1251 Avenue of the Americas

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1251 Avenue of the Americas
1251 Avenue of the Americas.JPG
The base of 1251 Avenue of the Americas
1251 Avenue of the Americas is located in Manhattan
1251 Avenue of the Americas
Location within Manhattan
1251 Avenue of the Americas is located in New York City
1251 Avenue of the Americas
1251 Avenue of the Americas (New York City)
General information
Location1251 Avenue of the Americas, New York City, New York, USA
Coordinates40°45′36″N 73°58′53″W / 40.76000°N 73.98139°W / 40.76000; -73.98139Coordinates: 40°45′36″N 73°58′53″W / 40.76000°N 73.98139°W / 40.76000; -73.98139
Construction started1967
OwnerRockefeller Group (Mitsubishi Estate)
Roof750 feet (230 m)
Technical details
Floor count54
Floor area2,101,115 sq ft (195,200 m2)
Design and construction
ArchitectWallace Harrison
Structural engineerEdwards & Hjorth
Main contractorGeorge A. Fuller Co.

1251 Avenue of the Americas, formerly known as the Exxon Building, is a skyscraper on Sixth Avenue (also known as Avenue of the Americas) in Manhattan, New York City, between 49th and 50th Streets. It is owned by Mitsui Fudosan.


The building was part of the later Rockefeller Center expansion (1960s–1970s) dubbed the "XYZ Buildings". Their plans were first drawn in 1963 by the Rockefeller family's architect, Wallace Harrison, of the architectural firm Harrison and Abramovitz.[2] Their letters correspond to their height. 1251 Avenue of the Americas is the "X" Building as it is the tallest at 750 ft (229 m) and 54 stories, and was the first completed, in 1971. The "Y" is 1221 Avenue of the Americas, which was the second tower completed (1973) and is the second in height (674 ft and 51 stories). The "Z" Building, the shortest and the youngest, is 1211 Avenue of the Americas with 45 stories (592 ft).[3] 1251 is the second-tallest building in the whole of Rockefeller Center, after 30 Rockefeller Plaza.

Despite being one of the 100 tallest buildings in the United States, 1251 Avenue of the Americas is almost impossible to see from more than just a few blocks away as it is flanked on all sides by buildings over 500 feet tall. The result is that even though 1251 Avenue of the Americas is approximately as tall as the tallest buildings in cities such as Boston or Minneapolis, it has almost no presence on the New York City skyline.

In 1989, Exxon announced that it was moving its headquarters and around 300 employees from New York City to the Las Colinas area of Irving, Texas. Exxon sold the Exxon Building, its former headquarters, to a unit of Mitsui Real Estate Development Co. Ltd. in 1986 for $610 million. John Walsh, president of Exxon subsidiary Friendswood Development Company, stated that Exxon left New York because the costs were too high. Its New York offices moved to Brooklyn; it no longer retains a presence in Rockefeller Center.[4]


Artist-authorized replica of Pablo Picasso’s tapestry for the ballet Mercure

Inside, on the western end of 1251's atrium hangs an artist-authorized replica of a tapestry Pablo Picasso created for the ballet Mercure, the original of which hangs in the Musée National d'Art Moderne in Paris, France. It was created specifically for 1251, as per the plaque beneath it.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ 1251 Avenue of the Americas at Emporis
  2. ^ Krinsky, Carol H. (1978). Rockefeller Center. Oxford University Press. p. 117. ISBN 978-0-19-502404-3.
  3. ^ "XYZ Buildings Exxon Building McGraw-Hill Building Celanese Building". Manhattan Skyscrapers. New York, NY: Princeton Archit.Press. pp. 127–130. doi:10.1007/1-56898-652-1_57. ISBN 978-1-56898-545-9.
  4. ^ Pearson, Anne and Ralph Bivins. "Exxon moving corporate headquarters to Dallas". Houston Chronicle. October 27, 1989. p. A1. Retrieved on July 29, 2009.

External links[edit]