509 Fifth Avenue

509 Fifth Avenue was designed in 1917 by author and architect Herman Lee Meader, one of New York’s most eccentric and original architects.  An early admirer of Mayan, Aztec and Native American aesthetic and archeological forms, Meader incorporated them into a series of buildings such as The Cliff Dwelling (243 Riverside Drive) and the B. Mayer Building (130 East 25th Street) in a strikingly Expressionistic way that prefigured later similar motifs of the Art Deco period.

509 Fifth Avenue is much more restrained, but still shows an admirable sense of invention, here derived largely from the Chicago School of Louis Sullivan, with large windows framed by iron piers.

The ground floor has been sadly botched.

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