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Singer Building

New York City, USA
1 of 5

The Singer Building or Singer Tower, at Liberty Street and Broadway in Lower Manhattan's Financial District, in the U.S. state of New York, was a 47-story office building completed in 1908 as the headquarters of the Singer Manufacturing Company. It was the tallest building in the world from 1908 to 1909. It was torn down in 1968, together with the adjacent City Investing Building, and is now the site of One Liberty Plaza. When it was razed, it became the tallest building ever to be demolished and is currently the third-tallest building ever to be destroyed and the tallest to be purposely demolished by its owner. The building was commissioned by Frederick Bourne, the head of the Singer Sewing Machine Company. He hired architect Ernest Flagg, who was an early exponent of the Beaux-Arts architectural style. Plans and working drawings were prepared by George W. Conable. Flagg believed that buildings more than 10 or 15 stories high should be set back from the street, with the tower occupying only a quarter of the lot. The 12-story base of the building filled an entire blockfront, while the tower above was relatively narrow. The tower floors were squares 65 feet (20 m) on a side. At 612 feet (187 m) tall.

In 1961, Singer sold the building and subsequently moved to Rockefeller Center. The building was then acquired by real estate developer William Zeckendorf, who sought unsuccessfully for the New York Stock Exchange to move there. In 1964, United States Steel acquired the building, along with the neighboring City Investing Building, for demolition. Although New York had a newly created Landmarks Preservation Commission by the time demolition commenced in 1967, and the Singer Building was considered to be one of the most iconic buildings in the city, it did not receive landmark designation, which would have prevented it from being torn down. Demolition commenced in August 1967 and was completed the following year. At the time, it was the tallest building ever to be destroyed until the September 11, 2001 attacks, when the World Trade Center one block over collapsed. The Singer Building is currently the third-tallest building to be destroyed but is still the tallest building whose razing was anticipated.

Liberty Street and Broadway