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Restored Soho Gem Unwraps Itself for the Holidays

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Sometimes a facelift is the perfect antidote to the seasonal blues. The old Haughwout Building at 490 Broadway in Soho stripped off its construction netting last week to show off a full makeover, revealing a switch from the former drab brown to a fresh blue-gray. It's part of a renovation by increasingly ubiquitous firm ODA (which has offices at 494 Broadway) to create a new Bebe emporium in a space that Staples once called home. The cast-iron palazzo, built from a design by architect John P. Garvey with a nod to Jacapo Sansovino's 1537 Biblioteca Marciana in Venice, is also getting some major work done inside, including structural refitting that will open up the first floor to new retail space above. Expanding the retail beyond the ground level returns this one to its roots.

The E. V. Haughwout Company opened in 1857, offering some competition to Tiffany a block to the north. The floors above Broadway were filled with silver, cut glass, china, chandeliers and other assorted riches. The Cosmopolitan Art journal declared that it was, "... one of the most imposing and beautiful buildings in the city, this monster manufacturing and sales establishment embraces more in value and interest than any single building in the world." A few years later Mary Lincoln found it the perfect place to buy some fancy china for the White House. Once the "aspirational women's fashion brand" opens up here maybe another First Lady will drop in for a little shopping.
· Storecasting: Staples Swapped Out For a Bebe [Racked]
· Office for Design & Architecture [oda-architecture.com]

490 Broadway, New York, NY