This is the first of three paintings that document the construction of 85 Broad Street, the home of financial investment firm Goldman Sachs & Company. Built across the street from the Fraunces Tavern Block Historic District, the building was made possible by the sale of the block's air rights.
The archaeological excavation that was required before the foundation could be laid uncovered remnants of New Amsterdam's government. Because of the significance of these finding, 85 Broad was set back farther from the street than originally planned. The archaeological remains can be seen a the plaza adjacent to the building on the Pearl Street side.
Dig at Broad and Pearl St
I had been working from a parking lot across from Fraunces Tavern on Pearl St. One day a young man approached me and said that George Doty from Goldman Sachs would like to have me come to his office. He had heard about my work, and I went there after I was done for the day.
The parking lot was about to become an archaeological excavation, and my intent was to let this painting record that. George Doty, however, wanted me to sell it to his organization. I told him that we had decided to keep important paintings for our family, and that this was to become one of the few we decided never to sell. Well he said, "tell them that I want you to paint a series of the building going up, and that not having it begin with the excavation, would be like buying a book without it’s first chapter. Go home, discuss it with your family, and let me know as soon as you can." Over dinner that night we decided that we would not pass up this opportunity...a series for GOLDMAN SACHS!!! It was fascinating work. I watched the archaeologists working during the first painting, The construction people working during the second one and the third one was of the partners and the partly finished work. But what was a huge gift was the friendship of the woman who was the head of the Dig, Nan Rothschild, who later introduced me to Seymour Durst. He loved and understood New York City's building world, and during this, and other paintings, he was always there to give me advice.