The stack of Neo-Gothic brick and stone at 874 Broadway just north of Union Square accumulated plenty of grit and grime on its ornate surface over the past century. But things there have changed, and the net and scaffolding which have been hiding the building's face for the past several years are now coming down. In 2000 the owner-residents rightfully decided that this beauty from architect Robert Henderson Robertson was ripe for refreshment. Back in the day the "MacIntyre Building" was bankrolled by Ewen McIntyre, a chemist and apothecary. But craftsmen, while laying the ornate tile floor in the Broadway lobby, mistakenly added an "A" to his name, so McIntyre's 12-story tower came down with a little something extra.
Robertson, the builder of such classics as the Mowawk Building in Tribeca, the Park Row Building across from City Hall and?in partnership with Frederick Law Olmsted?the famed Shelburne Farms in Vermont, gave the MacIntyre layers of ornamentation. With its arches, columns and a grab bag of flourishes, minimalist this one is not. But it is an NYC classic, now refreshed to its former glory. From a viewpoint at the west side of Union Square the MacIntyre can be seen in all its splendor, with the full history of skyscrapers rising beyond it to the north: 1931's Empire State Building, the new One Madison Park condo tower and 1909's Met Life Tower frame it perfectly. Not bad company for such an old soul.
· Around Union Square: MacIntyre Building To Shine Again [A Fine Blog]
· Streetscapes/1892 McIntyre Building [New York Times]