1325 AVENUE OF THE AMERICAS
(bet. 53rd & 54th Sts.
& Avenue of the Americas & Seventh Avenue)
Developer: Edward J. Minskoff
Architect: Kohn Pedersen Fox
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
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.
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.