By Carter B. Horsley
The 15-story building at 1
Wall Street Court was converted to 126 residential condominiums
An official individual city landmark, it was designed in neo-Renaissance-style
by Clinton & Russell and built in 1904 by the Century Realty
Company as a speculative office building.
The plan of the building is flatiron and it is tucked away in
one of Lower Manhattan's nicer crannies just a few feet south
of Wall Street.
According to the Landmarks Preservation Commission's February
13, 1996 designation report on the building "The design has
the tripartite arrangement of base-shaft-capital common to many
of New York's early skyscrapers, with a stone base, a midsection
faced in brick laid in bands of tan and buff shades, and a top
section richly ornamented with glazed terra cotta in shades of
green, cream, and russet, incorporating both classically derived
and abstract geometric motifs."
"The Beaver Building," the commission's report continued,
"is a notable example of the design solution for turn-of-the-century
New York skyscrapers in which each section of the tripartite scheme
is differentiated by color and materials. It is also a very early
example of the use of boldly polychromatic glazed terra cotta,
as well as a significant survivor of this period of terra cotta
development. Carved ornament depicting beavers, representing the
name of the building, is found over the Beaver Street entrance
and below the primary cornice of the base. The building was the
headquarters from 1904 until 1921 of the Munson Steamship Company,
a prominent shipping line active in the Cuban and South American
sugar and lumber trade; the company owned the building from 1919
to 1937. From 1931 to 1972, one of the building's primary tenants
was the New York Cocoa Exchange, the world's first and foremost
cocoa futures market."
Clinton & Russell was the architectural firm for numerous
important buildings in the city including the Astor Apartments
at 2141 Broadway, the Apthorp Apartments at 2201 Broadway, the
Langham Apartments at 135 Central Park West and the demolished
Astor Hotel in Times Square.
The Cocoa Exchange moved from
the Beaver Building to 127 John Street in 1972 and subsequently
merged with the New York Coffee & Sugar Exchange to form the
Coffee, Sugar and Cocoa Exchange in 1979.
After the Bowery Saving Bank disposed of the property in 1942,
it changed hands numerous times. Harry B. Helmsley was an owner
from 1951 to 1981 and in 1985 London & Leeds Realty Corporation
renovated the building and gave it a new address; 1 Wall Street
In 1994, Cocoa Partners LP, based in Cohasset, Massachusetts,
acquired the building and Cocoa Condominium Sales LLC was the
sponsor of the condominium conversion.
Colum McCartan was the designer for the renovation, which is highlighted
by its landscaped rooftop terrace and a lobby of rosewood, Venetian
plaster, chiseled Botticino marble slab walls, and an aluminum
Some studio apartments are as small as 340 square feet and some
three-bedroom apartments have 1,374 square feet.
The building has a 24-hour concierge and apartment ceilings range
in height from 9 to 11 feet.