Tuesday, December 16, 2008

New York Central Building

August 6 1994

Currently known as the Helmsley Building, 230 Park Avenue was built as the headquarters of the New York Central railroad in 1929, and stood regally above Park Avenue, a full block behind Grand Central Terminal, visible from both ends of the avenue until 1963, when the Pan Am building rose in the space above that block on East 44 Street. Standing between the tower and the terminal, and now known as the MetLife building, it would forever block sight of the tower from the south, and serve as a starkly modern backdrop when seen from the north.

But thankfully we don't have that visage in our photograph today. This picture was made on a hazy August day in 1994 from the 35th floor of 145 East 45 Street. The view is looking west along 45th Street from the windows of the Filenet Corporation, which Sherry worked for at the time. While there were some spectacular views from those offices, one of the drawbacks to a high floor in a midtown office building is that the view is often directly across the street into the windows of another high floor in a midtown office building.

August 6 1994

Of course, one of the midtown office buildings you'd be looking into was this little art deco number a few blocks south whose aluminum trim shines even on a gloomy day.

1 comment:

Sherry said...

We were at second gargoyle level...ah, come on, can't you post a close up of one of the gargoyles so we can appreciate your Bourke-White fantasy? (What kind of person fantasizes about climbing out on a gargoyle to photograph the city, you ask?)