6. 17 State Street – 1990

17 State Street designed by designed by Emery Roth and Sons

17 State Street, the curved glass building in the center of the photograph above, is just one of the many buildings designed by Emery Roth and Sons that can be seen from New York Habor. It’s also one of 17 Emery Roth and Sons buildings that were added to the Panorama of the City of New York inside the Queens Museum, a model of the city largely as it was during its last restoration in 1990.

Richard Roth III, Richard Roth Sr. and Richard Roth Jr.
The Three Richards: Richard Lee Roth, Richard Roth Sr., and Richard Roth Jr. standing behind the panorama models of Emery Roth and Sons buildings. Courtesy of the Roth Family Archives

17 State Street is another product of the relationship between Emery Roth and Sons and Melvyn Kaufman. While at first glance, it seems like 17 State Street doesn’t boast any Kaufman-esque whimsy, in 1988 New York Times architecture critic Paul Goldberger called it “in some ways the most daring building the Kaufmans have yet built in New York.”

The curved front of the building which faces the Battery follows the curve of State Street, allowing all floors a view over the park and to the water. Its flat sides make allow the structure to fit snuggly between the rectangular buildings it neighbors. A light beam that projects from a tiny tower on top of the building gives it the feeling of a sleek lighthouse – there’s the Kaufman touch.