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Tammany Hall's Historic Auditorium Will Be Razed Amid Conversion

The existing space is being converted into a six-story retail and office building

The conversion of Tammany Hall at Union Square will leave the historic building without its red brick and limestone auditorium, the New York Times reports. The conversion of the landmarked building into offices was approved by the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission last year.

The new building will be known as 44 Union Square and will have six floors of offices and retail including a two and a half floor, tortoise shell-shaped glass dome at the top. Landmarks was initially opposed to this addition, but when architecture firm, BKSK Architects, scaled back their design, Landmarks gave them the thumbs up last March.

The $50 million project will see the auditorium completely demolished. However, the exterior portion, which is the landmarked part, will be preserved including details like a medallion of Chief Tamanend, for whom the political organization and the building was named.

Tammany Hall sold the building to a workers union in 1943, who a few years later reopened the space as Roosevelt Auditorium, which became a meeting space for organized labor. In the 1980s it became a 499-seat theater, and subsequently became the Union Square Theater a decade later.

The owners of that latter theater, Liberty Theaters LLC., who also own the building, are the ones pursuing the conversion. The theater hosted its last show in January this year. The other tenants in the building — New York Film Academy, and Frank’s Wine and Liquors closed in October last year and January this year respectively. The conversion of the space is expected to take about two years.