Fred F. French Building, New York City

4.5
#1173 of 1,642 in Things to do in New York City
Architectural Building · Hidden Gem · Tourist Spot
The Fred F. French Building is a 38-story skyscraper at 551 Fifth Avenue on the northeast corner with 45th Street in Midtown Manhattan, New York City. Designed by H. Douglas Ives along with Sloan & Robertson, it was erected in 1927 in the Art Deco style. The building is named for Frederick Fillmore French, owner of the Fred F. French Companies, for whom the structure was commissioned.

The Fred F. French Building contains an Art Deco design with Middle Eastern influences, as well as numerous setbacks as mandated by the 1916 Zoning Resolution. The facade is mostly designed with brick walls and limestone trim. The base of the facade is ornamented with two bronze entrances and multiple mythological figures, while the top contains a "tower" with Mesopotamian bas-reliefs and faience tiles. Other multicolored details such as ornamental friezes ornament the facade. The Middle Eastern design motifs are also used in the lobby, which contains a polychrome vaulted ceiling.

The Fred F. French Building has approximately 430,000 square feet (40,000 m2) for rent and is owned by The Feil Organization. It was the tallest building on Fifth Avenue as well as one of the most desired addresses on the avenue upon its completion. By the 1990s, it underwent a complete restoration, subsequently earning the Building Owners and Managers Association 1994/1995 Historic Building of the Year Award. The Fred F. French Building and its interior became New York City designated landmarks in 1986, and the building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2004.
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  • This is a spectacular 38-story skyscraper at the corner of 45th and 8th in the heart of midtown. If you enjoy old architecture, this is a must see. The building, erected in 1927, is on the national...  more »
  • It's on 5th Ave near the Trump Tower and St Patrick's cahedral and you might simply walk past. Stop! Look up! Go inside! It is exquisite - a real symbol of the New York hayday! Gloriously art...  more »

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