Time-Life Building

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Time & Life Building
TimeLifeBuildingRockCenter.JPG
General information
Location 1271 Avenue of the Americas, New York City
Coordinates 40°45′37″N 73°58′51″W / 40.760372°N 73.980799°W / 40.760372; -73.980799Coordinates: 40°45′37″N 73°58′51″W / 40.760372°N 73.980799°W / 40.760372; -73.980799
Completed 1958
Owner Rockefeller Group
Management Rockefeller Group
Height
Top floor 179 m (587 ft)
Technical details
Floor count 48
Floor area 2,600 m2 (28,000 sq ft)
Design and construction
Architect Wallace Harrison of Harrison, Abramovitz, and Harris
Time & Life Building
Time & Life Building Sidewalk

The Time & Life Building is a 48-story office building, located at 1271 Avenue of the Americas (6th Avenue) in Rockefeller Center in New York City. It opened in 1959 and was designed by the Rockefeller family's architect Wallace Harrison, of Harrison, Abramovitz, and Harris.[1] The Time & Life Building was the first of four buildings in Rockefeller Center located on the west side of Sixth Avenue. All were designed by Harrison & Abramowitz & Harris. Harris served as the project manager for the Time & Life Building and was responsible for the overall planning. The job captain was Joseph Asseum and Tadeusz Leski was the project designer. Tad Leski was the chief designer under many Harrison projects.

The Time & Life Building was the first expansion of Rockefeller Center west of the Avenue of the Americas.

Air rights for the building were purchased from the Roxy Theatre to the west. The Roxy would be torn down in 1960 and an office building that is connected to Time & Life was built.

Large murals by Josef Albers and Fritz Glamer are in the lobby. Given its location on Sixth Avenue, otherwise known as The Avenue of the Americas, the serpentine patterned sidewalk design found on the sidewalks of Rio de Janeiro's Copacabana Beach were incorporated into the building's sidewalk and corresponding lobby floor.[1]

It is a 48-story building, with green glass windows and column-free floors of 28,000 square feet (2,600 m2). Time Inc., the publisher of Time, Life, Sports Illustrated, Fortune, House & Home, and Architectural Forum magazines initially occupied 21 floors. CNN's American Morning was based there from 2002 to 2006. CNN's ground floor studio is now occupied by the studio of SportsNet New York.

Andy Warhol filmed Empire from the 41st Floor on the night of July 25–26, 1964 from 8:06 p.m. to 2:42 a.m.

In May 2014, Time Inc announced that the company was planning to leave the Time & Life building for the Brookfield Place complex in lower Manhattan.[2]

The Hemisphere Club[edit]

Located atop the building on the 48th floor was The Hemisphere Club, a members-only restaurant during the day, which opened to the public in the evenings as the Tower Suite. The restaurant was operated by Joseph Baum's Restaurant Associates, who also operated The Four Seasons Restaurant, La Fonda del Sol, The Rainbow Room, The Forum of the Twelve Caesars, and later Windows on the World. The Hemisphere Club closed some time after 1991.[3]

La Fonda del Sol[edit]

La Fonda del Sol was a Latin American–themed restaurant opened in the Time & Life Building's lobby by Joseph Baum in 1960.[4] It featured bright, colorful, whimsical interiors designed by Alexander Girard and furniture by Charles Eames. It closed in 1971 and was replaced with a bank branch.[5]

Time-Life Chairs[edit]

In addition to furniture for the La Fonda del Sol restaurant, Charles Eames designed iconic chairs for the offices of Time-Life which have become known as Time-Life Chairs. Eames designed them as a favor to Henry Luce, who had allowed Eames to use photos from the Time-Life archives for the pavilion he designed at the 1959 American National Exhibition in Moscow.[6] The chairs remain in production and popular to this day, though the original design with four legs at the base has been revised to include a fifth leg for stability.[7]

The Time-Life Building in fiction[edit]

  • In the 1968 film version of Ira Levin's Rosemary's Baby, Rosemary (Mia Farrow), waiting to meet a friend in front of the Time & Life Building, runs into her neighbor (Ruth Gordon). The scenes featuring Farrow and Gordon were filmed on location in the lobby and sidewalk in front of the Time-Life Building.
  • Starting in Season 4 of the television series Mad Men, the fictional headquarters of the advertising agency Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce (changed in Season 6 to Sterling Cooper & Partners) is located in Suite 3750 of the Time-Life Building (on the 37th floor). In a fifth season episode, "At the Codfish Ball", the characters eat at the Tower Suite. The agency's offices also prominently feature Eames Time-Life Chairs.
  • The Time & Life Building features prominently in the 2013 film version of The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, which depicts in part the publication of the last issue of Life magazine.

Tenants[edit]

Fictional tenants[edit]

As of Season 4 in the AMC television series, Mad Men, the fictional agency Sterling Cooper Draper Price (renamed Sterling Cooper & Partners, in season 6) was located on the 37th floor, and later took over the 38th floor, as well.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b http://www.nyc.gov/html/lpc/downloads/pdf/reports/timelife.pdf
  2. ^ http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-05-22/time-inc-to-move-to-lower-manhattan-s-brookfield-place.html
  3. ^ http://eater.com/archives/2012/04/30/on-mad-men-the-hemisphere-club-tower-suite.php
  4. ^ "Latin-American Zest on Midtown Menu," New York Times, December, 9, 1960
  5. ^ http://eamesdesigns.com/library-entry/everyday-is-like-sunday/
  6. ^ http://www.dwr.com/product/eames-executive-chair-vicenza-leather.do
  7. ^ http://store.hermanmiller.com/Products/Eames-Executive-Chair
  8. ^ Newmark Knight Frank team leasing 230,000 sq ft at Time Life
  9. ^ Quest Workspaces
  10. ^ SANDOW
  • Matthew A. Postal, Report: Time-Life Building, New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission, July 16, 2002, Designation List 338 LP-2119

External links[edit]