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djcomlab
February 25th, 2003, 02:42 PM
Does anyone have any good pictures of the Sony Building? Especially shots of the arch area would be nice.

Thanks!

NyC MaNiAc
February 25th, 2003, 06:59 PM
http://www.greatgridlock.net/NYC_Images/032.jpg

http://www.readio.com/archives/0207/15/img15.gif

http://www.wirednewyork.com/skyscrapers/sony/images/sony_building_att_top.jpg

http://www.wirednewyork.com/skyscrapers/sony/images/sony_building_cp_31dec2000.jpg

http://www.nycskyscrapers.com/parkavenue/images/sony.jpg

http://www.wirednewyork.com/skyscrapers/sony/images/sony_building_5th.jpg

The last Couple pictures were taken from Wired New York!

Hope this helps you out djcomlab! :)

TLOZ Link5
February 25th, 2003, 07:12 PM
What a great building. *Such muscular verticality for a 650-footer with less than 40 stories.

djcomlab
February 25th, 2003, 07:20 PM
Thanks Maniac, I've seen all of those before, but its cool to see them all in one place. What I haven't seen is a street level side shot.

NyC MaNiAc
February 25th, 2003, 07:36 PM
Sorry I couldnt help you out...here are some more though...

http://www.galinsky.com/buildings/att/ATT1.jpg

I'll be willing to help you get the exact shot you want...I know your looking for a different angle...I'll keep my eyes open.

http://www.galinsky.com/buildings/att/ATT2.jpg

http://www.galinsky.com/buildings/att/ATT3.jpg

bak
February 25th, 2003, 09:12 PM
From thecityreview.com...

http://www.thecityreview.com/sonyatt7.gif
http://www.thecityreview.com/sonyatt6.gif
http://www.thecityreview.com/sonyatt4.gif

djcomlab
February 25th, 2003, 09:30 PM
Thanks Bak! Those are the best front pics I've ever seen. That last one must be a side shot from the inside out.

dbhstockton
February 25th, 2003, 09:34 PM
I love the lobby and arcades. *One of the best post-modern buildings anywhere because you can tell Johnson actually studied Rennaissance architecture and quoted it with integrity and rigor. *So much post-modern quotation of past styles is half-assed and insulting.

Anonymous
February 25th, 2003, 09:45 PM
I once remembered seeing a commercial for Mountain Dew where a skateboarder was on the rooftop catching it while other skateboarders were in the elevator.

Zak
February 25th, 2003, 10:04 PM
What is the purpose of the indoor plaza? It seems pointless to me, unless the building was constructed during the time where buildings could go against the zoning laws if it had a high enough FAR, I think it was. Correct me if I'm wrong

TLOZ Link5
February 25th, 2003, 10:13 PM
Johnson designed the building for AT&T with an open arcade at the base. *When AT&T moved to Jersey and Sony took over the building as its headquarters, it enclosed the arcade and added a large glass atrium flush with the arches to maximize street-level retail space so that more shops and such could fit in--hence, more revenue. *The City Review has lamented the change ever since, but I've been inside I think it's pretty nice.

djcomlab
February 26th, 2003, 12:08 AM
I didn't realise until now there's an arch on the Atrium side too.

chris
February 26th, 2003, 01:44 AM
It was the first building Johnson did after the departure of Eli Attia as Chief of Design at Johnson/Burgee Architects. With Attia's 101 Park Avenue going up at the same time, there was what might be viewed as an honorable competition among peers between these two buildings. Did Attia's departure ultimately precipitate in Johnson's shift to post modernism? Attia was Chief of Design for both the Crystal Cathedral and Pennzoil Towers before leaving Johnson to venture out on his own.

Johnson/Burgee Architects' Crystal Cathedral with Attia:
http://www.wedstar.com/CrystalCathedral/cc-2b.jpg

Johnson/Burgee Architects' Pennzoil Towers with Attia:
http://www.quickfixalterations.com/images/Pennzoil.gif

Attia's 101 Park Avenue:
http://www.c-grayson.com/posted_images/101_park_ave_small.jpg

Johnson's Chippendale Building:
http://www.c-grayson.com/posted_images/johnson_chippendale.jpg

Personally, I've always thought Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas made the perfect companion to Johnson's Chippendale Building.


