Page 10 of 18 FirstFirst ... 67891011121314 ... LastLast
Results 136 to 150 of 268

Thread: History New York 20th century

  1. #136

    Default Manhattan 1950s

    1955-1956 Special.

    The Socony-Mobil Building.




    First postwar big metal-curtain-wall skyscraper.


    Hello! We continue with this trip through the history of the New York skyscrapers. Now, continuing in the 1950's, with this special article dedicated to Socony-Mobil Building, 150 East 42nd Street, that was build between 1954 and 1956, was the first great greater skyscraper of more of 40 stories in New York City since the construction of Rockefeller Center, in 1930's.

    With the Socony-Mobil Building, it was the first time that was used the stainless steel in great scale in a facade of a big skyscraper.

    Designed by Harrison & Abramovitz, and occupying a entire block between Lexington and Third avenues and 41st and 42nd Streets, south of the legendary Chrysler Building, Socony-Mobil Building, along with the Chrysler Building East (Reinhard, Hofmeister & Walquist, 1952), accelerated the demolition of the Third Avenue EL raliroad and detonated the office building boom on that zone in few years.

    In Socony-Mobil Building, the influence of Pittsburgh Alcoa Building were in the most expresion, but in monster scale.

    The plans for the construction of this building were since 1953, when the Socony-Vacuum Company made public its intention of relocated to Midtown, that in these years become to a new Financial District while in Lower Manhattan's Financial District -where the Company's Headquarters were located in 26 Broadway building- were in declined.

    For build its new headquarters, Socony Vaccum choose the entire block south of Chrysler Building, between Lexington and Third Avenues and 41st and 42ns Streets. Company comisioned to Harrison & Abramovitz to desing the new building of 45 stories and its first schemed were publishied in font page of The New York Times. Originally, the Socony-Vacuum Building first rendering were contemplated a a limestone stone facade, a design similar to the most recent buildings of the Rockefeller Center, mainly, in the U.S. Rubber Building, Eastern Airlines Building and the Esso Building.

    According with Robert A.M. Stern (1997):

    “The announcement in July 1953 of plans to build Harrison & Abramovitz’s Socony-Vacuum Building, at 150 East Forty-second Street, the largest office building undertaken in the city since the construction of Rockefeller Center, was font-page news in the New York Times. The building’s principal tenant, the Socony-Vacuum Company, renamed Socony-Mobil Oil Company in 1955, did not own the new forty-two-story building but had agreed to lease 500,000 of its 1.3 million square feet space for twenty-five years. The fact that the company was relocating to midtown from its landmark headquarters building at 26 Broadway, designed by Carrère & Hastings, helped solidify the widely held belief that the downtown financial center was in decline and that midtown had usurped its role as the city’s premier office location” (Stern, Robert. A.M. Mellins, Thomas. Fishman, David. New York 1960. Architecture and urbanism between the Second World War and the Bicentennial. New York. The Monacelli Press. 1997. Page. 452).

    Finally, the influence of the ALCOA Building prevailed for the facade of Socony-Vacuum Building as Harrison was choose the aluminum as facade material, but the increase in the prices of aluminum, in mid fifties, forced him to change the metal, finally, the architects firm choose the stainless steel for the facade. The construction of Socony-Mobil (the new name of the company) began in 1954 and it was finished in 1956.

    Construction work on Socony-Mobil Building. Circa. March 1955. Photo: alankryan. Flickr.com. Visit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/alans_p...92471/sizes/l/



    A worker walking in the steelframe of Socony-Mobil Building under construction. June 1955.



    According with Stern (1997):

    “The new building, completed in 1956, was developed by John W. Galbreath and associates including Peter B. Ruffin. Designed by Harrison & Abramovitz, in association with John B. Peterkin, it was the largest metal-clad office building in the world. Its 75,000-square-foot second floor constituted the largest amount of enclosed office space on one floor in the city. The earliest design called for a brick-clad building, detailed buildings. It was no accident that the building took Rockefeller Center as a kind of model, given the role Wallace K. Harrison had played in the center’s design as well as the fact that the Rockefellers were principal shareholders in Socony-Mobil. But Harrison, who has pioneered the aluminum curtain wall in his Alcoa Building in Pittsburgh and had previously proposed a similar designs for Park Avenue, redesigned the Socony-Mobil Building to be clad in aluminum. Even though stainless steel was ultimately chosen after the steel industry matched the cost the aluminum, the design of .037-inch-thick panels was the same as the one Harrison has proposed for the original material. The intricate, even fussy, ‘carved’ effect that resulted was Architectural Forum correctly predicted, ‘sure to arouse controversy.’ Lewis Mumford characterized the stainless steel curtain wall as an aesthetic ‘disaster,’ explaining: ‘Seen close at hand, this sheathing reminds one of nothing so much as the pressed-tin ceilings that were popular fifty year ago in cheap shops and restaurants… From the street, this new building looks as if were coming down with measles’” (Stern. 1997. Page 456).

    Stern continue:

    “Although Harrison was the building’s principal architect, John B. Peterkin, who had designed the Airlines Terminal Building (1940) a few blocks west on forty-Second street and had long served as consultant to the Goelet family, owners of the land, had developed preliminary designs that established the building’s basic massing. In addition, in a process orchestrated by Galbreath and Ruffin, the building’s exterior expression was developed as a joint effort between Harrison and Peterkin, with each preparing designs every step of the way and then meeting to select of the best features for the final synthesis” (Stern. Fragment).

    The Socony-Mobil Building completed. July 1956. Photo: Ezra Stoller. ESTO.



    He continue with the building's characteristics:

    “The building’s three-story, block-filling base, sheathed with dark blue glass, was punctuated by glass-fronted shops and shallow eyebrow vaults marking the building’s principal entrances , which led to a glistening vaulted lobby in white marble and terrazzo that connected Lexington and Third avenues, Forty-first and Forty-second streets. Above the base sat an H-shaped stricture that was set back at the thirteenth floor to create a slightly stubby slab. Architectural Forum said that ‘the new cliff of offices will not be distinguished in the way UN and Lever House are, in slender striking mass,’ but the building’s ‘robust personality will be keyed by the soundness of the space for rental, and its impact will be made by the great exterior wall of stainless steel’” (Stern. Fragment).

    Socony-Mobil Building and Chrysler Buildings. September 1956. Photo: Wurts Brothers.




    The Socony Mobil Building. 1957. Photo: Samuel H. Gottscho.



    Next, a general panorama of the city in 1956.

    Your opinion is very important. If you want to write a commentary, to collaborate with more information and wishes to place a picture of Socony-Mobil Building or any aspect of the city of New York, show it in this blog.
    Last edited by erickchristian; January 6th, 2010 at 06:42 PM. Reason: Added more information

  2. #137

    Default Manhattan 1950s

    1956

    Hi!!! We're continue our trip through New York skyscraper history. Now we're in 1956. In these year the Socony-Mobil Building, city's first postwar more of 40-story skyscraper with 45 stories and its stainless stell curtain wall facade were completed and the office building boom were acelerated. The demolition of EL stimulated the office construction activity on Third Avenue were begun to rise new skyscrapers. In this year 22-story William Lescaze 711 Third Avenue were completed. Construction work were begun for the Seagram Building and other skyscrapers on Park Avenue, and in a late 1956, construction work were begun for 666 Fifth Avenue Building.

    Now, a general panorama of 1956.

    Lunch time in a steel frame. 1956.




    First rendering for Grand Central City Building (future PAN AM Building) by Emery Roth & Sons. 1956.




    Night view of Lower Manhattan skiline showing Brooklyn Bridge. April 1956.




    Midtown Manhattan looking west from East River showing UN. April 1956. Photo: Ewing Galloway.




    U.S. Courthouse Building and Municipal Building in Folley Square. May 1956.




    Aerial view opf Midtown Manhattan looking southwest. May 1956. Photo: Fairchild Aerial Surveys.



    Aerial view of Ellis Island with Manhattan on background. June 1956.




    Aerial view of Midtown Manhattan looking south above Park Avenue. june 1956.




    The new New York Colliseum on Columbus Circle. June 1956.




    Night view of Rockefeller Center looking southeast. June 1956.




    Times Square at night looking north. July 1956.




    Night view of Midtown Manhattan looking west from Hudson River. July 1956.




    The Socony-Mobil Building. July 1956. Photo: Ezra Stoller.




    Midtown Manhattan looking southwest from East River. August 1956.




    711 Third Avenue Building (William Lescaze, architect). September 1956. Look the influence of 1932 Howe & Lescaze's Philadelphia Saving Fund Society Building in Philadelphia.




    Socony-Mobil Building and Chrysler Buildings. September 1956. Photo: Wurts.




    The Daily News Building. October 1956. The Socony-Mobil Building appear on right, at background.




    Midtown Manhattan looking south from RCA Building. October 1956.




    Midtown Manhattan looking southeast from RCA Building. October 1956. Numbers indicate the follow buildings and places:

    1. United Nations Secretariat Building (1950)
    2. New York Cental (Hemsley) Building (1929)
    3. Long Island
    4. Daily News Building (1930)
    5. Chrysler Building (1930)
    6. Socony-Mobil Building (1956)
    7. Chanin Building (1928)
    8. Lincoln Building (1930)




    Night view of Midtown Manhattan looking south from Eight Avenue and 57th Street. October 1956.




    Aerial view of Lower Manhattan looking southwest from East River. December 1956.




    Next, a general review of 1957.

    Your opinion is very important. If you want to write a commentary, to collaborate with more information and wishes to place a picture of any aspect of the history of skyscraper in New York City, show it in this blog.
    Last edited by erickchristian; December 10th, 2010 at 02:05 AM. Reason: Added more information

  3. #138

  4. #139

    Default Manhattan 1950s

    1957

    Hi!!!. We be back on this trip around the history of New York skyscrapers. Now, we be in 1957. In these year the face of Manhattan skyline were changed quicky, cause the increase of demand for mor office space. Many office workers came to Manhattan to work to 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM in new towers.

    Tall skyscrapers begun to rise on Park Avenue, like Kahn & Jacobs 425 Park Avenue and Ludwing Mies Van der Rohe's Seagram Building, were under construction, Other skyscrapers were rise on Fifth and Third Avenues, like 666 Fifth Avenue Building, Canada House Building-were completed in fall 1957-, and 730 Third Avenue. 1957 was a great year for Sixth Avenue because in this year the avenue begun to race to the sky: The 40-story Kahn & Jacobs Union Dime Saving Bank, on Sixth Avenue and West 40th Street were rises and construction work begun, in may of this year, for the new 48-story Time & Life Building that will be completed until 1959.

    In these year, in Lower Manhattan Chase Manhattan Bank president, David Rockefeller made public plans for build a new 64-story headquarters building, that construction work begun on late 1957. The building, designed by Skydmore, Owings & Merril, was schedule for completion for 1961.

    Public and private high-rise housing proyects were increassed during 1957.

    Now, a general panorama of the city in 1957.

    A new glass skyscraer for Lexington Avenue: 485 Lexington Avenue Building (Emery Roth & Sons). January 1957. The building were complete in fall 1956. Photo: Samuel H. Gottscho.




    The Seagram Building under construction. March 1957. Photo: Life Magazine.




    Aerial view of Empire State Building looking northeast showing Grand Central Distric skyscrapers. April 1957.




    32-story 425 Park Avenue Building (Kahn & Jacobs). May 1957. Photo: Samuel H. Gottscho.




