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Guide to the Foundation Company Construction Photographs
 PR 336

New-York Historical Society
170 Central Park West
New York, NY 10024
Phone: (212) 873-3400

© 2011 New-York Historical Society

Collection processed by Joseph Ditta, August 2017

This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit on August 30, 2017 using Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Chicago Architectural Photographing Co.
Creator: Wurts Bros., photographer
Title: Foundation Company construction photographs
Dates: 1906–1911
Abstract: Five mounted photographs documenting building construction projects of the Foundation Company, headquartered at 115 Broadway, New York, N.Y.
Quantity: 1.66 Linear feet (1 box)
Call Phrase: PR 336

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Historical Note

The Foundation Company, headquartered in the early twentieth century at 115 Broadway (with branch offices in Chicago, New Orleans, and Montreal), specialized in constructing building foundations by “pneumatic caissons, open caissons, sheet-piling (either wood or steel), concrete piles, hollow steel pipe filled with concrete, wooden piles, cofferdams, and various other approved methods.” The roster of their projects in the 1913 issue of Sweet’s Catalogue of Building Construction, Architects and Builders Edition includes many prominent Manhattan structures, among them the Standard Oil Building (26 Broadway), Wall Street Exchange (43 Exchange Place), Western Union Building (Broadway and Dey Street), Municipal Building (1 Centre Street), U.S. Realty and Trinity Buildings (115 and 111 Broadway), and the Woolworth Building (233 Broadway). For more on the Foundation Company’s role in constructing the latter, see Gail Fenske,  The Skyscraper and the City: The Woolworth Building and the Making of Modern New York (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2008).

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Scope and Contents

The collection contains five mounted construction photographs. The locations of only two sites are positively identified: the Trinity Building (111 Broadway; see Folder 1) and the Woolworth Building’s engine room (233 Broadway; see Folder 4). Only two of the images bear photographer’s imprints on the reverse: Wurts Bros. of New York took the Woolworth Building engine room view (Folder 4), and the Chicago Architectural Photographing Co. took the unidentified view that possibly shows construction of the Chicago and Northwestern Terminal (now called Ogilvie Transportation Center) in Chicago (Folder 2). The Foundation Company worked on the Chicago and Northwestern Terminal for George A. Fuller Company, Builders, whose sign appears in the lower right corner of the photograph.


The five photographs are foldered chronologically in one box.

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Access Points

Subject Names

  • Chicago Architectural Photographing Co.
  • Wurts Bros., photographer

Subject Organizations

  • Foundation Company.

Subject Places

  • New York (N.Y.) -- Buildings, structures, etc. -- Photographs
  • Woolworth Building (New York, N.Y.)

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Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

Open to qualified researchers.

Photocopying undertaken by staff only. Limited to twenty exposures of stable, unbound material per day. (Researchers may not accrue unused copy amounts from previous days.)

Use Restrictions

Permission to reproduce any Print Room holdings through publication must be obtained from: Rights and Reproductions, The New-York Historical Society, 170 Central Park West, New York, NY 10024. Phone: (212) 873-3400 ext. 270. Fax: (212) 579-8794.

Preferred Citation

This collection should be cited as the Foundation Company Construction Photographs, PR 336, Department of Prints, Photographs, and Architectural Collections, The New-York Historical Society.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Katie Huxford, 2016. These photographs descended to the donor from her paternal grandfather, an Irish immigrant pipefitter, whom she believes worked for the Foundation Company or the George A. Fuller Company.

Processing Information

Processed by Archivist Joseph Ditta, August, 2017.

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Container List

Container 1     Title Date
Folder: 1 Trinity Building (111 Broadway, New York, N.Y.)
1906 August 11
Folder: 2 unidentified

Scope and Contents

Possibly Chicago and Northwestern Terminal (Chicago, Illinois). Imprint on verso for Chicago Architectural Photographing Co.

1909 January 9
Folder: 3 unidentified

Scope and Contents

Men posed around a building cornerstone dated MCMIX (1909).

Folder: 4 Woolworth Building (233 Broadway, New York, N.Y.) engine room

Scope and Contents

Imprint on verso for Wurts Bros. Architectural Photographers.

1911 May 6
Folder: 5 unidentified

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