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  #1  
Old Posted Dec 11, 2014, 8:01 AM
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Amanita Amanita is offline
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NEW YORK | 450 Park Avenue | 391' | 33 FLOORS | 1972

Here's a thread for a handsome little gem of a skyscraper I discovered on one of my visits to NYC, while I was taking a good long solo city trek. This skyscraper sits at Park Avenue and 57th street, and got a little bit of fame while 432 Park Avenue was under construction.

I was surprised to learn that this building was entirely the work of Emery Roth and sons, as most of their buildings of this time period were much simpler, built by penny pinching developers who didn't want to spend a lot of money on fancy facades. Emery Roth and sons were known for their skills at designing the so-called belly of a building- efficient floor plates and mechanical systems. Many of their clients wanted the floor space, and didn't care much for the building's facade- after all, you couldn't rent skyscraper skin! Thus the firm caught flak from critics, who called their buildings ugly. But the developer of 450 Park Avenue wanted something different for his building, and was willing to pay for it. Thus 450 Park Avenue ended up with a unique facade, making it one of the more distinctive "black buildings" in Manhattan.
(Although in some lights, the building looks more a deep reddish brown than truly black. Oddly enough, I've seen the same effect when my black-furred cats lay in the sun- their fur looks decidedly reddish brown)
And this building sold for a ridiculous sum of money not too long ago- $575 million!
I do wonder if they will ever do anything about the side of the building left looking rather rough after the Drake hotel came down, the poor thing looks rather scarred!

So without further ado, here's some pics I took of Park Avenue's handsome black beauty:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/312175...57646076348914



https://www.flickr.com/photos/312175...57637979676796



https://www.flickr.com/photos/312175...57637979676796



https://www.flickr.com/photos/312175...57637979676796



I love this one, 450 looks like it's protecting 432 Park

https://www.flickr.com/photos/312175...57648916725788

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  #2  
Old Posted Dec 12, 2014, 9:06 PM
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Nobody else have any love (or hate) for this little skyscraper?
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Old Posted Dec 13, 2014, 4:55 PM
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Not really a 'standout', however it's popular amongst hedge funds / PE firms.
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Old Posted Dec 16, 2014, 4:30 PM
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not bad, considering the period (early 70s) under which it was designed/built.
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Old Posted Dec 16, 2014, 6:07 PM
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It's nice.
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  #6  
Old Posted Dec 16, 2014, 6:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amanita View Post
Nobody else have any love (or hate) for this little skyscraper?
This is what I would call a great density filler. It looks decent, but is nothing outstanding. It has some interesting design to the facade rather than just being completely plain. I like it.
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Old Posted Dec 16, 2014, 9:35 PM
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I think it's hardly noticeable and kind of "random" in Manhattan today, and for any stupid reason, it would be regarded an eyesore in retarded Central Paris instead of an opportunity to build more skyscrapers around.

It's yet a nice change from the common international style that was still tyranical everywhere in 1972. I like it. It's a fair piece of a highrise. I wouldn't even be surprised to see them demolish it to replace it by something 4 times as tall. Then people would miss it within 100 years.
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Old Posted Dec 16, 2014, 9:42 PM
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A nice building with cool 70s-style cladding.

Also known as the Franklin National Bank Building
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Old Posted Dec 17, 2014, 6:21 AM
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It's the facade that really makes this one- if it were plain glass, or cheap minimalism, it wouldn't look half as nice, or stand out in any way. But those distinctive arched windows and granite (high quality material always helps!) really give this building a standout appearance. It must have something good going for it, if somebody was willing to pay $575 million for it recently!
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Old Posted Dec 17, 2014, 4:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amanita View Post
Nobody else have any love (or hate) for this little skyscraper?
Oh wow! I'm surprised to see a thread on this. I can't stand this building. Hate it with a passion. If it ever gets redeveloped, it will be a joyful day for me. I always wished this building was demolished to make way for 432 Park instead of the Drake Hotel.
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Old Posted Dec 17, 2014, 8:56 PM
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^So just why do you hate it so much? If you're gonna say you despise something, you may as well say why.
As for redeveloping it, I don't see that happening any time soon- you don't tear down something you just paid $575 million for. Redevelopmentis more likely to happen to buildings worn out, and generally in not terribly good condition.
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  #12  
Old Posted Dec 18, 2014, 3:07 AM
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Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and this one is ugly for me. The lack of setbacks, dark colors, sterility, and mess of geometric shapes on the facade are what does in it for me. I'm well aware this one isn't going anywhere for a hundred years.
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  #13  
Old Posted Dec 18, 2014, 7:16 AM
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^I may disagree with you, but at least you're willing to say why you dislike this building, instead of just "Oh this sucks, tear it down".
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Old Posted Dec 19, 2014, 3:45 AM
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Setbacks are overrated in my opinion. I love it when you can see all the way from the base to the top.
And black is the new black
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  #15  
Old Posted Jul 19, 2022, 3:24 PM
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Franklin National Bank Building in (sort of) a movie

Back in 1971, while under construction, a following long shot in the final scene of The Hot Rock (1972) was filmed on the other side of the avenue. The scene included many non-casted background pedestrians, going about their business as Robert Redford (who plays a jewel thief) strides up the east side of Park Avenue.

Some of the pedestrians are looking up at something high overhead on the other side (apparently at the FNB building). One happens to mention something about it to Redford in passing.
Redford looks up a few seconds at whatever it is, somewhat amused, and moves on.

This last apparently-unscripted action is a bit of an unsolved mystery. What was Redford looking at? I think some kind of unusual high-up construcion operation was going on. But who knows?
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