    Aerial view of Manhattan Island looking northwest. May 1957. Compare with 1955 Manhattan aerial in page 9.




    East Side Airlines Terminal and Midtown skyline at background. May 1957.




    Midtown Manhattan looking southeast from RCA Building. May 1957.




    Model of new 48-story Time & Life Building. May 1957. Photo: Architectural Record Magazine.




    The 38-story Ludwing Mies van der Rohe's Seagram Building under construction. May 1957. Photo: Samuel H. Gottscho.




    The Socony-Mobil Building from Third Avenue and 39th Street. May 1957. Photo: Samuel H. Gottscho.




    The Empire State Building looking northwest. May 1957.




    Midtown Manhattan looking northwest from New York Life Insurance Building, with Empire State Building in foreground. June 1957.




    Is not a skyscraper, but is beautiful: Manufacturers Trust Building, in the soutwest corner of Fifth Avenue and 43rd Street (Skydmore, Owings & Merril, 1954). June 1957.




    Architecture model of new 64-story Chase Manhattan Bank Building. June 1957.




    New International Style skyscrapers were build in Financial District. 25-story Kahn & Jacobs 20 Broadway Building. July 1957. Photo: Wurts.




    Night view of Statue of Liberty and Manhattan skyline. July 1957.




    The statue of Liberty and Lower Manhattan skyline. July 1957.




    The Empire State Building looking northeast. August 1957.




    Another Emery Roth's glass skyscraper: 730 Third Avenue Building under construction. September 1957. Photo: Ewing Galloway.




    Night view of Times Square looking north from Times Tower. September 1957.




    425 Park Avenue Building, looking northeast. October 1957.




    The 27-story Canada House on Fifth Avenue were completed. December 1957.




    Night view of the Empire State Building from Fifth Avenue. Christmas 1957.




    Next a 1958 special of Seagram Building.

    Your opinion is very important. If you want to write a commentary, to collaborate with more information and wishes to place a picture of any aspect of the history of skyscraper in New York City, show it in this blog.
    Last edited by erickchristian; December 10th, 2010 at 02:11 AM.

  5. #140

    Default Empire state building under construction, 1931.

    erickchristian, Thanks for the information! We dug out a photo on my computer. Did not know that this work Gottscho!

    Cool in your illustrations!


  6. #141

    Default Manhattan 1950s

    1957-1958 Special


    THE SEAGRAM BUILDING






    20th Century Masterpiece



    Hello!!! We back with this trip on the history of New York skyscrapers through 20th Century. This special is dedicated to one of the most iconic 20th Century's skyscrapers, that is the maximum representative of the modern architecture: 38-story Seagram Building.

    Designed by the famous German architect, Ludwig Mies der Rohe, with collaboration of Philip Johnson and Kahn &Jacobs, and build between 1956 and 1958, the Seagram Building, marked a before and later in skyscrapers designs in New York. Their monolithic dimensions, more than 150 meters height, this curtain-wall facade in brown bronze and topaz toned glass, and this sunken plaza, exerted a powerful influence that determined the review the old Zoning Law, in 1961 which it would allow, in the future, to build big and tall monolithic skyscrapers with sunken plazas, marked the end of Wedding-cake skyscraper age.

    Also, the Seagram Building was the first great skyscraper raised in Park Avenue since the construction of the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, and inaugurated a new ages of the great office towers in that avenue that extended until early 1970's.

    Also, the notable of the Seagram Building is that affected to Mies van der Rohe's fame to consagrated him as the International Style's emblematic architect and mid 20th Century Modern architecture masterpiece.

    Nevertheless, the skyscraper was many troubles that prove to the architect's capacity and industralists to build a great building in a zone in period of transition, like 1950's Park Avenue; troubles was begun since the moment at which Seagram Company, famous by its homonymous liquor and mainly, the 7 Crown whisky, made public its intention to build its new headquarters in that avenue, in 1954, as a consecuence of the commercial success of Lever House Building.

    Conception

    Were mentioned in special articles before, from 1947, the Midtown zone of Park Avenue from Central Grand Station, to 59th Street were undergoing a radical transformation from an exclusive residential zone to a new financial district, where new office building were being build.

    Until 1954, modern buildings as the Universal Pictures Building, 100 Park Avenue Building, the Lever House and other office skyscrapers were completed. In 1954, Seagram & Company announces its intention to move to Park Avenue and commisioned to Pereira & Luckman architects firm to design its new office building in 375 Parks Avenue, between East 52nd to 53rd Streets. Pereira and Luckman's design contemplated a four-story base, where a 30-story tower glass and marble would be raised, whose corners were finished off by 26-story extension with the same materials and whose completion would project for the celebration of the Company's centennial, in 1957.

    According with Robert M. Stern (1997):

    “In 1954 the distillers Joseph E. Seagram & Company, taking their lead from Lever Brothers, announced their intention to build a corporate headquarters on Park Avenue. The company had acquired the east blockfront between Fifty-second and Fifty-third streets, a site diagonally opposite that of Lever House. Seagram’s hired the reconstituted firm of Pereira & Luckman to design the building, presumably because of Charles Luckman’s role in the design of Lever House. They proposed a design consisting of a massive four-story base sheathed in marble, glass and bronze surmounted by a thirty-story vertically accented tower clad in glass and marble and visually buttressed at each corner by twenty-six-story square tourelles sheathed in the same combination of material” (Stern, Robert. A.M. Mellins, Thomas. Fishman, David. New York 1960. Architecture and urbanism between the Second World War and the Bicentennial. New York. The Monacelli Press. 1997. Page. 342).

    But, the Pereira & Luckman's design was severaly questioned by the architecture criticism, and specialists who were to extremism in their attacks , and even described to the design as “mediocre”.

    Criticisms that took to the owner of Seagram, Samuel Bonfman to listen to the wise advice of their daughter, Phyllis, and to authorize the search of a new architect for the new skyscraper, search that culminated with the election of Mies van der Rohe, Philip Johnson and Kahn & Jacobs.

    According with Stern:

    Architectural Forum said that it looked like an ‘enormous cigarette lighter’ and that ‘others thought it resembled a big trophy’. But the most important critic of all, as it turned out, was Phyllis Bronfman Lambert, the twenty-seven-year-old daughter of Samuel Bronfman. Lambert was living in Paris when she saw a picture of the Luckman scheme in the international edition of the Herald Tribune. Recalling the incident in 1958, Lambert remembered ‘boiling with fury’ over the mediocrity of the scheme. She wrote to her father that he should build a really fine building and that ‘he was lucky to be living a period when there where great architects’. Samuel Bonfman listened to his daughter and authorized her to undertake a search for a new architect. To save embarrassment for all parties, Pereira & Luckman’s scheme, which had been widely publicized as the accepted design, was now described as a preliminary model that had been prepared to pave the way for permits required to evict the tenants living on the site. But as Olga Gueft pointed out, regardless of the revised story, the newspapers implied Pereira & Luckman ‘had been dumped overboard’” (Stern. 1997. Fragment).

    He continue:

    “In Lambert’s search for an architect, she was introduced to Philip Johnson, then director of the Museum of Modern Art’s Department of Architecture and Design. Taking Johnson’s advice, she studied the work of leading Modernist figures of the day, including Walter Gropius, Marcel Breuer, George Howe, William Lescaze, Eero Saarinen, Louis Kahn, Minoru Yamasaki, I.M. Pei, Frank Lloyd Wright, Le Corbusier and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. She interviewed a number of architects, and finally her search led to Mies van der Rohe, whom she had heard a lot about even before Johnson introduced them” (Stern. 1997. Page 344).

    Finally, in fall of 1954, Pereira & Luckman was dismissed by Seagram and its project was rejected. Mies van der Rohe, Johnson and Kahn & Jacobs was commissioned by the company to design the new Seagram building.

    According with Stern:

    “By late November 1954 the Pereira & Luckman scheme was a thing of the past and Mies van der Rohe had been retained to design the new House of Seagram. The decision to hire Mies was not surprising, given his stature and renown, as well as the fact that Philip Johnson had been his leading American advocate for twenty-five-years. Along with Mies, who was not licensed to practice architecture in New York State, Johnson was retained as co-architect and Kahn & Jacobs as associate architects. The choice of Mies as principal designer was widely applauded. In the lead sentence of her story in the New York Times, Aline B. Saarinen (who had been Aline B. Loushheim until her second marriage, to the architect Eero Saarinen) bubbled over: ‘New York is finally to have a skyscraper designed by one of the great leaders of modern architecture, Mies van der Rohe’” (Stern. 1997. Fragment).

    He continued:

    Three weeks after the contracts with Mies and Johnson were signed, Mies was immersed in a study of the neighborhood. Mies wanted to avoid the setbacks that he felt compromised the design of the typical New York skyscraper, and he explored three schemes for freestanding towers: a square tower along the lines of the one Luckman had proposed; a rectangular one in a seven-to-three ratio, with the three-bay side parallel to Park Avenue, echoing the strategy of Lever House; and a five-by-three tower with the longer side parallel to Park Avenue, the direction he preferred. Lambert wrote enthusiastically about the third scheme: ‘This solution for the building has promise for terrific things –set back you hardly see it from the street coming up or down the Avenue… you don’t know what is there and then you come upon IT –with a magnificent plaza and the building not zooming up in front of your nose so that you can’t see it, only be oppressed by it and have to cross the street to really look at it, but a magnificent entrance to a magnificent building all in front of you’” (Stern. 1997. Pages 344-345).

    The new model for the Seagram building was showed by Mies van der Rohe, in the spring of 1955: a monolithic tower of 38 floors had with a brown bronze and glass wall-curtain, with a open space dedidated to a sunken plaza to permit light to Park Avenue. The project was received with esthusiasm by the criticism. According with Stern:

    “Despite Mies’s reputation as a slow, deliberate designer, plans for the building were filed with the New York City Department of Buildings on March 29, 1955, just three months after his selection as architect, although the starting date for construction was uncertain because 20 of the 250 tenants who once occupied buildings on the site still remained in residence. The design was received with guarded enthusiasm by most commentators. By late spring of 1955 the exact materials had been specified: the tower would be clad in bronze and topaz-tinted glass” (Stern. 1997: Page 345).

    Construction

    After negotiating with old buildings tenements that occupied the lot for the new skyscraper, finally the construction of the Seagram Building begun in the autumn of 1955, with the demolition of the old residential buildings. The assembly of the structure began in the summer of 1956, and for the spring of 1957 the slim 38-story steel skeleton was complete. For the autumn of that same year the facade had almost completed and work continued in its interiors. While, the work of construction of the plaza were quickly. Finally, the Seagram Building were completed and open to business in May 22nd, 1958.

    Demolition works on Seagram Building site. The Lever House as seen in background. December 1955. Photo: Ezra Stoller.





    Construction work of Seagram Building. July, 1956. Photo: Frank Scherschel. LIFE Magazine.



    Construction work on Seagram Building. March, 1957. Photo: LIFE Magazine.




    The Seagram Building under construction. May 1957. Photo: Samuel H. Gottscho.




    The Seagram Building were complete and its plaza was nearby completion. January, 1958. Photo: LIFE Magazine.




    The building in February, 1958.



    The Building were completed. May 22th, 1958.




    The Building.

