21 West Street Building

21 West Street Building
  1. About the 21 West Street Building in New York
    1. Building Catalogations
  2. Architect and team
  3. Architectureal style
  4. Spaces and uses
  5. Structure and materials

The 21 West Street Building is an Art-deco skyscraper designed by Starrett & van Vleck and built between 1929 and 1931 in New York, NY.

Its precise street address is 21 West Street, New York, NY. You can also find it on the map here.

The 21 West Street Building is a structure of significant importance both for the city of New York and the United States as a nation. The building embodies the distinctive characteristic features of the time in which it was built and the Art Deco style. Because of that, the 21 West Street Building was officially declared as a national landmark on June 16th 1998.

Building's timeline

Construction begins
Construction completed
Declared NL
years ago

Architect and team

Starrett & van Vleck was the architecture firm in charge of the architectural design.

The firm was established in New York City in 1908.

Before moving to New York and partnering with van Vleck, Goldwin Starrett had worked at D. H. Burnham & Company in Chicago. Later he moved to New York and joined Thompson–Starrett, where he met Earnest Alan van Vleck, who was also working there.

They are known for their significant contributions to the architectural landscape and retail architecture of early 20th-century New York.

Over the years the firms brought in new partners, including Ernest Brooks, Frank Gaertner, Herbert M. Hathaway, Otto A. Johnson, Frank L. Kirby and Reginald E. Marsh. Regardless of these auditions, the firm didn’t change its name.

Van Vleck died in 1956, and although the firm remained active it dissolved shortly thereafter.

Architectural Style

The 21 West Street Building can be categorized as an Art-deco building.

The Art Deco movement flourished during the 1920s and 1930s, with many historians marking the outbreak of World War II as its final decline. Even though a couple of decades might not seem as much, the Art Deco movement had a great impact on architecture, and it's widely represented in many American cities due to the development boom that happened during that time.

Art Deco marked the abandonment of traditional historicism and the embracement of modern living and the age of the machine. In architecture, that meant leaving behind the ornaments of Beux-Arts and Neo-Gothic buildings and instead favoring simplicity and visual impact through geometric shapes, clean lines, and symmetrical designs. Ornaments were still an important part of the design, but they became bold and lavish, and were often inspired by ancient cultures or industrial imagery, instead of nature.

The 21 West Street Building was completed in 1931, right when the Art Deco movement was at its peak, so it kind of went with the trend at that time.

Spaces & Uses

The 21 West Street Building reaches an architectural height of 374ft (114m). It has a total of 31 floors.

The building sits on a 13,455 sqf (1,250m2) piece of land , and offers a total of 39,202 sqf (3,642m2) of usable space.

When it opened its doors to the public in 1931, the 21 West Street Building was primarily used as Commercial space. That however, is no longer the case, and today it mainly provides Residential space.

About the residences

The 21 West Street Building has a total of 293 residential units throughout its 31 floors. If you are interested in learning more about the residences and their availability, you can check the 21 West Street Building's website.

374ft (114m)

Materials & Structure

From an aesthetic point of view, the facade features red, orange, yellow and purple molded bricks to emphasize the structural lines and create some textural interest.


  • s-media.nyc.gov