Our recent fun map about the farmhouse that moved from the Upper East Side to Greenwich Village reminded us of all the other buildings in NYC that were literally picked up and relocated. Here’s a list of 9 of these migrants and their stories!

9. The Empire Theater on 42nd Street

Empire AMC Theatre-Times Square-42nd Street-Interior-Thomas Lamb-NYC-034

The over-the-top sensory experience along 42nd Street that you experience today was actually part of a concerted renewal project, back when Times Square was known mostly for its seediness and vice. Forest City Ratner, now more well-known for its work at Atlantic Yards (now the rebranded “Pacific Park”), handled the redevelopment with architecture firm Beyer Blinder Belle. The whole Empire Theater (now an AMC) was lifted from its foundation and moved 168 feet westwards in 1997. The 3,700 ton structure, with a Thomas Lamb theater interior, was converted into the entrance way to a new retail complex. It’s hard to imagine that many of these theaters on 42nd Street had become so altered and dilapidated in their evolution from movie theater to grind houses, the original architectural details were only discovered upon renovation. See the historical remnants that can still be found inside the AMC Empire Theater today.  Find out more about the top 10 secrets of Times Square here.

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8 thoughts on “9 Historic Buildings That Have Been Moved in NYC

  1. Thanks for the wonderful roundup! There’s also Alexander Hamilton’s former Harlem homestead, the Hamilton Grange, now in its third location since a spectacular move in June 2008. The earlier move of the Empire Theatre in Times Square left behind a very interesting bit of the building’s history: it was built in 1912 as the Eltinge Theatre for renowned female impersonator Julian Eltinge. Step into the lobby and look up: the fresco of three muses represent three “drag” personas of the stage star.

    1. Great adds Eric, Stephanie and Fnu!
      I’ll be updating the piece next week with your suggestions!

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