Collection ID: 10535236

Collection context


Livingston, Edward
2 manuscript boxes
English .


Scope and Content:

The archive consists of 250 + letters, drawings, invoices, leases, mortgages, bonds, and deeds related to the 516 Broadway, New York, NY, which was owned then by Edward Livingston and his partner. The bulk of the material consists of correspondence from the architects, Hugh Lamb and Charles Rich, who were hired to convert a portion of the building into stores. They worked with Cornell Iron Works, Otis Elevator etc. and approved all work and payment of bills.

Biographical / Historical:

The archive of over 250 letters, drawings, invoices, leases, mortgages, bonds, and deeds related to 516 Broadway, New York, NY, documents the legal and financial transactions as well as building alterations administered by owner Edward Livingston and his partner C.L. Perkins. The six-story loft building at 514 and 516 Broadway, extending through the block to 60 and 62 Crosby Street, together with the adjoining six-story loft building at 64 and 66 Crosby Street was built on the site of the burned out Theatre Comique in 1881. Livingston, who already owned the neighboring property before acquiring 516 Broadway, was responsible for hiring architects Hugh Lamb and Charles Rich to convert a portion of the building into stores. Additionally, Livingston employed famed Otis Elevator Company to equip a passenger elevator in an already existing framed shaft.

In 1886, misfortune struck in the form of a devastating fire to the so-called "fire-proof" building. The fire destroyed the Otis Elevator, burned out the three upper floors, and flooded the entire building. The Otis Elevator Company was rehired to replace the damaged lift, however, only two years later another fire destroyed much of the building's interior. Despite the many setbacks, the six-story granite, brick-fronted building still stands to this day.

Acquisition information:
Method of acquisition--Purchased, 2013.010.
Rules or conventions:
Describing Archives: A Content Standard



This collection is available for use by appointment in the Department of Drawings & Archives, Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library, Columbia University. For further information and to make an appointment, please email

300 Avery Hall
1172 Amsterdam Avenue M.C. 0301
New York, NY 10027, United States
212) 854-6199