(Between 45th & 46th Streets)

Developer: Americas Tower Partners

Architect: Swanke Hayden Connell Architects

Erected: 1994

Americas Tower

By Carter B. Horsley

This 50-story office tower, shown at the left, was one of several projects mired in controversy over funding from the Marcos family of the Philippines.

The building originally was scheduled to be completed in 1991, but lengthy litigation held the project up and the Bernstein brothers involved with New York Land Company formed a joint venture with a major Japanese concern, KG Land New York Corporation, to complete it.

The building's Post Modern design harks back to Art Deco styles and is vaguely reminiscent of the 1918 Bush Terminal Building at 130 West 42nd Street designed by Helmle & Corbett, that was designed prior to the enactment of the city's 1916 Zoning Ordinance and was noted for its slender form, being 33-stories high but only 50 feet wide and 90 feet deep.

This 1-million-square-foot building presents an interesting contrast with a smaller, squatter contemporary, 420 Fifth Avenue at 38th Street, which also has a reddish-pink granite and glass facade. Here the granite is not polished whereas it is at the Fifth Avenue tower and this building's appearance is more solid. If it had used limestone it might even almost pass for a Rockefeller Center kin.

The proportions here work much better than most of the Rockefeller Center West buildings a few blocks north and the vertical emphasis of the facades accentuates its size.

Still, it pales beside the rich, very sleek, polished black granite facades of 1155 Avenue of the Americas just across 45th Street, designed by Emery Roth & Sons in 1984.

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