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  1. #151

    Default Manhattan 1960s

    1961 Special:

    The Equitable Life Building.

    Hello! We continue with this trip through the history of the New York skyscraper during 20th Century. In this occasion we continued with our trip to 1961 and now, we will see the history of the Equitable Life Assurance Building, aluminum and glass curtain-wall 42-story skyscraper that rises over Sixth Avenue and West 51st and 52nd Streets, just north of the Time & Life Building.

    The Equitable Life Building was designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merril, based in the lines of the Union Carbide Building, at 270 Park Avenue, but with the difference of which the Equitable has a curtain-wall facade in white aluminum and two-toned blue glass, while its counterpart of Park Avenue owns a black aluminum and transparent glass curtain-wall facade.

    The Equitable was the third skyscraper that rises in the Sixth Avenue since the end of World War II. The development of the building was the direct consequence of the construction of the Time & Life Building, assuring the zone like a new axis of the businesses for the future, given its vicinity with the Rockefeller Center.

    The excavations for the Equitable Life Building began in August 1958, a year after the construction of the Time & Life Building was begun, and the construction of the Equitable building began in the spring of 1959 and finally was finished in summer of 1961.

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

    “In August 1958, the Equitable Life Assurance Society broke ground for its long-contemplated new headquarters, located immediately to the north of the Time & Life, on a blockfront lot between Fifty-first and Fifty-second streets that stretched 400 feet west toward Seventh Avenue. Skidmore, Owings & Merrill’s design (1959-1961) was based on the firm’s almost concurrent design for the Union Carbide Building, at 270 Park Avenue. Like Union Carbide, the Equitable’s 546-foot-high, forty-two-story tower rose uninterrupted from a small plaza; through 166 feet shorter than the Park Avenue building, the Equitable enclosed 200,000 more square feet of office space. In the midblock section to west was a fourteen-story wing” (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 403).


    Construction site of Equitable Life Insurance Building. April 1959. Photo: Photo: Dmitri Kessel. LIFE Magazine. Sorry for duplicate some this in this scanned picture.





    Steel skeleton of the Equitable Life Building under construction from the top of Time & Life Building looking north. April 1960. Photo: Yale Joel. LIFE Magazine.


    Stern continues:

    “In contrast to the coal-like blackness of Union Carbide, the Equitable was clad in silvery aluminum. It also less detailed than its Park Avenue counterpart, its lobbies and plazas less gracious, and its curtain wall thinner. Where Union Carbide captured some of the tectonic forces of Seagram’s, at Equitable the curtain wall seemed no more than what its name implied. It was this very simplicity that appealed to Ada Louise Huxtable: ‘Its immense size and streamlined simplicity are a reflection on the complex, impersonal business organization of our time. Equitable does not try for the luxury, prestige image … it stresses a no-frills kind of efficiency in a shell of simple dignity. Its esthetic effects are limited to fine points of structural design and to dramatically coordinated color inside.’ But, as Architectural Forum pointed out, the building had one overwhelmingly negative aspect to it, a characteristic it shared with Union Carbide: ‘Both Equitable and Union Carbide…sit on their lots in almost complete indifference to their surroundings. They largely ignore the street and the neighbors –for both street and neighbors are subject to erratic change without notice or forethought’” (Stern. 1997. Fragment).


    The Equitable Life Assurance Building on Sixth Avenue (Skidmore, Owings & Merrill 1958-1961). June 1961. Photo: Architectural Record Magazine. November 1961 issue.




    Building elevation. July 1962. Photo. Architectural Record Magazine. January 1963 Issue.




    Next, a general panorama of 1961.

    Your opinion are very important. If you have some commentary about the history of New York's skyscrapers or have a picture about it, please show it in this blog. Thank You!!!

  2. #152

    Default Manhattan 1960s

    1961

    Hi!! We`re back on other trip throught the history of New York skyscraper during 20th. Century. Now, were in 1961 and New York skyline were changing dramatically. More and more skyscrapers were completed and other were under construction in these year while John F. Kennedy assumed the U.S. Presidency and the Soviet intervention in Cuba increasse the political differences with United States.

    In early 1961, Pan American World Airways become a lead tenant on the Grand Central City Building, a octogonal 59-story skyscraper that designed by Emery Roth & Sons, Walter Gropius and Pietro Belluschi, and the building become to be a new name: The Pan Am Building.

    Construction works on the Pan Am Building begun on late 1960, and the spring of 1961, the steel skeleton of the building begun to rises up between Midtown skyline.

    The year's most architectural event was the inauguration of 64-story monolithic slab Chase Manhattan Bank Tower, that dramatically modified the Lower Manhattan Skyline, begun the revitalization of Wall Street area that prolonged -in their first phase- until the construction of WTC Twin Towers in early seventies.

    Other important office buildings that was completed in these year was the 41-story Continental Can Building in Third Avenue and East 40th Street (Harrison & Abramovitz); the 41-story First National City Bank Building in Park Avenue (Kahn & Jacobs); the 42-story Equitable Life building in Sixth Avenue (Skidmore, Owings & Merrill), north of Time Life Building; 31-story black glass curtain-wall Pfizer Building on Second Avenue and 42nd Street.

    Many more 20-35 story office buildings were opened for the business in that year in Third Avenue and Madison Avenues .

    While, construction works was begun for many offices building that schedule for completion between 1962 and 1963: The Pan Am Building, the Americana Hotel, in Seventh Avenue, The Rockefeller Center's Sperry-Rand Corporation building in Sixth Avenue, for example, and excavation works was begun for the 46-story New York Hilton Hotel, in Sixth Avenue. Other office buildings were begun to rises on other points of Midtown and Lower Manhattan.

    In early 1961, the architect Eero Saarinen design and show to the press the project for CBS Building, for Sixth Avenue but his death, in summer of these year affected the date of construction of the building.

    Residential skyscraper construction were increassed in 1961, overall, in Upper East Side, while construction works for Lincoln Center's Phillarmonic Hall were on progress.

    Yet, I show a general review of 1961.


    Rendering of Sperry-Rand Building on Sixth Avenue (Emery Roth & Sons). 1961.






    The Grand Central City to become a Pan Am Building. 1961.




    Pan Am Building model with its heliport. 1961.




    New Third Avenue's skyscraper from Empire State Building. The black building near completion in the right is the 41-story Continental Can Building. January 1961.




    Skating in Central Park. January 1961.





    Aerial view of Lower Manhattan looking northeast from Hudson River. February 1961. Photo Skyviews Aerial Surveys.





    Group of new modern skyscrapers on Park Avenue. March 1961.




    Sunshine view of Lower Manhattan looking southeast from Hudson River. March 1961.





    The Chase Manhattan Bank looking northwest from 60 Wall Tower. The Woolworth Building can see in extreme right, at background. April 1961.




    The Corning Glass Building. April 1961. Photo: Ezra Stoller.




    Aerial view of Manhattan Island looking northwest. May 1961. Photo: Fiarchild Aerial Surveys.




    Aerial view of Midtown Manhattan looking south showing Park and Sixth Avenue's new skyscrapers. May 1961. Photo: Fairchild Aerial Surveys.





    Aerial view of Midtown Manhattan looking northwest from East River. May 1961. Photo Fairchild Aerial Surveys.





    Battery Park. May 1961.




    The Empire State Building looking northwest from New York Life Building. May 1961.




    Midtown Manhattan looking southeast from RCA Building. May 1961.





    Lower Manhattan skyline looking southwest from Manhattan Bridge showing the new Chase Manhattan Bank Building and Brooklyn Bridge. May 1961.




    Playing football in Central Park with Midtown Manhattan skyline in background. May 1961.





    The Seagram as seen from Lever House's atrium. May 1961.




    The Chase Manhattan Building. May 1961.





    Aerial view of United Nations Headquarters looking north. May 1961. Photo: National Geographic Magazine.





    Aerial view of new face of Midtown Manhattan skyline looking southwest from East River showing United Nations. May 1961. Photo: National Geographic Magazine.





    The Union Carbide Building from the top of Waldorf-Astoria Hotel looking southwest. May 1961.





    The new 41-story First National City Bank Building in Park Avenue and East 53rd Street (Kahn & Jacobs). May 1961. Photo: Ezra Stoller.





    New skyscraper on Third Avenue. June 1961.




    Midtown Manhattan from Central Park. June 1961.




    Midtown Manhattan looking northeast from Empire State Building. June 1961.





    Lower Manhattan looking west from Brooklyn's docks. June 1961.




    Night view of Empire State Building from RCA Building. June 1961.





    The modern 21-story United Engineering Center (Shreve, Lamb & Harmon). June 1961. The building was demolished in 1997. Photo: Architectural Record Magazine.




    The new 42-story Equtable Life Building in Sixth Avenue. June 1961. Photo: Architectural Record.





    Aerial view of Manhattan Island looking northwest. July 1961.




    Night view of Times Square. July 1961.




    New and old Grand Central district skyscrapers from future Burrough's Building site looking northwest. August 1961.





    Night view of Midtown Manhattan from East River looking west. August 1961.




    The new 41-story First National City Bank building at 399 Park Avenue. August 1961.





    New 22-story wedding-cake 522 Fifth Avenue Building. September 1961.





    Aerial view of Lower Manhattab looking northwest from East river showing Midtown in background. September 1961. Photo: National Geographic Magazine.





    Midtown Manhattan looking northeast from Empire State Building. October 1961.




    Aerial view of Manhattan Island looking north. November 1961.




    The steel skeleton of the Pan Am Building under construction rising up. November 1961.




    The United Engineering Center. December 1961. Photo: Ezra Stoller.




    Next week, a general panorama of 1962.

    Your opinion are very important. If you have some commentary about the history of New York's skyscrapers or have a picture about it, please show it in this blog. Thank You!!!
    Last edited by erickchristian; December 20th, 2010 at 04:10 AM.

  3. #153

    Default Manhattan 1960s

    1962


    Hi!!!! We're back on this travel through the history of New York skyscraper during 20th. Century. We continue in 1960s and now, we will talk about the city in 1962. While United Nations find a soluton for the missile crisis between United States, Cuba and Russia, in the most deep crisis of Cold War, and John Gleen orbit the Earth, the New York's office building boom were in its full expresion.

    New offices buildings were build in Park, Sixth and Third Avenue, especially. The great architectural events of the year were the topping out ceremony for Pan Am Building, on May, 1962 and the dedication of the new 50-story yellow brick and glass Americana Hotel, in these time the world's tallest concrete structure building.

    While the Pan Am Building were rises up over Grand Central slyline, in Sixth Avenue construction works were on progress for 45-story Sperry Rand Building, for Rockefeller Center. Few block to north, the steel structure of 46-story New York Hilton Hotel rises up while the construction workers cleanining the site for the construction of CBS Building and demolition works begun for the site of JC Penney Building.

    In Park Avenue, excavation works begun for the site of the new 50-story Chemical Bank Building, opposite Union Carbide Building, while construction works continue for 33-story Bankers Trust Building that was completed in december 1962.

    In Third Avenue, the steel structure of 42-story Burroughs Building, south of Continental Can Building, rises up and excavation works for William Lescaze's 38-story, glass and bronce curtain-wall US Playwood Building were begun.

    While, restoration works were on many old 1920's and 1930's Art Deco skyscrapers: the During 1961 and 1962, 77-story Chrysler Building (1930) was retore to recovery its lost glory. Restoration works contemplated the cleaning of white-brick facade and reparation of cleaning of its stainless steel Art Deco crown. During 1962 the limestone facade of 102-story Empire State Building was restore and its mooring mast were repared and painted to silver, recovery its 1931 splendor.

