In With the New

As Goldman Sachs trades its old headquarters for the new, there is a notable constant: the financial firm’s desire for the nondescript.

The company’s new headquarters-to-be, at 200 West Street, is no avant-garde architectural statement, just as its old building, at 85 Broad Street, was entirely missable. The anonymity is on purpose: At a time when its status as the world’s most powerful company is something it would rather keep to itself, both buildings shield Goldman from the glare of unwanted attention.

The anonymous brown stone facade of 85 Broad has been replaced by a shiny glass curtain wall, a skin that blends in with other Battery Park City towers, and it will ultimately be dwarfed by the World Trade Center towers a block to the south. Like 85 Broad, the name “Goldman Sachs” appears nowhere on the building’s exterior, despite the fact that the firm owns and built the tower, and the 11,000 workers that fit inside will be Goldman employees.

Within its doors, things get a bit more flashy: Colorful murals coat the walls of the lobby and new auditorium, and an in-house fitness center and cafeteria sit in the floors above.

Move-ins began earlier this fall, and a Goldman spokeswoman said about 2,000 employees are in the building now, with the expectation that it will be mostly full by the spring. The landscaping is nearly done, as are a bike path and a drop-off: A long line of black town cars now wait for exiting employees outside the building’s front door.