1908 – Singer Building, 149 Broadway, New York

Architect: Ernest Flagg


The Singer Building in lower Manhattan was completed in 1908 and served as the headquarters of the Singer Manufacturing Company. The architect Ernest Flagg believed that buildings more than 10 or 15 stories high should be set back from the street, with the tower occupying only a quarter of the lot – many of his ideas for setbacks in tall buildings were incorporated in the zoning regulations in New York. The 12-story base of the building filled an entire blockfront, while the tower above was relatively narrow – 65 feet wide per side.. At 612 feet, the Singer Building was the tallest office building in the world from its completion in 1908 until the completion in 1909 of the 700-foot Metropolitan Life Insurance Company Tower. It was demolished in 1968 – the tallest building to date, outside of the World Trade Centre, demolished for replacement.