830 3rd Avenue (former Girl Scouts of America)

(1) Girl Scouts of America, 830 3rd Avenue Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (Roy O. Allen & William T. Meyer), 1957   Built FAR:   13.44 proposed 18

Former Girl Scouts of America Headquarters
830 Third Avenue
Roy O. Allen of Skidmore, Owings and Merrill with William T. Meyer, 1957

Located on the southwest corner of Third Avenue and East Fifty-First Street, this thirteen-story International Style office building is one of the finest, intact examples of the first wave of development following the removal of the Third Avenue elevated line in 1955.

Ada Louise Huxtable, writing in Progressive Architecture included 840 Third Avenue in her article; “Maximum Efficiency, Minimum Costs”. In her book Four Walking Tours of Modern Architecture in New York, Ms. Huxtable called the structure “modest but impeccable”.

In keeping with the desire of its cost conscious client, The Girl Scouts of America, the building deliberately avoided any show of extravagance. A very refined curtain wall of clear glass and white structural glass spandrel panels are crisply set in a grid of black anodized aluminum. The result, as noted in New York 1960, “was a small building that represented a high level of design sophistication”.

References:

Huxtable, Ada Louise, “Maximum Efficiency, Minimum Costs”, Progressive Architecture (September 1959).

Huxtable, Ada Louise, Four Walking Tours of Modern Architecture in New York (New York City: Museum of Modern Art Publications, 1961).

Stern, Robert A.M., Thomas Mellins, and David Fishman, New York 1960: Architecture and Urbanism Between the Second World War and the Bicentennial (New York City: The Monacelli Press, 1995), 425.

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