    The Seagram Building had many characteristics:

    Architecture criticism, Paul Goldberger (1981) says about it:

    "Seagram is a 38-story tower of bronze and glass, set back from Park Avenue on a deep plaza, with green Italian marble rails as benches along its sides and two great fountains in its foreground. The tower rises sheer, without setbacks. There is a 2-story lobby of travertine, glass-enclosed like the bases of Mies's apartments buildings; ordinary store-fronts are banned, and those commercial uses that do exist -the stunning Four Seasons restaurant and its companion, the Brasserie- are tucked discreetly into the rear" (Goldberger, Paul. The Skyscraper. New York. Alfred A. Knopf. 1981. Page 112).

    The Seagram Building. (Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Philip Johnson and Kahn & Jacobs, 1956-1958). Photo: Ezra Stoller.




    Night view of the Seagram. June 1958. Photo: Ezra Stoller.




    Goldberger continue:

    "Seagram is a refined a glass tower as has ever been built, a temple to reason -a tower built to elucidate the Miesian principles or order, logic, and clarity in all thingts. It is not quite what it whould seem, however- Mies van der Rohe was far more interested in having his buildings appear to be structurally simple than actually to have them be structurally simple. Louis Kahn, for example, was fond of calling Seagram 'a beautiful lady in hidden corserts,' because the 'pure' Miesian skin hides a number of other supports. And the I-beams running down the facade and marble-paneled false windows on the side are somewhat mannered and ornamental, not the true outgrowth of technology that Mies liked to suggest his buildings were" (Goldberger. 1981. pages 112-113).

    Seagram's elevation. 1958.




    The Seagram building looking northwest from General Electric Building. May 1958.




    Detail of this interior. May 1958.




    He continue:

    "If the myths that have surrounded this building (and the rest of Mies's work) do not entirely reflect reality, this does not diminish Seagram's standing as one of the great buildings of the twentieth century. The bronze curtain wall is serene, the proportions are exquisite, and the detailing is a perfect as that of any postwar skyscraper anywhere. Even the lavatory fixtures and lettering of the lobby mailboxes were specially designed" (Goldberger. 1981. Page 113).

    Seagram Building at night from Lever House. Photo: Ezra Stoller.




    The Seagram looking south from future First National City Bank site. 1958. Photo: Ezra Stoller.



    The Plaza. July 1958.



    He continue:

    "Seagram, like Rockefeller Center, was a certain kind of model -it revealed a new set of posibilities for skyscrapers. In this case, unfortunately, the implications were less benign -for while a Rockefeller Center done in less capable hands would still offer a variety of activities for public use, an imitation Seagram would be only a banal tower, a box little different form what had preceded it. This is exactly what was to happen in the years follow as New York's city planners, entranced by the beauty of Seagram's sheer rise from a wide, open plaza, changed the city's zoning laws to encourage more towers massed as Seagram had been. The results proved Seagram, although a great work of art, a poor model" (Goldberger. 1981. Fragment).

    The Seagram five years after dedication, with more tower and plaza buildings. Seagram Building from Lever House in july 1963. Photo: Media, Ltd. Britannica Online Encyclopedia.



    The Seagram 15 years after. The Seagram Building between two post 1961 Zoning Law skyscrapers. May 1973.




    Next, a special for 666 Fifth Avenue Building.

    Your opinion is very important. If you want to write a commentary, to collaborate with more information and wishes to place a picture of some aspect of the history of skyscraper in New York City, show it in this blog.
    Last edited by erickchristian; January 11th, 2010 at 07:53 PM.

  7. #142

    Default Manhattan 1950s

    1957-1958 Special


    666 Fifth Avenue Building.






    Tower of light.

    Hello!!! We continue withour trip in the history of the New York City skyscrapers. Now, we continued in 1958 and in this special article we will speak of Tishman Building, at 666 Fifth Avenue, between West 52nd to 53rd Streets. A 39-story aluminum panels and glass gurtain-wall skyscraper, that was designed by Carson & Lundin.

    Acording with Robert A.M. Stern (1997):

    “Carson & Lundin’s Tishman Building (1957), at 666 Fifth Avenue, was a 1,245,000-square-foot, thirty-nine-story office tower located on the avenue’s west blockfront between Fifty-second and Fifty-third streets. The site, which once contained nine buildings, including Richard Morris Hunt’s William K. Vanderbilt house (1882), replaced in 1927 by a five-story commercial building (Springstein & Goldhammer), and McKim, Mead & White’s Mrs. William K. Vanderbilt, Jr., mansion (1905-06), had been assembled for a new Lord & Taylor department store. Carson & Lundin were hired because Tishman initially wanted a stone-clad building sympathetic in design to Rockefeller Center. But by September 1956, when construction was under way, new plans for the building were released that showed a curtain wall featuring patterned aluminum spandrel panels, a redesign that provides the city’s largest aluminum-clad building and featured the widest windows, which at six feet were one-and-a-half feet wider than normal” (Stern, Robert. A.M. Mellins, Thomas. Fishman, David. New York 1960. Architecture and urbanism between the Second World War and the Bicentennial. New York. The Monacelli Press. 1997. Pages 377-378).

    The Mrs. William Vanderbilt Mansion at 666 Fifth Avenue. 1907. Photo: Chauncy.Primm. Flickr.com. Link: http://www.flickr.com/photos/cprimm_...27/4122185613/



    According with Progressive Architecture in this September 1958 issue:

    “The Fifth Avenue (New York) Association’s Committee on Architectural Awards recently named 666 Fifth Avenue, 38-story speculative office structure built for and by the Tishman Realty & Construction Co., as ‘the best new commercial building on Fifth Avenue’ constructed during the period January 1, 1956, to December 31, 1957. The Committee praised it for being ‘simple in form and rich in its patterned, textured, aluminum panels. Between windows and panels, a vertical emphasis is achieved by porcelain-enameled mullions. Exterior lighting makes the design equally effective at night….’” (Progressive Architecture. September 1958. Page 145).

    The Tishman Building at 666 Fifth Avenue (Carson & Lundin). 1958



    Stern (1997) says about 666 Fifth Avenue:
    “A principal feature of the building was a thirty-foot-wide, open-air, shop lined arcade that ran 100 feet back under the building from Fifth Avenue, where it joined a north-south arcade connecting the two side streets. Isamu Noguchi, the sculptor and designer, put in charge of the lobby décor, created a strong connection between indoors and outdoors with a fountain that featured water cascading over metal strips on one side of a forty-foot glass wall. The wavy pattern of the metal strips was repeated in fins that separated the translucent panels of the lobby ceiling. According with Noguchi, Robert Carson, one of the building’s architects, had retained an earlier model for ‘a sculpture of contoured louvers’ that Noguchi had created for an unrealized bank wall in a Texas building Carson had designed. When he began working on 666 Fifth, Carson told Noguchi that he wanted to adapt the earlier design for an elevator lobby ceiling and asked the sculptor to create a waterfall wall ‘to go with it.’ Noguchi, ‘horrified at the idea of such arbitrary use,’ offered to redesign the ceiling for the cost of the waterfall alone” (Stern. 1997. Page 378).

    Elevation of the Building.




    666 Fifth Avenue from RCA Building. 1959.




    He continues:

    “A widely praised twenty-minute film, Skyscraper (1959), directed by Shirley Clarke, in collaboration with Willard Van Dike, Irving Jacoby, D. A. Pennebaker and Wheaton Galentine, documented the building’s construction, which was completed in November 1957. but it was not until June 4, 1958, when Abe Feder’s extraordinary exterior lighting system, using seventy-two reflector-type lamps, transformed it into what the Real Estate Record and Guide called a ‘Tower of Light,’ that the building became a landmark that it was turned off between September 18 and November 1, 1959, to prevent disorienting migratory birds; the same restriction was also placed on the illuminated stationary beacon on the Empire State Building. At the top of the building’s slab, the numbers ‘666’ glowed a bright red, contrasting with the icy coolness of the illuminated skin. Just below this sign, on the building’s thirty-nine floor, Stouffer’s, the Ohio-based, middle-priced restaurant chain, opened a glamorous, upmarket cocktail and dinning aerie called the Top of the Sixes, the first such facility since the Rainbow Room had opened atop the RCA Building in 1934” (Sten. 1997. Fragment).

    Night view of the Tishman Building as "Tower of Light". March 1958. Photo: Samuel H. Gottscho.




    Detail of building illumination sets. Photo: Samuel H. Gottscho.





    A color picture of the Building night illumination with number "666" in bright red light. 1960.




    Next, a general panorama of 1958.

    Your opinion is very important. If you want to write a commentary, to collaborate with more information and wishes to place a picture of some aspect of the history of skyscraper in New York City, show it in this blog.

  8. #143

    Default Manhattan 1950s

    1958

    Hello!! We, continue our trip around the history of New York skyscrapers. Now we are in 1958 and the modern methamorphosis in the city were more and more radical. Park Avenue and Third Avenue the office building construction were in high scale, while in the Sixth Avenue, west of Rockefeller Center, the race for the heighs were begun: the new 40-story Union Dime Building, in West 40 Street were completed and in West 50th Street, construction work in 49-story Time-Life Building were in progress during these year.

    1958 was the year of great mid 20th Century masterpiece: the Seagram Building, a 38-story monolithic bronze and glass curtain-wall skyscraper open for the business in Park Avenue, while in Fifth Avenue, when the year was begun, the Tishman Building, at 666 Fifth Avenue, 39-story aluminum facade skyscraper were opened.

    In Lower Manhattan construction work begun for the new 64-story Chase Manhattan Bank new headquarters. In Upper East Side, many 15 or 20-stories apartment buildings were rise changed the face of the district.

    During 1958 Emery Roth & Sons' architects firm work designed of a skyscraper that schedule for completion for 1961 behind Grand Central Terminal, developed by office buildings developter Erwin Wolfson. The Roths consulting to architect Pietro Belluschi and the famous German architect Walter Gropius to redesign the building and a new building designed were made public in December 1958: a octogonal 59-story skyscraper that will be occupe full space of former Grand Central Terminal office building. The octogonal tower will be clad in a concrete mo-sai panels curtain-wall. The new building called "Grand Central City" become the definitive design of the building that become in a few years in the famous Pan Am Building.

    Now, a general review of 1958.

    The Grand Central City (future Pan Am Building) scheme propose for Emery Roth & Sons, Walter Gropius y Pietro Belluschi. 1958.



    Rendering for the new 52-story Union Carbide Building will be build in Park Avenue for 1959-1950. Rendering of 1958.




    Night view of Seagram Building with Lever House at foreground. January 1958. Photo: LIFE Magazine.




    Park Avenue looking south from 56th Street in a smoggy morning showing the avenue's office building metamorphosis. January 1958. Photo: Samuel H. Gottscho.




    Park Avenue looking southeast from 55th Street showing new 38-story Seagram Building. January 1958. Photo: Samuel H. Gottscho.




    The Seagram Building looking southwest showing the site for First National City Bank at foreground and the 33-story gold-aluminum facade Grolier Building under construction, at background, left to Seagram. February 1958.




    Midtown Manhattan looking east from Hudson River. March 1958.




    Reflector lamps illuminated the new 39-story Tishman Building at 666 Fifth Avenue. March 1958. Photo: Samuel H. Gottscho.




    Night view of Thisman Building at 666 Fifth Avenue looking south. March 1958. Photo: Samuel H. Gottscho.




    Another Emery Roth & Sons glass skyscraper: 34-story 730 Third Avenue. April 1958.




    Night view of Park Avenue looking south. April 1958.




    The Pallisades Amusement Park beauty and Seagram Building. April 1958. Photo: Ezra Stoller.




