1221 Avenue of the Americas

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McGraw-Hill Building
McGraw-Hill Building Rock Center by David Shankbone.jpg
Rockefeller Center 'XYZ' Buildings on Sixth Avenue. The middle one is McGraw-Hill.
General information
Type Office
Location 1221 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY, USA
Coordinates 40°45′33″N 73°58′54″W / 40.75917°N 73.98167°W / 40.75917; -73.98167Coordinates: 40°45′33″N 73°58′54″W / 40.75917°N 73.98167°W / 40.75917; -73.98167
Construction started 1966
Completed 1969
Owner The Rockefeller Group (Mitsubishi Estate)
Roof 674 feet (205 m)
Technical details
Floor count 51
Design and construction
Architect Wallace Harrison

1221 Avenue of the Americas, also known as the McGraw-Hill Building, is a skyscraper built in 1969, located at 1221 Sixth Avenue, in Manhattan, New York City. It is the third building in Manhattan to have the McGraw-Hill name, and is one of several buildings that were part of the Rockefeller Center complex expansion in the 1960s. It is 674 feet (205 m) high and 51 stories. The building is the home of the headquarters of McGraw-Hill Financial.[1] Other tenants include Sirius XM Radio, whose headquarters and broadcast facility are in the building.

The expansion consisted of the three buildings collectively known as the "XYZ Buildings" (this is the Y building), each with similar slab-like massing, of different heights and designed by Wallace Harrison's firm.

The sunken courtyard of this building contains a large metal triangle designed by Athelstan Spilhaus and fabricated by Tyler Elevator Products, arranged so the Sun aligns with its sides at solstices and equinoxes.[2] When built, the south-western corner held a display of scale models of planets in the Solar System. A mosaic map of the Earth survives in the north-western corner.

In popular culture[edit]

The buildings are featured in the opening credits of Saturday Night Live, seen from below looking up in the street from a car. It was used for the exteriors and lobby of Elias-Clarke's headquarters in the 2006 film The Devil Wears Prada and the interior shots for Suits (TV-series). It is also the headquarters of Sirius XM Radio, and many radio shows broadcast from the building including Opie & Anthony and The Howard Stern Show.

Sunken courtyard
World maps

1999 Elevator incident[edit]

Nicholas White, an employee of the building, was trapped in an elevator for 41 hours on October 15, 1999. After entering an express elevator on a Friday night, a brief power dip caused the elevator to stop. White was trapped alone and was not found despite signaling an alarm and surveillance video inside the elevator cab. After 41 hours he could finally leave the elevator.[3][4] It wasn't until April 2008 when footage of the man's ordeal was finally revealed to the public.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "New York." McGraw-Hill.[citation needed] Retrieved on March 11, 2010.
  2. ^ Natural History Magazine Sun triangle
  3. ^ Tierney, John. "The Big City; Aftermath Of 40 Hours In an Elevator", The New York Times, October 28, 1999. Accessed October 4, 2008.
  4. ^ Ups and downs of elevators The New Yorker

External links[edit]