelling, but, overall, is more notable for its history than its architecture.
  • Bombing: On September 16, 1920, the building was the site of the Wall Street bombing, in which thirty-eight people were killed and hundreds injured, 143 of them seriously. The building received heavy damage, with shrapnel entering the building through its large wide windows. To this day, the damage to the limestone façade is visible on the outside of the building, as the company said it would never repair the damage in defiance to those who committed the crime.
  • Because the Morgan building was so well known, many assumed that the target of the assumed anarchist bombing was actually the bank itself.
  • The building was designated a New York City landmark in 1965, and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1972. Since it was purchased in 2008 by interests associated with the billionaire industrialist Sam Pa, it has been left in a state of disuse.
  • The building was used for banking and conference stuff and changed hands etc, but now, it is empty, and waiting for new occupants… it has been empty for some while.
I found this interesting on waki:

‘The foundations were constructed deep and strong enough in order to support a forty-story tower should the need arise in the future.’

My spidey senses are in overdrive, bunker?

Let us search for some construction images...

STOP THE PRESS
Now whilst searching for construction images, I came across this, which claims to be the location prior to the building of the Drexel Building…

23-1860-Wall-and-Broad-Southeast-Corner-Kings-Photo-Views-pg-1071.jpg

Source: Link

Now my head is hurting.
  • 1st thing in notice on this is the cellar, or whatever, with windows clearly underground… and the ghostly people, some of which look painted on? No date on it but must be pre 1873?

My head is banging..
  • My original question was to be, why demolish beautiful Drexel building? Status, because you can? Was it decrepit?
My next question was to have been, do you think that the Drexel Building has been there longer than 40 years.. but then I found the image above. So was the Drexel only in existence for 40 years?

I cannot find much if any evidence of the construction or demolition of these 3 buildings?

And why has this once mega important building been empty for so long?

gettyimages-131007950-1024x1024.jpg


Facade

As an aside, whilst I was looking at Wall Street, I found other buildings of the same appearance to Drexel which met a similar fates… but that is for another day.

Mandela is in the house.

One further thing, no joke. This has seriously thrown me!

When I started looking at this last night, I initially found dozens of links and articles about both the Drexel and JP Morgan Building, with lots of photos. I bookmarked many of them in google chrome, even added them to pocket (on my smart phone). When I returned today to investigate, I found no such bookmarks, and only one link in pocket.

I google searched and no kidding, 90% of info and images I saw yesterday are gone, vanished.

:confused:

I have tried on 2 different networks to check for blocked pages, same result, no info.

And my head is absolutely banging now, raging headache, if anyone can contribute here it would be greatly appreciated. …

:coffee:
 

KorbenDallas

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Interesting story. Those 1913 horses participating in demolition are interesting as well. Why? For comparison, here we have 1905, and 1907 DC construction sites.

Do we have any photographs of this Drexel building with early 20th century cars around it?

Really makes you wonder why:
  • Within two months the magnificent marble Drexel Building would be no more. On June 14 The New York Times wrote “In a few days the most valuable piece of real estate in the United States will be nothing but a vacant lot, surrounded by a board fence.”
  • The Lost Drexel Building - Broad and Wall Streets
On that "pre-1873" picture, what do you think this is?

carriage.jpg
 
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Timeshifter

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Interesting story. Those 1913 horses participating in demolition are interesting as well. Why? For comparison, here we have 1905, and 1907 DC construction sites.

Do we have any photographs of this Drexel building with early 20th century cars around it?

Really makes you wonder why:
  • Within two months the magnificent marble Drexel Building would be no more. On June 14 The New York Times wrote “In a few days the most valuable piece of real estate in the United States will be nothing but a vacant lot, surrounded by a board fence.”
  • The Lost Drexel Building - Broad and Wall Streets
On that "pre-1873" picture, what do you think this is?

Great spot KD. What the hell is going on, its as if we've stumbled upon some back to the future style paradox.

Also, doesn't say in the clip, but is that a funeral, with horse towing the coffin?

I dont even know if this street corner is even in the same Universe as Dexler & Morgan.

20190619_184542.jpg
 

KorbenDallas

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Interesting how they pulled it off withing 1913-1914. To go from Drexel to this granite slab. Demolition started after June 14, 1913, and the below image is 1914.

The scene could be a filming set of the Equilibrium movie.

604px-23_Wall_Street_(1914).jpg

Meanwhile, can we find a car next to this Drexel building? If it was demolished in 1913, there has to be at least one somewhere.

drexler_1.jpg
 

Searching

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Looks like the top of a carriage. The backrest is ruched. I think the door is open on the storage compartment in the back. It is parked in the street, so it's probably making deliveries. We can't see the front, but I don't think it has an engine as I see no steering wheel.
 

jd755

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Here it is in 1864. From here; The Skyscraper Museum: THE RISE OF WALL STREET WALKTHROUGH
1864.jpg

a photograph shows the southwest corner of Wall and Broad streets in 1885, with the old buildings just beginning to be demolished. The narrow corner lot, the first home of the Western Union Company, had been purchased by Matthew Wilks, a great-grandson of John Jacob Astor, for $168,000 in 1882, then the highest price ever paid for Manhattan real estate at slightly more than $330 per square foot. The new ten-story Wilks Building designed by Charles W. Clinton was completed in 1890; it was demolished in 1920 for the Annex building of the New York Stock Exchange.


