Delancey & Essex Municipal Parking Garage, Lower East Side, NYC

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This mid-century garage is a prime example of what can be missed when looking at architecture without the full context. Built in 1967, the structure is located at 107 Essex Street, extends through the block to Ludlow Street, and is across from the famed WPA-era Essex Street Market. It is five stories and features a vertical slat system on the exterior.

However the most interesting fact is that it was built by the engineering firm of Singstad and Kehart and is one of only two buildings designed by them in Manhattan. Singstad was Ole Singstad, the famous tunnel engineer. During his career in New York he designed most of the city’s tunnels starting with his work on the ventilation system of the Holland Tunnel in 1920 and including leading design roles for the Lincoln Tunnel, Queens-Midtown Tunnel and Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel.

He started Singstad and Kehart in 1945 and was still active in the firm when this parking garage was built. He died two years later at the age of 87. The other building of record for the firm is the Battery Parking Garage at 70 Greenwich Street, which is also still extant. While they most likely built that garage in 1945 due to its proximity to the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel, it is unclear why they were responsible for the Essex Street garage. However, we can be assured it is undoubtably well-built!

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3 Responses to Delancey & Essex Municipal Parking Garage, Lower East Side, NYC

  1. Linda says:

    You do know that the facade of this building is to be replaced. The scaffolding is up. Here’s a link to a story about it:

    http://www.thelodownny.com/leslog/2011/07/essex-street-garage-is-getting-a-high-design-makeover.html

  2. Linda says:

    Here’s another link, with renderings. I believe the interior will be left as is. I’m not sure why they want to “pretty it up.” Maybe because of the coming large development Essex Crossing.

    http://ny.curbed.com/archives/2013/03/19/a_cool_parking_garage_yes_that_exists_is_coming_to_the_les.php

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