    The Lever House and Du Pont Building. May 1958.




    730 Third Avenue Building. May 1958




    A chopper fly over Midtown Manhattan. The Empire State and Crysler Buildings were at right on Background. May 1958.




    Aerial view of Midtown Manhattan looking northeast from Husdon River. May 1958.




    The Lever House from Seagram Building's plaza. May 1958.




    Another view of Lever House. May 1958.



    Lower Manhattan skyline and Brooklyn Bridge from East River. May 1958.




    Seagram Building. Interior of one office in 25th floor. May 1958.




    Night view of Seagram Building from Lever House explanade. May 1958. Photo: Ezra Stoller.




    Seagram Building elevation. May 1958. Photo: Ezra Stoller.




    The Tishman Building at 666 Fifth Avenue. May 1958.




    The Seagram Building from General Electric Building looking northwest showing the steel skeleton of 29-story Corning Glass Building under construction and Lever House, in left at background. June 1958.




    Midtown Manhattan looking north from Empire State Building. June 1958.




    The Seagram Building fron DuMont Building. June 1958.




    Night view of Seagram Building looking southeast. June 1958. Photo: Ezra Stoller.




    The same view at day light. June 1958. Photo: Ezra Stoller.





    The Tishman Building. June 1958.




    Midtown Manhattan looking south from RCA Building showing new 40-story Kahn & Jacobs Union Dime Building, West Sixth Avenue's first Urban Renewal skyscraper, at extreme right. July 1958.




    Lower Manhattan looking west from Brooklyn Port. October 1958.




    The Civic District and Midtown Manhattan from 60 Wall Tower (American International Building or Cities Service Building). November 1958.




    Night view of Lower Manhattan skyline looking west from East River. November 1958.




    Christmas tree at top of new 49-story Time-Life Building's skeleton at Rockefeller Center under construction. Christmas 1958.




    Next, a 1959 Rockefeller Center Special: The Time & Life Building.

    Your opinion is very important. If you want to write a commentary, to collaborate with more information and wishes to place a picture of some aspect of the history of skyscraper in New York City, show it in this blog.
    Last edited by erickchristian; January 13th, 2010 at 05:04 PM. Reason: I added more information

  9. #144

    Default Manhattan 1950s

    1958-59 Special

    THE ROCKEFELLER CENTER
    (1931-1974)


    Chappel 2 (1947-1974)

    Part 3.

    THE TIME & LIFE
    BUILDING




    Sixth Avenue building boom was begun


    Hello!!! We continue with this trip through the history of the New York skyscraper in 20th Century. Now we were at late 1950's. We're in 1959 and I show the part three of the second chapter of the special of the Rockefeller Center. Now we will speak about the Time & Life Building.

    Time & Life Building was the first great expansion of the Rockefeller Center, to the west of the Avenue of the Americas, that marked the beginning of the metamorphosis of Sixth Avenue in a new modern and elegant corporate skyscraper district, that begun this expansion to the west.

    According with the spanish edition of LIFE Magazine, on May 2, 1960:

    “The new building is first of the Rockefeller Center that does not belong in exclusive form to the Rockefeller family. The Time Inc. company is simultaneously co-owner (45%) and main tenement (20 floors). For New York, building location, on the west of the other 15 Rockefeller Center's buildings, means a victory in the persistence to modernize Sixth Avenue, to which late mayor Fiorello LaGuardia gave the name of Avenue of the Americas. Until now, most of the skyscrapers raised in Manhattan from the end World War II, were concentrate in the city's East side. TIME-LIFE Building is the first in breaking ranks towards West” (Joel, Yale. A new house for `LIFE'. Rockefeller Center crossed the Avenue of the Americas. LIFE EN ESPAÑOL. May 2, 1960. Page 51.)

    Time Inc.

    Henry Luce and Briton Haden founded Time magazine, that its first issue was appear on March 3 1923 and was a instant succeful in the politic magazine market. When Life Magazine was born, in 1936, Time and Fortune magazined was the most famous and influential politic and financial magazines in America and arround the world.

    In November 23, 1936, Life Magazine was born and was quickly positioned as the most famous picture magazine on the world. In this time Time & Life acording with Rockefeller to occupy the new 33-story One Rockefeller Plaza Building, that was under construction, on the south of Center's Lower Plaza. In this time until the new building were under completed, Time & Life's offices were on the Chrysler Building.

    Time & Life offices on Chrysler Building. 1937



    The old Time-Life building offices on One Rockefeller Plaza. 1938-1959. Since december 1959, this building were known as General Dynamics Building.


    View of Midtown Manhattan looking East from old Time & Life Building, when LIFE staff were moving to its new offices on this new Sixth Avenue skyscraper. 1959. Photo: Yale Joel. LIFE Magazine.



    In December 1956, Time Inc. announced to the press its intentions to build a office builling in Sixth Avenue between West 50th to 51st Streets, with the financial support of Rockefeller family, who acquired the land, east to the legendary Roxy theater in name of the Center Corporation.


    Sixth Avenue: from slums to Corporate City

    Until mid 1950s the Sixth Avenue west side between 40th to 54th Street and north of Rockefeller Center was outstanding a zone of small and ruinous 19th Century slums and small lunch restaurants. With the success of the Rockefeller Center and the demolition of the Sixth Avenue "El", in 1939, begun the avenue's modernization project. One of the first steps were in 1945, when the mayor Fiorello LaGuardia renamed Sixth Avenue as "Avenue of the Americas". From the 1940's, avenue projects announced to turn the avenue to a new skyscrapering district, but it was not but until 1956-1958 when this destiny were reality.

    The Garment District area of West Sixth Avenue from 34th to 40 Streets from Empire State Building showing the Elevated. 1938. During 1920's many 15 to 30-story small Art Deco skyscrapers were built in this zone for the Garment industry. The "El" were demolished one year after.





    The west side of Avenue of the Americas, north of 40th Street, and the East Side between Bryant Park and Rockefeller Center and north of Rockefeller Center area, were dominated by old slums and lunch restaurants, small shops and diamond jewerlies. The picture were taken from Empire State Building in 1938.




    Between 1956 and 1958 the 34-story Union Dime Savings Bank Building on 1065 Avenue of the Americas, designed by Kahn & Jacobs, was built opposite Bryant Park. This building, with the announcement to construct to the Time & Life Building, as part of a new Rockefeller Center expansion towards the west, the future of the Sixth Avenue as a new corporative center were assured.


    The Avenue of the Americas in September 1957, with the 34-story Union Dime Savings Bank Building nearby completion. Photo: New Jack City. From Old Pics New York City!. Skyscrapercity.com. Link: http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showth...t=34300&page=7



    The Avenue of the Americas from the Empire State Building in 1958. The building at far right of the picture is the new 34-story Union Dime Savings Bank Building. Photo dhelling01. Flickr.com. Link: http://www.flickr.com/photos/dhellin...21067/sizes/l/





    The Avenue of the Americas. 1959. Photo. The Rolingers. Flickr.com. Link: http://www.flickr.com/photos/rolinge...77251/sizes/o/





    From "TV City" to Time & Life Building.

    Alan Balfour (1978) says about the plans for Time & Life Building:

    “In 1953, the Center Corporation acquired 82,000 square feet of land on the block west of Sixth Avenue between 50th to 51st Streets as a site for future expansion (The Sixth Avenue El had yet to be removed.) The old Roxy Theater on 50th Street and Seventh Avenue was acquired in 1956. The acquisitions were related to a concept proposed in 1953 for the creation of “TV City” on the west side of Sixth Avenue. David Sarnoff was a first interested, but as it became clear that television would depend much more on film than on live performance, NBC withdrew” (Balfour, Alan. Rockefeller Center. Architecture as Theater. New York. McGraw-Hill. 1978. Page 230).

    According with Robert A. M. Stern (1997):

    “The postwar destiny of the Avenue of the Americas as a grand corporate boulevard was ensured in December 1956, when Rockefeller Center, Inc. made a bold move, proposing a new headquarters for one of the center’s prime tenants, Time, Inc., on a large site between Fiftieth and Fifty-first streets on the west side of the avenue and extending 410 feet toward Seventh Avenue. For about ten years, Time, Inc. had been considering a move from its 1937 Rockefeller Center building. In 1946 it had worked with William Zeckendorf to develop the site of the Marguery Hotel, at 270 Park Avenue, with a new building, retaining Harrison & Abramovitz, who proposed a three-story podium filling the site, surmounted by an aggressively massed thirty-five-story superslab running east-west and a series of shorter wings set a forty-five degree angles to the grid. The concept and the site were rejected” (Stern, Robert. A.M. Mellins, Thomas. Fishman, David. New York 1960. Architecture and urbanism between the Second World War and the Bicentennial. New York. The Monacelli Press. 1997. Pages 397-398).

    Stern continue:

    “Time, Inc. later considered moving to a suburb of Philadelphia or to Westchester Country in New York but decided to remain in Manhattan because of the city’s transportation and communication facilities. The company continued to consider relocating to Park Avenue, which Rockefeller Center’s management felt would be an ever greater blow to the prestige of the aging complex than a move to the suburbs. To avoid such a fate, a new corporation, Rock-Time, Inc., was formed in 1956 whereby Time, Inc. and Rockefeller Center, Inc. because equity partners in a new building to be built on the Sixth Avenue site, which Rockefeller Center, Inc, was acquired in 1953. Once home to a long-since-demolished trolley car barn, the site now consisted of a motley collection of small buildings housing offices, restaurants and shops, as well as a parking lot. Construction of the building began in May 1957 and it was opened in December 1959” (Stern. 1997. Page 398).


    Model of Time & Life Building. 1957.




    In July 2, 1957 actress Marilyn Monroe inaugurated the Sidewalk Superintendents Club in the construction site of the Time & Life Building, as a Time & Life's. public relations act Finally, the building were completed in December of 1959.

    Marilyn Monroe open the Time & Life Building's Sidewalk Superintendents Club. July 2, 1957. Photo. LIFE Magazine.




    Night view of theTime & Life Building under construction from RCA Building. December 1958.





    The Time & Life Building under construction from Empire State Building. January 1959. Photo: What Makes The Pie Shops Tick. Flickr.com. Link: http://www.flickr.com/photos/hollywo...50016/sizes/l/





    The Monolithic Skyscraper

    Robert A.M. Stern says about of Time & Life Building:

    “The Time & Life Building, named after the company’s best-known publications, was designed by Harrison, Abramovitz & Harris. It contained 1.4. million square feet of space and rose without setbacks for forty-eight floors, making it the city’s tallest single shaft. An 83-foot-wide, 170 foot long landscaped plaza at the site’s southeast corner was defined along its north edge by an eight-story, L shaped base structure that wrapped around the tower’s north and west sides; on the west, the tower was also setback thirty feet from Fiftieth Street to create a sidewalk mall. The new building was provided with an underground connection to the subway as well as a link to the original Rockefeller Center concourse system” (Stern.1997. Fragment).

    The Time & Life Building from RCA Building. Photo. Yale Joel. Life Magazine.




    Elevation of the building. Time & Life Building (Harrison, Abramovitz & Harris. 1959).




