St. Patrick’s Cathedral

Begun in 1858 and only reaching its present form in 1931, St. Patrick’s Cathedral was designed by James Renwick Jr., one of the foremost of New York’s Gothic Revival architects. Equally adept in other styles, he also designed the Italianate castle of the original Smithsonian Institute and the Main Building at Vassar College in the… Continue reading

620 Fifth Avenue, The British Empire Building

The British Empire Building at 620 Fifth Avenue is a mirror image of La Masion Francaise save for its sculpture, here consisting of small figurative works by artist Carl Paul Jennewien, seemingly floating in space beneath a stylized lion and unicorn.  The figures represent peoples and resources controlled by the British Empire in the UK,… Continue reading

Just Off Fifth: 30 Rockefeller Plaza

30 Rockefeller Plaza, also known as 30 Rock, The GE Building and more recently the Comcast Building, is the largest building in Rockefeller Center and one of the greatest Art Deco structures in the world.  As of this writing still the 14th tallest building in New York City at 850 ft and 70 stories, it… Continue reading

Channel Gardens

Located between La Masion Francaise and The British Empire Building, the ironically named Channel Gardens are one of New York’s best small Privately Owned Public Spaces (or POPS).  Consisting of a 200-ft promenade that terminates with the sunken Lower Plaza before 30 Rockefeller Plaza, Channel Gardens are themselves bisected by a cascade of six pools… Continue reading

Saks Fifth Avenue, 611 Fifth Avenue

A sophisticated essay in understatement by Starrett & van Vleck, Saks Fifth Avenue is one of the city’s most famous department stores and the one, for obvious reasons, most closely identified with the avenue itself.  Founded in 1867 by Andrew Saks as Saks & Co., it was later merged with Gimbel Brothers and relaunched in… Continue reading