551 Fifth Avenue, The Fred F. French Building

One of the city’s best Art Deco buildings, the Fred F. French Building at 551 Fifth Avenue was completed in 1927 to designs by H. Douglas Ives and Sloan & Robertson.  The first setback skyscraper on Fifth Avenue and the tallest building on the street when completed, 551 Fifth Avenue did much to establish the area as a luxurious office district.

The magnificent lobby and beautifully detailed entrance (shown above) incorporate Babylonian and Mesopotamian iconography, as does the spectacular sunburst mosaic that crowns the 38-story structure.

The building was restored in the early 1990s by Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, earning the Building Owners and Managers Association Award for 1994-1995’s best historic building.

The National Register of Historic Places listed the building in 2004; 551 Fifth Avenue is also a New York City landmark.

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