The ten-story Goelet Building at the corner of Fifth Avenue and 49th Street, built in 1930-32, was designed by Victor L. S. Hafner in the Art Deco style but modified to exhibit the supporting skeletal frame devised by the engineering firm of E. H. Faile. The spare horizontality of the lower stories’ glazed curtain walls suggest that, stylistically, this building is a transitional monument between the Art Deco and the International style.
The design and craftsmanship within the spaces Goelet Building make it among the finest examples of an Art Deco commercial interior. The marble polychromy, the horizontal and vertical battens, the inlay, and the aluminium leaf, characteristic components of the Art Deco, effectively define the sequence of these spaces.
Robert Goelet, a financer and real estate developer wished a building that would be comparable in architectural merit and prestige to the family mansion it replaced and would also complement the use and appearance of the buildings of the adjacent Rockefeller Center, the under construction. The decoration of the ceilings covered with aluminum leaf, with the exception of the Goelet swan, a specific and realistic referent to the client, offers a broad range of stylized and geometricized Art Deco elements.
STATUS Designated Exterior and Interior Landmark
“I don’t know what the City would be without HDC. [They] testified before LPC time after time and helped us focus on the right issues. We would not be an historic district without HDC! ”
Doreen Gallo: DUMBO Neighborhood Alliance
“Use HDC as a resource because they know what they are doing and can offer advice on how to go about creating a district from every front: architectural, political, LPC, and the media. I had floundered prior to my involvement with this invaluable organization.”
Fern Luskin: Lamartine Place Historic District; Friends of Lamartine Place & Gibbons Underground Railroad Site
“HDC provided guidance and shared information during that process—we knew which Council members were going one way or another and we changed a few minds. I don’t think NoHo would have had as cohesive a district had it not been for HDC’s aid.”
Zella Jones: NoHo Historic District; NoHo East; and NoHo Extension
“I remember Richard saying at a meeting, we have someone here from HDC, Nadezhda Williams, Director of Preservation and Research, to help us. She said to us, ‘You are not the only ones going through this.’ HDC included us in an enormous community”
Erika Petersen: West End Preservation Society
"HDC has begun a series of projects to highlight the Bronx's architectural and cultural history. From booklet's and research highlighting specific sites and historic districts to the HDC's symposium in October 2018 to the latest community-based committee to look into further possible sites to qualify for landmarking, the HDC has established projects that will serve the Bronx community well."
City Lore, Folklorist
Bronx Music Heritage Center, Co-Artistic Director
"Welcome2TheBronx is grateful for the advocacy done by the Historic Districts Council on behalf of the people of The Bronx. