Landmarked Chinatown Warehouse at 80 White Street Set to Become Offices, Apartment

80 White Street in September 2014, image via Google Maps80 White Street in September 2014, image via Google Maps

A 150-year-old landmarked warehouse at 80 White Street in Chinatown is about to become offices, retail, and one apartment.

Alteration plans were filed with the Department of Buildings yesterday to convert the six-story loft building between Broadway and Lafayette Street. Construction tool manufacturing company General Tools has occupied the building for decades, and the firm’s former chairman, Gerald Weinstein, has owned the property for at least 40 years. Tax photos from the 70s show the firm’s name emblazoned above the cast iron columns on the ground floor.

Now the manufacturer is moving out of the building, restoring the facade, and renovating the interior. The first floor will become retail, the second floor a gallery, and offices will occupy floors three through five. The Schedule A calls for an apartment on the top floor, but the plans don’t include any residential square footage.

80 White Street renovation plan, image by FSI Architecture via LPC

80 White Street renovation plan, image by FSI Architecture via LPC

The 85-foot-tall structure sits just inside the Tribeca East Historic District, and FSI Architecture presented renovation plans to the Landmarks Preservation Commission in August. They got approval to replace the windows, install a lift, and revamp the first floor back into a retail space that would match historic photos.

The 32,000-square-foot building was originally constructed in 1867 for a carpet dealer, according to the LPC’s designation report. Prolific German architect Henry Engelbert designed it in a style that mixes Neo-Grec and Italianate architecture. The upper floors are clad in marble and lit with tall, arched windows. While the building may have had more cast iron elements in the past, the fluted columns that frame the first floor and a loading bay are the only cast iron pieces left.

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