    Stern continue:

    “The tower’s sense of height was enhanced by the use of tapered, buttresslike limestone-faced exterior structural columns that framed the gray-tinted windows and the aluminum-mesh-backed spandrels. This arrangement of exterior perimeter columns, ultimately derived from Howe & Lescaze’s Philadelphia Saving Fund Society Building (1932), was part of a daring structural system that permitted largely column-free, 28,000-square-foot office floors, far and away the largest tower floors built in New York since World War II. In order to achieve the Time & Life Building’s tremendous bulk in an undifferentiated tower, Rockefeller Center had acquired and demolished the Roxy Theater, which shared the block. By adding to the total size of the site, not only was more square footage permitted, but, under the zoning, it could be packaged as a sheer tower as long as it occupied no more than 25 percent of the combined lot” (Stern. 1997. Fragment).


    The Time & Life Building and the Rockefeller Center from Empire State Building. Photo: Yale Joel. LIFE Magazine.




    The Time & Life Building from Times Square looking northeast. 1960. Photo: Andreas Feininger. LIFE Magazine.




    The Plaza

    One of main Time & Life Building's attractives, besides the monolithic skyscraper, is this sunken plaza, that, with the Seagram Building, influenced for the modification of the Zoning Law in 1961.

    Paved in marble terrace in waves white and gray, the Time & Life's plaza provides to the visitor and the citizens by an ideal space to take a rest and to enjoy the freshness of its waters of the spurt of this mushroom-shapped fountains . In the corner of 50th Street the plaza provide of a access to the Subway, as well as to the underground corridors that communicate it with the rest of the Rockefeller Center's buildings.

    According with Stern (1997):

    “The building’s plaza, its principal public feature, was welcoming rather than formidable, with four mushroom jets splashing water into a basin that was surrounded by a low parapet providing skating, as well as other seats and planning. Wallace K. Harrison’s decision to pave the plaza and the building’s lobby with undulating waves of dark gray and white terrazzo, a design idea he borrowed from the Copacabana district of Rio de Janeiro seemed more justificable as an illustration of ‘good neighbor’ ideals of the Avenue of the Americas Association than as a complement to the building’s otherwise strict geometry. The Cariocan floor pattern inside the grandly scaled, sixteen-foot-high lobby also seemed out of place. Echoing the practice at Rockefeller Center, contemporary artist were called upon to help decorate the public spaces: at the eastern end of the elevation core, Fritz Glarner provided a mural that recalled Piet Mondrian’s work, and at the western end was Josef Albers’s geometric work Portals” (Stern. 1997. Page 400).

    The Time & Life Building's Plaza. 1963. Photo. Life Magazine.





    Refreshing in the Time & Life Building's plaza. Photo: LIFE Magazine




    The observation restaurant and "La Fonda del Sol" Latin-American restaurant.

    But also the Time & Life Building counted on other attractives: in the 48-floor, two restaurants were shared the space.

    In 48-floor south side of Time & Life Building were a restaurant-bar, in the style of the Rainbow Room of the RCA Building and that offered impressive views of New York, mainly towards the south where it was possible to be contemplated to the Empire State Building and the south of the Sixth Avenue and Times Square area, before the construction of the Exxon Building and other buildings in the zone would obstruct part of panoramic at late 1960s and early 1970s.

    In that place, in 1964, Pop artist, Andy Warhol filmed the Empire State Building during 24 hours for a Pop Art exhibition called “Empire” and that fragments of that work of art can be enjoyed in youtube.com.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7idi_5IaMrk

    Although closed the public, even in the 21st century, the clerks who work in the building can raise and enjoy the panoramic views of the city.


    View of Manhattan in all directions from the new Time & Life Building 48-floor observatory. April 1960. Photo: Yale Joel. LIFE Magazine.

    View to the north, showing Central Park and Sixth Avenue with the 46-story Equitable Life Building under construction.




    To the east showing Rockefeller Center.




    To the south, showing Chrysler, Chanin and Empire State Buildings and Garment and Times Square area.




    To the West. Times Square Theater District.




    In the other extreme of the building was a luxurious restaurant specialized in Latin American traditional cousine was inaugurated in 1960 with the name of "La Fonda del Sol", where visitors could enjoy an ample range of delicious of the region, in a colorful atmosphere and folkloric. Famous latin chefs using traditional utensils prepared many foods, especially Mexican cousine like tamales, poblano mole, pozole, enchiladas, stuffed chocolate, mezcal and chili peppers; but also the "Ropa Vieja" or meat with vegetables and Tomato sauce of Cuba, Argentine steaks, pasties of shrimps of Brazil, among others delights. Unfortunately the restaurant closed its doors in 1971 and its place now occupies the offices of a bank.


    Picture of La Fonda del Sol Restaurant in Time & Life Building 48-floor. Photo: Yale Joel. LIFE Magazine.




    Visitors enjoing the Latin-American cousine in La Fonda del Sol. Photo: Yale Joel. LIFE Magazine.




    Aerial view of Rockefeller Center looking southwest showing the new 48-story Time & Life Building. August 1959.



    Next, the Corning Glass Building.
    Your opinion is very important. If you want to write a commentary, to collaborate with more information and wishes to place a picture of some aspect of the history of skyscraper in New York City, show it in this blog.
    Last edited by erickchristian; February 12th, 2010 at 06:09 PM. Reason: Added more information

  10. #145

    Default Manhattan 1950s

    1959 Special

    The Corning Glass Building

    Hello! We continue with this trip through the history of New York skyscraper. We continued in 1959. Now we will talk about the 26-story Corning Glass Building, Fifth Avenue's first glass curtain-wall skyscraper, that although its small size was significant for the postwar "corporative" transformation of Fifth Avenue.

    Located in the 717 Fifth Avenue, in the south-east corner of 56th Street, the 26-story Corning Glass Building was designed by Harrison & Abramovitz for the Corning Glass Company. The facade, totally covered of green-dark glass curtain-wall, reflects the company mean product, glass. Along with the 666 Fifth Avenue and Canada House Building, the Corning Glass Building was one of the first corporative skyscrapers of the Fifth Avenue.

    According con Stern (1997):

    “With 717 Fifth Avenue, the 450,000-square-foot Corning Glass Building (1956-1959), the architects Harrison, Abramovitz & Abbe achieved a high point of refinement in the design of glass curtain-wall office towers and the avenue gained a second undisputed landmark of postwar International Style Modernism. The building occupied an awkward L-shaped, 30,000-square-foot plot and replaced the four-story Fiberglass House (Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, 1948). It was designed by Wallace K. Harrison to function as a demonstration of his client’s principal product and as a step forward from his U.N. Secretariat to represent the most advanced use of glass in a commercial building. A skin of green-tinted glass and aluminum wrapped the principal twenty-six-story east-west slab that interlocked with a twelve-story intermediary mass at the rear and a seventy-story projection along Fifty-sixth Street containing the building’s main entrance. Given the complexities of the site, the massing was ingenious. Rising from the small plaza at the site’s corner, Corning Glass presented a slender mass to Fifth Avenue and seemed to soar above the city to a far greater height than it actually enjoyed” (Stern, Robert. A.M. Mellins, Thomas. Fishman, David. New York 1960. Architecture and urbanism between the Second World War and the Bicentennial. New York. The Monacelli Press. 1997. Page 380).

    The Corning Glass Building (Harrison & Abramovitz). 1959




    View of the Building looking east. April 1961. Photo: Ezra Stoller.




    Next, a general panorama of 1959.

    Your opinion is very important. If you want to write a commentary, to collaborate with more information and wishes to place a picture of some aspect of the history of skyscraper in New York City, show it in this blog.

  11. #146

    Default Manhattan 1950s

    1959

    Hi! We continued our travel trough the history of New York City skyscrapers. Now continue in 1959 and the city experiment a full urban renewal. Cause the companies demand more office space, new and taller skyscrapers were rises in all directions, specially in Midtown, were its skyline was frecuently changing. The 52-story Union Carbide Building and 41-story First National City Bank Building were rises over Park Avenue. in Sixth Avenue new towere begun to rises: the new 48-story Time & Life Building were completed and open in December of that year, while construction works begun for the new 46-story Equitable Life Insurance Builiding. Fifth Avenue begun to look a new face with the Corning Glass Building, that joined with other recently completed buildings as Tishman Building and Canada House. Third Avenue continue to rises up. While, the final scheme for 59-story, Emery Roth & Sons, Walter Gropius and Pietro Belluschi, Grand Central City -future Pan Am Building- were approved and its model show in Grand Central Terminal concourse, causing many crithic agains it for many architects, historians and architecture journalist and columnist, include a young Ada Louise Huxtable who write many columns about the new building in The New York Times.

    While, in Lower Manhattan's Financial District, construction works continue for the 64-story Chase Manhattan Bank Tower, were monolithic tower begun to rises, modified the Downtown skyline, and other glass buildings begun to rises in Wall Street area, include the new 30-story glass and aluminum curtain-wall 2 Broadway Building (Emery Roth & Sons), near Battery Park, that were completed in summer, 1959.

    Also, the residential skyscraper construction increassed in Upper East Side, begun to modified to face of old slums areas. While, the Robert Moses' housing project were built many high-rises middle and low-income housing projects in Manhattan's Lower East Side, Brooklyn, Queens and Bronx, sustituting old 19th Century slums and tenement buildings.

    In other words, New York City preparing for the 1960's.

    For say goodbye to 1950's, now a general panorama of the city in 1959.

    A model of Grand Central City (Pan Am Building). 1959.




    A model of Grand Central City in the Grand Central Terminal concourse. January, 1959.




    Aerial view of Manhattan Island looking south above Central Park. February 1959.





    Construction work for the Chase Manhattan Bank Building in the Financial District. February 1959.





    Aerial view of Lower Manhattan and Battery Park looking north, showing the 30-story 2 Broadway Building nearby comletion. March 1959.




    Aerial view of Midtown Manhattan looking west. April 1959.




    Office skyscrapers begun to rises on Sixth Avenue (Avenue of the Americas). Excavation work on the 46-story Equitable Life Insurance Building site. The Time & Life Building near completion rises on the far right. Rockefeller Center Buildings, St. Patric's Cathedral and new Fifth Avenue skyscrapers appear at background. April 1959. Photo: Dmitri Kessel. LIFE Magazine. Sorry for duplicate some this in this scanned picture.




    Construction activity in Park Avenue. The steel skeleton for Union Carbide Building and the Colgate-Palmolive Building can see in background April 1959. Photo: Dmitri Kessel. LIFE Magazine.




    Night view of Midtown Manhattan looking west from U.N. Secretariat Building. May 1959.




    Night view of Midtown Manhattan looking northwest fro U.N. May 1959.




    Midtown Manhattan looking west from East River, showing United Nations Headquarters. May 1959.




    Putting a steel frame on the Chase Manhattan Bank's skeleton. June 1959.





    The Rockefeller Center's Esso and International buildings and 666 (Tishman) Building as seen from RCA Building. June 1959.




    The old 38-story 1930 Art Deco Daily News Building and its new 18-story International Style Modernism addition building (Harrison & Abramovitz). June 1959.




    The 33-story golden aluminun curtain-wall Grolier Building on Lexington Avenue. June 1959. Some 1950 building were built in wedding-cake form, according with 1916 Zoning Law ordinances.




    Aerial view of Lower Manhattan and Battery Park looking northeast showing the steel skeleton of Chase Manhattan Bank Building under construction, that was begun to dominate the Financial District skyline. July 1959.




    Aerial view of Manhattan and Governor islands looking north. July 1959.





    Lower Manhattan skyline looking west from Brooklyn Port. July 1959.






    The steel skeleton of 64-story Skydmore, Owings & Merril's Chase Manhattan Building under construction in Lower Manhattan. The Woolworth Building can see a far right, at background July 1959.