    In Lower Manhattan plans for develop the World Trade Center Complex were continued. Now the plan was move to West Side and contemplated the demolition of Radio Row area, between Vesey and Liberty Streets and West Side Highway and Church Street, in these year the Port Autority of New York and New Jersey commisioned to Seattle architect Minoru Yamasaky to design of the new complex. But it is theme for a future special about the WTC.

    In Upper West Side, Lincoln Center's first building was completed: the Phillarmonic Hall and near, the first 35-story apartment building for Lincoln Plaza Urban Renewal Project were completed.

    Now, a general panorama of 1962.


    Iron workers put a steel gilder on the Pan Am Building. January 1962.





    Night view of Midtown Manhattan looking south from RCA Building. March 1962. Photo: National Geographic Magazine.




    Midtown Manhattan looking west from Queensboro Bridge's approach. March 1962.




    The Pan Am Building rising up. View from 500 Fifth Avenue Building looking east showing the Union Carbide Building (left) and Chrysler Building (right) under restoration. March 1962. In these moment, the Pan Am's steel structure were rises almost 45 stories.




    Aerial view of Manhattan island looking north showing Lower Manhattan's skyscrapers on foreground and Midtown, with the Pan Am Building under construction, at background. April 1962.




    The steel skeleton of Pan Am Building under construction looking north from Lincoln Building. April 1962. The Pan Am Building now rises 53 stories.




    Midtown Manhattan from Central Park's lake in Sunday. April 1962. In the skyline can see the steel skeletons of Pan Am (left) and Sperry Rand (center below the RCA Building) buildings and the concete skeleton of Americana Hotel (right behind the trees).




    The Pan Am Building's Topping Out Ceremony. May 1962. Finally, the building rises 59 stories.




    The Guggenheim Museum (Frank Lloyd Wright, 1942-1959). May 1962.





    Aerial view of Lower Manhattan looking southwest. July 1962.




    Aerial view of Lower Manhattan looking southwest from East River showing Brooklyn Bridge. July 1962.




    Aerial view of the Pan Am Building under construction. July 1962.





    Night view of Lower Manhattan skyline looking southwest from East River. July 1962.




    Night view of Park Avenue looking south from First National City Bank Building. July 1962.




    The Equitable Life Building. July 1962. Photo: Architectural Record Magazine. January 1963 issue.




    The Waldorf-Astoria Hotel looking from Chanin Building looking north. July 1962.




    The United Nation Headquarters looking northeast from Tudor City. July 1962.




    Construction workers work on a office on the new 33-story Bankers Trust Building on Park Avenue. July 1962. The Pan Am Building under construction and the old New York Central Building can see on background.





    The Tower East on Third Avenue. Upper East Side. August 1962.




    Aerial view of Midtwon Manhattan looking south. September 1962. The Pan Am Building (at left) were under construction. In Sixth Avenue (Avenue of the Americas) skyscrapers construction were on progress: the steel and concrete structure of the new 45-story Sperry Rand Building (center, below RCA Building) were complete and works of this facade were on progress. Steel skeleton for New York Hilton Hotel (right) were rises up. The new 50-story Americana Hotel were on extreme right. Photo: LIFE Magazine.




    Aerial view of Pan Am Building under construction on September 1962. View looking north.




    Aerial view of Lincoln Center sowing a LIFE photomontage of the complex above the Phillarmonic Hall (Center's only completed building in these moment). with Midtown in the background. September 1962. Photo: LIFE Magazine.




    The Sloan House at New York Cornell Hospital. September 1962. Photo: Ezra Stoller.






    Times Square looking north from Times Tower showing the new Americana Hotel. September 1962.





    The Crysler Building from Second Avenue, showing new Third Avenue skyscrapers. October 1962.





    Aerial view of Lower Manhattan Financial District looking southeast showing the definitive site for the new World Trade Center. October 1962.





    Park Avenue looking southwest from 56th Street. October 1962.





    The new face of Park Avenue. View from 52nd Street looking south showing the new 59-story Pan Am Building near completion. October 1962.





    Times Square looking northeast. October 1962.




    Third Avenue's skyscrapers. View looking southeast from 45th Street. November 1962.





    Night view of Midtown Manhattan's new skyline looking west from East River. December 1962.




    The new 33-story Bankers Trust Building, on Park Avenue (Shreve, Lamb & Harmon). December 1962. Photo: J. Alex Langley. Architectural Record Magazine. January 1963 Issue.





    Next week, a great special of Pan Am Building.


    Your opinion are very important. If you have some commentary about the history of New York's skyscrapers or have a picture about it, please show it in this blog. Thank You!!!

  4. #154

    Default Manhattan 1960s

    Next week

    a 1963 Special:











    THE PAN AM BUILDING.

    Comming Soon


  5. #155

    Default Manhattan 1960s

    1963 Special

    THE PAN AM BUILDING


    Discordy skyscraper

    PART 1:

    Grand Central City Project


    Hi!! We're back on this trip through the history of New York skyscrapers during 20th. Century. Now we begun 1963 showing this special of four parts about the history of the octogonal 59-story Mo-Sai concrete panels and glass curtain-wall Pan Am Building (now, know as Met Life Building), on 200 Park Avenue. This building, when was inaugurated in March 1963, was considered the world biggest office building (in office space), but it was memorable because it was a controversial skyscraper: the octogonal building mass was build above Grand Central Terminal and obstruct the view on both sides of Park Avenue and during many years, it was the most hated of the skyscrapers.

    The construction of Pan Am Building, above Grand Central Terminal were involved the demolition of half of the original Terminal Building, and symbolized the triumph of air transportation over railroads. The Pan Am Building is a building that symbolized the power of aviation, the thriumph of the corporate power over the urban and architectural preservation, a menace for the integrity of Grand Central Terminal and detonate a large fight of many architects, jorunalist to save the terminal to demolition. In a architecture words: The Pan Am Building is remembered by many New Yorkers as the skyscraper that completed the metamorphosis of Park Avenue to be a corporate center and destroy the idealistic view of the old New York.

    But, in my opinion, I considered the Pan Am Building as a great architectural icon of mid 20th Century New York, and its history, like Empire State Building, Chrysler Building, Rockefeller Center and the former Twin Towers of World Trade Center, is a resume of progress, epic and controversy.

    The Grand Central City.

    The history of Pan Am Building begun in 1954, when developer William Zeckendorf launch a project of reconstruction of Grand Central Terminal and its enviroments and comisioned to I.M. Pei to design a new building. Pei designed a 80-story, 1,600-foot tall ultramodern tower to dominate entire Manhattan skyline and implicate the demolition of old Grand Central Terminal. This design were rejected.

    In these moment, the old 1914 Grand Central Terminal and enviroments were experimented a decline on a number of passangers and commercial space. In these moment the New York Central Company considered a project to revitalize the Terminal and support the conception of poroject called Grand Central Terminal. While, Park Avenue's north side of Grand Central Terminal to 59th Street were experiment a metamorphosis from luxury apartment buildings district to a new corporative center.

    The Grand Central Terminal in its good times. June 1937.



    Grand Central Terminal in 1951.



    Robert A.M. Stern (1997) wrote about the Grand Central City:

    "In 1954 Robert Young, chairman of the board of the New York Central Railroad, advised by William Zeckendorf, proposed a 1,600-foot-tall, eighty-story, 4.8 million-square-foot office tower, designed by I.M. Pei, for construction above a rebuilt Grand Central Terminal. Pei's scheme, ballyhooed as the world's tallest building, was to be surmounted by an observation tower. Before any sketches had been released, Webb & Knapp, Zeckendorf's company, anounced that the proposal was being 'restudied'" 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 359).

    During the next four years many architects show its schemes for Grand Central Terminal development, but when in 1956, the project's mean builder, Erwin Wolfson choose Emery Roth & Sons, the way to conception of Pan Am Building were on march.

    Stern (1997) continue:

    "In September 1954 Patrick McGinnis, president of the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad, which had a half interest in Grand Central Terminal, offered his own proposal, developed with the advice of the builder Erwin Wolfson. Designed by Fellheimer & Wagner, architects specializing in railroad buildings and succesors to the firm of Reed & Stern, co-designers of thge original terminal, it called for the construction of four million square feet of office space in a fifty-story H-plan mass straddling the axis of Park Avenue. According to this plan, East forty-third nad East Forty-fourth streets, now interrupted by the existing terminal structure, would be permitted to continue across the site and Park Avenue viaduct would be straightened so that traffic wuold run directly north-south. The existing terminal, which Alfred Fellheimer dismissed as 'in effect, a Chinesse Wall', would be demolished: built in its place would be six connected low-rises structures surmounted by roof gardens, as well as a double-cruciform tower. At the tower`s base were to be stores and restaurants adjoining the elevated, landscaped spaces, while at the building's summit was to be a heliport; the building would also contain indoor parking facilities for 2,400 cars. Although littlke appears to have happened to either of these plans foir several years, while the two railroads struggled for economic survival, in 1958 plans were announced for what was firsdt called Grand Central City but would become the Pan Am Building" (Stern. 1997. Fragment).

    Stern continue:

    "Although the New York Central and New Haven railroads were unable to resolve their dispute over the extent of the joint ownership of the terminal and its facilities, they agreed to work together with M;cGinni's development adviser, Erwin Wolfson, knowing that neither entity would profit because the revenues would be used exclusively to maintain the treminal and its operations. Wolfson selected Emery Roth & Sons as his architects, who proposed a massive fifty-story tower containing three million square feet of office space, almost half again as much as that contained in the Empìre State Building. The new building would replace the nearly invisible six-story Grand Central Terminal Office Building that ast behind the terminal proper. It would rise over the railroad tracks, with a lobby lifted to the level of Park Avenue auto ramps and connected to street-level passageways by escalators. The passageways, in turn, were connected by more escalators to the terminal's concourse level below. Parking for 2,000 cars on four levels was to be provided; helicopters would be permitted to land on the roof. In addition, the new building would contain two 1,800-seat. live-performance theaters as well as a movie theater seating 1,200. An open-air restaurant on the seventh-floor roof would also be provided. In keeping with current planing theory, these features were proposed to minimize tenats' need to travel in the course of their typical business day and to expand the value of the office building to the community". (Stern, 1997. Fragment).

    Stern continue:

    "As designed by the Roth office, the Grand Central City building was to be sheathed in aluminum and glass, creating, as much as a structure so vast could, a backdrop to the elaborate architecture of the older surrounding buildings. The design was sympathetic to the context in at least one important way: its 'base' was comparable in height to that of the New York Central Building (in some versions the base was lower); and the north-south tower rising from the base would not be significant wider than that of the New York Central Building. The new building would thus cause a minimal disruption of the vista up and down Park Avenue" (Stern, 1997. Fragment).

    A early Emery Roth & Sons scheme for Grand Central City. 1958.



    Gropius-Belluschi-Roth.

    In 1958, when the first Roth proposal was unveiled, Wolfson were considered the new building were more spectacular and suggest to Roth for a new collaborators to help him to redesign the building. Roth suggested to famous architects Walter Gropius and Pietro Belluschi to redesign the new building. Gropius and Belluschi colaborate with Emery Roth & Sons and designed a new scheme for Grand Central City: a 59-story octogonal monolithic skyscraper with covered with concrete panels and glass, 2.4 million office floor space, the world largest office building. New plan were unveiled in early 1959.

