666 Fifth Avenue

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666 Fifth Avenue
666 Fifth Avenue by David Shankbone.jpg
General information
Location 666 Fifth Avenue, Manhattan, New York 10103
Coordinates 40°45′37″N 73°58′34″W / 40.760163°N 73.976204°W / 40.760163; -73.976204
Completed 1957
Owner Kushner Properties
Roof 483 ft (147 m)
Technical details
Floor count 41
Floor area 1,500,000 sq ft (140,000 m2)
Design and construction
Architect Carson & Lundin
Developer Tishman Realty and Construction

666 Fifth Avenue is a 41-story office building on Fifth Avenue between 52nd and 53rd Streets in Midtown Manhattan, New York City.[1]

Ownership and history[edit]

Front of 666 Fifth Avenue

The Tishman family via Tishman Realty and Construction built the 1,500,000-square-foot (140,000 m2) tower in 1957.[2] It was designed by Carson & Lundin and the building was called the Tishman Building. One of its most famous exterior features was the prominent 666 address emblazoned on the top of the building. The other distinctive exterior features are embossed aluminum panels. The original design included lobby sculptures by Isamu Noguchi including the "Landscape of the Cloud" which consists of sinuously cut thin railings in the ceiling to create a cloud effect. The cloud is also carried into a ceiling to floor waterfall. The penthouse was occupied by the Top of the Sixes restaurant.[3] For many years the building had a distinctive feature of a T-shaped atrium walk-through open to the sidewalks on 52nd Street, 53rd Street and Fifth Avenue with glass storefronts inside the walk-through. This included a bookstore and another area used for years by Alitalia Airlines. The entrance to 666 Fifth Avenue was inside this walk-through.

Tishman Realty dissolved in 1976 and the building was sold for $80 million. In the late 1990s, Japanese firms bought both Rockefeller Center and 666 Fifth Avenue. The new owner of 666 Fifth was Sumitomo Realty & Development Company. Major changes included replacing the Top of the Sixes restaurant with the Grand Havana Room, a cigar bar private club.[4]

The newly reconstituted Tishman Speyer Properties bought the building for $518 million in 2000. At about the same time Tishman also bought Rockefeller Center. Shortly after the purchase, Tishman enclosed the atrium walk-through and added a third tenant, Hickey Freeman.[5] The enclosure cut off the Fifth Avenue entrance. Access is now via 52nd or 53rd Street. In 2002 the 666 address on the side of the building was replaced with a Citigroup logo. Citigroup is now the building's largest tenant.[6] The 2006 sale was the third blockbuster deal involving Tishman in two years. In 2005 Tishman bought the MetLife Building for $1.72 billion, setting the previous record.[7] A month before the 666 sale, Tishman bought Stuyvesant Town–Peter Cooper Village for $5.4 billion, which was the biggest real estate deal in U.S. history.[8]

In December 2006, Tishman Speyer, along with the German investment firm TMW, announced the sale of the building to the Kushner Properties for $1.8 billion, the highest price ever paid for an individual building in Manhattan.[9] This was an unconventional price for such a short building; at 483 ft (147 m), 666 Fifth is not even among top 100 tallest buildings in New York City, but its price was mainly because of its location on Fifth Avenue across from Rockefeller Center. Kushner sold the retail condominium portion of 666 Fifth to a Stanley Chera led group for $525 million.


In popular culture[edit]

In film

In music

In print

  • This building is featured in the novel Good Omens (1990) as the headquarters for Famine.
  • This building is noted in Susan Sontag's Notes on Camp (1964) as being kitsch, but not camp, because of an absence of love going into its production.[16]


External links[edit]