SWA Project Recipient of 2017 AIA NYS Excelsior Award
195 Broadway, an historic Manhattan site owned by L&L Holdings, is a recipient of the AIANYS Excelsior Award and a winner of the 2017 NYCxDESIGN Award. Both accolades recognize the superior quality of 195 Broadway’s recently restored and renovated lobby area, for which Steven Winter Associates, Inc.(SWA) provided accessibility consulting to the project’s Design Architect, Gabellini Sheppard.
The American Institute of Architects New York (AIANYS) 2017 Excelsior Awards honor projects across New York State that are both publicly funded and for public use. Excelsior projects, include the very best New York buildings demonstrating the opportunity for creative transformation of the state’s communities.
The NYCxDESIGN Awards are a global design competition that aims to increase collaboration between cultural and commercial qualities of a project’s potential, while simultaneously “elevating established and emerging design practices and increasing awareness of and appreciation for design by all audiences.” The Awards and their recipients sponsor a well-attended series of events, shows, presentations, and exhibitions that educate the public on innovation and legacy in design. 195 Broadway was a winner in the Commercial Lobby category as an exemplary case of continuing evolution of an historic site.
195 Broadway is well known for having housed a number of the city’s most prominent firms throughout the last century. Theodore N. Vail commissioned the building in 1913 as the headquarters for the American Telephone & Telegraph Company, better known as AT&T. His commission included multiple artworks on both the building’s façade and its interior, many of which became part of the cultural landscape of Manhattan’s financial district. Creamy marble, coffered ceilings, and ornate chandeliers also decorate 195 Broadway’s first floor space – all of which the restoration successfully accommodated.
SWA conducted plan reviews to guide the building towards ADA compliance within the restraints of an historic building. The team reviewed and made recommendations for an updated, accessible ground floor layout, and especially focused on ramp access and entryways. SWA ultimately provided key contributions to the project’s successful compliance with state and local accessibility laws and codes.
Luxury retail units are now interspersed amidst the building’s massive Doric columns. Importantly, much of the formerly dissociated interior has been opened and incorporated into the whole, thus encouraging exposure to and interaction with the surrounding community. At the outset of its second century, 195 Broadway is well prepared to amplify and prolong its Manhattan legacy.