Jody Kriss of East River Partners has the pleasure of visiting some of New York City’s finest historic buildings, as he searches for those that need TLC to bring them back to their former glory. Some of his favorites to restore are the city’s iconic brownstones, which are just as popular among families today as they were when they were built. However, today, the Jody Kriss Blog would like to pay homage to one of the Big Apple’s most recognizable commercial structures: The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) building.
18 Broad Street Opened in April of 1903
The NYSE has been around a lot longer than 113 years. At this point, the exchange has been in existence for 223 years in total, and 18 Broad Street is actually its 17th home. In 1792, the NYSE began with just 24 brokers agreeing to trade only amongst themselves, though the group naturally grew, and established the “New York Stock & Exchange Market Board” in 1817. Rapid growth and disasters, such as The Great Fire of 1835 that claimed the group’s last meeting point, caused it to shift venues repeatedly over the first half of its lifetime. By 1901, the NYSE began searching for an architect to create a one-of-a-kind-structure as its new home.
The Structure has Been Dubbed the Most Expensive Building in the Industry
Eight different architects came forward with unique concepts for the structure. Ultimately, George B. Post was selected, and demolition of the property’s existing structures began in 1901. The project was slated to run around $4 million, but after two years of construction, it topped out at close to $9 million, making it the most expensive building ever created for the securities industry. The massive trading floor was one of the largest spaces in the entire city at that time, with its 109-foot by 140-foot hall and ceilings stretching 72 feet into the air. The exterior was designed to be commanding, featuring six Corinthian columns and a marble façade. Its neoclassical architecture remains just as impactful today, and is instantly recognizable by people all over the globe. Oak and mahogany are layered in the opulent interior, with more than 400,000 feet of these and other woods incorporated into the design. Sparing no expense, 18 Broad Street is also one of the first buildings in the entire world to have been outfitted with an air conditioning system from its inception. Just shy of 20 years after opening its new home, the NYSE expanded into a second location at 11 Wall Street. Both buildings were added to the National Historic Landmarks registry in 1978.
“The New York Stock Exchange building is one of the finest in the world,” Jody Kriss said in an interview. “It’s a piece of our history that was built well and has persevered through the years.” Undoubtedly, generations to come will be awed by the impressive structure. Happy 113th birthday to 18 Broad Street!