Fred F. French Building
Structure in General
- There is a 17-story-tall slab, only two bays wide, rising straight from a multitude of small setbacks grouped at its foot to a triplex penthouse.
- The tower was constructed for the real-estate company of Fred French.
- This was the tallest building on Fifth Avenue when it was completed.
- Fred F. French Building is one of the first Deco skyscrapers with a flat roof.
- Located in the Grand Central Business District, the building borders on the southwest corner of Fifth Avenue and Forty-fifth Street.
- It is conveniently located within close proximity to public transportation, major hotels, elegant restaurants, and exclusive retail stores.
- MetLife purchased the building in 1985 and immediately began a major capital renovation which included a lobby renovation and modernization of the ten passenger elevator cabs.
- Upon completion of the full refurbishment and upgrade program, 551 Fifth Avenue was recognized by BOMA with its 1994/1995 Historic Building of the Year Award.
- Babylonian constructions inspired the building's design and decorations.
- It is decorated with colorful polychromed faience panels.
- The main lobby's decorative ceiling was completely repainted and the plaster trim re-gilded to replicate the original patterns and colors.
- Bronze-framed storefronts at the base of the building include a combination of old and new components that recall the spirit of the original retail facade.
- Constructed in 1927 by the architectural firm of H. Douglas Ives, the building is composed of limestone, brick and terra cotta and the design features setback roofs on various floors.
- Composed of the finest materials and finishes, the interior features Roman travertine floors, St. Genevieve marble walls, cast bronze elevator doors and patterned glass chandeliers.
- 551 Fifth Avenue was designated a National Landmark in 1986.
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Also recorded for this building:
developer, owner, property management
Features & Amenities
- City landmark