(Edited by chris at 2:04 pm on Feb. 26, 2003)

dbhstockton
February 26th, 2003, 01:20 PM
Not quite.

chris
February 26th, 2003, 03:04 PM
Come on, Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown's Learning from Las Vegas (buy at Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/026272006X/qid=1046286185/sr=1-1/ref=sr_1_1/104-2597356-2509524?v=glance&s=books)) has been a very influentual book within Post Modernist Circles.

Personally, I've always thought Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas made the perfect companion to Johnson's Chippendale Building:

http://www.galinsky.com/buildings/att/ATT1.jpg
http://www.kottke.org/plus/photos/20020907vegas/caesars.jpg
http://www.c-grayson.com/posted_images/johnson_chippendale.jpg
http://www.perini.org/images/ceasars.gif

I'm sure the Chippendale Building had an influence on Caesar's Palace... Come *on, how could it not?

dbhstockton
February 26th, 2003, 03:58 PM
I've read Learning from Las Vegas, too. *Both buildings are likely influenced by the book, but I doubt the SONY (originally AT&T) building influenced Caesar's in any direct manner.

Caesar's Palace (which post-dates the book by decades) is an attempt at literal historicism. *It's a perfect companion to any number of turn-of-the (ninetheenth) century neo-classical buildings. *It possesses the superficiality and populism that inspired Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown, but they would have shunned the literal historicism.

You might as well pair up Johnson's building with any neo-classical building, but then you would still be missing the point. *Moreover, Caesar's is (obviously) in a Roman classical style, while Johnson's isn't even classical (If you want to get technical). *It's Renaissance.

Johnson was *incorporating elements of Renaissance architecture into a modernist skyscraper, thus enlivening what seemed like a stale modernist ethos at the time. *He was not attempting to build a renaissance-style skyscraper. *

chris
February 26th, 2003, 04:11 PM
Have a sense of humor.

dbhstockton
February 26th, 2003, 04:54 PM
Oops. *It's hard to read sarcasm sometimes. *That's what these corny things are for: ;)

I'll quietly climb down from my high horse now.

chris
February 26th, 2003, 05:16 PM
Don't sweat it.

I'm at least as guilty as the next guy (if not more so) for climbing up on that horse, and just as often my sense of humor get misread on these posts. I'm more than use to it... That said, I really do associate these buildings with one another, though mostly because it tickles me as much as it prickles others.

I find Johnson to be one of the most enigmatic figures in 20th century architecture. I don't even know how to qualify that... It's too complex for a forum post.



(Edited by chris at 4:22 pm on Feb. 26, 2003)

dbhstockton
February 26th, 2003, 05:25 PM
I'm pretty sure he's evil. *But that doesn't mean he's a bad architect. *

chris
February 26th, 2003, 05:48 PM
dbhstockton wrote:

I'm pretty sure he's evil. *But that doesn't mean he's a bad architect.

I'm pretty sure he's indespensible, but that doesn't mean he's still a good architect.

I'm also pretty sure he's not evil, though he can be ruthless and opportunistic. I think he was at one time a good architect... argueably even a great one, and is still a good showman/pitchman. I think he is without a doubt a very very shrewd businessman (a trait which I always have a lot of respect for) not to mention a mean judge of others talent. I think his design work, for the past 2 decades has been very hit or miss. I also feel that part of this may be an inclination for selectively taking credit for subordinate's best work. I really do believe he has made works of great insight early in his career, and is worthy of honor if for no other reason than almost single handedly introducing America to every major practitioner of the "International Style" (a term which he coined) when he was on the board at MoMA. Later, while he was the "jr." from a design perspective, the business savvy he brought to his partnership with Mies undoubtedly saw many of van der Rohe's visions throught to realization that Mies would not have been able to pull off without the connections that Johnson's partnership brought to his practice. His contribution cannot be underestimated, if only measured by his (non-design related) influence in the field.

I could write pages...



(Edited by chris at 4:56 pm on Feb. 26, 2003)

dbhstockton
February 26th, 2003, 06:27 PM
I could write pages...

I wrote thirty... *My senior thesis as a history major was on the seminal MoMA International style exhibition in 1932.

