Tag Archives: madison square north

256 Fifth Avenue

256 Fifth Avenue is among the few examples of Moorish Revival architecture in New York City. As the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission noted, it’s “remarkably intact” for a building that went up in 1893.

The windows steal the show: Their size, shape, number and decoration changes from floor to ornate floor.

Alas, the building is not without alterations. The ground floor storefront is now standard commercial granite; the sixth-floor terra cotta balcony was removed – probably because it was in danger of falling after a century of use. The gaps in the terra cotta were never filled in.

256 Fifth Avenue Vital Statistics
256 Fifth Avenue Recommended Reading

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St James Building

St James Building was among the earliest highrise office buildings in the NoMad neighborhood, replacing the St. James Hotel. It is considered among Bruce Price’s most important designs, after Quebec City’s Château Frontenac Hotel.

The St James Building was a favorite home for architects, including Daniel Burnham, Henry Pelton and John Russell Pope – as well as Bruce Price. Remarkably, after more than 115 years the building is still home to dozens of architects.

The steel-framed building follows the traditional base-shaft-capital design; the base and capital are of limestone, with prominent arched windows and bays; the shaft is of brick indented to simulate the deep rusticated joints of stone. Elaborate and massive terra cotta decoration is used throughout.

Architect Bruce Price has another claim to fame: Price invented, patented, and built the parlor bay-window cars for the Pennsylvania Railroad and the Boston and Albany Railroad. (See Wikipedia.)

Historical Note: Washington didn’t sleep here, but Golda Meir worked here in the early ’30s according to “All Around the Town: Amazing Manhattan Facts and Curiosities, Second Edition (Empire State Editions).”

St James Building Vital Statistics
St James Building Recommended Reading

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