    The Corning Glass Building. July 1959.




    The 17-story Girls Scout Building on Third Avenue (Skydmore, Owings & Merril). July 1959. Photo. Ezra Stoller.




    30-story Two Broadway Building (Emery Roth & Sons), near Battery Park. July 1959.




    Aerial view of Rockefeller Center looking southwest showing the new 48-story Time & Life Building in Sixth Avenue, in background, at right. August 1959.





    Midtown Manhattan looking northeast from Empire State Building. August 1959. The steel skeleton of 52-story Union Carbide Building, on Park Avenue can see at right of the picture (compare with 1954 picture on Page 9). August 1959.





    Midtown Manhattan looking east from old Time & Life Building on One Rockefeller Plaza while the magazine begun to move toits new building on Sixth Avenue. Old Time & Life Building was renamed for new tenements few months after, General Dinamics Building. August 1959. Photo: Yale Joel. LIFE Magazine.




    Aerial vier of Manhattan Island looking northwest. September 1959




    Construction workers of Chase Manhattan Bank Building under construction possed for the picture. September 1959.





    Central Park and Upper West Side looking northwest from RCA Building. September 1959.





    The 64-story steel frame of Chase Manhattan Bank, under construction, was topped-out. September 1959. View to the west from 60 Wall Tower




    The Grand Army Plaza. September 1959.




    Aerial view of Manhattan Island looking northwest. October 1959.





    Night view of Rockefeller Center looking west from Newsweek Building (444 Madison Avenue Building). October. 1959.




    In a few two or three weeks I will going to make a trip to Chiapas, by a College's investigation work. I'll back in early February to continue our trip for begun the 1960's.

    Your opinion is very important. If you want to write a commentary, to collaborate with more information and wishes to place a picture of some aspect of the history of skyscraper in New York City, show it in this blog.
    Last edited by erickchristian; January 21st, 2010 at 07:57 PM.

  12. #147

    Default Manhattan 1960s

    1960 Special

    THE UNION CARBIDE BUILDING



    MINIMALISM IN EXTREME

    Hi!!! Now we back on this trip through the history of New York skyscraper. Today begun to talk about the Manhattan's skyscraper architecture in the 1960's. Now we talk about of 52-story Union Carbide Building, designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) imitated the style of Seagram Building, and considered the its best imitation. This building, and other skyscrapers like Seagram, Time & Life and Chase Manhattan Bank were fundamental for the change of Zoning Law ordinances in 1961.

    The building was the Park Avenue's second postwar supertall and were designed in the most pure examples of International Style Modernism of late 1950's and early 1960's. Designed by SOM master architect, Gordon Bunshaft, who were designed the Lever House, few blocks to the north. The 52-story black aluminum and transparent glass curtain-wall facade, Union Carbide Building, occupied a entire block on west side of Park and Madison Avenues and East 47th to 48th Streets. The Union Carbide Building were the tallest building were built in the city since the construction of 1933 RCA Building, and was the tallest skyscraper of Park Avenue from 1960 to 1962 when the 59-story octogonal shape Pan Am Building were build.

    Robert M. Stern (1997) says about the Union Carbide Building:

    "SOM's first Seagram-style building, and in some ways the best interpretation of it, was the Union Carbide Building (1955-1960) at 270 Park Avenue. Plans of the building were first announced in August 1955. The two-acre, full-block site, which stretched from Forty-seventh to Forty-eighth Street and from Park to Madison Avenue, was that of the former Hotel Marguery. A decade earlier William Zeckendorf had proposed a project for that same site that was rumored to be a complex of offices 'tailor-built to be requirements of three big-league customers', with separate entrances for major corporate tenants and a department store facing Madison Avenue. In the m iddle of the block, a 300-foot-high tower would rise without a setback from a fifteen-story base that would cover the entire site. The provide unbroken floor space in the tower, the elevator core would be placed to one side and not in the center. Zeckendorf's plan never materialized, however" (Stern, Robert. A.M. Mellins, Thomas. Fishman, David. New York 1960. Architecture and urbanism between the Second World War and the Bicentennial. New York. The Monacelli Press. 1997. Page 352).

    Union Carbide announce its plan to build a new headquarters in New York, in early 1950s, but the project was take shape when the company was commisioned to Gordon Bunshaft of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill to designed the new building in middle 1950s, finally, the final scheme of the 52-story monoliyhic Union Carbide Building, inspired in the design of Mies van der Rohe's Seagram Building was unveiled in early 1958.

    According with Stern (1997):

    "Union Carbide had a 1952 contemplated a move to suburban Westchester Country but had later reconsidered, deciding on the Park Avenue site. Unlike the Seagram Building, in which the owner occupied only a portion of the total floor space, Union Carbide was to be the sole tenant of the vast 1.2 million-square-foot complex (at the time the building was completed, however, ten tower floors were leased to outsiders). SOM's design team, headed by Gordon Bunshaft and assisted by project designer Natalie de Blois and interior designer Jack G. Dunbar, had proposed several schemes: a conventional nine-story-tall base topped by a forty-eight-story tower occupying 25 percent of the site (this was like Zeckendorf's scheme); a block-filling ziggurat that yielded 200,000 more square feet than the one finally chosen, but with floors that would have been too deep and dark; a tower at the Madison Avenue end of the site, which would have simplified construction by avoiding the complex subsurface conditions presented by the railroad tracks nearer Park Avenue, but seemed to contradict the prevailing urbanism; and a forty-one-story tower rising without setback along Park Avenue and a thirteen-story wing filling up the rest of the block. This last scheme was the one chosen, although by the time construction began in 1958, the Madison Avenue wing had lost a floor, and the tower, set back fifty feet from Park Avenue at the client's request and tewnty-three feet from each of the side streets, had grown to fifty-two stories and a total of 1.5 million square feet of space. This made it not only the tallest building along Park Avenue but also the tallest building erected in New York since 1933. While Seagram's inspired a demand for zoning reform that would encourage the creation of plazas and would eliminate the ziggurat-type building, it was the far more 'realistic' Union Carbide that actually that actually influenced the proposed law, which was being considered as the building was being finished. But as Architectural Forum warned in 1960, although buildings set back from the street were 'infinitely preferable to the ziggurat 'cake molds' now in effect', they should not be overused: 'Union Carbide's tower is set back, especially along Park Avenue; but while one or two setbacks of this sort along a street might offer welcome relief, a entire street of variously set-back buildings as likely to be an urban disaster'" (Stern. 1997. Pages 352-353).

    Rendering of Union Carbide Building. 1958.




    Midtown Manhattan looking southeast from RCA Building showing the steel skeleton of the Union Carbide Building under construction in foreground. July 1959. Photo: lreed7649 . Flickr.com. Link: http://www.flickr.com/photos/leonand...45755/sizes/l/



    Midtown Manhattan looking north from Empire State Building in August 1959 showing the Union Carbide under construction at right.




    Stern continue:

    "Although Union Carbide was proportioned similarly to the Seagram Building, its sheer size combined with the thinness and 'back-and-white' graphic quality of its skin yielded a completely different and less favorable impression. As William Jordy put it in 1972: 'Whoever whould meassure the difference between the architrecture of genius and the best of the architecture of bureucracy can do so nowere move convenientley than here on Park Avenue, weighing the respective virtues of these two buildings. The advantages. especially when both buildings are considered as cortporate expressions, are not wholly in favor of the Seagram; but... the Seagram is greater architectural achievement than Union Carbide'" (Stern, 1997. Page 353).

    He continued:

    "Union Carbide's impressions of top-heavy bulk was reinforced by thge shallowness of its plaza and a low, thirty-eight-foot-deep arcade along Park Avenue. Such bulk was permitted under the zoning because the building was set back along three of its four property lines (it held to the line on Madison Avenue) and also provided a sixty-foot wide, styreet level pedestrian arcade extending Vanderbilt Avenue northward through the midblock. The arcade led to a small glazed lobby along Park Avenue and escalators that took visitors to the building's principal lobby, located one level above. This piano nobile arrangement was devised so that the elevator pits would penetrate as little as posible below street level in order to keep clear of the train tracks below. Provision was made for a future underground pedestrian passageway to Gran Central Terminal. The twenty-five-foot-high raised lobby was used as an exhibition hall, although its remoteness from the street level and the seemingly private quality of the space failed to attract significant numbers of the general public.


    The Union Carbide Building (Skidmore, Owings & Merrill). July 1960. Photo: Ezra Stoller.




    Night view of the building fron the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel. 1960.




    Stern continued:

    "Some of the building's most notable features were technical, including the stainless-steel curtain wall, which, except for the natural-colored mullions, was colored black by a new process, Permyron, developed by one of Union Carbide's divisions. Inside the building, a highly sophisticated integrated partition-and-ceiling system incorporate lighting, air conditioning and sound control. The typical office floors of Union Carbide accommodated an unprecedented degree of modular design in the ceiling gird, furniture, filing and storage systems, and introduced clustered workstations with low dividers" (Stern. 1997. Fragment).

    Color night picture of Union Carbide Building. Photo: When lost in..... Flickr.com. Link: http://www.flickr.com/photos/whenlos...21135/sizes/l/




    Day view of the building from Waldof-Astoria.




    Elevation of the building on December 1960.





    The building in 1961.




    Next, a general panorama of 1960.

    Your opinion is very important. If you want to write a commentary, to collaborate with more information and wishes to place a picture of some aspect of the history of skyscraper in New York City, show it in this blog.

  13. #148

    Default Manhattan 1960s

    1960

    Hi!!! Continue our trip throught the history of New York skyscrapers. With the special of Union Carbide Building begun the 1960's. Now we're show a general panorama of the city in 1960, when the building boom changing the face of city skyline. Year's architectural event was the dedication of 52-story Union Carbide Building, at 270 Park Avenue, but new office buildings was built on some parts of Manhattan Island: the new 64-story monolithic Chase Manhattan Building were near completion and its glass and stainless-stell curtain wall facade were completed, but interior construction works were continued. The new 40-story 80 Pine Street Building, on Financial District were completed. Construction works continue in the 46-story Equitable Life Building, in Sixth Avenue. The 41-story First National City Bank were near completion over Park Avenue. Demolition work begun on the site for future Pan Am Building.... In other words: Manhattan were on urban renewal. In Park Avenue, Third and Sixth Avenues many office buildings rises up and Lower Manhattan's Financial District were begun to change.

    In January 1960, the New York Port Authority made public its intention to build a new complex for world trade. The new complex, called "World Trade Center" were proposed to build on East River shoreline and were designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merril. Its mean building, rises 70 stories would to be Lower Manhattan's tallest. It was the begining of the large way to make way to the future WTC Twin Towers few years after.

    Now, a general panorama of the city in 1960.

    Night view of Fifth Avenue showing the 39-story 666 Fifth Avenue Building. January 1960.




    Aerial view of Lower Manhattan looking southwest from East River showing Chase Manhattan Bank Building under construction. January 1960. Photo: Skyview Aerial Surveys.




    Aerial view of Manhattan Island looking north. January 1960.





    Rockefeller Center looking west from Newsweek Building. January 1960.




    The Time & Life Building. January 1960.




    Aerial view of Lower Manhattan looking northeast. March 1960.




    Rockefeller Center looking north from Empire State Building, showing the new 48-story Time & Life Building. March 1960. Photo: Yale Joel. LIFE Magazine.





    The Time & Life Building looking west from RCA Building. March 1960. Photo: Yale Joel. LIFE Magazine.




