This no-nonsense iron-front warehouse with large windows and minimal decoration was converted into residential lofts by the 1980s. Its iron elements were cast by the big Cornell iron foundry located alongside the Hudson River at West 26th Street. The Cornell family firm began producing iron safes and ornamental iron works—stairs, fences, gates, and even iron beds—at 141 Centre Street in 1828. It expanded to larger quarters along the river in 1859 to produce large castings for engineering and architectural purposes. The firm is still in operation today, manufacturing aluminum grilles and rolling steel doors.
Noteworthy buildings produced by the Cornells include the former Stern Brothers department store at 32 West 23rd Street, the beautiful lacy balconies of the Chelsea Hotel at 222 West 23rd Street, and the A. T. Stewart store on Broadway at 10th Street (later Wanamaker’s, since demolished). In the post- Civil War era, the Cornells also built miles of elevated tracks for steam-powered railroads.
Directions: Walk south on Mercer Street to the northeast corner of Mercer and Spring Streets.