The Edward Laing Stores/Bogardus Building. Image via Library of Congress
In researching about the many wonderful architectural remnants on display at Saving Place: 50 Years of NYC Landmarks, we came across the Edward Laing Stores, also known as the Bogardus Building. A single metal spandrel panel is on display in the exhibition, but the story behind what happened to this long-demolished building is one of the craziest we’ve heard here at Untapped Cities, including the fact that it was stolen, not once, but twice.
Image via Library of Congress
The Bogardus Building/Edward Laing Stores stood at the intersection of Washington and Murray Streets in the Washington Market area. The area, which was previously used as the fruit and vegetable market for the city, was laying fallow after the distribution center moved to Hunts Point in the Bronx. While some early plans involved keeping the area for industrial or commercial use, Washington Market would be turned into a residential and educational area through a project of urban renewal.
Larger blocks were formed and Washington Street was discontinued below Haight Street. If you look on a map today, you’ll see that the former Washington Street goes through such Tribeca institutions as Borough of Manhattan Community College, PS 234, and Whole Foods/Barnes & Noble. Nearby, Radio Row was also being demolished for urban renewal, to prepare for the future World Trade Center.