Earlier this month, 6sqft revealed renderings of 601 Lexington Avenue‘s (the Midtown East skyscraper formerly known as the Citicorp Center) new “Market Building,” comprised of an interior atrium to hold dining/retail space and a new outdoor plaza and terraces. Though the LPC landmarked the building this past December, the Architect’s Newspaper has learned of a loophole in the designation regarding the privately owned public space, which could mean that amid the renovation, the sunken plaza and cascading fountain designed by Hideo Sasaki‘s firm–one of the iconic landscape architect’s few remaining works–may be demolished.
601 lexington avenue
The Midtown East skyscraper formerly known as the Citicorp Center, now called simply 601 Lexington Avenue, was made an official city landmark this past December, thanks to distinctive features including its 45-degree angular roof and base of four columns that resemble stilts. When designed by Hugh A. Stubbins & Associates in 1978, the site also included a privately owned public space with a connection to the Lexington Avenue-53rd Street subway station, which co-owner Boston Properties is now looking to update. They’ve tapped the designers at Gensler to envision a 200,000-square-foot “Market Building,” which will consist of a new outdoor plaza and terraces, as well as an interior atrium space that will host trendy dining and retail options.
Images: Lemessurier and 6sqft
The Midtown building formerly known as Citicorp Center has just been designated a city landmark. The building, now known simply as 601 Lexington Avenue, is one of 12 buildings in Midtown East to be given landmark status by the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission. This newest batch of landmarks brings the number of official historic buildings in the area to 50, Curbed reports. The 59-story office and retail tower, designed by Hugh A. Stubbins & Associates, was completed in 1978. It was considered quite innovative for its time, with distinctive features that included a 45-degree angular roof and a base of four stilt-like columns. The latter allowed it to cantilever over Saint Peter’s Church, also on the site. There is also a privately owned public space that connects the buildings to the Lexington Avenue-53rd Street subway station.
When it comes to skyscrapers, we put a lot of trust in architects. We have to trust that they know what they’re doing, and these seemingly impossible buildings are safe to be in and around. It’s even harder to trust what used to be known as the Citicorp or Citigroup Center, now 601 Lexington Avenue, whose bottom floors are like four stilts, holding 50 stories of building above them. It looks like a strong wind would blow the whole structure over. And when the building was constructed in 1977, before some emergency repairs, that was true.