1 Wall Street Banking Room designated interior landmark by New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission

For many, the recent desecration of 60 Wall Street’s lobby was a hard pill to swallow. The iconic PoMo space by Kevin Roche and John Dinkeloo was passed over for landmark status, and construction workers are currently building a more minimalist milieu there that’s allegedly more in vogue with the needs of today’s managerial class.

However, a decision today by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) just a few blocks away gives preservationists that care about swanky Wall Street interiors a reason to smile. The Bank Room at 1 Wall Street—known by some as “The Red Room”—was designated an interior landmark.

doors in lobby
The space has original art deco ephemera from the 1930s. (Courtesy New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission)

Today, 1 Wall Street is home to 566 residential units and hosts retailers on the ground level. The LPC approved the building’s office-to-residential conversion in 2016 after Macklowe Properties bought the 1.25 million-square-foot tower two years earlier. Macklowe Properties then spent five years renovating the art deco building between 2018 and 2023.

“After a thoughtful restoration, the dazzling beauty of the Red Room will once again be open for the public to experience and enjoy, and today’s vote to designate this special interior landmark ensures it will continue to delight visitors for years to come,” said LPC chair Sarah Carroll.

1 Wall Street view of exterior
1 Wall Street was completed in 1931 by Ralph Walker and designated a landmark in the 1980s. (Jim in Times Square/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 2.0)

1 Wall Street was originally designed by Ralph Walker and completed in 1931. When it was built, it was one of New York’s first art deco skyscrapers. The mosaics inside the Bank Room at 1 Wall Street were by master muralist Hildreth Meière.

The glittering space clad with elaborate tiles was once home to Irving Trust and Bank Company’s reception room. It was completed not long after the stock market crashed in 1929. For Irving Trust, the architecture at 1 Wall Street was meant to project an image of permanence and intact wealth.

The building itself was landmarked in the 1980s and, today, Meière is hailed by many as a trailblazer for women in the fields of architecture and design.

The Red Room ceiling tiles and walls
The Red Room (Courtesy New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission)

Ralph Walker was a partner at Voorhees, Gmelin & Walker. Other projects that Walker and Meière collaborated together on include the AT&T Long Distance Building in Tribeca, Saint Bartholomew’s Church, Temple Emanu-El, Radio City Music Hall, and the Western Union Building at 60 Hudson Street.

Moving forward, the Red Room will undergo a full restoration. A treasure trove of recently discovered surplus original tiles will be used to restore the murals, and the space will be rented by French luxury retailer Printemps.

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