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NYC - East Village: De Vinne Press Building | by wallyg
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NYC - East Village: De Vinne Press Building

The De Vinne Press Building, at 393-399 Lafayette Street, was designed by Babb, Cook and Willard from 1885-1886, with an addition added from 1890-1892.


Theodore Low De Vinne, an American Printer and scholarly author on typography, was one of the nine founders of the Grolier Club. In 1849, he established Francis Hart, renamed Theodore L. Devinne & Co in 1883, which was responsible for printing many major magazines including The Century and Scribner's Monthly.


His Romanesque Revival printing house is a masterpiece of 19th-century commercial architecture. More technically, the warehouse is in the Rundbogenstil (German round arched neo-Romanesque) style. And its brickwork is among the most sophisticated works of masonry in New York. Architectural highlights include a sophisticated fenestration pattern, subtle terra-cotta detail, and strapwork quoining at the corners. The focus of the front elevation is a trio of three -story arches with deeply recessed window frames, accenting the massive quality of the walls.


After De Vinne passed in 1914, President James Bothwell announced the press would cease operations in 1922. The building became a metalwork factory. Edwin Fisher, who started a chain of 24 liquor stores in New Jersey after World War II, and purchased what is now Astor Place Wines and Spirits in 1960, purchased the De Vinne building in 1982 as a hedge against losing his lease on that store. He ran the building as a real estate investment, which is son now operates.


The De Vinne Press Building was designated a landmark by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission in 1966. It sits within the NoHo Historic District, designated as such by the NYCLPC in 2000.


National Historic Register # 77000955 (1977)


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Taken on May 13, 2007