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Equitable Building's $50M makeover will restore it to its 1915 glory days

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Silverstein Properties has roped in Beyer Blinder Belle for the renovation


What was once the largest office building in the world is now set to undergo a major renovation. Silverstein Properties, the owner of the behemoth that is 120 Broadway, has brought on Beyer Blinder Belle to carry out a renovation, that will restore many of the design elements of the building to when it first opened in 1915.

Among these changes include the restoration of the entrance; the current green marble that fills the arch above the doorway will be replaced by a bronze grille over glass, which in turn will fill the building’s lobby with more light.

The building’s revolving doors will get a redesign with bronze finishes to carry forward that theme. Other planned additions include a new lighting system with hanging bronze fixtures to enhance the building’s soaring lobby, a new reception desk, and a granite accent wall. The retail spaces in the lobby will be activated and expanded as well.


Once these renovations are complete, tenants in the building will also be able to look forward to a new rooftop space, and a new bike room.

“Our plan is to restore and refine the building’s unique architectural features, and also update the property and its services for tenants,” Larry Silverstein, the chairman of Silverstein Properties, said in a statement. “We want to create a 21st century workplace with a distinct Downtown New York character.”

The H-shaped officer tower takes up the entire block on Broadway between Pine and Cedar Streets. The Equitable Building, as it is known, quickly became a source of public consternation, because of the long shadows it cast on the nearby streets. It essentially became the reason zoning laws were created in NYC to have restrictions on the design of tall buildings.

Silverstein purchased the property in 1980, and has owned it ever since. The building was declared a NYC landmark in 1996. Work on the renovation is expected to begin early next year, and will cost about $50 million.

Via Silverstein Properties