390 Fifth Avenue, The Gorham Building

Along with the Tiffany’s Building a block to the north, 390 Fifth Avenue is one of McKim, Mead & White’s best commercial works.  A stolid yet refined palazzo structure capped by an exquisite copper cornice, the building was designed for the famed Gorham Silver Company and features cartouches and decorative elements designed by Gorham’s own legion of craftsmen.

Subjected to a wretched storefront redesign in the 1950s that also obliterated the magnificent interiors, 390 Fifth Avenue was targeted in 2000 for a proposed partial restoration that would have seen the original lower floors recreated as a painted trompe l’oeil screen.  The project was rejected – wisely, but perhaps a bit reluctantly – by the Landmarks Commission, and 390 Fifth Avenue awaits a comprehensive restoration that will bring back one of the avenue’s greatest entrances.

The building is a designated city landmark.

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