Ruthless and opportunistic is correct. *He was also notoriously amoral during a time when other architects trying to save the world (maybe you can forgive him for that). *As for being a shrewd businessman, that's easy when you're independently wealthy by the time you're in your early twenties (his father bought him Alcoa shares as a child). *Through his money and connections, he was able to influence architectural tastes to a degree that cannot be underestimated -- long before he was an architect. *

You're also aware of his fascist phase in the 1930's, right?

chris
February 26th, 2003, 07:01 PM
I'm well aware of his youthful Alcoa wealth. As for architecture "saving the world", well I'm not so sure that is or should be our goal, however well intended... maybe that makes me a little jaded.

As to your closing zinger...

Any facist phase he may have had during the 30s must be quite obscure indeed, for a quick scan of the web turned up nothing. That would be surprising as even a rumor of such connections is generally exploited in the extreme in the web's conspiritorial underbelly. I'd be interested to see the evidence of your claim. The reasons I find this accusation a stretch are as follows:

A.) He was closely affiliated with the Bauhaus architects (brought them to the US for the MoMA exhibit, studied under Gropius & Breuer, business partners with Mies, etc.) who were shut down by Hitler and fled Germany to avoid the Nazi/Facist wrath.

B.) He is openly homosexual.

C.) He employed and promoted the early career of Eli Attia, the world's foremost Israeli architect.

I've not always been known for being a Johnson booster, but nor am I a Johnson basher. Like I said, I find him an enigmatic figure. But accusing him of having facist connections in the 30s is quite a bold statement, one I've never before been presented with, and one that should only be asserted with a well qualified explanation.


(Edited by chris at 6:11 pm on Feb. 26, 2003)

TLOZ Link5
February 26th, 2003, 08:43 PM
Philip Johnson's gay? *Goodness, I had no idea.

But then again, considering that he designed buildings like The Lipstick Building...

dbhstockton
February 26th, 2003, 10:31 PM
I thought everybody knew (about his homosexuality and fascist phase). * From a review of the respected biography Philip Johnson: Life and Work by Franz Schulz (on amazon.com (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0226740587/qid=1046312608/sr=1-1/ref=sr_1_1/103-7817091-0780658?v=glance&s=books) ):

"While his buildings are all about transparency, straight lines, and hard edges, his personal history is notable for its deep shadows and twists and turns. A millionaire before he even graduated from Harvard, Johnson has lived a privileged and sheltered life. Even his homosexuality, a burdensome taboo when he came of age in the 1920s, seems to have caused him little grief. But before he found his true calling in the world of architecture as a museum curator, architect, critic, and university teacher, Johnson dabbled in the lowest form of politics, becoming an open admirer of Hitler and his Nazis while in Berlin during the 1930s and, back home, of Huey Long and the anti-Semitic radio personality Father Coughlin. Schulze candidly discusses how Johnson lived this down and got on with his life, but we're left with a portrait of a cold if brilliant man attracted to architecture for its steely power and inherent sovereignty."

It's a topic Philip Johnson discusses openly, for it is something he regrets and he has definitely moved on.

chris
February 26th, 2003, 10:40 PM
This is news to somebody?

Look here...

http://www.cathedralofhope.com/build_a_cathedral/

The world famous, gay architect, Philip Johnson has designed the John Thomas Bell Wall as part of the new Cathedral of Hope in Dallas, Texas. Said Johnson, "Everything I've loved and worked for all my life has come together here."

...or here:

http://www.uwrf.edu/history/glb.html

About 6 months ago W magazine did a whole expose on his lover and their new beach house.

chris
February 26th, 2003, 10:42 PM
I was replying to TLOZ Link5 at the same time you were replying to us...

chris
February 27th, 2003, 05:44 AM
Hmmm, well.

This is the link:

http://www.kazys.net/research/johnson.html

I have to wonder if this wasn't all one big "Kiss of the Spider Woman" episode. Maybe he just liked the men in uniforms. Maybe it was more. His story gets more complex every time I dig a little deeper.

Maybe you're right. Maybe he is evil... or maybe he was just young and stupid. I'll look in to this more at some other time.

amigo32
February 27th, 2003, 06:24 AM
I don't think that I am being out of line here, but isn't there somewhat of a major presence in the architectual community of people whom are gay, or in the least they lean in that *general direction?

chris
February 27th, 2003, 09:45 AM
who cares?

chris
February 27th, 2003, 09:52 AM
I think you miss the point. Nobody that I'm aware of has any problem with Johnson's homosexuality, least of all me... though I cannot truly speak for others. The point was in response to his supposed support of Hitler in the 30s. I had my doubts, and the fact that he was gay was one of the grounds for why I doubted he would have Nazi inclinations. However, I was proved incorrect. In spite of being gay, he did indeed support Hitler in the 30s.

djcomlab
February 27th, 2003, 11:22 AM
I just found some pictures on file of the back of Sony showing the atrium inside and out. As it turns out, there isn't an archway on the back afterall.

