Intended "to impress both the officer and the prisoner with the majesty of the law", this building was, according to the NY Times, "a magnificent anomaly: an ornate Beaux-Arts palace of 1909 in the middle of Little Italy, its grandeur contrasted utterly with the little buildings and crooked streets around it. To come upon the building has always been something like finding the Invalides in the middle of the Marais: its formal sumptuousness didn't fit with what was around it, but somehow that made it all the more mysterious and wonderful."
After the police left in 1973, the building began to fall into disrepair. In the '80s, however, it underwent a multi-million-dollar renovation and conversion into luxury condos. Thus restored to its former glory, it continues to amaze and perplex passersby who happen upon it for the first time.