Office for Metropolitan History
Specialists in the Architectural History of New York City
Document Recovery
The Office for Metropolitan History locates historic photographs, original architectural, structural and mechanical drawings, and data on use and occupancy.
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Detail, 1924 floor plan of Park Avenue apartment house, showing piping, chases, partitions and other details.
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Detail, 1899 photograph of lost iron and glass marquee on east side townhouse, to permit restoration.
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Detail, 1921 elevation drawing of midtown office building, showing missing weather vane.
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Detail, 1941 photograph of commercial building documenting disputed signage.

The Office for Metropolitan History maintains a collection of 40,000 4x5 film negatives, 18,000 photographs, and 8,000 architectural drawings, many of which date back to the late 19th century. In the normal course of business, we have independently humidified, conserved, repaired and protected about 9,000 vintage blueprints, renderings and other architectural drawings.

In September 2001, the Office for Metropolitan History was the firm called by the New York City Department of Design and Construction to locate architectural records for the nine buildings damaged in the World Trade Center collapse that were considered in danger of falling or where people were thought to be trapped. We located original drawings for seven buildings within 36 hours.

Contact Information:

Sam Hightower, Director

Office for Metropolitan History
Broadway Studio Building
246 West 80th Street, #8
New York, NY 10024

voice: 212-799-0520

Note: If we do not pick up during business hours, we are out locating drawings and will get back to you within 24 hours without fail.