Perhaps it was removed when the atrium was installed?

yanni111
February 27th, 2003, 06:20 PM
about the gay-hitler thing, some people, and theres some evidence for this, believe that hitler was gay and may have even been a gay prostitute in his youth. Theres some sites on the internet that say this. There is one thing that most people who care about this stuff agree on, Hitler was a caprophile, im not sure if its spelled correctly, anyway it means he likes to eat other peoples shit,feces, kaka etc. Theres also alot of talk about the inner circle of the nazis being gay. Either way he was one f*ck
ed up guy, 3 of the women he had relationships attempted suicide after being with him. What does all of this have to do with architecture? Who knows!! I like the Sony building!

TLOZ Link5
February 27th, 2003, 08:19 PM
Heh, it was news to me, I must say. *There aren't many architects whose personal lives I particularly focused on, aside from maybe Raymond Hood. *And I certainly don't have a problem with Johnson's homosexuality. *Maybe with his stint as a Nazi sympathizer, but not because he's gay.

dbhstockton
March 2nd, 2003, 12:31 PM
I just got around to reading that article, Chris. *Thank you very much for posting that. *As a bonus, it has more reasons for me to hate Eisenman too, as if I needed more.


(Edited by dbhstockton at 11:12 pm on Mar. 2, 2003)

dbhstockton
March 3rd, 2003, 12:11 AM
And I must retract my statment about Johnson being evil. *He has apparently read enough Neitzche to be beyond such petty concepts as good and evil. ;)

ZippyTheChimp
March 3rd, 2003, 12:43 AM
http://home.neo.rr.com/rodsphotogallery/CityLife/NewYork/Images/ATT.jpg

When AT&T moved its headquarters to 555 Madison, the 24 foot
"Golden Boy" statue was moved from the corner tower of 195 Bway to the lobby of 555. When Sony took over the building, the statue was moved to Basking Ridge NJ. The statue is anatomically correct. Unnoticed high up on top of 195, this
became a big issue with the statue on the ground, and the conservative AT&T had Golden Boy -errrr-castrated.

Bob
October 11th, 2004, 10:50 AM
There was a fabulous, in-depth article about Mr. Johnson in general, and the AT&T (now Sony) Building in particular, sometime in 1977/78 in the New York Times magazine. Worth looking up, for anyone who is interested in this building. I had the article for several years, but misplaced it.

Among the things of interest about this building:

1. It was the first stone-clad major skyscraper in many a year. The architect's use of stone was, itself, "controversial." Architects for the 20 years or so prior to the AT&T building used glass curtain walls.
2. It is an overbuilt building. Tall ceilings, massive structural steel, no expense spared, etc.
3. Exterior was made of Stony Creek (Connecticut) pink granite, the same stone used for Grand Central Terminal, the base of the Statue of Liberty, and other significant structures. In fact, as I recall, the quarry had to be reopened specifically for this building.
4. Johnson selected the stone, himself. One of the tests was to place various stone samples on the ground at the site location, and then to spray water on the samples to see how the stone would look.
5. As the building was under construction, AT&T was under de-construction.

Most of this is from memory, so if anyone has clarifications/corrections, please fill me in. Thanks.

TLOZ Link5
October 11th, 2004, 02:16 PM
I thought that GCT was built with Indiana limestone, like the Empire State Building.

FRED
January 18th, 2005, 07:35 PM
http://skyscraperpage.com/gallery/data/532/1856img_1060c.jpg

BrooklynRider
January 19th, 2005, 11:05 AM
I thought that GCT was built with Indiana limestone, like the Empire State Building.

He means the old Penn Station.

BigMac
October 21st, 2007, 03:59 AM
jackx on Flickr
December 15, 2006

http://farm1.static.flickr.com/129/353700229_b65478b59b_b.jpg

Joelio
October 21st, 2007, 06:03 AM
Ah... the good ol' Sony building... I wish something like this would be built here in Auckland, it's look so awesome (but possibly out of place :p).

