1177 AVENUE OF THE AMERICAS
(Between 45th & 46th Streets)
Developer: Americas Tower Partners
Architect: Swanke Hayden Connell
By Carter B. Horsley
This 50-story office tower, shown at the left,
was one of several projects mired in controversy over funding
from the Marcos family of the Philippines.
The building originally was scheduled to be
completed in 1991, but lengthy litigation held the project up
and the Bernstein brothers involved with New York Land Company
formed a joint venture with a major Japanese concern, KG Land
New York Corporation, to complete it.
The building's Post Modern design harks back
to Art Deco styles and is vaguely reminiscent of the 1918 Bush
Terminal Building at 130 West 42nd Street designed by Helmle &
Corbett, that was designed prior to the enactment of the city's
1916 Zoning Ordinance and was noted for its slender form, being
33-stories high but only 50 feet wide and 90 feet deep.
This 1-million-square-foot building presents
an interesting contrast with a smaller, squatter contemporary,
420 Fifth Avenue at 38th Street, which also has a reddish-pink
granite and glass facade. Here the granite is not polished whereas
it is at the Fifth Avenue tower and this building's appearance
is more solid. If it had used limestone it might even almost pass
for a Rockefeller Center kin.
The proportions here work much better than
most of the Rockefeller Center West buildings a few blocks north
and the vertical emphasis of the facades accentuates its size.
Still, it pales beside the rich, very sleek,
polished black granite facades of 1155 Avenue of the Americas
just across 45th Street, designed by Emery Roth & Sons in