See how the redevelopment of Union Square’s Tammany Hall is shaping up

Posted On Fri, January 25, 2019 By

Posted On Fri, January 25, 2019 By In Construction Update, Union Square

Construction progressing on site; photo via 44 Union Square on Instagram with permission and Newmark Knight Frank

Construction of the glassy turtle shell-shaped dome on top of Union Square’s landmarked Tammany Hall building is officially underway. The building at 44 Union Square, formerly home to NYC’s Democratic party machine, is being transformed into modern office and retail space. New construction photos provided to 6sqft show the start of the unconventional dome’s installation, with the diagonally intersecting glass and steel now visible from the street.

A historic photo of Tammany Hall, courtesy of via BKSK Architects/ Newmark Knight Frank

The political organization of Tammany Hall formed in New York City in the late 18th century and helped Democrats control city and state politics for decades. After a few different headquarter locations, the society landed in a building on East 17th Street and Union Square. The International Ladies Garment Workers Union bought the building in 1943. Other tenants have included the New York Film Academy and the Union Square Theatre.


Renderings via BKSK Architects/ Newmark Knight Frank

Designed by BKSK Architects, the redevelopment project consists of a gut renovation and the addition of four stories of retail space in the building’s base, with three levels of office space on the upper levels, including inside the dome.


The installation of the glass dome is officially underway; photo via 44 Union Square on Instagram with permission and Newmark Knight Frank

The architects designed the glass dome as an ode to the turtle which Lenape Chief Tamanend stands upon on a Philadelphia statue. Tammany Hall was named after the leader. According to the firm, the dome is “meant to be both evocative and respectful of the building’s past while also bringing architectural spectacle to this rather staid corner of Union Square.”

BKSK first submitted plans to revamp the historic building in 2014. After the project was approved a year later by the Landmarks Preservation Commission, developer Reading International secured $57.5 million in financing. Renovations began in 2016.


Renderings via BKSK Architects/ Newmark Knight Frank

The dome features a framework of intersecting glass and steel, manufactured by German-based firm Gartner. There’s no doubt the top floor will not only be drenched in natural light but also offer unique views of Union Square and beyond.

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