This building is in both Spider-Man 1 and 2 (the games). The number of hoursI have spent playing those games and just spending my free time sitting in the middle of the little hole in the top... good times. :D

Bob
October 21st, 2007, 09:43 AM
Correcting a reader's response to my earlier post, I did indeed mean that Stony Creek granite was used at Grand Central, not Penn Station as suggested. This is not to say Stony Creek granite was the sole choice of stone, only that it was used there...I believe you'll see it as you enter from the west side of GCT. Above a certain height the exterior reverts to limestone. Stony Creek granite is particularly attractive.

For more info on the Stony Creek quarries, check out:

http://www.branford-ct.gov/History/Stony%20Creek%20Quarries.htm

Wrightfan
February 28th, 2010, 01:24 PM
Ice Falls Into Atrium in Sony Building
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Published: February 28, 2010

Filed at 5:55 a.m. ET

NEW YORK (AP) -- Fire officials say ice has broken through a glass atrium at the Sony Building in New York City and 10 people have sustained minor injuries.

A spokesman for the New York City Fire Department says ice and glass fell into the lobby area of the Madison Avenue building on Saturday night.

The spokesman said no one was seriously hurt, and that the injured were taken to area hospitals. A spokeswoman at Roosevelt Hospital in Manhattan says four of the injured were taken there with minor injuries.

No other information about the incident was immediately available.

The New York Post and celebrity Web site TMZ reported Sunday that ''Jersey Shore'' cast member Nicole ''Snooki'' Polizzi was among those attending a party in the building. The Web sites reported Polizzi said on Twitter after the incident: ''Omg roof just collapsed!''

A call and e-mail to Polizzi's agent was not immediately returned.

http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2010/02/28/us/AP-US-Glass-Atrium-Collapse.html?hp

ablarc
February 28th, 2010, 01:41 PM
... the fact that he was gay was one of the grounds for why I doubted he would have Nazi inclinations. However, I was proved incorrect. In spite of being gay, he did indeed support Hitler in the 30s.
Wasn't a good part of Hitler's coterie gay, anyway? Maybe Hitler himself?

ZippyTheChimp
February 28th, 2010, 02:04 PM
Ernst Röhm.

lofter1
February 28th, 2010, 04:46 PM
Hitler gay?

Himself argues otherwise (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=InsspuvAmBs&feature=related), rather vociferously (and with a beat).

Tectonic
February 28th, 2010, 06:19 PM
Ha!

Merry
March 1st, 2010, 03:12 AM
^ There was quite a lull in that conversation :rolleyes:.

Further to Wrightfan's post, back to the topic, sort of...

Presumably, the amount of snow/ice that caused this was never anticipated in the design? Or was there a problem all along?



'Jersey Shore's' Snooki and Chris Noth escape injury as Sony Plaza's roof collapses during party

BY Clare Trapasso, Joe Jackson and Joe Kemp
An atrium weighed down with snow and ice collapsed Saturday during a ritzy midtown party showering hundreds of revelers with glass, cops and witnesses said.

The guests, including members of MTV's reality show "Jersey Shore," were celebrating Purim (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Purim) inside Sony Plaza on Madison Ave. near E. 55th St. shortly after 11 p.m., police and witnesses said.

"It was scary, but I'm glad nobody got hurt," said MTV reality star Snooki, who was with her boyfriend, Emilio Masella.

About a dozen people were treated for minor injuries and some were taken to nearby hospitals for treatment, authorities said.

"It was crazy," said Vinny Guadagnino, Snooki's "Jersey Shore" castmember. "It was loud."

Other attendees of the party included Chris Noth, who played Big on "Sex and the City."

"It was a masquerade party to celebrate Purim," said Meyer Ackerman, 52, who was dressed as guitarist Jimi Hendrix.

"There was a lot of glass," said Ackerman, of Brooklyn, who helped treat many of the people before emergency crews responded. "It was very bad."
Many were surprised no one was seriously hurt.

"I was inside and I thought I was going to die," said Danny Berko, 21, of Brooklyn.

Model Daphne Segev, 23, said she was sitting in the VIP area just before the crash. "Then, a section of glass just shattered on us," she said. "Everyone ran out, some people were screaming."

After cops evacuated the building, many, including the "Jersey Shore" crew, ran for cover next door at Solo Restaurant.

But police soon had to evacuate that building as well.

