1325 AVENUE OF THE AMERICAS

(bet. 53rd & 54th Sts. & Avenue of the Americas & Seventh Avenue)

Developer: Edward J. Minskoff Equities Inc.

Architect: Kohn Pedersen Fox

Erected: 1989

top of 1325 Avenue of the Americas

By Carter B. Horsley

This 34-story, 750,000-sq. ft. midblock tower combines expansion space for the adjacent New York Hilton Hotel and office space with a through-block galleria.

The Hilton had long kept this site for future expansion of its major convention hotel and this tower is a surprisingly fine addition to west midtown with its very elegant and complex north and south facades that faintly echo the Art Deco styling of nearby Rockefeller Center but in a modern, as opposed to Post-Modern idiom.

Kohn Pedersen Fox emerged in the 1980's as the nation's premier architect of prime urban office buildings. The firm was able to execute both very modern monuments, such as the superb curved office building on Wacker Drive in Chicago, and lively Post-Modern collages that inventively recalled some past historical styles but packaged them in very original massings.

This building compresses New York's fine tradition of twin-towered buildings, epitomized by Emery Roth & Sons great Central Park West buildings, such as the San Remo, and gives the building two small caps at the tops of the broad fenestration bays in the center of the north and south facades.

through-block arcade

The through-block arcade here, shown above, is greatly enhanced by the placement of a large restaurant, Remi, which has colorful murals, behind windows on its west side, visually enlarging the space.

In the 1980's, a number of midblock sites were developed in midtown with considerable and unusual flair and this is one of the best, easily good enough to have been placed on a more prominent avenue site. Because the thin slab tower of the Hilton Hotel runs from east to west, this tower offers good views from most of its offices that face east. In addition, it towers over its western neighbors on the block and thus has surprising visibility for a midblock tower.

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