370 Jay Street, Downtown Brooklyn, NYC

This early modern office building has been in the news recently as the MTA looks to sell the decaying structure. While not striking on first glance, its dimensions and large windows do allow a significant amount of light to enter the building. It was built in 1950 and designed by William E. Haugaard and Andrew J. Thomas. Haugaard was at one point the New York State architect (which might explain this commission) and was known more for his 1920s and 1930s public buildings, such as armories, hospitals and courthouses, across the state. In fact, he died while this building was going up. Thomas is also remembered for his earlier work, including the landmarked Dunbar Apartments in Harlem and several historic complexes in Jackson Heights, Queens. A surprising pair for this building. The base of the structure is also notable for its covered subway entrance built within the building. The subway signage is particularly intriguing and looks like nothing else in the MTA system.

 

Special thanks to historian Francis Morrone for much of the background information.

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