    View to the north, showing Central Park and Sixth Avenue with the 46-story Equitable Life Building under construction.




    To the east showing Rockefeller Center.




    To the south, showing Chrysler, Chanin and Empire State Buildings and Garment and Times Square area.




    To the West. Times Square Theater District.





    The Pierre, Sherry Netherland and Savoy Plaza tower from Central Park. April 1960.




    Is not a skyscraper, but is beautifull. 10-story Pepsi-Cola Building (Skidmore, OWings & Merrill). April 1960.




    Emery Roth & Sons' 400 and 410 Park Avenue Buildings. May 1960.




    Midtown Manhattan looking north from Empire State Building showing the 52-story Union Carbide Building near completion. May 1960. (Compare with 1959 photo).




    Lower Manhattan old a new skyscrapers. The new Chase Manhattan Bank near completion between 40 Wall Street Tower and AIG Building. May 1960.




    The 33-story ITT and Manufacturers Trust Buildings under construction. Park Avenue. May 1960.




    The UN Secretariat Building and Tudor City from Empire State. May 1960.




    St. Moritz and Barbizon Plaza towers from Central Park. June 1960.





    Midtown Manhattan looking north from Empire State Building. June 1960.




    Midtown Manhattan looking northeast from Empire State. June 1960. The steel skeleton that be rises on far right, below Daily News Building is the 43-story Continental Can Building under construction on Third Avenue.




    The same picture in color. June 1960.




    Park Avenue looking south from 58th Street. June 1960. The First National City Bank Building, near completion can see on background.




    Lower Manhattah skyline looking west from Brooklyn Heighs showing the new 40-story 80 Pine Street Building (Emery Roth & Sons, 1960) and the 64-story Chase Manhattan Bank Building nearing completion. July 1960.





    Aerial view of Wall Street area, showing the new Chase Manhattan Bank Building, near completion. July 1960.




    Night view of new 52-story Union Carbide Building from Waldorf-Astoria Hotel looking southwest showing the Empire State Building on background, at left. July 1960.




    The new 52-story Union Carbide Building at 270 Park Avenue (Skidmore, Owings & Merrill). July 1960. Photo: Ezra Stoller.




    Times Square looking north from Times Tower. August 1960.




    Aerial view of Financial District skyscrapers facing Battery Park. August 1960.




    Aerial view of Lower Manhattan looking southwest from East River. August 1960.




    Aerial view of Rockefeller Center looking southwest with the new 48-story Time & Life Building. August 1960.




    Aerial view of Lower Manhattan looking southwest. September 1960.




    Wall Street skyscrapers and South Street Heliport from East River. September 1960.




    The Union Carbide Building looking southwest from Waldorf-Astoria Hotel. September 1960. Photo: Union Carbide. The Americana Encyclopedia.




    The new face of Financial District from Woolworth Building looking south. The 64-story Chase Manhattan Bank Buillding can see at center of the picture and 72-story Art Deco American International Building (Cities Services or 60 Wall Tower) can see at left and the 52-story Irving Trust Building and Equitable Building can seen at right. October 1960.




    Life Magazine's spanish edition cover showing night view of Midtown Manattan skyline with Chrysler and Empire State Buildings. October 1960.




    The new face of Park Avenue looking north from New York Central Building. The old fashionable residential zone were turned to be a new office building center. October 1960.




    The monolith of Chase Manhattan Bank between old buildings. Novembver 1960.




    Excavation works for Grand Central City Building (Pan Am Building). December 1960.




    The Union Carbide Building. Tallest of Park Avenue. December 1960.




    Next, a 1961 special of Chase Manhattan Bank Building.

    Your opinion is very important. If you want to write a commentary, to collaborate with more information and wishes to place a picture of some aspect of the history of skyscraper in New York City, show it in this blog.
    Last edited by erickchristian; December 10th, 2010 at 02:00 AM.

  14. #149

    Default Manhattan 1960s

    1961 Special

    THE 1961 ZONING LAW.


    Photo: Ezra Stoller. 1973

    A new skyscraper concept: Tower & Plaza

    Hi!! We're back on this trip through the history of New York skyscrapers on 20th. Century. Now, continue our trip through 1960s and now begun 1961 with this special about the 1961 Zoning Law that meant a radical change for the future skyscraper in New York, because it meant the end of the era of wedding-cake skyscraper to make may to new concept of monolithic tower and plaza.

    In 1960, the construction of the United Nations Headquarters, the Lever House, Seagram, Time Life had introduced a new concept in the skyscraper design: monolithic towers flanked by a plaza that served as sunken place of rest and relaxation for tenants, visitors and the public. A new concept under the requirements of International Style. In that year, the 52-story black aluminum and glass Union Carbide Building had been inaugurated, in Park Avenue, and also had a sunken plaza. At the same time, the 64-story Chase Manhattan Bank Building, in Lower Manhattan, was nearby completion, and in its design, a slim and monolithic 64-story aluminum and glass tower, without setbacks, contemplated the construction of a plaza. This new building made visible for the architects, developters and the city the need to modify the old 1916 zoning codes, and created a new law that sugest a new type of tower that had an open space that allowed the entrance of the sun light to the street.

    The Seagram Building. 1958. Photo: Ezra Stoller.





    According with Carol Jerselle Krinsky in the book New York. Culture Capital of the World 1940-1965 (1988):

    "The new internal requirements and the appeal of public plazas made a change in zoning rules a matter of highlest priority for developers and tenants alike. Before the 1961 revisions, property owners who provided plazas generally did so at a financial sacrifice; they were not building to the maximum capacity allowed on their lot and thus donating land to the public that could have been covered with rentable footage (although the plazas did bring thousands of dollars worth of free publicity, which offset some of the rental losses)" (Jerselle Krinsky, Carol. Architecture in New York City. Essay in the book New York. Culture Capital of the World 1940-1965. New York. Rizzoli. 1988. Page. 106).

    She continue:

    "Air-conditioners and relatively cool fluorescent lighting had rendered obsolete the practice of stationing workers no more than 30 feet from a window. The stepped building silhouettes mandated by the soning regulations of 1916 were sometimes set back where elevator banks dropped off, reducing the need of core space so the perimeter could recede without loss of rentable office room. However, after the introduction of air conditioning, when the core contracted, workers could simply be moved into the space freed, where good lighting and fresh air were available" (Jerselle Krinsky. 1988. Fragment).

    Two examples of modern late 1950's skyscrapers build under the 1916 Zoning regulations.

    34-story 750 Third Avenue Building (Emery Roth & Sons). 1958.




    200 East 42nd Street Building (Harrison & Abramovitz, 1958). Another 1950's weeding-cake skyscraper. Photo of 1960's.




    The new law were approved in December 1961. Jerselle Krinsky (1988) wrote about it:

    "The revised zoning regulations that went into effect in 1961 promoted both the building with broad, flexible floorspace, and the creation of plazas. According to old rules, a building could occupy its entire site at the base and then set back until only 25 percent of the lot was coverd -at which point a tower might rise to infinity. The new rules, however, set limits on building height. From 1961, a building could only include as much square footage as could be built to a specific multiple area ratio, or FAR (A Midtown office building with the usual FAR of 15 could cover the lot for fifteen stories, or be built over half the site for thirty stories, and so on.) Since offices with windows were still considered desirable, developers generally avoided creating hulks that covered a site and had deep interior spaces. They choose to erect slimmer towers, which left plaza space beside the buildings. In the first few years after the regulations went into effect, hardly anyone noticed that most of the open spaces were empty and dull, offering no amenites to the public. It took observes another few years to realize that the tight building lines of Manhattan's avenues were becoming ragged with the introduction of uncoordinated plazas (Jerselle Krinsky. 1988. Pages 106-107).

    A modern offices building build under the new 1961 ordinances:

    The Uris (Paramount) Plaza (Emery Roth and Sons), near Times Square . 1973. The a slab 55-story tower with a sunken plaza facing Broadway.




    The General Motors Building (Edward Durell Stone and Emery Roth & Sons), in Fifth Avenue. 1968. Photo of 1970 showing its plaza.




    The Twin Towers of World Trade Center (Minoru Yamasaky and Emery Roth & Sons. Build in 1966-1976. Destroyed in September 11th, 2001). Photo of 1973.




    Another picture of WTC showing the plaza. 1973.



    The Rockefeller Center's X, Y and Z Buildings (Harrison & Abramovitz, 1971-1974). 1973 Picture.





    The CBS Building (Eero Saarinen). 1965. Photo: Ezra Stoller.




    Perhaps, the first changes of the new 1961 Zoning rules, were visible until late 1960s. Many offices buildings were build between 1961-1964 under the old rules, that was approved before december 1961, Jerselle Krinsky wrote:

    "The zoning changes had little effect on New York City buildings completed before the mid-1960s. One reason is that the city allowed buildier to summit plans imitated under the old rules for between one and three years after the new ones went officially into effect. Another is that it took severay years for most large buildings to be completed. Moreover, several of the most conspicious projects inaugurated in the city before 1965 (the World Trade Center, Lincoln Center, the TWA terminal at Idlewild Airport, and Co-op City housing inthe Bronx) were exempt from the city's rules, since they were built on property belonging to the Port of New York Authority, or were too low or too dispersed to be affected by calculations of FAR" (Jerselle Krinsky. 1988. Page 107).

    Your opinion is very important. If you want to write a commentary, to collaborate with more information and wishes to place a picture of some aspect of the history of skyscrapers in New York City, show it in this blog.

  15. #150

    Default Manhattan 1960s

    1960-1961 Special:


    THE CHASE MANHATTAN BANK BUILDING



    A monolith that changed Lower Manhattan Skyline




    Hello!! We continue with our trip through the history of New York skyscrapers. Today, we continued with the 1960's and we continuing in 1961 with a special dedicated to the Chase Manhattan Bank Building, skyscraper designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, that although was finished in the summer of 1960, was inaugurated until May 17th, 1961.

    The monolithic 64-story aluminum and glass curtain-wall skyscraper, is located in Wall Street area, and was conceived by initiative of David Rockefeller, not only as the headquarters of the bank that he headed. More, the Chase Manhattan bank begun a great project of revitalization of Lower Manhattan's Financial District, that during the 1950's had entered in decline when the bank ans assurance companies were move to its new buildings in Midtown Manhattan. The Chase Manhattan Bank Building detonated a office building boom in Financial District, that was a urban renewal that culminate with the construction of the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center, in early 1970's.

    Perhaps, if the building wasn't the talles building in Downtown, its 64 stories and its monolithic shape, the Chase Manhattan modified dramatically the skyline of Financial District, until that moment, was dominated by old and skinny Art Deco 1920's and early 1930's skyscrapers.


    Old Lower Manhattan skyline before Chase Manhattan Bank Building.

    View from East River. 1951.




    Aerial view of Lower Manhattan looking southwest. 1956. Picture from "El Pequeño Larousse Ilustrado. Ediciòn 1970".





    Architecture historian, Carol Herselle Krinsky (1988) wrote about the Chase Manhattan Bank Building:

    “Another agent of urban change, the headquarters of the Chase Manhattan Bank (1960), also featured glass walls between columns that were place outside the office space. Gordon Bunshaft of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill designed the steel-framed tower to be the largest postwar building erected in lower Manhattan and a catalyst for further renewal and development there. Along with the Lever House and the Seagram Building –likewise designed and built under the old zoning rules- the Chase Manhattan Bank confirmed the desirability of the new straight-sided towers with plazas beside them” (Herselle Krinsky, Carol. Architecture in New York City. In Wallock, Leonard. New York Culture Capital of the World 1940-1965. New York. Rizzoli. 1988. Pages 104 and 106).


