While Untapped Cities has an office in Brooklyn, in the 1000 Dean building that is also home to Berg’n Beer Hall, we also use lounge offices from Regus which has many office spaces throughout New York City (and the world). We pop in when we need to, if we’re reporting on an event and need to post up somewhere to get the story out. It’s quieter and much more affordable than WeWork, though less millennial friendly. So recently, we were at Hudson Yards and decided to head to the Regus office in the Paramount Building at 1501 Broadway in Times Square. We know this building historically, for its past as a theater and headquarters for the movie studio, and also from a story we did about the clocktower and globe atop the building. But nothing quite prepared us for the fake New York City literally inside this building.
And we’ve seen some weird and unique office buildings. There was the office of Break Through Radio, designed to look like a small town. There is 77 Water Street, which has a plane and fake runway on the roof, and a Wild Wild West candy store on the ground floor. There is the amazing subway paraphernalia inside the Google office. There was even the original opulent office of Frank Woolworth, tucked inside a very ordinary looking floor in the Woolworth Building.
But as we got lost through the maze of Regus on the 12th floor in the Paramount Building, we came across this type of tableau, built into the light wells of the building. The interior of these courtyards, replete with fake foliage, is not accessible to the public. But each office that faces into the light well has a unique architectural facade.
The facades seem to borrow from all architectural genres. A Greek-style pediment has the words “ESTABLISHED 1869.” Another seems to have Egyptian influence. Several are in “brick” others in “stone.” Atop many of these buildings is a water tower, and encircling all four sides is a skyline of a city. It’s a mishmash collage of buildings, the only one we recognized at quick glance being Worldwide Plaza in Hells Kitchen.
The Paramount Building was finished in 1927, with its distinctive globe and clocktower as a marketing tool to proclaim the dominance of the motion picture company. The 33-story building, designed by architects Rapp & Rapp has the classic setback style that emerged as a result of the 1916 New York City Zoning Ordinance. The northern part of the building only goes up 12 stories however, and if you view the building on Google Maps, you will the series of angled additions that let in light to these areas. The exterior offices in this portion of the building don’t have windows, so it’s the interior offices that face into the courtyard that have natural light.
This weekend, catch a tour of Remnants of Gritty Old Times Square with us!