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Financial District's Excelsior Power Company Building Gets Landmark Status

By Irene Plagianos | December 13, 2016 3:46pm
 The site of one of the city's first power plants, the Excelsior Power Company,  is now a landmark.
The site of one of the city's first power plants, the Excelsior Power Company, is now a landmark.
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Landmarks Preservation Commission/Museum of the City of New York

FINANCIAL DISTRICT — A Downtown building that once housed one of the city's first power plants is now a landmark.

The Excelsior Power Company building, at 33-43 Gold St., was designated a landmark Tuesday by the Landmarks Preservation Commission.

According to the LPC, the building dates back to the 1880s — "the pioneering decade for electric light and power in New York City and the United States."

The Romanesque revival building, designed by architect William Grinnell, has a red brick exterior that has ornamental terra cotta detailing — including an existing sign that reads Excelsior Power Co. BLDG A.D. 1888.

Nine other city structures were also designated landmarks Tuesday, including Fifth Avenue's Bergdorf Goodman building and the Loews 175th Street Theatre, on Broadway.

The buildings were among 95 sites that had been backlogged for upwards of 50 years, waiting for some kind of decision on their city landmark status.

The LPC said that by landmarking a total of 10 sites Tuesday, they had officially made it through the entire list of waylaid buildings.

“I am thrilled that through this ambitious and unprecedented effort, we have granted full landmark protection to 27 outstanding properties, and cut through a 50-year backlog in a matter of 18 months,” said Commission Chair Meenakshi Srinivasan in a statement. 

“We’re very proud that the designated properties are from all five boroughs and represent a diverse array of building typologies, including early residences, institutional buildings, churches, a theater — even an iconic sign."