"I don't care," Snooki said. "I'm with my man, it doesn't matter."


http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/2010/02/28/2010-02-28_jersey_shores_snooki_and_chris_noth_escape_inju ry_as_sony_plazas_roof_collapses_.html#ixzz0guCPAr im

ablarc
March 1st, 2010, 08:26 AM
I guess when something like this happens, architects call it an Act of God. You can't anticipate acts of God ... right?

Anyway, here comes the wire glass.

BrooklynLove
March 1st, 2010, 08:57 AM
Interesting. The NJ B&T rarely makes it this far east across Manhattan. Disturbing. Hopefully not a trend.

HoveringCheesecake
March 1st, 2010, 02:03 PM
I'm surprised this doesn't happen more often. (the ice, not Snooki)

dtolman
March 1st, 2010, 05:31 PM
For whatever reason, I misread one of the lede's sentences as:


showering hundreds of revelers with glass, cops, and witnesses

I find that much more amusing.

Merry
December 26th, 2012, 03:22 AM
Future of Corporate Tower May Hinge on a New Use

By CHARLES V. BAGLI

https://www.nytimes.com/images/2012/12/25/nyregion/TOWER/TOWER-popup.jpg

The AT&T Building, a lavish $200 million headquarters with a seven-story arch at 550 Madison Avenue, was a symbol of a resurgent (http://www.nytimes.com/1983/09/28/nyregion/no-headline-195302.html) New York when it opened in 1983 after a decade of municipal woes and corporate flight.

The 37-story rose-granite tower, now known as the Sony Building, is on the auction block for as much as $1 billion. About 20 prospective buyers submitted bids last week, hoping to turn the building into condominiums, a luxury hotel, a chic retail arcade or maybe even office space for small, high-end firms. But not a corporate headquarters.

The potential evolution says a lot about a city and a neighborhood where Calvin Klein, Armani, Hermès, Dior and Gucci are paying some of the world’s highest retail rents. On 57th Street, developers of two projects are vying to build North America’s tallest, most gilded residential tower (http://www.one57.com/), with condos selling to princes and billionaires (http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/24/realestate/two-billionaire-buyers-revealed-at-one57.html) for tens of millions of dollars each.

The Sony Building between 55th and 56th Streets, with its wood-paneled board rooms and sweeping white marble staircase, may be more suited today for tenants like hedge funds, which do not flinch at rents above $120 a square foot.

“This building has the right height and the right location to be a success,” said Mitchell Moss, an urban planner at New York University. “The only question is, what goes inside the building? The underlying appeal of that neighborhood has gotten so strong that it’s too expensive for a corporate headquarters.”

Developers turning in their first-round bids included Vornado Realty Trust, Boston Properties, Mitsubishi Trust, Mitsui Fudosan and RXR Realty, according to prospective buyers and to real estate executives. Others bidding were Steven C. Witkoff, Harry B. Macklowe and Edward J. Minskoff, they said.

Nearly all of them have partners — including Canadian pension firms, sovereign funds and foreign investors — who view Manhattan as one of the safest markets in the world.

But there is no guarantee that Sony will get the price it wants. More than half the prospective buyers fell short of Sony’s billion-dollar expectation, executives said. A select group of bidders will be invited to submit second bids next month.

Prospective sales this year by two other owners of large commercial properties — the 47-story Worldwide Plaza on Eighth Avenue and the 30-story tower at 11 Madison Avenue — fell flat when offers came in far below the $1.5 billion each had sought.

But the Sony Building may come close. “The demand from the global investment community for assets like this is at the highest level I’ve ever seen,” said Dan Fasulo of Real Capital Analytics, a research firm. “Once it’s shined up and brought up to 2013 standards, it’ll compete for some of the highest rents in Manhattan.”

A Sony representative did not respond to requests for comment on the sale.

When the building was under construction in 1981, New York City was struggling to stave off an economic malaise, the loss of industrial jobs, and long-term decay. AT&T’s headquarters, like the IBM Building under construction a block away and Trump Tower around the corner on Fifth Avenue, offered signs of a renaissance.

But AT&T, which was in the midst of divesting itself of all the regional telephone operating companies, soon leased nearly half of the tower to Sony (http://www.nytimes.com/1991/05/23/business/sony-is-reportedly-near-deal-to-lease-at-t-skyscraper.html). The Japanese company eventually bought the building in 2002 for $236 million.