    Walter Gropius. Photo: Wikipedia. The Skillet Lickers. Flickr.com. http://www.flickr.com/photos/superha...70630/sizes/o/



    Stern (1997) wrote about Gropius-Belluschi-Roth team:

    "But Wolfson felt unconfortable with the modesty of the Roth design. Convinced that such a prominent site demanded something more, Wolfson asked Richard Roth to suggest a few possible design collaborators. Roth suggested Walter Gropius, who in turn suggested Pietro Belluschi. In July 1958 the two architects were hired to team up with the Roth office on the Grand Central City project. Gropius was the founder of the Bauhaus in Germany in 1919 and its director until 1928, and had been a leading proponen of architectural Modernism in the United States since 1938, when he became chairman of the Department of Architecture at Harvard University's Graduate School of Design, a post he held until 1952. He was also active as an architect in his capacity as senior partner of the Architects Collaborative of Cambridge, Massachussets. Although Gropius had little experience with commercial buildings, he had been the leading designer of the Boston Back Bay Center plan (1953) for the mixed-use redelopment of a large site in Boston, a project that had a great influence on architects and planners in their urban redevelopment work in the 1950s. Pietro Belluschi, dean of the School of Architecture and Planning at the Massachussets Institute of Technology from 1951 to 1965, was the designer of the elegantly minimal Equitable Life Assurance Building in Portland, Oregon (1944-1947). Belluschi was currently developing designs for the head designs for the Julliard School of Music at Lincoln Center. In announcment the appointment of Gropius and Belluschi, Wolfson claimed that they would asist in both 'esthetic and functional' aspects of the design but would not significantly alter the glass-and-aluminum envelope the Roth firm had planned for the building. Such claims notwithstanding. In February 1959 an entirely new design for the building emerged" (Stern. 1997. Fragment).

    He continued:

    "Gropius and Belluschi's revised plan, prepared in association with Richard Roth of Emery Roth & Sons, was unveiled on February 18, 1959. It was not the modest revision that Wolfson had promised but a radical redesign. The tower was turned ninety degreses and ran east-west, along the axis of Forty-fourth Street. It was five stories taller than the original proposal, rising to fifty-five floors; but the base was lower, only six floors, lower than any other building around it, including Grand Central Terminal itself. (As finally designed, the base building was raised to eight stories to align with the terminal's cornice). The new design supplied 2.4. million square feet of spacem 600,000 fewer than the earlier design. Unlike the Roth design, the slablike tower, which covered 25 percent of the site, had not setbacks, but it was no without a unique sculptural presence. For one thing, its plan was that of a highly elongated octagon, with very narrow east and west ends and three broad planes along the north and south facades. It was broken into three horizontal sections, whith bold shadows created by setting the curtain-wall back behind the outside columns at the twenty-first and forty-sixth floors, where mechanical equipment was located. The neutral, silvery glass-and-aluminum skin of the previous design was replaced by a facade of precast concrete and glass (Stern. 1997. Pages 359-360).

    The Grand Central City's Gropius-Belluschi-Roth proposal. 1959.




    A model of the new building. 1959.




    Next, a second part of the history of Pan Am Building.

    Your opinion are very important. If you have some commentary about the history of New York's skyscrapers or have a picture about it, please show it in this blog. Thank You!!!
    Last edited by erickchristian; March 1st, 2010 at 02:08 AM.

  6. #156

    Default Manhattan 1960s

    1963 Special:




    THE PAN AM BUILDING



    Discord Skyscraper

    Part Two

    Tower of Controversy


    Hi!!! We're rback on this trip around the history of New York skyscrapers. Now, we're continue with this 1963 special about Pan Am Building and now, in this second part of this special, we, will talk about the controversy that detonated the final design of the building. When the final scheme of Grand Central City Building was unveilied, in early 1959, many writers, architects and criticism, like a young Ada Louis Huxtable, says about the mass impact of the new building in Midtown skyline, specially in Park Avenue, that in these time, were experimented a radical transformation to become a new corporate center. The controversy was supported with the idea of the only presence of the building, was schedule for completion until 1962, would be destroyed the idealistic panorama of Park Avenue, turning it to a great modern skyscraper canyon, and the building would block the vista of the avenue in the north and south facade, and would make to small size the old 1929 New York Central Building.

    Merredith L. Clausen, in her book The Pan Am Building and the Shattering of the Modernist Dream (2005), says abouth the final scheme of Grand Central City:

    "The building's octogonal slab, with the sides faceted to make it appeared more slender and to reduce the effect of bulk, was Belluschi's idea. The form, however, was not new. Gio Ponti's new Pirelli Headquarters Building in Milan, begun in 1958, was under construction at the time and much in the news" (Claussen, Merredith L. The Pan Am Building, and the Shattering of the Modernist Dream. Cambridge, Massachussets, London, England. Massachusetts Institute of Technology. MIT Press. 2005. Page 98).

    The Pirelli Building, Milan, Italy (Gio Ponti, Pier Luigi Nervi. 1958). Photo: matthew_reames. Flickr.com. Link: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mreames...29958/sizes/l/



    The model of Grand Central City were showed to public in Grand Central Terminal's Concourse in February 1959, when the definitive moder were unveiled, the new building gave many criticism.


    The Grand Central City's model were show in the Terminal concourse in February 1959.



    Criticism were more acid during 1959 and 1960, architecture magazines as Architectural Record and Progressive Architecture were divided its debate to support or against the Gropius-Belluschi-Roth skyscraper.

    Claussen (1994) says about criticism about Grand Central City:

    "At the same time as Gropius and Belluschi, touted as 'two of world's most distinguished architects', were brought in, tempers were being inflamed by articles by Jane Jacobs and others decrying the boom in office towers, the plathora of deadly dull buildings filling American citiesm and the loss of human scale. By the time their new scheme was published in December of 1958, nerves were raw. gropius, who was quoted as having written in Scope of Total Architecture that 'the sickness of our chaotic environment ... has resulted froum our failure to put basic human needs above economic requirements,' was taken to task for defying the social ideals he had only recently espoused. 'We believe Gropius is too great a man to have doubts on the meaning of his words,' a letter to editor in the January 1959 (Architectural) Forum said. 'Never discouraged, he has always adhered to his ideas and convictions, and has followed all his long life the call of his social consciousness. However, what result, what kind of value of improvement, can we expect from his collaboration on this 'biggesr office building in the world', a $100 million colossus for 25,000 office workers, on top of Grand Central?' Evem more vehement was the rebuke from Sibyl Mohol Nagy, widow of one of Gropius's colleagues at the Bauhaus and professor at the Pratts Institute, who maintained that those who attempt to justify the proposed building by saying it was bound to be built anyway, with of without the pedigrees of Gropius and Belluschi, are blurring 'the lines of ideal and compromise,' flushing standars down the drain. Calling the situation 'where an architect of fame is willing to sell out to a promoter' a profound tragedy, she again chided the architects for turning their back on their social ideas" (Claussen, Merredith L. Pietro Belluschi. Modern American Architect. Cambridge, Massachussets, London, England. Massachusetts Institute of Technology. MIT Press. 1994. Page 301).

    Clausen (1994) continue:

    "In a attempt to stern the tide of public opinion, in January 1960 a panel was held at the New School for Social Research on the cuestion 'What Is Good Design and Planning in New York?' The debate, with Wolfson, roth, gropius, and Belluschi on one side and Victor Gruen (then recognized as one of the leading urban designers in the country), Thomas Creighton (editor of Progressive Architecture), Peter Blake (associate editor of the Forum), and Paul Zucker (city planning historian and professor at the New School), on the other, focused on the Grand Central proposal. Seen as exemplifying one of the era's most pressing urban problems, it raised such cuestions as wheither New York was in danger overbuilding, whether aesthetics could be balanced with economics, how much responsibility the architect should bear for his role, at what point civic consciousness should influence building design -all key moral issues that were to dominate the decade if the sixties" (Clausen. 1994. Fragment).

    She continue:

    "The debate was a farce. As Ada Louis Huxtable, architectural critic of the New York Times, described it, the panel was 'modest to the point of apology,' and, awed by the presence of Gropius and Belluschi, the challengers were merely polite 'in the interest of avoiding professional humility.' Walter McQuade in The Nation noted that even with aggressive questioning from the floor, the evening 'could not be pulled back from the gently negative morass inti which it had sunk.' Huxtable's despondent conclusion was that the building was just too big for the site. Despite the presence of the two highly respected architects, the result was a compromise, 'and compromise is rarely art.' McQuader was more blunt. Rather than focusing on the main issue, the 'increasingly desperate subject of New York's decline as a place to live,' the discussion was all about money and the plight of the beleaguered businessman. The two prominent architects were but packagers, he concludedm brought in to sell the product. Even Gropius admitted that it was only te best they could do under circumstances. And those circumstances?. Almost everyone on the panel implied the same thing: they shouldn't let us do the king of building, make this kind of money. 'But so long as there isn't a law... '" (Clausen. 1994. Page 302).

    Huxtable's "Marvel or Monster" article

    The discussion eventually were more acid against the future Pan Am Building. In January 24, 1960, a Ada Louis Huxtable's article titled, Marvel or Monster? Grand Central City Is Mass Architecture, published in The New York Times, show a photomontage of building in the Grand Central area. With Huxtable's article debate about Grand Central developmentr were turned hot.

    Claussen (2005) says about Huxtable's article:

    "Huxtable's account of the debate was more pointed. Accompanying her article in the New York Times, which appeared the following week (January 24, 1960), was a figure of a scale model of the 'proposed behemoth' superimposed upon a photograph of the area, underscoring its inmense bulk. In her immitable way, she begun by talking of togetherness, which we were told, she said, was the trend of the times. Grand Central City, she continued, is togetherness on a monumental architectural scale. She described the huge building: $100 million, 830 feet high, fifty-four stories (sic) covering a three-and-a-half-acre plot from 43rd to 45th Streets, spanning park and Vanderbilt Avenues, containing 2.4 million square feet of space, housing twenty-five thousand visitors per day, and scheduled for erection in 1960-61 on the site of the old six-story Grand Central office building. The question raised by 'this record-breaking commercial colossus,' she said, was: How much togetherness is enough?" (Claussen, Merredith L. The Pan Am Building, and the Shattering of the Modernist Dream. Cambridge, Massachussets, London, England. Massachusetts Institute of Technology. MIT Press. 2005. Page 163).

    Acording with Clausen, Huxtable's article said:

    "By virtue of the size and location, Grand Central City 'will inevitably be New York's most important structure,' she prediced. She found it commendable that Wolfson had retained 'a distinguished pair of architects, Pietro Belluschi, dean of the School of Architecture and Planning at MIT, and Walter Gropius, a revered founding father of the modern movement,' to work with his own architect, Richard Roth. There was no doubt, she said, that the four of them, Wolfson, Roth, Gropius and Belluschi, had designed a major monument. But whether it was a monster or a marvel was being hotly debated in professional circles. The debate, she continued, beame public at a special forum at the New School, where it was obvious that the outsized structure posed 'an important and pricky problem' for the city. The presentation panel was, as she put it, modest to the point of apology, ans she cited Wolfson's stated aims 'for a fine artistic achievement.' Roth's stress on the commom architectural bond among the collaborators, and Belluschi's brave admision that 'some criticism had been heard'" (Clausen. 2005. Pages 163 and 165).

    Clausen says, according with Huxtable's article:

    "But beyond the cuestion of its aesthetic merits (about which she clearly had doubts), the basic question remained as to wether a building of this magnitude should be builtat all. Most planners agreed this addition to an already overbuilt New York was 'one mor rapid step toward the certain strangulation of the city, and its eventual reduction to total paralysis.' However, as long as private enterprises controlled city land use, and economics and legislation offered no incentives to improve urban design, such buildings were inevitable, and neither deveolper not designer was to blame, The blockbuster building was here to stay, ' a singular sympton of the most disturbing characteristics of our age: a loss of human scale that seems irrevocably tied to a loss of human values'" (Clausen. 2005. Pages 165-166).

    Huxtable's concluded:

    "The one bright spot in all thism was the serious consideration this major commercial enterprise gave to architectural aesthetics. But '(w)hether the result is monumentally of megalomania, however, is still open to debate'" (Clausen. 2005. Fragment).

