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Your Location: World North America U.S.A. New York New York City Fred F. French Building

Fred F. French Building

Identification

Fred F. French Building
551 Fifth Avenue
115506

Map

Structure in General

skyscraper
existing [completed]
steel
brick
applied masonry
orange
Art Deco

Usage

commercial office
shop(s)

Facts

  • 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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More Information

Location

551 5th Avenue, at 45th Street
10176
U.S.A.

Technical Data

429.01 ft
38
1926
1927
12

Involved Companies

Architect:

Also recorded for this building:

developer, owner, property management

Features & Amenities

  • City landmark