Equitable Life Building (Manhattan)
|Equitable Life Assurance Building|
New York City
|Completed||May 1, 1870|
|Destroyed||January 9, 1912|
|Roof||40 m (130 ft)|
|Design and construction|
|Architect||Arthur Gilman |
Edward H. Kendall
|Structural engineer||George B. Post|
The Equitable Life Assurance Building, also known as the Equitable Life Building, was the headquarters of The Equitable Life Assurance Society of the United States. Construction was completed on May 1, 1870, at 120 Broadway in Manhattan, New York City, and under the leadership of Henry Baldwin Hyde was the first office building to feature passenger elevators. At a record 130 feet (40 m), it is considered by some as the world's first skyscraper. The architects were Arthur Gilman and Edward H. Kendall, with George B. Post as a consulting engineer; hydraulic elevators made by the Otis Elevator Company.
The building, described as fireproof, was destroyed by a massive fire on January 9, 1912. Extremely cold weather caused the water from the fire trucks to freeze on the building. Six people died.
The present Equitable Building was completed in 1915 on the same plot, and was designed by Ernest R. Graham & Associates. The massive bulk of the newer building was a major impetus behind the city's 1916 Zoning Resolution.
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