    Debate divided

    Until construction works were begun for the construction of Pan Am Building, debate about it, were devided between the critics against the building and the specialists who defending Gropius-Belluschi-Roth's work.

    Clausen (1994) wrote about Grand Central City'd debate:

    "The barrage of criticism continued. tale professor Vincent Scully called it a 'fatal blow to the street,' a building that 'in any terms other than those of brute expedience, should not be there at all.' Washington's more sober architectural critic Wolf Von Eckardt described it in the New Republic as 'conspicious for its ugliness and arrogant disregard od its surroundings.' John Burchard, dean of humanities and social sciences and a colleague of Belluschi's at MIT, saw it as 'disastrous... a monstrous denial of urbane urbanism.' Carl Condit, historian of the Chicago skyscraper (who, it was noted, spoke with some authority of such matters), predicted that it would transform the corner of Park Avenue and 42nd into 'the first intersection rendered permanently impassable by traffic'" (Claussen, Merredith L. Pietro Belluschi. Modern American Architect. Cambridge, Massachussets, London, England. Massachusetts Institute of Technology. MIT Press. 1994. Page 302).

    But the Pan Am Building were few deffenders, according with Clausen (1994):

    "The building had few defenders: Emerson Goble, editor of the Architectural Record and a longstanding Belluschi proponent, applauded the concept of the vertical city that concentrated rather than scattered people in traffic; Edmund bacon, executive director of the City Planning Commission of Philadelphia, with whom Belluschi was by this time involved in the redevelopment of Independence Mall, found it a distinguished addition to the city, 'remarkably successful in giving a visual background to the great historic vistas of Park Avenue.' These were the exceptions. For the most part sentiment was opposed, and the Pan Am Building continued to be seen as 'a dam-like impediment,' a 'symbol of greed of real estate speculators in dark collusion with city hall,' and 'a moral lapso on the part of Drs. Gropius and Belluschi'" (Clausen. 1994. Pages 302-303).

    Grand Central City become Pan Am Building

    In September, 1960, Wolfson announced the Pan American World Airways bought fifteen stories of Grand Central City building. Since this date, Pan Am become on the lead tenant of the Grand Central City Building, and its name were changed. Since September 1960, this building be renamed as "THE PAN AM BUILDING" that construction works were begun in summer of 1960 with the demolition of old Grand Central Terminal Office Building.

    Clausen (2005) says to new tenants:

    "While the New York Central Railroad was developin its plans to exploit the air space inside Grand Central Terminal with bowling alleys, Wolfson was busy making plans of his own with one of the nation's leading airlines. Throughout the summer of 1960, he had been holding highly clandestine meetings with (Juan) Trippe (lead chairman of Pan American Airways). That September, it was announced that Pan American had, in the largest lease of its kind, signed a lease for fifteen floors in the new skyscraper rising over the Grand Central, becoming the major tenant in the building. As part of the negotiations, the building was to be renamed the Pan Am" (Claussen, Merredith L. The Pan Am Building, and the Shattering of the Modernist Dream. Cambridge, Massachussets, London, England. Massachusetts Institute of Technology. MIT Press. 2005. Page 128).


    Erwin Wolfson (left) and Juan Trippe, chairman of Pan Am (right) signed the sale of fifteen floors of the Grand Central City, that renamed THE PAN AM BUILDING. September 1960.




    A model of Pan Am Building with its heliport. 1961.





    Next, a third part of this special: The construction of Pan Am Building.


    Your opinion are very important. If you have some commentary about the history of New York's skyscrapers or have a picture about it, please show it in this blog. Thank You!!!




  7. #157

    Default Manhattan 1960s

    1963 Special

    THE PAN AM BUILDING




    Discord skyscraper

    Part Three:

    The Construction of a Icon

    Hi!! We're continue with this special about the Pan Am Building. In this third part, we're show a picture trip on the construction of the new building, that since of the moment of its conception, this architects and designers solved many construction complications, specially if this building were build above Grand Central Terminal's railroad tracks. Roth and his engineers solved its problem putting the steel columns over a "sandwich" of anti-vibration asbestos mat between the steel columns base and concrete base to absorbs trains vibrations.

    Construction work on Pan Am begun on June 1960 with the demolition of old Grand Central Office Building. By December, excavation works were very advanced.



    When this picture of Midtown showing Grand Central Area were taken from RCA Building's observatory roof, on May 1961, cranes on Pan Am's construction site were visibles behing New York Central Building, on extreme left.



    For early November 1961, octogobal steel skeleton of Pan Am rises almost 20 stories. Picture from Lincoln Building.



    A detail of construction work. Putting a steel gilder. February 1962.




    March 1962. Pan Am Building under construction. Steel structure now rises 45 stories. Pictire from 500 Fifth Avenue looking northeast.



    Steel construction were quickly. In April 1962 the steel skeleton of Pan Am Building rises 53 stories. Instalation of Mo-Sai concrete curtain-wall panels were installing in lower floors. Picture from Lincoln Building.




    Pan Am Building Topping-Out ceremony. Last steel gilder going up to complete the 59 floor. May 1962.



    The Pan Am Building under construction in July 1962. Aerial view looking north.



    A new face of Park Avenue with new Pan Am Building under construction dominate Park Avenue skyline. Night view from First National City Bank Building. July 1962.



    The Pan Am on September 1962. Work with instalation of Moi-Sai facade panels were 90% completed.



    Park Avenue from 52nd Street looking south showing Pan Am Building nearing completion. October 1962.



    January 1963. The new 59-story building were completed. View from Waldorf-Astoria Hotel looking south. The recent cleaned Chrysler Building were on Pan Am's left and recent renewed Empire State Building were on extreme right.



    The new 59-story Pan Am Building were completed. January 1963. View from Park Avenue and 51st. Street.



    Next, a fourth and last part of this Pan Am Building special.

    Your opinion are very important. If you have some commentary about the history of New York's skyscrapers or have a picture about it, please show it in this blog. Thank You!!!

  8. #158

    Default Manhattan 1960s

    1963 Special


    THE PAN AM BUILDING





    A Discord Skyscraper

    PART IV

    A Economic Success


    Hi!! We're back on this trip throught the history of New York skyscrapers during 20th Century. Continue in 1960's, now show the fourth and last part of this 1963 Special of Pan Am Building.


    Few weeks before opening, a 15-foot-high Pan Am letters signal were put on North and South facade while a 26-foot-hight Pan Am's globe logos were put in East and West facades.

    Pan Am Building from Waldorf-Astoria Hotel. January 1963. The building without corporation's logos.



    View of Midtown Manhattan looking northeast from Empire State Building, showing the new Pan Am Building when its letters were installed on the top of the building. March 1963. Photo: Joseph Molitor.


    The Pan Am Building were finaly completed in early 1963. The new building, that represent the Manhattan's skyline of 1960's was open on a great ceremony, on March 7, 1963. Quickly the building were a financial
    success and more of 90% of this office space were occuppied. Criticism continued and were more acid against Pan Am Building, that the critics considered a architectural disaster and it completed the destruction of Park Avenue.

    Architectural historian, Meredith L. Clausen (2005) wrote about the opening ceremony.

    "Amidst much fanfare, the building opened March 7, 1963. The ribbon-cutting ceremonies were attended by citty, state, and federal officials, who spoke at the opening, stressing the international scope of the building. Among the dignataries were New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller, who was quoted as sayong the building 'rose over the city as a symbol of the genius and the creativity of the free enterprise system,' and the city's mayor, Robert F. Wagner, who declared it 'an expression of faith by the business comunity in the city's future.' Among other speakers were U.S. Secretary of Commerce Luther H. Hodges, U.S. Senator Jacob J. Javits, and Frederick J. Erroll, president of British Board of Trade. for some it was a celebratory occasion. No evidence sugests, howeverm that either Gropius or Belluschi was there" (Claussen, Merredith L. The Pan Am Building, and the Shattering of the Modernist Dream. Cambridge, Massachussets, London, England. Massachusetts Institute of Technology. MIT Press. 2005. Page 212).

    The new building from RCA Building. June 1963.




    Aerial view of Pan Am and Chrysler Buildings. July 1963.




    Financial Success

    The Pan Am Building, at the time of its opening where 92.5% of its office space were occupied, meaning a great economic success.

    The Wall Street Journal announces the great success of Pan Am:

    "Pan Am Building, Called a Huge Gamble, Is Opening 91% Rented, 100% Financed" (Clausen. 2005. Page 216).

    Clausen wrote about Pan Am Building's rentability:

    "Completed in 1963, the $100 million Pan Am Building turned out no to be the unmitigated urban clamity many had predicted, and proved to be an outstanding business success, with 92.5 percent ot its space leased and the building fully financed by the time it opened" (Claussen, Merredith L. Pietro Belluschi. Modern American Architect. Cambridge, Massachussets, London, England. Massachusetts Institute of Technology. MIT Press. 1994. Page 303).

    Many business publication applaude the success of Pan Am building as a great business center. According with Clausen (2005):

    "Other articles on the opening of the building similary noted the criticism but focused on the building's financial sucess. Business Week called it New York's newest and largest executive landmark, 70 percent filled and 92.5 percent rented only three months after its opening, and quoted Gordon I. Kyle, one of New York's most highly respected skyscraper appraisers, whose judgment Zeckendorf pronounced 'never wrong,' as predicting that it would be more that twice as valuable as the Empire State Building. Wolfson (who died in 1962) and his British partner had paid Kyle (whose opinions were evidently unfazed by the escalating criticism) $50,000 to appraie the Pan Am, believed to be the highest fee ever paid an appraiser. While nothing some problems that were already emerging with the building, such as the dificulty of simply getting there, given the traffic, or of finding a place to eat in the noontime jam, Business Week listed some of the building's tenants: in addition to the Katherine Gibbs School, one of the earliest tenants, and Pan American World Airways, its biggest, there were such blue-chip companies as Westinghouse Electirc, Reader's Digest Association, and Aluminum Company of America, as well as a number of foreign companies, among them Mitsui & Company, Ltd., British Iron & Steel, and Compagnia Tecnica Industrie Petroli. (Claussen, Merredith L. The Pan Am Building, and the Shattering of the Modernist Dream. Cambridge, Massachussets, London, England. Massachusetts Institute of Technology. MIT Press. 2005. Page 217).

    When the Pan Am Building were complete, 147 new office towers were build in Manhattan since 1947, says Clausen (2005) acoording with a 1963 Architectural Forum article, "containing 50,632,00 square feets of rentable space, to wich the Pan Am Building would add still another 2.4 million," (Clausen. 2005. Fragment) in the climax of Postwar Building Boom.

    Aerial view of Pan Am Building (center) and its enviroments, showing Chrysler (left) and Empire State Building (right). July 1963. Photo: LIFE Magazine.




    Another aerial view of Pan Am Building. July 1963. Photo: LIFE Magazine.




    Aerial view of the building.



    Building impact

    The Pan Am Building produced a great impact in Grand Central zone, Park Avenue and all Midtown. From both sides of Park Avenue, Pan Am Building looks like a great canyon tha blocked the vista of avenue to north or south. This produce a sea of criticism against the building. But the mass of the building mean the climax of the transformation of Park Avenue as new corporate center. Midtown's skyline was totally trasformated with Pan Am Building's monolith shape.

    Pan Am building's impact on Park Avenue and Grand Central distrct. 1963.



