8. 240 Centre Street was once the New York City Police Headquarters

Old Police Headquarters at 240 Centre St Little Paris
The Old Police Headquarters, opened in 1909, presides regally over Centre Street.

Built from 1905-1909, 240 Centre Street served as the New York City Police Department’s headquarters until 1973. Before 240 Centre Street, the New York City Police Department was housed in an older nearby building on Mulberry Street, where future U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt served as the New York City Police Commissioner. After the consolidation of the five boroughs into the City of Greater New York, the police department needed a larger headquarters and made the move to 240 Centre a few years later. While serving as the police headquarters, the beautiful Beaux-arts style building included a gymnasium, circular radio room, and two basement levels. One level, in particular, had more than 30 6-by-10 foot steel mesh cells with snap-up bunks attached along the walls.

In 1973, New York City’s police headquarters moved one mile away to One Police Plaza, located on Park Row in Civic Center near City Hall and the Brooklyn Bridge. A few years later in 1988, 240 Centre was converted into a luxury coop building by Ehrenkranz Group & Eckstut. Known today as the Police Building Apartments, 240 Centre houses condos— some of which go for as much as $18 million. The building was designated a New York City landmark in 1978 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980.