Sony is not the dominant force in consumer electronics that it once was. Last April, the company said it would cut 10,000 jobs (http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/13/business/global/sony-unveils-plans-to-revive-company.html). Soon, it put the tower up for sale.
Sony’s real estate broker, Douglas Harmon of Eastdil Secured, gave prospective buyers a 216-page confidential offering memorandum, “The Icon at 550 Madison Avenue.” Sony plans to remain in the building for three years, before moving to a new location.

“The future vacancy provides a blank canvas to maximize the property’s wide spectrum of use and pursue a myriad of office, retail, hospitality, and residential options,” the offering book said.

Still, with Wall Street’s emphasis on quarterly results, many big companies are no longer looking for expensive homes, so the building probably will not attract a major corporate buyer.

In 2011, Jeffrey L. Bewkes, chief executive of Time Warner, described his company’s plush headquarters (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/01/business/media/time-warner-trying-to-trim-its-excesses-goes-back-to-basics.html) at the Time Warner Center as “indulgent.” He laid out plans to save money and consolidate company operations in more efficient, less luxurious space.

Many buyers said the Sony Building, now 30, will have to be gutted, which would cost tens of millions of dollars. They are considering a mix of uses, including hotels and high-end shops.

Mr. Witkoff confirmed that he had submitted a bid, with plans to convert the top of the tower to condominiums. “There’s no way that you can make sense out of this deal if it’s office space,” he said. “In my opinion, the only way it works is if the top goes residential. You’ll get the highest numbers from condominiums.”

Several other bidders envision a similar mix of retail and residential. Executives said another bidder, Mr. Macklowe, favored a luxury retail arcade at the base of the building, with luxury office space for smaller firms. Mr. Macklowe built a similar building at 510 Madison but lost it to his lenders during the recent recession.

https://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/25/nyregion/bids-for-sony-building-give-no-hint-to-its-future.html?ref=realestate

Derek2k3
January 28th, 2013, 02:57 PM
Sold for $1.1 Billion and Chetrit will probably turn it into a residential/hotel tower.
The articles don't mention that the building sits within the Midtown East rezoning proposal. On the tower's west side closer to Fifth avenue is a small 2-3 story wing that contains the Sony Center and the loading dock entrance. Something could be built there.



How did this man buy that building?
Joseph Chetrit grabs Sony Building with $1.1B offer.

Read more: http://www.crainsnewyork.com/article/20130127/REAL_ESTATE/301279967#ixzz2JIVsfqlS

Derek2k3
September 12th, 2013, 12:25 AM
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/14/realestate/commercial/sony-seeks-to-evict-a-madison-avenue-pizzeria.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

Despite this dispute, the renovation plans for the building are moving forward. Mr. Bistricer said that he had hired Robert A.M. Stern, the architect behind the successful condo project at 15 Central Park West, to come up with designs for the building.

Merry
October 16th, 2014, 05:41 AM
Chetrit Group files first plans for Sony Building conversion

Floors 14 through 33 to become apartments

By Adam Pincus

The Chetrit Group filed its first plans with the city to convert 10 floors of the Philip Johnson-designed Midtown Sony office building to residential, city records show, in a plan designed by SLCE Architects.

Chetrit aims to convert floors 14 through 33 of 550 Madison Avenue, a 648,366-square-foot tower between 55th and 56th streets, to residential, plans filed today with the city’s Department of Buildings show.

SLCE’s plans call for 434,778 square feet of residential space and 213,582 square feet of commercial in the 37-story tower. The DOB website pegs the development cost at $40 million, but that figure is noted to be an estimate.

The proposal calls for 12 apartments on the 14th floor, five apartments of floors 15 through 23 and four on floors 24 through 29. Then there will be three apartments on floors 30 through 33, two each on floors 34 and 35, and finally a floor-though penthouse on the 36th floor.

The plans also call for retail on the first floor and a lower level, as well as a museum annex on the second, third and mezzanine levels, and offices on the sixth through 13th floors.

Published reports predicted the total renovation of the building would cost $500 million (http://therealdeal.com/blog/2013/03/14/chetrits-sony-deal-aided-by-925m-from-sl-green/%20), which as of last year was expected to include a hotel. There is no mention of a hotel in today’s filing.

