Macy’s Distinctive 19th Century Mansard Roof Vanishes From Fulton Street — Temporarily


A recent walk down Fulton Mall revealed the iconic green mansard roof of the Downtown Brooklyn Macy’s building at 418 Fulton Street has disappeared.

Built in the 1870s, the cast-iron Second Empire-style building is being integrated into a glassy, modern 10-story office tower that will rise above it as part of a $279 million redevelopment of Macy’s by developer Tishman Speyer. The removal of the historic cast-iron facade is temporary, a spokesman for the developer told Brownstoner.

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“Tishman Speyer is in the process of restoring the cast-iron facade,” he said. “Tishman Speyer and its restoration consultants have temporarily removed the original cast-iron components, which are now being repaired, restored and reconstructed as necessary. Once completed, the entire cast-iron facade will be returned and fully reassembled.”

A peek inside the construction site shows part of the building still standing, including interior columns.

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The building in 2016

The cast-iron building was constructed by Andrew Wheeler before it was purchased, and significantly remodeled, by Abraham & Weschler (eventually becoming Abraham & Strauss) in 1881. The Art Deco addition at 422 Fulton was constructed in 1929-1930, designed by Starrett & Van Vlecht. The combined buildings became Macy’s Downtown Brooklyn store in the 1990s.

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Macy’s will continue to operate out of the lower level and first four floors of the two original buildings — the 1870s Second Empire and the 1930 Art Deco, Tishman Speyer said in April. Renderings show the historic green facade in place, with a setback tower.

The project is being designed by Joey Shimoda of Los Angeles-based Shimoda Design Group along with Perkins Eastman, a global firm known for apartment towers and hotels.

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An 1885 tradecard image for Weschler & Abraham. Image via Brookyn Museum

The forthcoming office tower has been dubbed The Wheeler in honor of the 19th century developer. A website for the development describes the building as “built on a 19th century icon.”

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Rendering via Tishman Speyer

[Photos by Susan De Vries]

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