4. 22-26 East 14th Street

Cast iron architecture at 22 26 East 14th Street in South Union Square
Courtesy of Village Preservation

Right next door to the Joseph J. Little Building is another cast-iron structure built for James McCreery. Completed in 1881, a couple of decades after his large dry goods store on Broadway, this structure was designed by the firm of brothers David & John Jardine. D & J Jardine was a prolific 19th-century firm. Today, their buildings are protected in five different historic districts, but this one on East 14th Street is their only individual landmark. The cast iron was manufactured by West Side Architectural Iron Works.

This building originally housed The Baumann Brothers Furniture and Carpets Store which claimed to be “the largest and most complete furnishing establishment in America.” It was in a prime location amidst Manhattan’s booming commercial district that centered around Union Square and The Ladies’ Mile. An amalgamation of Neoclassical, neo-Grec, and Queen Anne style elements give this cast-iron building a distinctive aesthetic character. The New York City Landmarks Commission called the facade, “one of the city’s most inventive, unusual, and ornamental.”