711 Third Avenue

711 Third Avenue
William Lescaze & Associates, 1956  
Built FAR:   14.07 proposed 18

711 Third Avenue
William Lescaze, 1956

Developer William Kaufman employed two of New York’s important Modernists – architect William Lescaze and artist Hans Hoffman – in the execution of Third Avenue’s first office building erected after the razing of the Third Avenue elevated line in 1955.

William Lescaze had been refining the parti of an office tower comprised of a base that maintained the urban street wall interlocked with a tower ever since his pioneering work with George Howe in their 1932 Philadelphia Savings Fund Society Building.

In New York, Lescaze continued to refine this method of organizing the mass of an office building. As early as 1935, he utilized the base and tower part in an unrealized design for a CBS headquarters on Park Avenue in Midtown and again in 1952 for an unbuilt design for 2 Broadway in Lower Manhattan.

711 Third Avenue is the realization of this planning idea. The retail continuity of Third Avenue is maintained by the lower six-story base which fills the site. Above the base, two floors set back, creating a transitional “notch” for the eleven-story tower. A facade of alternating white, glazed-brick spandrels and strip windows wraps the base and transitional floors. Strip windows and blue, glazed-brick spandrels continue around the four sides of the tower, where the vertical columns are articulated on the north and south sides. Original fenestration of three-part aluminum sash was replaced by similarly scaled, but unarticulated windows in the 1990’s.

Hans Hoffman’s 1,200 square foot Venetian glass mosaic abstract work wraps the elevator core with vibrant color in a subdued lobby. The lobby, apart from, the elevator core was remodeled in 2010. Lost was Continuum, a work by Jose de Rivera.

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