Knickerbocker Press Building
Backstory and Context
Built in 1892, by J. Bishop Putnam of G.P. Putnam’s Sons, one of America’s leading publishers of the time, the Dutch Colonial Revival style building was a home for publishing for nearly 50 years. Now, it serves as a space for lofts, offices, and apartments.
The building was named after Diedrich Knickerbocker, the comic narrator of Washington Irving’s A History of New York. George Palmer Putnam, along with being the publisher for Washington, was also a friend.
The name of the building is written across the roof. It’s stepped gables pay homage to the Dutch heritage that Irving often satirized in his stories. From the completion of the building to 1914, various additions were made, including additional wings and buildings; one of the final additions made was the “stylistically incongruous Italianate tower” which is centered on the front wall of the main building.
The Putnam family sold G.P. Putnam’s Sons in 1931. Shortly after, the new owners would shut down publishing within the building.
By 1934, the American White Cross Company, which made bandages and other medical supplies, would take most of the complex over until 1995. In 1984, one of the side buildings was sold and converted into a set of artists’ studios called the Media Loft.
In recent years, the main building has been remodeled for lofts, offices, and apartments. Many details from the old factory remain, including the high ceilings, large windows, and the writing of “The Knickerbocker Press” across the roof.
The Knickerbocker Press was added to the National Registers of Historic Places in 2000.
Brenner, Elsa. "Lofts With Stories to Tell." New York Times September 23rd 2007. .
Knickerbocker Lofts, New Rochelle, NY, westchestermagazine.com. Accessed April 15th 2020. https://westchestermagazine.com/life-style/knickerbocker-lofts-new-rochelle-ny/.
Williams, Gray. Picturing Our Past: National Register Sites in Westchester County. Elmsford, NY. Westchester County Historical Society, 2003.
Westchester County Historical Society. Photo by Gray Williams.