411 Fifth Avenue

Having graced the avenue with the singular Louis Sullivan-meets-Barry Lyndon design at 404 Fifth Avenue, Warren & Wetmore pulled out similar stops for 411 Fifth Avenue, one of the city’s most ebullient and bizarre structures.

Finished in 1915, a classic Chicago School building is frosted with lavish terra cotta cartouches, busts, floral ornament and relief sculpture inspired by the Baroque buildings of Spain and its American colonies.  Rough-cast stucco completes the Latin fantasy: oversize finials cap an undulating cornice that suggests the whiplash rooflines of Catalan Art Nouveau.  The original lobby was removed in the 1950s, but 411 Fifth Avenue is otherwise remarkably intact.

The building was cleaned in 2000 and is currently undergoing cosmetic repairs.

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