The above building, which is situated in the upper part of this city, and has been erected by the American Bible Society from the want of sufficient accommodation in their present abode, is the largest edifice that New York contains. Its area is about three-fourths of an acre, and the shape of the building is irregular, with irregular sides, having been planned of a corresponding figure to that of the ground on which it is situated. The height of the building, from the sidewalk, is over seventy feet, and it is divided into six stories, the different departments of work being so arranged that the process of manufacture commences in the upper part of the building, and the books descend by a progressive movement from one department to another, as they approach completion, until received, as completed work, in the Depository on the first floor. The following are the dimensions of the building on its several side —198 feet 8 inches on Fourth avenue, 202 feet on Eighth street, 96 feet 11 inches on Third avenue, and 232 feet 6 inches on Ninth street—making a total front of over 700 feet. The depth of the building is 50 feet. The ground floor will be occupied as stores, and the part not required by the Society for their own operations will be let out as offices, several religious societies and the Socety Library having taken the vacant parts of the building. In a niche over the principal entrance, in the Fourth Avenue, stands a large-sized draped female figure, carved in brown stone, representing Religion. The rest of the building is plain, without much decoration, and cannot boast of any architectural beauties, more attention having been paid to internal comfort than outside decoration. In the centre there is an open area, forming a large yard, where the steam boiler will be placed, as the most commodious position, and which will prevent any danger from fire. Ample provision against accidents of this kind has, however, been made m the general structure* and arrangement of the entire building.
This article was originally published with the title "The New Bible House" in Scientific American 8, 30, 234 (April 1853)