    According with Clausen (2005):

    By this time, academia had joined the chorus critical of the Pan Am Building. Scully had jumped in in early on with his oft-quoted ritical comment on the building and its effect on Park Avenue, later published in Perspecta. His essay 'Death of the Street,' began with the history of Park Avenue and was illustrated by views of Park Avenue pre-and post- Pan Am. It was on 1950, he wrote, that the old avenue began to be destroyed. Lever House was the first to break the line of the street, created by the regular wall of facades that defined and channeled the flow of Park Avenue space, then the Seagram Building, which Scully said was fine in itself, but when its shimmering glass walls were mimicked by neighors to the north, it lost its identy and needed traditional buildings to play off of. Park Avenue received its final blow, Scully said, 'from the fat, wide slab of the Pan Am,' which ballooned like a cloud beyond Whitney Warren's late 1920's New York Central Building. Unlike Warren's building, which allowed the eye to go beyond and space to flow around, the Pan Am blocked the view, Scully said, denying the continuity of the Avenue, shuting off the avenue's axis of movement, and smothering its consistent scale. 'In any terms other than those of brute epidency, it should not be there at all,' he concluded. (Clausen. 2005. Page 218.)

    The Pan Am Building blocked the view to south in Park Avenue. May 1963.




    To the north the great mass of Pan Am blocked New York Central Building. View from 39th. Street. 1963.




    View from 54th. Street. July 1963.




    Another view of Park Avenue panorama. 1963. Photo: Joseph Molitor.




    Park Avenue looking south from 72nd. Street. 1948.




    The Pan Am Building created a canyon effect in the Avenue. Evening view of Park Avenue looking south from 72nd Street. 1964. Photo: National Geographic Magazine.





    This effect were more pronunciated at night. 1964.



    Another view of Park Avenue with Pan Am Building. July 1963. Photo: LIFE Magazine.




    Pan Am Building stimulated the construction of skyscrapers on Park Avenue, specially in the west. In 1970 the methamorphosis of Park Avenue were completed.




    New York City from Pan Am Building.

    Nevertheless, in spite of the critics, not to be refuse that the Pan Am Building offered excellent views of New York City from this heliport.

    View of Midtown Manhattan looking northwest from Pan Am Building. December 1963. Rockefeller Center area and Central Park.



    View of Park Avenue from Pan Am looking north. October 1964. New office building were build on the avenue since 1947 and show the impact of the building on Park Avenue district. In this picture can see the Union Carbide Building (left), New York Central Building (center, under the shadows of Pan Am) and new 52-story Chemical Bank of New York Building (extreme right).




    The Pan Am Building (Emery Roth & Sons, architect. Walter Gropius and Pietro Belluschi, consultant architects. 1959-1963). View from Chrysler Building. 1964.




    Night view of Midtown Manhattan looking southeast from RCA Building. Pan Am Building appear on extreme left. Christmas 1963.




    A great impact of the building on Manhattan skyline. View from Empire State Building, february 1964.




    Night view of the building. 1964.





    Next week, a Rockefeller Center special about Sperry Rand Building and Sinclair Oil Building.

    Your opinion are very important. If you have some commentary about the history of New York's skyscrapers or have a picture about it, please show it in this blog. Thank You!!!

  9. #159

    Default Manhattan 1960s

    1963 Special:


    THE ROCKEFELLER CENTER



    PART IV







    THE SPERRY-RAND AND SINCLAIR OIL BUILDINGS
    Hi!!! We're continue on this trip through the history of New York skyscrapers during 20th. Century. Now, we continue on 1960's and continue in 1963, we show the four part of the second chapter of the history of Rockefeller Center, that, in this ocasion, we talk about the new 43-story precast-concrete columas and aluminumand glass curtain-wall Sperry-Rand Building, at 1290 Avenue of the Americas and the the purchase of 1952's 28-story Sinclair Oil Building by the Center Corporation, that was added in Rockefeller Center in 1963.

    The Sinclair Oil Building
    In 1963, Rockefeller Center Inc. acquired the 28-story Sinclair Oil Building, on Fifth Avenue and 48th Street.

    According with Alan Balfour (1978):

    “In 1963 the Center purchased the Sinclair Oil Company Building, at 48th Street on Fifth Avenue. Land the corporation had sold to the Massachusetts Life Insurance Company had been developed into a twenty-eight-story building, completed in 1952 and design again by the former Center staff architects, Carson and Lundin, in Center style” (Balfour, Alan. Rockefeller Center. Architecture as Theater. New York. McGraw-Hill. 1978. Page 231).

    The Sinclair Oil Building (Carson & Lundin, 1952). Purchased by the Center in 1963.



    Sperry Rand Building
    The 43-story precast-concrete columas and aluminumand glass curtain-wall Sperry-Rand Building, at 1290 Avenue of the Americas is located on the east side of the Avenue of the Americas (Sixth Avenue), between 51st and 52nd Streets. It was designed by Emery Roth & Sons, and Harrison & Abramovitz as consultant architects, under International Style Modernism canons. It was one of the last buildings that build before the 1961 Zoning Law changes: a classic wedding cake skyscraper. A base with many setbacks and a great tower occuping a 25 per cent of total space. On Sixth Avenue, the building offered a small plaza that covered with 14-story building's wings and the tower appear between the wings.


    According with alan Balfour (1978):

    “The Sperry-Rand Office Building resulted from an elaborate series of transitions in the development of a 2-acre plot between 51st and 52nd Streets east from Sixth Avenue. It had been purchased by William Zeckendorf, who planned to develop a luxury hotel on the site (it would have been the first of any size built in New York since the Depression". (Balfour. 1978. Fragment).

    The Sperry-Building, named it because the Sperry-Rand Corporation was the building's lead tenant, was a large history, that begun in 1957, when developer William Zeckendorf who proposed the world's largest hotel on the site.

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

    “As the Equitable Building was being planned, William Zeckendorf had taken an interest in a blockfront lot across the street between Fifty-first and Fifty-second streets, the site of a proposed project that Equitable had abandoned in 1957. Backed by David Rockefeller’s Chase Manhattan Bank, Zeckendorf planned not an office building, but, as he proclaimed, ‘the greatest hotel ever built’. Zeckendorf succeeded in buying off Toots Shor simply by offering half a million dollars more than the million that had been repeatedly refused, as well as offering assistance in finding a site for a new restaurant. On September 9, 1958, the deal was complete and the Zeckendorf-Chase venture was in its way, with the Prudential Life Insurance Company actually owning the land in consideration of a construction loan. Plans for the 2,000-room, forty-eight-story hotel, designed by Harrison & Abramovitz, were announced in February 1959. Although digging on the site begun in the spring, Zeckendorf was unable to raise enough capital to see the project through to completion. With just a large hole in the ground to show for his effort, the property was sold in January 1961 to the Uris Building Corporation, which formed a joint venture with Rockefeller Center. Once again, Zeckendorf’s dreams had exceeded his capacity to finance them. As Percy Uris put it: ‘Zeckendorf… knows as much about building as I know about being an aviator. I said it made no sense to put up a hotel on the site’” (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. Second Edition. 1997. Page 403).

    The site for the new Zeckendorf's hotel project was appear on left side of American Metal Climax Building (RKO Building). View form Time & Life Building. April 1960. Photo: Yale Joel. LIFE Magazine.



    The project was unable to be realized, and Zeckendorf sold the site to Uris Brothers who join with Rockefeller Center Inc., to design a new office building using Harrison & Abramovitz's design. Finally, Uris comisioned to Emery Roth & Sons the design of the new office building. Finally, while the design for the new 1290 Avenue of the Americas Building take shape and construction works for the new building begun on the site, Zeckendorf, join to Uris Brothers for the development of the future New York Hilton Hotel, in west side of Sixth Avenue, two blocks north of hotel's original site.

    Acording with Stern (1997):

    “The Urises brought in their favorite architects, Emery Roth & Sons, to redesign the building but retained Harrison & Abramovitz as consultants. The bulky new design for 1290 Avenue of Americas, with precast-concrete vertical piers infilled by glass and aluminum, was somewhat sympathetic to Rockefeller Center’s architecture. The forty-three-story building was named after its lead tenant, the Sperry-Rand Corporation, which occupied eight floors of space, amounting to 400,000 of the 1.7 million square feet on floor area in the building” (Stern. 1997. Fragment).

    The new 43-story Sperry Rand Building's exterior glass and aluminum curtain-wall and precast concrete columns were completed in November 1962, but the building's first tenants were instaled it in early 1963.

    The Sperry Rand Building. (Emery Roth & Sons. 1961-1963). 1961 final scheme.




    Construction work on Sperry-Rand Building. March 1962. Photo: Ralph Morse. LIFE Magazine.




    Construction workers taking a rest during the construction of Sperry-Rand Building. March 1962. Photo: Ralph Morse. LIFE Magazine.




    Aerial view of Midtown Manhattan looking south showing the Rockefeller Center's new 43-story Sperry-Rand Building under construction at center. September 1962.




    A section of Sperry-Rand Building's facade (right) from New York Hilton Hotel. October 1963. Chrysler Building appear on the center.




    The new face of Rockefeller Center. Aerial view of the complex looking west showing the new 43-story Sperry-Rand Building. March 1963.




    Aerial view of Rockefeller Center looking northwest. September 1964.




    Next, the New York Hilton Hotel and general panorama of 1963.

    Your opinion are very important. If you have some commentary about the history of New York's skyscrapers or have a picture about it, please show it in this blog. Thank You!!!

  10. #160

    Default Manhattan 1960s

    1963 Special



    THE NEW YORK HILTON







    Gran Hotel for new times


    Hello!! Here we're again in this trip through the history of New York skyscrapers during 20th Century. Now, we continued with this trip through 1963 with this special dedicated to the New York Hilton Hotel, that was considered by its developers as “New York's first blue skyscraper", due to its blue glass and aluminum curtain-wall facade.

    The merit of this monolithic 46-story skyscraper is that was the first grand hotel constructed in New York since the construction of the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, in 1930-31. But in addition, when it being constructed in the Avenue of the Americas, between West 53rd and 54th Streets, the New York Hilton was consolidated the destiny of this new center of businesses, that's was turn to be tha Avenue of the Americas that being constructed to the north and west of the Rockefeller Center.

    According to Architectural Record, in November of 1963:

    “The New York Hilton is the first ‘grand’ hotel to be built in New York City since the Waldorf Astoria was completed over 30 years ago. There have been several other new hotels added to the New York scene since World War II, but none are as ambitious in concept as this one”. (“Grand Hotel,” New Version. Architectural Record. November 1963. Page 155).

    The New York Hotel was born when the Uris Brothers recladed the original project of a hotel proposed by William Zeckendorf, in the land from the Sixth Avenue and East 51st to 52nd Streets, and that was rejected and the Sperry-Rand Building was build in this site. Uris retook the original idea of Zeckendorf and proposed to build a new hotel two squares to the northwest of the original site, in the lot of the Sixth Avenue and West 53rd and 54th Streets and the West.

    Uris found the financing for the construction the Rockefeller Center Inc., propietary of the land, and for its reason the New York Hilton Hotel was considered during the 1960s and 1970s as “non official” part of the Rockefeller Center, and the chain of the Hilton hotels, for the building was built. The New York Hilton also went the answer to the construction of the 50-story American Hotel, in the Seventh Avenue and East 52nd and 53rd Street, but the Americana was not considered a grand hotel like the Hilton or Waldorf-Astoria.

    The Americana Hotel (Morris Lapidus, 1962).



