CBS Building

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

CBS Building
General information
Architectural styleModernist
Location51 West 52nd Street, New York, New York
Coordinates40°45′39.98″N 73°58′43.72″W / 40.7611056°N 73.9788111°W / 40.7611056; -73.9788111
Current tenantsCBS
Construction started1961
Height491.01 feet (149.66 m)
Technical details
Floor count38
Design and construction
ArchitectEero Saarinen
DesignatedOctober 21, 1997[2]
Reference no.1971

The CBS Building also known as Black Rock, is the headquarters of the CBS broadcasting network. It is at 51 West 52nd Street, at the corner with Sixth Avenue (Avenue of the Americas) in New York, New York.

The building, designed by Eero Saarinen, was completed in 1965. It is 38 stories and 490 feet (150 m) tall with approximately 872,000 square feet (81,000 m2) of rentable space. The interior and furnishings were designed by Saarinen and Florence Knoll.


The building was the result of intricate planning between Eero Saarinen and CBS's then-president, Frank Stanton. Its concrete structural system was developed by Mario Salvadori. Unlike some major skyscrapers built in that section of midtown Manhattan during the 1950s and '60s, its pillars are more dominant than its windows. It received its nickname "Black Rock" for its dark granite cladding.

The company moved to its new headquarters from longterm lease space at 485 Madison Avenue at 52nd Street. Prior to the building's completion, CBS moved its radio network studios—the CBS News network radio studios on the 17th floor of 485 Madison and other studios across the street in the CBS Studio Building—to the CBS Broadcast Center on 57th Street starting in 1964. The TV news studios, based mostly at the Graybar Building near Grand Central Terminal, also moved to the Broadcast Center around that time, starting with the CBS Evening News studio-newsroom in 1963.

The CBS Building was the longtime home of CBS's New York City flagship radio stations, WCBS (AM) and WCBS-FM, until 2000, following the merger with Viacom. At that time WCBS (AM) joined the network at the Broadcast Center, and WCBS-FM moved to One Astor Plaza. By December 2011, WCBS AM and FM had relocated to studios at 345 Hudson Street in Hudson Square, Manhattan.

Gastrotypographicalassemblage, a 35-foot (11 m) wide by 8½ foot tall mural designed by Lou Dorfsman decorated the cafeteria.[3] The work (removed circa 1995) used varied typefaces of hand-milled wood type to list all of the foods offered to patrons.[4] The ground floor also features a restaurant, originally called "The Ground Floor", now an upscale Chinese, that is open to the public.[5][6]

In December 2019, ViacomCBS CEO Bob Bakish said the newly combined Viacom and CBS company was looking to sell the building.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "CBS Building". Emporis. Retrieved March 9, 2017.
  2. ^ a b "CBS Building" (PDF). New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission. October 21, 1997. Retrieved March 9, 2017.
  3. ^ Heller, Steven. "Lou Dorfsman, Design Chief at CBS, Dies at 90", The New York Times, October 25, 2008. Accessed October 26, 2008.
  4. ^ Anwyl, Richard. "Rebuilding a Legacy: The Gastrotypographicalassemblage" Archived May 14, 2011, at the Wayback Machine, AIGA, March 5, 2008. Accessed October 26, 2008.
  5. ^ "The Midtown Book". The City Review. Retrieved December 2, 2016.
  6. ^ China Grill Management
  7. ^ Weprin, Alex. "CBS' Historic New York Headquarters to Be Sold". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved December 10, 2019.

Coordinates: 40°45′39.98″N 73°58′43.72″W / 40.7611056°N 73.9788111°W / 40.7611056; -73.9788111