I had noticed this building pre-9/11, and wondered about it. It was black with soot, but there was something of interest there. It is The Corbin Building, by Francis Kimball, considered one of New York City’s first skyscrapers, although it is only eight stories high! Now the exterior has been lovingly restored as part of the rebuilding, and improvement, of the hideous Fulton Street subway stop. (Many a wretched hour I have spent at that stop, trekking futilely from hall, to stair, to platform, in search of the proper train. So far, I have seen a vast improvement.)
The restored building will include the pyramidal towers seen in this old photo, which have been missing for decades. The restoration brings to light the beautiful tones of the cleaned stone, which contrast with the ornate, Moorish terracotta designs, and the Victorian cast-iron relief of the bay windows.