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CBS Building


CBS Building
Columbia Broadcasting System Building, 51 West 52nd Street


Structure in General

existing [completed]
exposed structure


commercial office


  • The architects were recognized with an Honor Award from the American Institute of Architects in 1966.
  • The 38-storey building was the only skyscraper designed by the Finnish-born Saarinen (whose father, Eliel, had designed the influential second-place entry in the Chicago Tribune Tower competition in 1922).
  • The tower was built for the Columbia Broadcasting Company on this Sixth Avenue strip housing several TV network and publishing company headquarters.
  • The New York Inside Guide website lists this building as standing 494 feet in height.
  • The columns soar all the way from the ground to the top of the building and also the spandrels are of black granite, creating an effect differing much from the glass-curtain wall high-rises of that time. For its imposing appearance, the building was dubbed the "Black Rock".
  • This was the first skyscraper in New York City to be built in reinforced concrete, rather than with a steel frame.
  • On the Sixth Avenue side there is a shallow sunken plaza.
  • The lobby is clad in white travertine, with dark granite columns as a contrast.
  • The facade of the building is characterized by the massive, Canadian black granite-clad columns that point the facets of their triangular form to the outside.
  • CBS Building is set back 8 meters from each plot line, partly to isolate it from the neighbouring buildings, partly to take it clear of the subway line running underneath the north-western corner of the plot.

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More Information


1300-1316 6th Avenue
51-69 West 52nd Street
52-66 West 53rd Street
1300 6th Avenue, 51 West 52nd Street, NE Corner to West 53rd Street
New York City
New York

Technical Data

491.01 ft
491.01 ft
491.01 ft

Involved Companies

Eero Saarinen
developer, facade supplier, general contractor, structural engineering, tenant, wind surveyor

Features & Amenities

  • City landmark
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