FINANCIAL DISTRICT — The 51-story glass and aluminum skyscraper at 140 Broadway — perhaps best known as the soaring, black Financial District tower with the massive red cube sculpture at its base — is now a New York City landmark.
The Landmarks Preservation Commission unanimously voted Tuesday to grant the minimalist 1968 office building landmark status.
“As simple as this building is, it retains a commanding presence in the Financial District,” Robert Tierney, the chairman of the LPC, said in a statement. “It’s a highly important work not only for its form and materials, but also for its sensitivity to the surrounding architectural context.”
The building, made from matte-black aluminum and bronze-tinted glass, was designed to sit in a large plaza, to promote the construction of office buildings with greater floor area and create expansive public space, according to the LPC.
The 28-foot “Cube” sculpture by Isamu Noguchi, an acclaimed Japanese-American artist with a namesake museum in Long Island City, was installed in the Broadway plaza, near the corner of Liberty Street, the same year the building opened.
According to the LPC, the iconic cube is not actually a cube, but rather a rhombohedron — a cube with elongated sides. It’s also not technically red — the sculpture’s color is vermilion, which falls between red and orange.
The tower, designed by Skidmore Owings & Merril, one of the leading architectural firms in the country after World War II, was commissioned by some of the city's most powerful real estate tycoons, Harry Helmsley and Lawrence Wien.
It's currently owned by the Ownership Union Investment Real Estate GmbH, a German-based investment firm and developer.
The building's original tenants included a host of financial services firms, including the Marine Midland Grace Trust Company.