The Argonaut Building

224 W 57, at Broadway.

Aaron T. Demarest, born 1841 in Nyack, became an important carriage-maker in NYC. Around 1902 his firm began to build luxury car bodies, too. In 1908 he was poisoned by eating tainted clams and died quite badly. His company survived and the next year hired Francis Kimball to design a new HQ for them. Kimball also designed a sister building next door, a show room for Peerless Motor Co, headquartered in Cleveland. Peerless counted Cornelius Vanderbilt and J. D. Rockefeller among its customers. In 1911 Peerless became the first car company to have electric lights inside. In 1918 the newly formed GM bought both the Demarest and the Peerless buildings on 57th and Broadway, combined them, and named the structure the Argonaut Building. Ted Soros’ Open Society Foundations has offices there now.

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