Tag Archives: 261 Fifth Avenue

261 Fifth Avenue

261 Fifth Avenue replaced six houses from the mid-1800s; it was used primarily as showrooms and offices of companies in the housewares and carpet industries, according to the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission.

The commission also notes that the striking bold terra cotta ornament used by architect Ely Jacques Kahn had “similarities to motifs used by Frank Lloyd Wright.” Which leads to a small bit of irony: Frank Lloyd Wright was the inspiration for Howard Roark, the hero architect in Ayn Rand’s novel “Fountainhead.” But Ayn Rand worked for Kahn (as an unpaid typist) while she was researching the book; she is quoted as saying of Kahn, “As a type, he was Guy Francon.” (Francon was a sycophant in the novel.)

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