    But, according with Stern (1997), Zeckendorf, finally had the last laught:

    “But Zeckendorf had the last laugh, even if he didn’t make any Money on it, because the Uris Brothers entered into a joint venture with Rockefeller Center to build no only the Sperry-Rand Building but also, contrary to Percy Uris’s previous stance, a large hotel, the New York Hilton Hotel, two blocks farther uptown on the west side of the avenue between Fifty-third and Fifty-four streets. In September 1960, architectural Forum reported that hotel specialist Morris Lapidus and Kornblath, Harle & Liebman, with Harrison & Abramovitz as consulting architects, were preparing preliminary plans for a thirty-eight-story, 2,200-room luxury hotel. Their proposal called for a gently curving narrow slab perpendicular to and set back from Sixth Avenue, with a semicircular driveway as the means of approach. But the year’s end, when Lapidus’s work on the nearby Americana Hotel seemed a conflict of interest with the Hilton, the project was handled over to another hotel specialist, William B. Tabler, who would also work in consultation with Harrison & Abramovitz. Tabler’s design called for a four-story, masonry-clad base filling the site, above which would rise a 60-foot-wide. 392-foot-long, forty-five-story slab clad mostly in metal and blue glass. ‘The first blue skyscraper to be added to the New York skyline,’ as the developers described it, would accommodate 2,200 ‘outside’ rooms. Taking as a point of reference, Schultze & Weaver’s Waldorf-Astoria, completed thirty-two years earlier, the New York Hilton at Rockefeller Center, as the hostelry was officially designated, contained a midblock drive-through and motor lobby near the site’s west end. Whereas the Waldorf had a direct connection to a private siding of the New York Central Railroad at its basement level, the Hilton would have a 350-car garage” (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. Second Edition. 1997. Page 403).

    Stern (1997) continues:
    “Construction began on March 25, 1961 and the hotel opened on June 26, 1963. Over 2,200 identical baylike windows lined the slab’s north and south facades, while the solid slab ends were clad in limestone. This arrangement, reminiscent of Wallace Harrison’s U.N. Secretariat, demonstrated how much more inspiring its stylistic prototype was, and how formulaic commercial Modernism had become in less than a decade. According to the Hilton’s architects, the problem was ‘to take two 400-foot-high exterior walls and make them congruent with their neighbors and residential in character in a way that avoided monotony.’ In describing their solution, the architects said: ‘First we stretched the structural frame to its maximum within the esthetic and building code requirements. Them we projected the windows out beyond the structure to form an apex at each room. This permitted the heating and air-conditioning system to run beyond the face of the structural frame. By so doing, the size of the room was increased and a window was formed which is residential in scale, includes a window seat, and offers and expended panorama’” (Stern, 1997. Pages 403-404).

    Construction of the New York Hilton Hotel:

    Aerial view of Midtown Manhattan showing the New York Hilton hotel under construction at right. September 1962.





    The New York Hilton under construction. October 1962. Photo: atelier/Ed Brodzinsky. Flickr.com. Link: http://www.flickr.com/photos/atelier...82786/sizes/l/




    The Hilton nearby completion. March 1963.




    According with Architectural Record (November1963):

    “The window curtains are well back of the heating and cooling unit and will be unaffected by this movement of air. The blue opaque windows glass reduce the air-conditioning cost by filtering the sun’s rays. The aluminum frame is anodized a dark gray while the center mullion in each window is natural finish aluminum as a bright accent at the apex” (“Grand Hotel,” New Version". Architectural Record. November 1963. Page 156).

    From the moment of its inauguration, in June 26th, 1963, the New York Hilton was a full success, thanks to the multiple services that projected to satisfy the needs with this guests of its 2,200 rooms. In addition numerous motel services were included, for the example, the underground parking with total capacity for 350 automobiles, with service of self-service drive-in reception where the guest, without leaving their car could be registered and through special elevators, to happen directly to their room. This new system of self-service registry and other attributes, besides the luxury of their halls and rooms did of the New York Hilton, the first Grand Hotel of the new times, favorite for numerous dignitaries, ambassadors, Chiefs of State and mainly, movie and TV stars and rock musicians.

    Architectural Record (1963) continued:

    “Large hotels can be compared to cities in miniature, or to great ocean-going liners, to the degree that they render all the service necessary to satisfy large numbers of people with varying tastes confined by choice within a complex envelope. William Tabler, architect of the New York Hilton, believes that a big city hotel must be all things to all people. To be successful, it should have many of the attributes of a motel and to this end the New York Hilton features a 350-car underground, drive-in-yourself garage from which the arriving guest who wishes to avoid the public lobbies may register and ascend by special elevator directly to the corridor of his floor and on to his room. The Hilton, however, aspires to far more than charming the plain man with its motel-like simplicity and convenience, for at the same time it hopes to woo certain dignitaries and head of state away from the Carlyle and the St. Regis, by means of five luxury tower suites and two of what it calls ‘supersuites’ on the penthouse floor. When an important personage, residing elsewhere but visiting the hotel to preside at a great banquet or assembly, arrives at the West 54th Street entrance, his limousine is driven into a truck elevator which raises him to a special receiving room on the ballroom floor in also can carry automobiles, trucks and boats for motor and marine shows, as well as all exhibition freight” (Architectural Record. November 1963. Page 155).

    The Record article continued:
    “Total cost of the 2,165 room hotel, excluding land was $52,000,000 plus, at a room cost of $24,000 plus. It was constructed by the Uris, Rockefeller and Hilton interests” ” (Architectural Record. November 1963. Fragment).

    The New York Hilton Hotel (William B. Tabler, with Harrison & Abramovits as consultants. 1963). Photo: Sherwin Greenberg. Architectural Record Magazine.




    Building elevation.




    Views of the city from the New York Hilton Hotel:

    To the East. Night view. 1964.





    The Seagram Building.




    The Chrysler Building and Sperry Rand Building from the New York Hilton Hotel. 1963.




    View of the Hilton from the Sperry Rand Building's 14 floor. July 1963.




    Night view of the Hilton.





    Next, a general panorama of 1963.

    Your opinion are very important. If you have some commentary about the history of New York's skyscrapers or have a picture about it, please show it in this blog. Thank You!!!
    Last edited by erickchristian; March 23rd, 2010 at 07:21 PM.

  11. #161

    Default

    Thanks for all your diligent efforts and scholarship, Erik. I look forward to further posts with anticipation.

  12. #162

    Default Manhattan 1960s

    1963

    Hi!!! Here we're back again on this trip through the history of New York skyscrapers. We're in 1963 and its was a critic and tragical year cause for the assasination of president John F. Kennedy, in Dallas Texas on November 23rd, 1963. The civil rights movement had a climax moment with the massive demostration leadered by Martin Luther King in Washington's Lincoln Monument.

    In New York, 1963 was a great moment for the urban renewal movement. The climax of these moment was the inauguration of 59-story Pan Am Building, on March of these year. Other buildings was dedicated in 1963 was the Sperry Rand Building and New York Hilton Hotel, boths in Sixth Avenue; the 44-story black glass curtain-wall facade Burroughs Building, on Third Avenue, the New York Telephone Building at 811 Tenth Avenue and other new buildings. Construction begun for JC Penney and CBS Buildings on Sixth Avenue, and new buildings rises up changing Manhattan skyline, like U.S. Plywood Building on Third Avenue, the 52-story Chemical Bank Building, on Park Avenue and East 47th to 48th Streets, the Sterling Drug Company Building on Park Avenue and West 39th to 40th Streets, and 40-story Sterling Drug Building on Madison Avenue and 42nd Street, for example, and the others.

    Now, a general panorama of 1963.

    Early morning view of Midtown Manhattan looking south from Waldorf-Astoria hotel showing Chrysler and new Third Avenue's skyscrapers (left), the new 59-story Pan Am Building and New York Central Building (center) and Empire State Building (far right). January 1963.




    View of Park Avenue looking south from 50th Street showing new Pan Am Building. January 1963.




    Aerial view of Midtown Manhattan looking northwest. February 1963. Photo: Fairchild Aerial Surveys




    Aerial view of Grand Central District looking north showing Pan Am Building. February 1963.




    Night view of Midtown Manhattan looking east from RCA Building showing Park Avenue's new skyscrapers. February 1963.




    Aerial view of Rockefeller Center looking west. March 1963.




    Midtown Manhattan looking northeast from Empire State Building showing the new 59-story Pan Am Building while its signal was being installed. March 1963. Photo: Joseph Molitor.




    The New York Hilton Hotel nearby completion. March 1963.




    The street life on Time & Life Building's plaza on Sixth Avenue. March 1963. Photo: LIFE Magazine.




    Another new skyscraper for 1963: The New York Telephone Building at 811 Tenth Avenue. March 1963.




    The Woolworth and Transportation Buildings surrounding by new and modern skyscrapers as seen from Municipal Building looking southwest. March 1963.





    Modern Park Avenue skyscrapers. April 1963. Many of these buildings were designed by Emery Roth & Sons.





    The Woolworth Building. April 1963.




    Aerial view of Lower Manhattan looking north showing Battery Park. May 1963. Photo: LIFE Magazine.





    Night view of Brooklyn Bridge. May 1963.




    The 50-story Americana Hotel. May 1963.




    Financial District skyline from East River looking northwest. May 1963.




    Lower Manhattan looking north from Governors Island. May 1963.




    Midtown Manhattan looing northeast from Empire State Building. May 1963.




    Midtown Manhattan looking north from Empire State Building. May 1963.




    Midtown Manhattan and Queensboro Bridge. May 1963.





    Park Avenue looking south from 58th Street. May 1963.





    Park Avenue looking north from 46th Street. May 1963.





    Midtown Manhattan looking northwest from Empire State Building. May 1963.





    Night view of United Nations Building. May 1963.




    Night view of Times Square looking north. May 1963.




    Upper Manhattan and Central Park looking north from RCA Building. June 1963.




    Herald Square. June 1963.




    Macy's Department Store at Herald Square. June 1963.




    New York Coliseum. June 1963.




    Night view of Midtown Manhattan looking southwest from Queensboro Bridge. June 1963.




    New 59-story Pan Am Building as seen from RCA Building. June 1963.




    The RCA Building and Prometeo statue at Rockefeller Center. June 1963.




    The Lower Plaza at Rockefeller Center. June 1963.




    The United Nations buildings. June 1963.





    Aerial view of Chrysler and Pan Am Buildings looking northwest. July 1963.




    Aerial view of New York Harbor and Lower Manhattan looking northwest. July 1963.




    Aerial view of Lower Manhattan's financial district looking northwest from East River. July 1963.





    Aerial view of Midtown Manhattan looking south showing Chrysler (left), Pan Am (center) and Empire State (right) buildings. July 1963. Photo: LIFE Magazine.




    The Chrysler Building from 42nd Street. July 1963.




    Battery Park. July 1963. The building at the center of picture is Two Broadway Building (1959).




    Fifth Avenue skyscrapers looking east from Central Park. The buildings from left to right is Pierre Hotel (1930), the Sherry-Netherland Hotel (1928), and the Savoy Plaza Hotel (1927) three years before its demolition. July 1963.




    Lower Manhattan skyline and Brooklyn Bridge. July 1963.





    Lower Manhattan skyline looking west from St. George Hotel, in Brooklyn. July 1963.




    Lower Manhattan from Governors Island. July 1963. Photo: Evelyn Hofer




    Midtown Manhattan looking southwest from Beekman Tower. July 1963.




    The same picture in black and white showing the William Lescaze's 36-story U.S. Plywood Building under construction (right). July 1963.




    Midtown Manhattan looking south from RCA Building showing the Empire State Building with it's restored facade. July 1963.




    Midtown Manhattan looking northwest from I.M. Pei's Kips Bay Plaza. July 1963. Photo: Evelyn Hofer




    The Pan Am Building. July 1963.




    The New York Hilton Hotel looking northwest from Sperry-Rand Building's 14th floor. July 1963.




    The Seagram and First National City Bank buildings on Park Avenue view from Manufacturers Hannover Trust Building looking northeast. July 1963. Photo: Evelyn Hofer




    Park Avenue looking south from 53rd Street showing the steel skeleton of new 52-story Chemical Bank of New York Building under construction at left. July 1963.




