New York City Historical Building Archives

It is quite common for a homeowner to be curious about a new building that they have acquired or plan to buy. Additionally, several people tend to research the building they are working or living in. Some people also often set off on a quest to gain knowledge about other buildings and monuments. The main areas of interest of such people are to find more information about the previous owners and more details about the history of the building. Here is a list of the main factors that such people are usually interested in.

Date of construction of the building

  • The initial owner of the building and more details about him.
  • List of subsequent owners if any.
  • What the building was initially built for.
  • The original state of the building and the changes made after that.
  • Changes in the immediate surroundings of the building
  • Name of the architect and details regarding the architecture of the building

Favorite Sources To Perform Research On Buildings:

There are many places which store information about homes in New York including the buildings and more. Here is a handy list of sites that one can use:

  • The New York Public Library is an excellent place to research the history of this kind. The library has a special section that contains plenty of information regarding the history of the city. This includes the buildings, streets, and more.
  • Digging up old newspapers from archives can provide valuable clues on what the happening events were at the time the building was constructed. Publications can give vital bits of information and help in putting the pieces together.
  • If there are any old scrapbooks or reference files associated with the building in question, it is a good idea to inspect them in detail.
  • The office of the USA Census office has many detailed records and statistics on many places in New York.
  • It may also be a good idea to consult the local county historian. This person is likely to have access to a great deal of information of New York Census.
  • To get a brief idea of the architecture style and trends at the time the building was constructed, it is possible to consult the Art and Architecture section of a library. For example, the New York Public Library has such a division.
  • One of the best placed to find plenty of information regarding the history of a building is the Tax Assessor’s office. Since this office needs to keep records for official purposes, they have lots of information. The information available here includes the current owner, building construction area, a list of past owners, the past and present uses of the building, material used in the construction of the building, record of building violations if any, any photographs associated with building and much more.
  • The maps and surveyors office is an excellent place to get hold of old maps and surveys. It is possible to trace back using information received from this office and put together the overall history of the building and its surroundings.
  • Besides this, several other public offices maintain old record like the building permit office, the county clerk’s office for deeds and more. The gas and electric company office too will have as many records as will the city archives and records center.


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