New York in New York County, New York — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
Chamber of Commerce / Liberty Tower
65 Liberty St, James B. Baker, Architect, 1901 /
55 Liberty St, Henry Ives Cobb, Architect, 1910
—Exploring Lower Manhattan —
Chamber of Commerce
Even when it opened in 1901, 65 Liberty Street seemed like a tiny jewel among the towering behemoths of the financial district. The ornament-encrusted building served as the new headquarters of the New York State Chamber of Commerce, a venerable institution founded at Fraunces Tavern in 1768 (before the Revolution had made the Tavern famous).
Starting in Colonial times, the Chamber commissioned portraits of New York’s preeminent merchants and leaders, from sea captain Preserved Fish, to patriots George Washington and Alexander Hamilton, to the great 19th- and 20th-century titans of finance – eventually amassing the likenesses of some 200 worthies. The Chamber’s new quarters on Liberty Street were specially designed to accommodate this priceless collection, in a Great Hall measuring 90 feet by 6o feet, ringed in Honduras mahogany, and rising to a decoratively carved ceiling 38 feet overhead. The Chamber and the collection have moved on, but the building has been restored.
The 33-story Liberty Tower is one of the city’s earliest romantic skyscrapers, a Gothic-inspired, terra-cotta tower completed three years before the better known Gothic-inspired, terra-cotta Woolworth Building. Its promoters, typical of the race for fame of Lower Manhattan skyscrapers, claimed
Today Liberty Tower claims the distinction of being among the very first Lower Manhattan skyscrapers converted to residential use, anticipating a major 1990s trend by almost two decades.
Erected by The Alliance for Downtown New York, Inc.
Location. 40° 42.529′ N, 74° 0.591′ W. Marker is in New York, New York, in New York County. Marker is on Liberty Street, on the right when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is on Liberty Street, between Broadway and Liberty Place. Marker is in this post office area: New York NY 10005, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Liberty Tower (within shouting distance of this marker); Federal Reserve Bank of New York (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named Federal Reserve Bank of New York Double Check (within shouting distance of this marker); Equitable Building (within shouting distance of this marker); 28 Liberty (within shouting distance of this marker); 33 Liberty Street (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Broadway – Maiden Lane (about 400 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in New York.
More about this marker. The upper left of the marker contains a photo of The Great Hall of the Chamber of Commerce. Below this is an exterior view of the building and has a caption of “With a membership including three centuries worth of such brilliant minds as Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Edison – and financial movers and shakers like the Morgans, Astors, Vanderbuilts and Rockefellers – the Chamber of Commerce exerted enormous influence on the life of the city. Countless visionary public improvements promoted by the organization – among them the Erie Canal, the Atlantic cable, and the subway – helped transform New York from a colonial back-water to the world’s major modern metropolis.”
Regarding Chamber of Commerce / Liberty Tower. Both buildings are listed in the "AIA (American Institute of Architects) Guide to New York City, Fifth Edition".
Categories. • Notable Buildings •
Credits. This page was last revised on January 10, 2019. This page originally submitted on September 16, 2011, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 425 times since then and 10 times this year. Last updated on January 10, 2019, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on September 16, 2011, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. 5, 6. submitted on January 10, 2019, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.