For this Urban Media Archeology project, I decided to investigate the architecture of a handful of media publishers in New York City. I am intrigued by how architecture can mediate a corporate image, not only by its style but also its location. In examining different buildings and locations from the mid-nineteenth century through the present day, I hope to try and understand the choices that newspaper and media companies have made in selecting the structures and places to house their operations and employees in New York City. Some of these media companies attempt to make a public statement about their prowess and dominance through special commissioned buildings, as was the case for most of the older newspaper companies located on Park Row in the 19th century, such as the New York Times, the New York Tribune, New York World, and the New York Herald. Even today we can still see the trend of media publishers building their own buildings in New York City as a way of advertising their preeminence and establishing themselves as an integral part of the city’s cultural fabric.
Much is said through the medium of architecture, particularly when it comes to the buildings in which media publishers reside. In this project, I invite you to begin with the New York Times, as it has one of the longest and most compelling architectural histories of all the media publishers in the city. After, it is interesting to look at some of the New York Times’s competitors in the 19th century on Park Row, from the New York Tribune to the New York World as a way of visualizing the vertical competition that took place along that famous street. After, take a look at the New York Herald, which was one of the first buildings to move northward to mid-town at the end of the 19th century, a trend that the New York Times followed at the turn of the 20th century, as well as the Hearst Corporation a few decades later. In order to understand the context of the buildings that once resided at Printing House Square, take a look at the information on Park Row, to see how it changed over the course of the 19th century. Then, let’s shift gears and discover a completely different type of publication, the Wall Street Journal, which had its humble beginnings downtown on Broad Street, but never actually constructed its own commissioned building, even today, when it has one of the largest newspaper circulations in the country. Lastly, this project briefly includes the Hearst Corporation building, always located in midtown since 1928, with a new modern addition added in 2006on top of the original building.