The Argonaut Building
224 West 57th Street
New York, NY
The Argonaut was designed by Francis H. Kimball and opened in 1909 as two separate buildings that served as repair and showroom facilities for the Peerless Motor Car Company and A. T. Demarest & Company. The neo-Gothic facade was built to complement the 1905 Broadway Tabernacle (designed by Barney & Chapman) that stood just to the south on the northeast corner of 56th Street and Broadway and was demolished in the late 1960s. By 1919, the buildings had been purchased by General Motors and combined in an alteration designed by J.V. Phelan. General Motors moved to a larger building across the street in 1927 but kept their old building, renaming it the Argonaut after their real estate holding company. (reference)
In early 2008, M1 Real Estate, a Monaco-based developer, signed a 99-year lease on the building and began a renovation. The departure of the Duane Reade drugstore on the first floor permitted removal of the suspended ceiling, revealing some lovely (but severly damaged) detailing that appears to date from the building's more majestic days as a purveyor of fine automobiles and carriages.