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Thread: Helmsley Building - 230 Park Avenue - by Warren & Wetmore

  1. #16
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    NYC - Downtown

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    Some of the craziest columns in NYC, purely decorative and supporting only the great ornamentation above.

  2. #17

  3. #18


    It almost kills me how much heart and soul was poured into crafting these great buildings. If I were to ever become an architect, I would look back onto these buildings.

  4. #19


    Quote Originally Posted by BStyles View Post
    It almost kills me how much heart and soul was poured into crafting these great buildings. If I were to ever become an architect, I would look back onto these buildings.
    And you would be looked down upon by the architectural establishment for being atavistic or creating "Disney" reproductions of the past. This is a mechanical and digital age, humanistic expression is pooh-poohed.

  5. #20


    In today's architectural world, such replicas are extremely difficult to pull off. Even the slightest deviation from pre-WWII forms may result in kitchy-looking, cheap pretenders, and even if you do have the rare capability of designing such a masterpiece, today's labor and material costs would be prohibitive. Back then, ornamentation was much cheaper due to much higher supply, and even skilled craftsmen were frequently paid slave wages.

  6. #21



    The holiday lights seem a bit more festive this year.

  7. #22


    Quote Originally Posted by Derek2k3 View Post
    230 Park is stunning, but I hate those 50s brick buildings in the30s. I hope that they're largely rentals and can be redeveloped some day.

  8. #23
    NYC Aficionado from Oz Merry's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002


    Light Show: Computer Controlled LED Lights Wash Park Avenue’s Helmsley Building

    by Branden Klayko

    (Evan Joseph)

    On Monday, December 3, the “Jewel of Park Avenue” at 230 Park, aka The Helmsley Building, really began to sparkle as building-owner Monday Properties unveiled a new LED lighting display to a crowd huddled at the base of the building, staring upward with anticipation as rush hour traffic swirled around. Monday Properties President and CEO Anthony Westreich and Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer stood together to push a giant red button, officially triggering the light show, which flickered into action, turning heads of passers by for blocks around as a live violinist provided musical accompaniment.

    Installing LED lights at 230 Park. (Ed Lederman / Courtesy Monday Properties)

    Built in 1929, the 34-story tower stands guard over Park Avenue, terminating the street’s vista looking south on the same block as Grand Central Terminal, and is one of the only buildings in Manhattan that you can literally drive through, underneath monumental stone arches. Designed by the same architects as Grand Central—Warren & Wetmore—230 Park was originally the headquarters of the New York Central Railroad Company and features many rail-centric decorations inside the building’s ornate lobby.

    230 Park has undergone an extensive renovation, bringing its 1.4 million square feet of office space into the 21st century and earning a LEED Gold certification. The new lighting scheme, designed by Al Borden of Philadelphia-based The Lighting Practice with LED lights by Lumenpulse, is part of the building’s sustainability program, Westreich noted at the lighting ceremony, reducing energy requirements by 70 percent from the high-pressure sodium lights they replaced.

    “Our intent has been to give the building a lively nighttime appearance by reinterpreting its historic forms and proportions with concealed uplight sources,” Borden said in a statement. “During daylight hours, when downlit by the sun, the building’s architectural details have a familiar appearance. At night, we flip the source upside down and present a new way of looking at the building. People will see details very differently and have a new experience of the architecture.”

    The LED lights installed at 230 Park. (Courtesy Lumenpulse)

    Overall, more than 700 color-changing LED lights have been installed on the building, hidden from view on the street. Each is programmed into a computer than can coordinate a fanciful light show, as was seen at the unveiling, or a simple static light wash at night. Dynamic light shows can be expected during special events and on holidays like the Fourth of July or Thanksgiving.

    Chairman of the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission Robert B. Tierney lauded the renovation and lighting efforts at the event, stating, ”This is a model of restoration and preservation of one of the most important buildings in the city of New York, and therefore the United States.” Scott Stringer was equally enthusiastic about the project during his speech, “The fact that this is a building that’s sustainable, that speaks to reducing energy, is really about the future of cities around the country and around the world.”

    While the wash of color along the building facade creates a vibrant profile for the building at night, the real power of the light is at the tower’s ornate cupola, where the building’s detail comes into view in stark contrast to the rigid grid of windows on Walter Gropius’ neighboring MetLife Building.

    (Evan Joseph)

    (Evan Joseph)

  9. #24


    Beautiful. Always a pleasure to see owners take pride in their properties. We could use a little more civic pride in our streetscape.

  10. #25
    Forum Veteran Tectonic's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    New York City


    Took this today.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  11. #26


    Just stunning when you see it in person. Get these guys at The Lighting Practice to do this to more our landmarks.

    Last edited by Derek2k3; February 21st, 2013 at 11:11 PM.

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