There's No Place Like NoMad

September 13, 2018

Historic NoMad Office Building Enhanced by Sensitive Hotel Development

Via 6SqFt

It is a happy day in NoMad when we can report that a historical site of exceptional architectural value is being preserved. A gem of one of the country’s greatest architectural firms — McKim Mead & White — at 28th and Fifth is to be enhanced and brought back to a new life.

In a confluence of events in the early years of the 20th Century, Mrs. Goodridge, one of the last brownstone residents of the fashionable Madison Square area, died. Shortly thereafter, The Second National Bank (an ancestor of Citibank), which had been doing business with its high-end clientele at the Fifth Avenue Hotel on 23rd Street, had to move as the hotel was being torn down. The bank bought the Goodridge property at 28th and Fifth and hired an architectural firm befitting their banking clientele.

Firmly rooted in classical design, McKim Mead & White created a five-story Italian Renaissance palazzo for Second National that would have been equally comfortable sitting among the mansions of upper Fifth Avenue and the commercial buildings in the area.  As described by The New York Times in 1907, the design was typical of a palazzo: “The basement story, which will be surrounded by an open area, will be faced with granite. Throughout the first story the facades will be of granite and above that of light colored face brick with trimmings of terra cotta.” Also, in keeping with this style, the base has arched entrances that are edged with heavy stone, the second-floor windows are capped by alternating peaked and arched pediments, the corners are strongly delineated, and a stately bracketed cornice tops it all.

Via 6sqft: 250 5th Avenue expansion, rendering by Perkins Eastman

Via 6sqft: 250 5th Avenue expansion, rendering by Perkins Eastman

In a wonderful development of this property at 250 Fifth Avenue, Charles Platt of Platt Byard Dovell White Architects has designed a 230-foot-tall hotel tower to sit next to and be incorporated into the McKim, Mead & White building.

Showing great respect for the McKim masterpiece, Platt maintains the integrity of the original building and continues the palazzo’s ground level treatment across the front of the new tower.  Further composing this site into a harmonious whole, the new tower reflects the texture and color of the original façade.

The first two floors of the hotel tower will be dedicated to the hotel lobby, café, and library.  The floors above will have 188 rooms.  Plans also include an outdoor bar and terrace on the 9th floor and an event space with outdoor terraces on the top floor overlooking Madison Square Park.  Upon completion, the hotel will contain 104,000 square feet of space between the old office structure and the new tower. Watch for completion of the project by early 2020.

McKim, Mead & White

For those unfamiliar with the work of McKim, Mead & White, the noted architectural firm was responsible for many New York structures past and present—including the Brooklyn Museum, Columbia University, the arch at Washington Square Park, the second iteration of Madison Square Garden (demolished in 1925) and the old Pennsylvania Station (demolished in 1963 to make room for the current Madison Square Garden).