    View of Park Avenue looking southwest. July 1963. Photo: LIFE Magazine.




    Seagram Building looking east from old CBS Building at Madison Avenue. July 1963.




    The Avenue of the Americas' (Sixth Avenue) new skyscrapers looking north from 49th Street. July 1963.




    The recently restored Empire State Building. July 1963.





    A vertically view of Manhattan Island. July 1963.




    Midtown Manhattan looking west from East River showing United Nations buildings. July 1963.




    The new 46-story New York Hilton Hotel looking west from 666 Fifth Avenue Building's 18-floor. July 1963. Photo: Sherwin Greenberg Studios.




    Aerial view of Midtown Manhattan's new look looking south over Park Avenue's axis. August 1963.





    The Empire State Building looking northwest. August 1963.




    Park Avenue looking south from 53th Street. August 1963. Photo: Joseph Molitor.




    The Woolworth Building. August 1963.





    The Columbus Circle looking southeast from Mayflower Hotel showing new Gallery of Modern Art. September 1963.





    Night aerial view of Manhattan Island looking north. September 1963. Photo: National Geographic Magazine.




    Aerial view of a polluted Manhattan Island looking north. October 1963. Photo: LIFE Magazine.





    Aerial view of Midtown Manhattan looking south above the axis of Sixth Avenue and 59th Street. October 1963.




    The Hilton and Americana Hotel and other Sixth Avenue skyscrapers looking south from old Park Sheraton Hotel. October 1963. Photo: Evelyn Hofer




    The Chrysler Building between Rockefeller Center's International Building and Sperry-Rand Building. View from New York Hilton. October 1963.




    Aerial view of Pan Am Building looking southeast. October 1963. Photo: LIFE Magazine.




    Midtown Manhattan looking south from RCA Building in a foggy day. October 1963.




    Night view of Midtown Manhattan looking south from Plaza Hotel showing new Sixth Avenue's skyscrapers. October 1963.





    Midtown Manhattan looking southwest from New York Hilton Hotel's 17th floor. October 1963. Photo: Evelyn Hofer




    Wall Street canyons looking west from a old south street slums. October 1963. Photo: Evelyn Hofer




    The Seagram Building from New York Hilton's 46th floor. October 1963.




    Ships on West Side dock's. October 1963.




    The Statue of Liberty and Manhattan skyline. November 1963.




    Sunset view of Midtown Manhattan skyline looking southwest from Queensboro Bridge. November 1963.




    Midtown Manhattan looking northwest from Pan Am Building. December 1963. Photo: Evelyn Hofer




    Night view of MIdtown Manhattan looking southeast from RCA Building. Christmas 1963.




    Next week, a general panorama of the city in 1964.

    Your opinion are very important. If you have some commentary about the history of New York's skyscrapers or have a picture about it, please show it in this blog. Thank You!!!
    Last edited by erickchristian; April 8th, 2011 at 09:59 PM.

  13. #163

    Default

    hello, you've done a great work with this informations and pictures! well done and thanks for the post!

  14. #164

    Default Manhattan 1960s

    1964

    Hi!! We're back on this trip through the history of New York Skyscrapers during the 20th Century. Now continue our trip through the 1960s and now, I show a generalñ review of the Manhattan towers during 1964.

    While the Beatles envolving USA with this fresh pop music and the city organized a new World Fair that celebrating 300 years of the conversion of New Amsterdam to New York with the Unisphere as its mean symbol, and first demostration agains Vietnam War and many race disturbs inaugurating the Johnson goverment, New York continuing experimenting the climax of this urban renewal and the number of offices building that built and open were increassed in these year. In 1964 many companies continuing moving to Midtown and many offices building were opened in that year. For example:

    • 52-story glass and brown-tinted aluminum curtain-wall facade Chemical Bank of New York Building in Park Avenue between East 47th and 48 Streets. Emery Roth & Sons. This building were designed as a no-official twin of Union Carbide Building, in the other side of Park Avenue.
    • 38-story brown-tinted glass and aluminum curtain-wall U.S. Plywood Building in Third Avenue between East 48th and 49th Streets. William Lescaze.
    • 38-story brown tinted glass and aluminum curtain-wall Sperry Hutchinson Building in Park Avenue and West 39th and 40th Streets: Designed by Emery Roth & Sons under old 1916 zoning law requirements.
    • 41-story gray aluminum facade wedding-cake shape Sterling Drug Company Building in Madison Avenue and West 42nd and 43th Streets: Kahn & Jacobs designed this building under the old zoning law's requirements.
    Buildings under construction were rises in that year. For example:

    • 48-story JC Penney Building on Sixth Avenue and West 52nd and 53rd Streets. Shreve-Lamb & Harmon.
    • 38-story CBS Building on Sixth Avenue and East 52nd and 53rd Streets. Eero Saarinen.
    • Renovation of old Times Tower (1905) in Times Square, consist in the domlition of old Beaux-Arts facade to be sustitute to a modern marble, aluminum a glass-curtain wall new facade. These building to be a new headquearters of Allied Chemical Company.
    • 42-story Home Insurance Company Office Building in Nassau Street, in Financial District.
    • 38-story twin-towered 800 and 830 United Nations Plaza, a apartment buildings that was designed by Harrison & Abramovitz between First Avenue and Franklyn Delano Roosevelt Highway and East 48th to 49th Streets.
    When the 1964-1965 World Fair were opened in april of 1964 the 102-story Empire State Building were illuminated on this last 30 stories with potent reflector lamps that increassed the night beauty of the building. The new and definitive illumination of the Empire State were designed by Douglas Leight who in 1976 added color filters by illumintated the top of the building with colors according with national and international hollidays.

    One of the most importants skyscrapering events of 1964 were of official announcing of the definitive design for the World Trade Center: Minoru Yamasaky designed the new complex with six building surrounding a extensive 16 acre plaza. The mean buildings of the new complex consist a two identical 110-story monolithic towers that reach 1350 feet above the plaza. The towers were covered with reflective aluminum curtain-wall facade and glass and its bases were designed by yamasaky with gothic columns. In other words: the Twin Towers were born.

    Now, a general panorama of 1964.

    People celebrating the New Year in Times Square. January 1st, 1964. 12:01 AM. Photo: National Magazine Magazine.





    Miliken Building and behing it the new 22-story 104 West 40th Street Building in Sixth Avenue (Harrison & Abramovitz). January 1964. Photo: Ezra Stoller.




    Night view of Midtown Manhattan looking souhteast from International Building. January 1964. Photo: LIFE Magazine.




    Rendering of the urban impact of the new 110-story Twin Towers of World Trade Center in City Hall's skyscraper district. January 1964.




    The Empire State Building looking northwest from a 28th Street skyscraper. January 1964.




    Midtown Manhattan looking southwest from East River showing United Nations Headquarters. February 1964.






    Aerial view of Pan Am Building looking southwest showing new 41-story Sterling Drug Building. February 1964.




    Midtown Manhattan looking northeast from Empire State Building. February 1964.




    Times Square. February 1964.




    The definitive model of the World Trade Center's Twin Towers. February 1964.




    Aerial view of Midtown Manhattan looking southwest. March 1964. Photo: LIFE Magazine.





    Midtown Manhattan looking north and northeast from Empire State Building. March 1964. Photo: National Geographic Magazine.

    1 of serie of 3:




    2 of 3.




    3 of 3




    The Grand Army Plaza. March 1964.




    Janitors cleaning the windows of Empire State Building. March 1964.





    Night view of Midtown Manhattan looking south from Du Mont Building. March 1964.




    Night view of Park Avenue looking south from 72nd Street showing Pan Am and New York Central Buildings. April 1964. Photo: National Geographic Magazine.




    Midtown Manhattan looking east from Rockefeller Center's International Building. April 1964. Photo: National Geographic Magazine.




    The Gallery of Modern Art on Columbus Circle. April 1964.




    Aerial view of the Empire State Building looking east. May 1964.




    Another aerial of the Empire State. View to the north. May 1964.




    Another aerial of the Empire State. May 1964.





    Aerial view of Manhattan Island looking north. May 1964.




    Night view of Pan Am Building from Chanin Building looking northwest. May 1964.




    Midtown Manhattan looking east from New Jersey. The steel skeleton of the center of the picture, behind Americana Hotel is the 48-story JC Penney Building, on Sixth Avenue, under construction. May 1964. Photo: National Geographic Magazine.




    Night view of Midtown Manhattan looking southwest from East River. May 1964.




    Night view of Park Avenue looking south from 72nd Street. May 1964.




    The Look Building. June 1964.




    The RCA Building's Obeservation Deck. Midtown Manhattan as seen from its site looking northeast. June 1964.




    Midtown Manhattan looking south from RCA Building. June 1964.



    Night view of Midtown Manhattan looking east from New York Hilton Hotel. June 1964.




    Night view of Midtown Manhattan looking south from RCA Building, showing the Empire State Building with its new illumination. June 1964.




    Midtown Manhattan looking west from Pepsi-Cola docks in Queens. June 1964.





    New 40th Street skyscrapers looking west. The black building on the left of the picture is the Burroughs Building and the black-blue building of the right is the Corning Glass Building. The new brown building of the background of the picture, at center is the Sperry Hutchinson Building. June 1964.




    Skyscrapers are not only developted in Manhattan: 20-story Lefrark City Housing Development. June 1964. Photo: LIFE Magazine.




    The new 38-story U.S Plywood Building on Third Avenue (William Lescaze). June 1964. Photo: Ezra Stoller.




    Lower Manhattan looking north from Governors Island. June 1964.




    Aerial view of the Rockefeller Center looking northeast. July 1964.





    Night view of Midtown Manhattan looking northeast from Empire State Building. July 1964.




    The Pan Am Building as seen from Chanin Building looking northwest. July 1964.




    Night view of Midtown Manhattan looking west from Beekman Tower Hotel. July 1964.




    Aerial view of Rockefeller Center looking west. September 1964. Photo: Thomas Airviews.




    Lower Manhattan skyline looking west from Brooklyn docks. September 1964.




    Aerial view of Midtown Manhattan looking west. September 1964.




    Aerial view of Rockefeller Center looking northwest showing the 38-story CBS Building under construction. October 1964. Photo: Thomas Airviews.




    Midtown Manhattan looking northeast from Hudson River. October 1964.





    Midtown Manhattan looking south from Time & Life Buillding. October 1964.




    Midtown Manhattan looking northwest from Pfizer Building. October 1964.




    Park Avenue new buildings looking north from Pan Am Building. The building at the left is the 52-story Union Carbide and the building at the extreme right is the new 52-story Chemical Bank Building. October 1964.




    Aerial view of Manhattan Island looking northeast. Christmas 1964. Photo: Skyviews Aerial Surveys.




    Christmas in New York. December 1964. Photos: LIFE Magazine:

    The cross that symbolize Jesuschrist. This cross took shape in the nights with the illuminated windows of the Esso Building in Rockefeller Center. In the background the 666 Fifth Avenue Building show red lights in its illuminated facade.





    Park Avenue looking south from 72nd Street. Night view showing a Bethelhem Star crowned the top of the Pan Am Building.




    Skating in the Rockefeller Center's plaza below the Christmas Tree.




    Next, a 1965 special of the CBS Building.

    Your opinion are very important. If you have some commentary about the history of New York's skyscrapers or have a picture about it, please show it in this blog. Thank You!!!
    Last edited by erickchristian; December 20th, 2010 at 04:27 AM. Reason: Added more information

  15. #165

    Default Manhattan 1960s

    1965 Special

    THE CBS BUILDING




    Saarinen's masterpiece



    Hello!!! We’re back again with this travel through the history of New York skyscrapers during the 20th Century. Now, continuing our trip through the 1960’s begun our tour in 1965 with this special about Eero Saarinen’s postume masterpiece. His only skyscraper that was designed: The CBS Building on 51 West 52nd Street. The building was designed by Saarinen just before his death, in 1961, without seen the building construction.

