Gaston, Williams and Wigmore Building, 39 Broadway



Gaston, Williams and Wigmore


The Gaston, Williams and Wigmore Building was an impressive five-story neoclassical building erected in 1918 at 35-39 Broadway and demolished by 1926.

In the late 19th century and early 20th century, two five-story buildings occupied the site. The Holland-America Line occupied the ground floor at 39 Broadway until 1911 or later. The Hamburg-American Line occupied the 35-37 Broadway building. In 1905, the company bought the Aldrich Court Building at 45 Broadway (to the right in the photo above) and moved into its new headquarters.

About April 1918, the neoclassical building, designed by English architect Alfred Charles Bossom (1881-1965), was completed on the site at 35 to 39 Broadway, by Gaston, Williams & Wigmore for their own occupancy. The company's name was placed at the top of the building's facade. It had a frontage of 89.7 feet on Broadway and a depth of about 195 feet, running through the block to Trinity Place.

The Gaston, Williams & Wigmore, Inc. was incorporated in New York on October 10, 1914, to manage a large export business obtained by George A. Gaston from foreign governments shortly after the start of World War I. Gaston was the president of the company. The company was an exporter and importer of goods, including automobiles, machinery, chemicals, tobacco, coffee, hardware and electrical supplies. Later, the company entered the steamship field with a fleet of vessels and were part owners of the International S.S. Company. In May 1918, it was announced that Hornblower & Weeks had purchased a substantial amount of the holdings of William H. Williams and J.A. Wigmore, who retired from the business.

By August 1920, Harriman shipping interests, acquired the 39 Broadway building. W.A. Harriman was the head of the American Ship and Commerce Corporation. Harriman and his associates planed to take possession of the building after 60 days. Gaston, Williams & Wigmore moved to the Buckley-Newhall Building at 6th Avenue and 41st Street by October 1. At the time, 39 Broadway was also occupied by the Philippine National Bank, the Asia Banking Corporation, the Oriental Navigation Company and by the W. & J. Hoey and Wrenn Brothers.

In the early 1921, George A. Gaston retired as president of the Gaston, Williams and Wigmore company, replaced by H.S. Kimball, former president of the Remington Arms and Ammunition Company. Later, on March 16, the same year, an equity proceeding instituted against the firm Gaston, Williams and Wigmore resulted in the appointment of Benjamin B. Odell (1854–1926), former governor of New York, and Van Vechten Veeder. In October the same year, the stockholders of the Gaston, Williams and Wigmore company proposed the formation of a new company to be called Gaston & Co. George A. Gaston was the president of the new company and its headquarters was at 165 Broadway (now One Liberty Plaza).

The old neoclassic 39 Broadway Building was demolished about 1926 to make way for the Harriman Building (photo on the right), completed in 1928.

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The Gaston, Williams and Wigmore Building, at 35-39 Broadway in 1918. Photo by Wurts Bros. Source: Museum of the City of New York.


West side Broadway


Lower Broadway


39 Broadway



Harriman Building



Gaston, Williams and Wigmore Building, 39 Broadway


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