New York Architecture Images-Soho

101 Spring Street Building


Nicholas Whyte


101 Spring Street 




Renaissance Revival


Cast Iron Facade


Shop Office Warehouse



The high-ceilinged ground floor and spacious upper stories of this building are characteristic of the large loft spaces that drew contemporary artists to Soho from the 1950s onwards. The simple boxy massing of the structure, its two facades of large glass panes supported by slender cast-iron elements, and its reduced geometric ornament foreshadow the pared-down metal and glass skyscrapers of the 20th century. Minimalist artist Donald Judd owned this building and once lived here.

When architect Nicholas Whyte designed 101 Spring Street in 1870, he created an elegant structure for a store and offices that was destined a century later to become the home and studio of a famous American artist, Donald Judd.

The five–story building on the northeast corner of Spring and Mercer Streets has a slender but sturdy exterior cast–iron frame which holds very large windows, with three bays across its Spring Street frontage, and ten bays along Mercer Street. The abundance of light provided illumination, first for the display of merchandise, and later, beginning in 1968, for Judd’s large minimalist sculptures. With his wife and two children, Judd occupied the spacious upper floors. His studio and workshop were on the lower levels along with an exhibit of his colorful large scale sculptures.

Visible day and night through the windows is a group of patterns created with colored florescent tubes by artist Dan Flavan. When Donald Judd died in 1994, the building became part of his estate, and plans are afoot to establish it as a museum for his large, austere sculptures.