Inside the Den at the Broad Street Ballroom

Sturgill Simpson

 

The Broad Street Ballroom is located in the heart of New York’s historic Financial District, and is part of Léman Manhattan Preparatory School. Originally designed as a bank in 1929 by Cross & Cross, brothers known as ” Old New York society’s architects,” the Broad Street Ballroom is revered as one of the most impressive buildings in Lower Manhattan. While the Classical Revival style facade presents a stately exterior, the interior features progressive art, including an 8-paneled ornamental frieze designed by Leo Friedlander and 30-foot bronze-capped columns encrusted with mosaics. The particular glory of the building is the 225-foot mural by Griffith Baily Coale titled “ A Pageantry of the History of Commerce by Sea,” depicting nautical vessels ranging from ancient galleys to ocean liners of the modern age. After several decades as a bank, the building lay dormant for more than 10 years. During the rebuilding of Lower Manhattan after 9/11, it was transformed into Léman Manhattan Preparatory School, the first non-secretarian private school below Canal Street. Today, Léman uses the ballroom as its performance and assembly space, and to bring artistic performances and events to the community.