(Southeast corner at 54th Street)

Developer: The Louis Dreyfus Property Group

Architect: The Webb Zerafa Menkes Housden Partnership and Fox & Fowle Architects

Erected: 1986

By Carter B. Horsley

527 Madison AvenueThis medium-sized office tower is remarkable for its complex massing, the most extraordinary in the city.

It is the most interesting major use of a slanted facade in the city, although many people are not fully aware of it since its slanted facade and its main entrance are on the side street.

The slant does not extend fully to the pavement but, as the photograph at the right demonstrates, it makes the most of its zigzag downhill run.

Because the slant is contained on either side by more conventional setbacks, its design can only be best appreciated from across 54th Street in the very nice midblock plaza of 535 Madison Avenue. It is interesting to note that this tower's gray facade nicely complements that building's facade, while its slant is more spectacular than the slants of the far larger 520 Madison Avenue across the avenue and its stepped plan on its southwest facade makes an excellent transition to the low-rise, midblock buildings on the block as shown in the first photograph in the section on Madison Avenue.

The Sumitomo Trust & Banking Co. Ltd., is the main tenant in this very unorthodox and very distinctive, if slightly ungainly building.

The only thing more astounding than the design-per-square-foot effort here, by speculative office building standards in the city, is the lack of publicity the building has received. This gets an A+ for effort.


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