New York Design Center Celebrates 95 Years
Talk about venerable history: It’s coming up on the New York Design Center’s centennial! Ninety-five years in business, to be precise. Built in the heart of Manhattan in 1926 as the New York Furniture Exchange, 200 Lex (as in, Lexington Avenue) is the country’s oldest furniture and design building. The historic 16-story, 500,000-square-foot building was designed by Ely Jacques Kahn, the prominent architect of numerous 20th-century skyscrapers. Originally, the store was available only to furniture and department store buyers, but it began to shift focus toward interior design and architecture in the late 1970s. In 1981, it became the NYDC. Today, members of the trade can browse 100 showrooms across genres (including antiques on floor 10), from Sossego’s modern Brazilian designs to work by Australian brand Harbour Outdoor; Dune’s edgy and avant-garde furniture to Benjamin Moore & Co. paint; Keilhauer, Levine Contract Furniture Group, and KI’s commercial offerings to textiles by the likes of Rosemary Hallgarten and Lee Jofa. The center also welcomes consumers through tours and its Access to Design program.