28 Liberty – Adaptive Reuse

(formerly One Chase Manhattan Plaza)

28 Liberty
28 Liberty
28 Liberty

Project Facts
  • Completion Year 2018
  • Size Building Gross Area: 308,900 square feet
  • Landmark Status New York City Individual Landmark
  • Year Originally Built 1961
Project Facts
  • Completion Year 2018
  • Size Building Gross Area: 308,900 square feet
  • Landmark Status New York City Individual Landmark
  • Year Originally Built 1961

In 1961, SOM’s One Chase Manhattan Plaza revitalized the urban landscape of Lower Manhattan with the introduction of the first International Style building in the area. In The New York Times, architecture critic Ada Louise Huxtable wrote that “it carries the double promise of corporate efficiency and a more enduring value: significant civic beauty.”

Fifty years later, this iconic tower and plaza—which received landmark designation in 2009—are under new ownership and ready to play a role in Lower Manhattan’s second renaissance. With the Financial District having evolved into a 24-hour mixed-use neighborhood, SOM returned to the project—now renamed 28 Liberty—to adaptively reuse over 200,000 square feet of former banking area below the plaza for retail, as well as reposition the tower for new office tenancy. New glass pavilion entrances and glass storefronts to the retail space from grade level activate the perimeter street frontage and public realm, breathing new life into this historic landmark.

In addition, restorative measures throughout the historic plaza realign the design with its original intent. SOM worked closely with the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission, preservation groups, and community members throughout the project. As a result, important historic elements such as the parapet surrounding the plaza, public art within the plaza, and amenities such as benches and planters have been restored, not only preserving this landmark for the future, but also reinvigorating the 2.5-acre plaza and supporting the site’s transformation into a vibrant community space.