604 Fifth Avenue

Currently almost completely covered by a billboard advertising its availability, 604 Fifth Avenue is one of the few completed works by William Van Alen, the architect of the Chrysler Building.

Constructed in 1925 as a location for the Childs restaurant chain, 604 Fifth Avenue featured a sophisticated curved façade that took advantage of light then available from a churchyard to the south and may have been the first structure in the city and possibly the USA without corner columns.

A cause célèbre in its day, 604 Fifth Avenue is largely blocked from view by 600 Fifth Avenue.  Painted a jarring red, white and blue, it is an almost entirely overlooked work from one of the city’s great architects.

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