28 Liberty (formerly One Chase Manhattan Plaza)

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. As the Financial District evolves into a 24-hour mixed-use neighborhood, SOM is returning 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 will activate the perimeter street frontage and public realm, breathing new life into this historic landmark.

In addition, restorative measures throughout the historic plaza will 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 will be 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.