Great Scot! The Designs of D. & J. Jardine
Today we thought we’d feature a few designs by the late 19th century architecture firm of D. & J. Jardine. A prolific firm in New York City in general, the work of D. & J. Jardine can also be found in five historic districts and at one individual landmark between Houston and 14th Streets.
Brothers David and John Jardine originally hailed from Scotland. David moved to New York in 1850 while John arrived during the American Civil War to design monitors and gunboats for the U.S. government. In 1865, the brothers formed a New York partnership that later expanded to include their younger brother George and Jay (Joseph) H. Van Norden. Noted as “one of the more prominent, prolific, and versatile architectural firms in the city during the second half of the 19th century” in this LPC architects appendix, D. & J. Jardine lasted until David’s death in 1892.
One of our favorite D. & J. Jardine designs is the former Baumann Brothers Furniture and Carpet Store at 22-26 East 14th Street (above), a designated New York City Landmark. Built in 1880-81, this cast-iron gem has remarkably held on to its great two-over-two windows (usually the first thing to be removed in a historic building). Earlier this year, the Landmarks Preservation Commission approved an application that includes the restoration of the facade, which you can see on our Landmarks Applications Webpage.
Another cast-iron beauty by D. & J. Jardine can be found at 734 Broadway in the NoHo Historic District. This building always seems to grab my attention; there’s just something about great old buildings in a run-down state that makes you want to root for their comeback one day.
Built in 1872-73 for G. & H. Rosenblatt, silk and ribbon importers, the building stands as one of four narrow structures “squished” between much taller loft buildings. It speaks to the earliest years of Broadway’s development from a residential to a commercial corridor.
Read more about the building in the designation report. Their work in this historic district also includes 678 Broadway and 439-441 Lafayette Street (they also designed 1, 3, and 5 Bleecker Street and 320-324 Bowery in the NoHo East Historic District).
Over in the Greenwich Village Historic District stands 99 Bank Street, which occupies a full city block. Built in 1890 as the Ross Building, it utilizes cast iron at the lower two floors. In 1968, it was converted to an apartment house known as The Left Bank (a year before the historic district was designated).
You can read more about this building and those it replaced in the designation report. Their work in this historic district also includes 385 Sixth Avenue, 345 West 4th Street, and 308 West 13th Street.
One of D. & J. Jardine’s earliest commissions can be found right around the corner from the GVSHP office. Nos. 106, 108, and 110 East 10th Street in the St. Mark’s Historic District was designed in the late Italianate style just two years after David and John formed their architecture practice.
You can read more about these buildings in the designation report.
The Jardine brothers also designed the two Neo-Grec style tenements at 233 and 235 East 5th Street in the East Village/Lower East Side Historic District. These were built c. 1876 and feature pronounced brownstone window and door frames. It’s unfortunate, but not uncommon, that historic details in the lintels have since been smoothed over.
You can read more about this building in the designation report. Their work in this historic district also includes 51 East 2nd Street.
The name “Jardine” may also remind our readers of the Van Tassel & Kearney Horse Auction Mart at 126-128 East 13th Street, designated a New York City Landmark in May 2012. After David’s death, John and George teamed up with William Kent to form Jardine, Kent & Jardine, the architects of this wonderful and unique East Village building.
Jardine, Kent & Jardine is also responsible for the designs of 10-12 Christopher Street and 161 Waverly Place in the Greenwich Village Historic District. A successor firm, Jardine, Kent & Hill designed 153 Waverly Place and 135 Christopher Street, also in this historic district.