    The Chase Manhattan Bank Company

    The Chase Manhattan Bank was the result of the fusion of two bank companies. In 1955 David Rockefeller, president of the Chase National Bank Company -with headquartes in a 38-story Art Deco wedding-cake building, that build in 1928, in the lot where the new building would be constructed and had many offices offices buildings in all Manhattan, included one in the Rockefeller Center-, bought the Bank of Manhattan Company, financial institution that had its headquarters in the 70-story, Art Deco 40 Wall Street Tower (H. Craig Severance and Yasuo Matsui, 1930) and fused it to create one new company: The Chase Manhattan Bank.

    Then, Rockefeller, who seeing the amplitude of the operations of the new company, decided to to build a new headquarters building that reunited the its financial operations, at the same time, the new building detonate the Renaissance of Wall Street area as financial district, whose companies were being move to Midtown Manhattan.

    According with Robert A.M. Stern (1997):

    “In November 1955 the Chase Manhattan Bank electrified the city’s development community with the announcement that it intended to consolidate 8,700 employees working in nine different locations in a skyscraper headquarters building in the financial district, to be designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM). The significance of the Chase Manhattan bank’s decision went beyond the building’s contribution as architecture. The announcement of the project, more than any other single factor, triggered the economic revitalization of lower Manhattan, which had been so threatened by decline that the board of directors of the New York Stock Exchange had become alarmed for the entire financial community’s physical stability. When the Chase National Bank absorbed the Bank of Manhattan Company in 1955, the time seemed appropriate to make a decisive move and the bank acquired from the Guaranty Trust Company a 64,000 square-foot parcel fronting on Liberty Street (Stern, Robert. A.M. Mellins, Thomas. Fishman, David. New York 1960. Architecture and urbanism between the Second World War and the Bicentennial. New York. The Monacelli Press. 1997. Page 174).


    Design and Construction

    For the design of the new building Rockefeller commisioned to Skidmore, Owings & Merrill's principal architect, Gordon Bunshaft, who designed a slim 64-story building with a aluminum and blue-glass curtain-wall aluminum columns, that would dominate the Financial District skyline. The new monolithic style building, designed with the most pure canons of International Style Modernism, without steps, would occupy only the 25 percent of the total of the lot, and the rest would be destined for a sunken plaza. The definitive design appeared at the end of 1955, and the definitive scale model, with the plaza was show in a press conference at the beginning of 1957.

    Definitive model of the Chase Manhattan Bank. 1957.





    According with Stern:

    “According to Fortune, when SOM partner Edward James Mathews got wind of the potential project, he put the firm’s principal partner, Nathaniel Owings, on the case. Owings assembled a team of partners who succeeded in meeting informally with top Chase executives on June 10, 1955, and the firm was retained on a ‘time card’ basis to begin preparing schematic designs. By July 15 SOM prepared a full-scale analysis of the downtown site and its context; from the first the new headquarters building was seen not a insolate project but as the anchor of the financial district’s process of self-renewal. At this time Owings proposed the bold strategy the bank was to adopt: the creation of a superblock that would combine its holdings with the recently acquired property. From July 16 to August 30, when Gordon Bunshaft, the New York office’s design partner, was in Europe, his chief assistant, Roy Allen, Jr., and Jacques Guiton, a senior designer with the firm, began developing alternate plans for the site while other SOM executives began to explore the superblock concept with city officials. As a ‘control’, the design team developed a scheme for two buildings, a fifty-two-story tower and an adjunct fifteen-story building. But at the first full-dress presentation to the Chase board of directors on September 26, an alternate scheme calling for a single slab was also presented. Thought the board favored this scheme, it asked that the ‘control’ be developed as well. Bunshaft did not return from Europe until October 15, only then taking over the design. By December 6 Chase was persuaded that the single slab on a plaza was the way to go and the other scheme was dropped. Construction begun on January 28, 1957, and the building was completed in the summer of 1960; the plaza followed two years after” (Stern. 1997. Fragment).


    Construction of the Chase Manhattan Bank in pictures.

    Steel frame begun to rises up. February 1959. Photo: Bethlehem Steel. From: Architectural Record Magazine. November 1959 Issue.





    Construction workers putting a steel gilder on this place. June 1959. Photo: Bethlehem Steel. From: Architectural Record Magazine. November 1959 Issue.





    The Chase Manhattan Bank's steel skeleton begun to dominate the Lower Manhattan skyline. July 1959. Photo: Bethlehem Steel. From: Architectural Record Magazine. November 1959 Issue.





    Construction worker reunited in a group photo in a Chase's topping out ceremony. September 1959.





    The Chase Manhattan Bank building was Topped Out. View from 60 Wall Tower. September 1959.





    Aerial view of Lower Manhattan Skyline looking southwest showing the Chase Manhattan Bank under construction. January 1960. Photo: Skyviews Aerial Surveys.




    The modern monolith of Chase Manhattan near completion between the old Bank of Manhattan Building (40 Wall Tower, at left) and 60 Wall Tower (at right, also know as Cities Service Tower). May 1960.





    Aerial view of Lower Manhattan with the new Chase Manhattan Bank Building near completion. September 1960.




    The new Chase Manhattan Bank Building were complete. View looking south from Woolworth Building. October 1960.




    The Superblock and The Building

    For the summer of 1960, the exterior of the building was completed, but the building was not inaugurated until May 17, 1961. In these moment, the Chase Manhattan Bank become the sixth tallest building of the world. In agreement with the Americana Annual 1962:. An Encyclopedia of the Events of 1961:

    “Towering addition to the New York City skyline is the 64-story Chase Manhattan Bank Building, designed by Skidmore, Owings and Merrill. The world’s sixth-tallest building was opened on May 17”. (Moore, Charles W. Architecture. In The Americana Annual 1962. An Encyclopedia of the Events of 1961. New York. Americana Corporation. 1962. Page 46).

    According with Stern (1997), the Chase Manhattan Bank have the next characteristics:

    “The proposed Chase Manhattan Bank was by far the biggest new building downtown; in fact, among postwar buildings throughout the city it was rivaled in size only by the Socony-Mobil Building. To achieve the 2.5-acre site needed for such a large building, a superblock bounded by Liberty Street on the north, William Street on the east, Pine Street on the south and Nassau Street on the west was created, incorporating one block of Cedar Street that would be demapped. The Chase project was nicknamed ‘Little Rockefeller Center,’ although the midtown colossus was a large scale development, not a superblock. In fact, Rockefeller Center created additional streets, although their ownership was kept private, while Chase reduced the number of streets. In return for the closed street, the perimeter streets were widened so that the city lost no public real state. The city was also given $100,000, and Chase paid the cost for relocating utilities. The new superblock would be cleared of all buildings, including the massive Mutual Life Insurance Building (Charles W. Clinton, 1884). The only exception was the current Chase headquarters, a thirty-eight-story building at 18 Pine Street, designed in 1928 by the Chicago firm of Graham, Anderson, Probst & White; it was to remain standing, though it would be renovated to provide a sidewalk arcade along Pine Street” (Stern. 1997. Fragment).

    Stern wrote:

    “Superblocking was advantageous in many ways. Had there been no street closing. Chase could have built about 1,250,000 square feet of usable space on the site north of Cedar Street and another 150,000 square feet in buildings it intended to modernize on the eastern half of the block south of Cedar Street. But the SOM proposal creating the superblock offered the possibility of a single, sheer, 813-foot slab rising to sixty stories and occupying only 30 percent of the site, only 5 percent more coverage than the zoning permitted for towers of unlimited height. In return for the generous open space, the tower slab would yield 1.7 million square feet of usable space, 300,000-square-foot floors with twenty columns of approximately three by five feet along the outside perimeter, in the manner pioneered by Howe & Lescaze in their Philadelphia Saving Fund Society Building of 1929-31. This allowed of office floors that were encumbered only by the mechanical and service core” (Stern. 1997. Fragment).

    He continues:

    “SOM’s elegantly detailed Chase tower was sheathed in 28-by-107-foot panels of anodized aluminum. Stainless steel was rejected for cost reasons, while granite was rejected because Frederick Ecker, the senior building committee member, considered that time-honored material too traditional. The decision to use aluminum was a bold stroke: the building’s silvery metallic sheen, enhanced by its glassines, created an instantly identifiable and virtually unforgettable contrast with the traditional masonry mass of the lower Manhattan skyline. While not the tallest building in lower Manhattan, Chase dominated and drastically altered the area’s by now historic skyline by virtue of its singular shape and its bright finish. As Architectural Forum put it in the unprecedented thirty-page section it devoted to the building in 1961. ‘The big, broad-shouldered Chase stated crisply the mood and abilities of a newer age. It was not so much a cathedral of money as a powerful and superbly equipped machine for handling it’” (Stern. 1997. Fragment).

    The Chase Manhattan Bank (Skidmore, Owings & Merril. 1957-1961).





    View of Lower Manhattan with the new Chase Manhattan Bank. 1961.




    View from the 60 Wall Tower, looking west. May 1961.





    View of the new face of Financial District skyline with the new Chase Manhattan Building. Brooklyn Bridge is a foreground. May 1961.




    Building elevation. May 1961.





    The Plaza

    The design of the Chase Manhattan Bank Building's plaza was considered on the building's first designs. In fact, he was one of the reasons that stimulated the review the law of Zoning in 1961. The basic characteristics of plaza, that occupies the 70 percent of the total of the superblock, is the great circular hole designed by Isamu Noguchi, that lodges a small sunken garden in whose center have a sculpture elaborated by Noguche with basalts. An underground branch of Chase Manhattan Bank surrounds the garden's circumference.

    Chase Manhattan Bank Plaza: Noguchi's sunken garden. Photo: ggnyc. Flickr.com. Link: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ggnyc/537066899/sizes/o/





    The new face of Lower Manhattan skyline, showing Chase Manhattan Bank Building. 1965.






    Night view of Lower Manhattan skyline with the Chase tower full illuminated. 1962.




    Next. A 1961 special of Equitable Life Building.

    Your opinion are very important. If you have some commentary about the history of New York skyscraper or have a picture about it, please show in this blog. Thank You!!!
    Last edited by erickchristian; February 12th, 2010 at 05:06 PM.

Page 10 of 18 FirstFirst ... 67891011121314 ... LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Fading Into History: The Jewish Lower East Side
    By Kris in forum New York City Guide For New Yorkers
    Replies: 16
    Last Post: September 8th, 2014, 09:44 PM
  2. 18 E 68th Street - History?
    By OKoranjes in forum New York Real Estate
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: February 20th, 2008, 07:24 AM
  3. The Rose Center - American Museum of Natural History
    By ZippyTheChimp in forum New York Skyscrapers and Architecture
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: October 21st, 2007, 05:24 PM
  4. A Partly Historic Lot, Flanked by Glimpses of History
    By Kris in forum New York Skyscrapers and Architecture
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: January 24th, 2004, 01:32 PM
  5. Century 21, Closed by Terror, Reopens Soon
    By Edward in forum New York Real Estate
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: February 14th, 2002, 12:16 AM

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  


Google+ - Facebook - Twitter - Meetup

Edward's photos on Flickr - Wired New York on Flickr - In Queens - In Red Hook - Bryant Park - SQL Backup Software