The developers filed plans in June (http://therealdeal.com/blog/2014/06/10/plans-filed-to-build-condos-in-portion-of-the-sony-building/) with the New York State Attorney General’s office for 96 residential units, two commercial units and one unidentified “other” unit. The sponsor was identified at Meyer Chetrit, a brother of Joseph Chetrit, another of the family members who lead the firm.

The Chetrit Group purchased the building (http://therealdeal.com/blog/2013/01/18/chetrit-group-to-buy-sony-hq-for-1-1b/) last year for $1.1 billion.

A representative for Chetrit said the principals were not available today to comment. SLCE did not immediately respond with a request for comment.

http://therealdeal.com/blog/2014/10/15/chetrit-group-files-first-plans-for-sony-building-conversion/

Merry
February 18th, 2015, 05:53 AM
The ridiculousness just got more ridiculously ridiculous.


Bonkers Sony Building Penthouse Will Ask A Record $150M

February 17, 2015, by Jessica Dailey

http://ny.curbed.com/uploads/Sony-Building-550-Madison-Avenue-thumb.jpg
(http://ny.curbed.com/uploads/Sony-Building-550-Madison-Avenue.jpg)
With prices averaging $18.75 million (http://ny.curbed.com/archives/2015/01/12/thats_rather_pricey.php), the 96 condos in the soon-to-be converted Sony Building (http://ny.curbed.com/archives/2014/06/10/chetrit_will_make_part_of_the_sony_building_condos _of_course.php) are going to be mindbogglingly expensive. But the penthouse—oh, the penthouse—that will be record-shattering-completely-inexplicable-make-you-weep-and-lose-your-mind expensive. The Real Deal reports (http://therealdeal.com/blog/2015/02/17/chetrit-group-to-ask-record-shattering-150m-for-sony-building-ph/) that the apartment will list for a whopping $150 million. It will measure 21,504 square feet and occupy the top three floors of the 37-story building. According to the offering plan filed with the Attorney General's office, the place will have eight bedrooms, eight bathrooms, and 10 powder rooms—in other words, it will have 18 toilets.

http://cdn.cstatic.net/gridnailer/500x/http://cdn.cstatic.net/images/gridfs/54e3bdb3f92ea13882005fd1/AGsony1.jpg (http://cdn.cstatic.net/images/gridfs/54e3bdb3f92ea13882005fd1/AGsony1.jpg)
http://cdn.cstatic.net/gridnailer/500x/http://cdn.cstatic.net/images/gridfs/54e3bdb3f92ea13882005fd4/lower-level.jpg (http://cdn.cstatic.net/images/gridfs/54e3bdb3f92ea13882005fd4/lower-level.jpg)
All floorplan photos courtesy of E.B. Solomont for The Real Deal (http://therealdeal.com/blog/2015/02/17/chetrit-group-to-ask-record-shattering-150m-for-sony-building-ph/#sthash.WWE2nagX.dpuf).

The title of the most expensive apartment ever sold in New York belongs to the penthouse of One57, which sold for $100.5 million (http://ny.curbed.com/archives/2015/01/17/100_million_one57_ph_officially_closes_breaks_nyc_ record.php), and there are few future listings aiming to shatter that record. The penthouse at the Woolworth Building will list for $110 million, while the penthouse of the Zeckendorfs's will list for $130 million (http://ny.curbed.com/archives/2014/09/23/nycs_priciest_home_will_be_a_130m_park_avenue_pent house.php). Compared to that place, where the price per square foot works out to $10,489, the penthouse of the Sony Building will be a downright steal at $6,975 per square foot.

Currently, the most expensive listing was the $118.5 million penthouse (http://ny.curbed.com/archives/2014/06/23/its_official_this_119m_penthouse_trio_is_nycs_pric iest_listing.php) at the Ritz-Carlton Battery Park, but it appears to have been de-listed.

Chetrit to ask record-shattering $150M for Sony Building PH (http://therealdeal.com/blog/2015/02/17/chetrit-group-to-ask-record-shattering-150m-for-sony-building-ph/#sthash.WWE2nagX.dpuf) [TRD]

http://ny.curbed.com/archives/2015/02/17/bonkers_sony_building_penthouse_will_ask_a_record_ 150m.php

EastMillinocket
April 26th, 2016, 10:06 AM
New York YIMBY strikes again....


http://newyorkyimby.com/2016/04/developer-abandons-plans-for-hotel-condo-conversion-of-37-story-sony-tower-midtown.html