    Located in the Sixth Avenue, between East 52nd and 53rd Streets, the 38-story black granite and glass facade CBS Building was one of new skyscrapers that consolidated the corporate destiny of Sixth Avenue with the JC Penney Building (Shreve Lamb & Harmon, 1965) and ABC Building (Emery Roth & Sons, 1965) that build in the same time. Overall, the CBS Building was the most artistic and beautiful skyscraper that build on the Avenue of the Americas on these moment and was considered, with the Seagram Building, one of the most pure expressions of the postwar International Style Modernism.

    The CBS was revolutionary on the form to build office building. It was considered the first office building in New York City that build completely in reinforced concrete, offered more resistance and more space for office workers. Most part of the building’s weight was supported with the big concrete box in the center of the structure and the columns that constitute the facade of the building. The floors connecting the central box and the facade columns that covered with black granite.

    Saarinen's last masterpiece.

    The CBS Building was born on summer of 1960, when the Columbia Broadcasting System announced its intention of move from its old headquarters building on an old 26-story office building that build in 1929 to Sixth Avenue and commissioned to architect Eero Saarinen to design the new CBS headquarters building.

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

    “CBS had occupied space in a relatively undistinguished building at 485 Madison Avenue since 1929; although the construction of a grand, stylish headquarters designed by William Lescaze for the east side of Park Avenue between Fifty-eight and Fifty-ninth streets was contemplated in 1935, the project did not go forward. Postwar plans for a new headquarters building on other sites on Fifth Avenue, near the East River and even in the New Jersey Meadows had also been rumored. CBS had originally considered combining its offices with its broadcast facilities, which were scattered around Manhattan in custom-designed buildings and in various converted theaters. The site of what became the Pan Am Building was seriously contemplated as well a building intended for 247 Park Avenue. But eventually the company decided to rehouse the broadcast center in a former dairy distribution facility on West Fifty-seventh Street, between Eleventh and Twelfth avenues. According to William S. Paley, the network’s founder and the company’s chairman of the board, Sixth Avenue was chosen for the headquarters building because it would be ‘more stimulating’ than Park Avenue. Besides, the site was only three blocks away from the Rockefeller Center headquarters of its archrival, NBC” (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. Second Edition. 1997. Page 406).

    Stern (1997) continues:

    “In designing the CBS Building Saarinen explored a number of schemes for slabs and shaped towers before arriving at the final proposal, a thirty-eight-story reinforced-concrete tower sheathed in black granite rising without setbacks from a plaza sunk approximately two feet (five steps) below the sidewalk grade. As the design unfolded, according to Ada Louise Huxtable, ‘It served as a demonstration model for the new zoning … with the Saarinen office helping to develop realistic land coverage ratios to permit the plaza-surrounded sheer tower: As such, CBS set the shape and standard fro New York buildings today.’” (Stern, 1997. Fragment).

    According with Architectural Record magazine, in July 1965:

    “Saarinen also wanted to build his first skyscraper in concrete. According with his engineer Paul Weidlinger; ‘too many people were saying ‘it cannot be done’ and we were itching to show them’” (Saarinen’s Skyscraper. On Architectural Record. July 1965. Page. 113.

    Stern (1997) continues:

    “The 135-by-160 foot, 800,000 square-foot-tower, occupying 60 percent of the site. Was set back twenty-five feet from the building line on each side and the same distance from a two-story service block located at the eastern end of the site. It constituted the purest skyscraper tower ever, a fulfillment of Saarinen’s desire to create ‘a building that would stand firmly on the ground and could grow straight up.’ Perhaps thinking of Mies’s Seagram Building, and of the critics who viewed it as impure because it was not a sheer tower but rose from lower masses, Saarinen wanted CBS to be ‘the simplest skyscraper in New York.’ According to John Dinkeloo, one of Saarinen’s closest collaborators, who with other associates in the firm, including Joseph N. Lacy and Kevin Roche, took over the project after the architect’s death on September 1, 1961, Saarinen had been ‘especially excited about this design. He felt he was going back to the tradition of Louis Sullivan and making a step forward from that dramatic and optimistic moment in the design of tall buildings” (Stern. 1997. Page 406).

    In fact, after the Saarinen’s death John Dinkeloo and Kevin Roche took the control of the project that continuing its design of the building. Finally ground breaking works on the site was begun on the summer of 1962 and the construction of the building begun on summer of 1963. The building was finally opened in the Summer of 1965.

    Aerial view of Rockefeller Center looking northwest showing the CBS Building under construction on the right. October 1964. Photo: Thomas Airviews



    The Black Rock
    finally open in summer 1965, the CBS Building was gained the nickname of “Black Rock” because its black granite facade’s columns. Some characteristics of the design of the facade of CBS Building was described Robert Stern (1997):

    “The 490-foot-tall tower was unusual for New York not only because of its singleminded simplicity of mass but also because it was the first in the city to be built in reinforced concrete rather than the steel frame typically used for high-rise office buildings. The five-foot-wide, V-shaped structural columns alternated with five-foot vertical bands of gray-tinted vision glass to minimize the sense of transparency; together with the granite spandrels, they conspired to give the building the appearance of rocklike solidity that would later earn the building the
    When was nickname of ‘Black Rock.’ Under the direction of Kevin Roche, the final refinements of the proportion of window to pier were resolved after Saarinen’s death. The closely spaced V-shaped perimeter columns for their thirty-five-soot depth. The open sides of the structural V’s housed chases for electrical wiring, heating and air-conditioning ducts” (Stern. 1997: Fragment).

    The CBS Building (Eero Saarinen 1961-1965). Photo: Henry Groskinsky. LIFE Magazine.





    Another picture of the building. June 1965. Photo: Joseph Molitor.




    View of the building from JC Penney Building west wing. June 1965. Photo: Joseph Molitor.




    According to Architectural Record (1965):

    “Each granite veneered concrete column has two exposed faces which extend at 45 degree angles from the building line and meet at a 90 degree angle. Columns and spandrels contain ducts for mechanical services. Closely spaced on 10 ft centers, the columns of CBS are directly expressed from plaza to sky, rather than concealed behind curtain walls as in neighboring office buildings” (Architectural Record. July 1965. Page 113).

    The Record continues:

    “Saarinen’s office building is not the first in which the columns are closely spaced to form what is essentially a bearing wall rather than the traditional skyscraper bearing frame. It is the first, however, in which the columns spacing is the same at the base of the building as it is on the office floors. Paul Rudolph’s Blue Cross-Blue Shield Headquarters Office Building in Boston collects its column loads in pairs of mowidely space columns at the plaza level. SOM’s Brunswick Building in Chicago picks up the loads from the tightly spaced columns of its bearing walls on four great spandrel girders which transfer the loads to 10 perimeter columns” (Architectural Record. July 1965. Fragment).

    Building elevation. Photo: Joseph Molitor.




    The Building from Equitable Building's west wing. July 1965.



    According with Stern (1997):

    “Saarinen returned to the skyscraper the sense of solidity and mass that had been its principal characteristics before the advent of Modernist minimalism. But he did this in a completely Modernist way, by ‘restoring function to the masonry pier’. As Larrabee put it: ‘By using concrete he could take vertical columns on the outside wall and make them do something for a change; by thickening them and deepening them he could set the windows in such a deep recess that, from an angle, you would see no glass at all.’ The effect was distinctly Gothic, thought philosophically derived from a consideration of Louis Sullivan’s work. But it also had just as much to do with the work of Raymond Hood, most notably his black-brick American Radiator Building of 1924, and, as Larrabee was to point out with the work of Sullivan’s Chicago colleague, John Wellborn Root, whose Monadnock Building (1891), designed in partnership with Daniel H. Burnham, was a paean to soaring vertically executed in traditional masonry” (Stern. 1997. Page 408).

    View of Midtown Manhattan looking southwest from the top of the CBS Building, showing the V-shaped of its columns. July 1965.





    A detail of its columns. November 1965. Photo: Photo: Henry Groskinsky. LIFE Magazine.




    Concern to the plaza, Architectural Record says:

    “The plaza, five steps below the sidewalk level, is surfaced in the same granite as the tower. It can be entered only from West 52nd and West 53rd streets which are on the axis of the elevator corridors. Viewed from certain angles the row of columns suggest a continuous accordion pleated granite faced wall” (Architectural Record July 1965. Page 114).

    The criticism

    When the building was opened in 1965, this gave several favorable critics and admiration for specialists and journalists.

    But, as Robert Stern says, the CBS Building not saves to gave many qualifications. Many of these critics were toward the integrity of the building’s facade with its neighbor conventional modern skyscrapers surrounding it.

    “In 1966 Ada Louise Huxtable discussed the public’s reaction to the building: ‘The dark dignity that appeals to architectural sophisticates puts off the public, which tends to reject it as funereal.’ But she did not blame the architect for the public response: ‘Thoroughly corrupted by what might be called the American Product Esthetic –applied equally to buildings and possessions- [the public] takes bright and shiny as synonymous with new and good. Surrounded by tinsel and tinfoil, it finds CBS’s somber restraint gloomy, and gloom is not part of the admired American way of life. The spurious glitter of much of the new Sixth Avenue surrounding CBS eclipses Saarinen’s sober subtleties” (Stern. 1997: Page 408).

    Stern continues:

    “Betlami Probst, writing in Progressive Architecture, saw the CBS Building as ‘dignified pertinent rebuke to its more strident high-rise neighbors’ but said that in the ‘inevitable comparison’ with the Seagram Building, is ‘fares less well’. Probst observed that an ‘irreconcilable contradiction’ was at the heart of the building’s design: ‘Saarinen’s longing to soar is repeatedly sacrificed in order to communicate permanence, strength and pride. Like Icarus yearning to fly higher and higher; Saarinen struggled consciously against being earthbound: ‘All the time one works,’ he said, ‘one concerns one self with the fight against gravity. Everything tends too be topheavy and downward-pressing unless one really works as it’. She also pointed out that though CBS and Seagram’s had the same number of floors, Mies’s building was thirty-four feet higher and rose from a podium rather than from a plaza sunk beneath street level. In comparison with the ‘grand monumental approach’ to the tower at Seagram’s, as Probst put it, the CBS plaza was ‘a bravura declaration of apartness’ (Stern. 1997: Fragment).

    The Sperry Rand Building looking south from New York Hilton Hotel. Photo: TIME Magazine.



    TV City

    With the arrival of the CBS, the Sixth Avenue, just north of Rockefeller Center and its NBC studios on RCA Building, was turned to be a new “TV City” and the three great television network systems had new headquarters on Sixth Avenue. In late 1965, ABC was open its new 41-story headquarters building on East 53rd Street, just north of CBS Building and mass media giant MGM was moved in 1966 on a new 33-story building on East 54th Street, that build just north of the ABC Building, behind the old style Warwick Hotel.

    The CBS Building with other Sixth Avenue buildings. November 1965. Photo: Henry Groskinsky. LIFE Magazine.




    Night view of the building from JC Penney Building. November 1965. Photo: Henry Groskinsky. LIFE Magazine.





    The CBS Building and its neighbord buildings from the Time & Life Building showing the new 41-story ABC Building, just north behind it. November 1965. Photo: Henry Groskinsky. LIFE Magazine.




    Now, a general panorama of 1965

    Your opinion are very important. If you have some commentary about the history of New York's skyscrapers or have a picture about it, please show it in this blog. Thank You!!!
    Last edited by erickchristian; April 1st, 2010 at 07:05 PM.

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