According to this contemporary evidence the Atlantic & Pacific Telegraph Company were extant in 1865. Does it add anything?
From here; Collection: Atlantic & Pacific Telegraph Company subscription list | HOLLIS for Archival Discovery

The initial purpose of the volume was to record the subscription for shares in the Atlantic & Pacific Telegraph Company. The volume itself is a blank book purchased from Van Kleeck & Clark, stationers, printers and lithographers, 19 Nassau Street, New York. The cover of the volume is stamped with the title "Subscriptions to the Atlantic & Pacific Telegraph Company." The first eight pages were printed and include a statement on the construction of telegraph lines followed by lists of the directors, trustees and subscribers.
 

KorbenDallas

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Found a small 1897 reference to the below image. The new Drexel building was supposed to exist for about 14 years by then, I assume. Could simply mean that the print was made in 1897, but who knows?
  • This is an original 1897 halftone print of Wall Street and the southeast corner of Broad Street in New York City.
  • Source
Wall-and-Broad-Southeast-Corner.jpg
 
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Timeshifter

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come across some further 'images'


1879-the-corner-of-broad-street-and-wall-street-with-drexels-building-HKHB8D.jpg

1879, spire or pole on roof, lots of electric/ telephone wires?

MNY216004.jpg

1885, no pole on roof but there are signs of electricity or coms lines around

drexel buildling 1900.jpg

1900, no cables, no poles on roof, but remnants of electricity pole?
Reminds me of other post cataclysm images, not much happening few people about, a bit clean?

of course, if we are to believe these dates...
 

KorbenDallas

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Thank you very much, we finally have a car.

The second picture appears to have a horse in front of it. The first picture is way more interesting. The image is allegedly from 1911, and a much bigger file can be seen here.

1911_NYC.jpg

Source

But... is this what 1911 in one of the biggest, busiest and richest cities in the world looked like? Horses, horses, horses and a car? I would imagine it had to be the other way around. There were less horses in 1830. 1911 NYC missed two Industrial Revolutions?

 

jd755

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If this pdf is kosher and my reading of it is correct, there were 639,500 registered motor vehicles in the entire US in 1911. You live there so your call as to the likelihood of it being accurate.
 

Recognition

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come across some further 'images'


View attachment 23990
1879, spire or pole on roof, lots of electric/ telephone wires?

View attachment 23989
1885, no pole on roof but there are signs of electricity or coms lines around

View attachment 23988
1900, no cables, no poles on roof, but remnants of electricity pole?
Reminds me of other post cataclysm images, not much happening few people about, a bit clean?

of course, if we are to believe these dates...
These people look like wooden silhouette cutouts, not real humans, all the men in profile. Love the one of the woman with her hands on her hips in the background😂
 

KorbenDallas

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If this pdf is kosher and my reading of it is correct, there were 639,500 registered motor vehicles in the entire US in 1911. You live there so your call as to the likelihood of it being accurate.
This one here says that there was way less, if you are trying to suggest that the reason we do not see any cars next to this building lies within the numbers.

Unless all of the NYC cars were driving on the 5th Av only, we should probably look for a different reason. Like may be it was not 1913?
 

jd755

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This one here says that there was way less, if you are trying to suggest that the reason we do not see any cars next to this building lies within the numbers.

Unless all of the NYC cars were driving on the 5th Av only, we should probably look for a different reason. Like may be it was not 1913?
Not suggesting anything, just asking. I have zero comprehension of how big America is having never left this island. It makes no sense to me why there are so few cars. I get the numbers in the parades, everyone likes to show off their imagined wealth, they still do it today, which shows there were cars knocking about and the pdf numbers suggest the overwhelming number of vehicles are cars.
Then there is the logic of financiers/bankers pushing the imaginary need for cars (people on horses can go almost anywhere, people in cars have 'the freedom of the road' so are restricted to banker/authority funded roads so regressing into overt slavery) so it would make sense from the way we are told how it all 'works' that the bankers would have cars and drivers at their beck and call and they are simply not there, in the photographs we are provided with anyway.

It really is beginning to feel the control of the imagery of 'the past' is of great importance to the fakers of history.

There is actually a car two up from the van in the photo I posted. The second image was just another picture of the building. I love the way they saved effort with the canvas funnel catching the dirty bits and dropping them straight into a bag. We have been made to forget all sorts by state education and the 'mud flood' of state imposed rules, regulations, fines, penalties on as many human endeavours as they think they can get away with.

It's not just the missing cars where are all the missing wheeled vehicles that get shown in other photo's of the city?
I would guess that as these things were pricey they would be garaged somwhere either near the buildings where their owners worked or at some other building near where they lived still doesn't explain why they are not on the street but finding the garages might give another clue as to numbers.

Never trust a date anyone could put any date on anything for any reason and they do.

You know the more I look at that van photo the more it looks like a film set. It's the pattern of the crispness of the edges of the architecture and the pristine condition of everything else on view. Not even a mark on the road, steps or pavement.
 
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