Assay Office Building, Wall Street in 1913


The old Assay Office Building, 32 Wall Street, Manhattan, Built in 1824. It was the oldest Federal building standing in Manhattan when this photo was taken June 13, 1913.

It was designed and built by Martin E. Thompson (1786–1877), one of the founding members of the National Academy of Design, who also designed the original Merchants' Exchange, completed in 1827.

Assay Office Building was of white marble, from the quarries of Westchester, with a front of 60 feet and about 70 feet deep. Besides the banking-room, which was thirty feet in height, and surrounded with a gallery, there were apartments for the accommodation of directors and stockholders, with others occupied as a loan-office.

The corner stone was laid in the spring of 1822 and it was completed in 1824 as the New York branch of the Bank of the United States. It opened for business on April 14. After President Andrew Jackson abolished the Bank, the building functioned as the U.S. Assay Office from 1853 until 1912.

In 1915, the façade of the building was saved from destruction by I. N. Phelps Stokes, who paid to have it dismantled and stored at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It was re-erected in 1924 as part of the façade of the museum's American Wing (source: NYC / Frank Cousins Collection).


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Assay Office Building, Wall Street in 1913




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