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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

Usages

commercial office
shop(s)

Facts

  • Fred F. French Building is one of the first Deco skyscrapers with a flat roof.
  • The main lobby's decorative ceiling was completely repainted and the plaster trim re-gilded to replicate the original patterns and colors.
  • The tower was constructed for the real-estate company of Fred French.
  • Babylonian constructions inspired the building's design and decorations.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 551 Fifth Avenue was designated a National Landmark in 1986.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • It is conveniently located within close proximity to public transportation, major hotels, elegant restaurants, and exclusive retail stores.
  • 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.
  • This was the tallest building on Fifth Avenue when it was completed.
  • It is decorated with colorful polychromed faience panels.
  • Located in the Grand Central Business District, the building borders on the southwest corner of Fifth Avenue and Forty-fifth Street.
  • 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.

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More Information

Location

551 5th Avenue, at 45th Street
10176
Midtown
Manhattan
New York City
New York
U.S.A.

Technical Data

429.01 ft
38
1926
1927
12

Involved Companies

developer, owner, property management

Features & Amenities

  • City landmark
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