DAB Investments completes historic restoration and conversion at 51 White Street in Tribeca, Manhattan


DAB Investments recently completed a top-down restoration and remodeling of a condominium at 51 White Street, a cast iron building from the 1850s in Manhattan’s Tribeca Historic District. The work included a commercial / residential conversion, extensive facade renovation, a new mezzanine floor and a two-story extension above the fifth floor.

The building was originally built in 1858 and served as a commercial property for textile dealers and dry goods suppliers. The well-preserved facade has an Italian style and was originally clad in white Takahoe marble with elaborate window hoods, window sills and a cast-iron shop window front with dark gray columns. In the 1920s the marble facade was coated with fire retardant cement, fire escapes were installed and all cast iron pillars were clad with concrete blocks, effectively erasing the unique character of the building.

To restore the building to its historical state, the work included the removal of all non-original fire escapes, the repair of holes and imperfections in the facade below, and the restoration of the cast iron pillars and window openings throughout the building.

Restored cast iron pillars and facade at 51 White Street

View of the intestinal rehabilitation of Dab Investment at White Street 51-53 during the construction phase

View of the intestinal rehabilitation of Dab Investment at 51 White Street during the construction phase

The original building was 24,000 square meters, spread over five floors. Today the property covers approximately 31,300 square feet and rises seven stories above the ground. The expanded areas include a 2,700-square-foot mezzanine between the first and second floors and a 5,000-square-foot extension that creates a new sixth and seventh floor above the original roof. To facilitate the natural flow of light into the building, the planning team added seven new window openings to the rear of the building. The west facade, hidden behind 49 White Street, has 24 new lot windows.

The building houses seven loft residences, all of which have four bedrooms, exposed brick walls, cast iron columns, wooden beams and underfloor heating. A triplex unit at the summit offers 360 degree views of the neighborhood and three recessed terraces. The entire penthouse volume and the associated terraces are hidden from the street level.

Amenities include a fitness center, infrared sauna, private massage room, steam room with chromotherapy and aromatherapy technology, and private storage rooms for each unit.

Show apartment at 51-53 White Street

Show apartment at 51 White Street

Show apartment at 51-53 White Street

Show apartment at 51 White Street

Private terrace at 51-53 White Street

Private terrace at 51 White Street

Model bathroom at 51-53 White Street

Model bathroom at 51 White Street

Fitness center at 51-53 White Street

Fitness Center at 51 White Street

Before construction began, DAB Investments took part in an arduous two-year Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP) in order to obtain joint permits. Given the location of the building in one of the most architecturally significant historic districts of New York City, the developer also obtained permits from the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC). The LPC unanimously approved the team’s proposed scope of work.

In return for the LPC approvals, DAB Investments has promised to keep the historic facade in perfect condition forever.

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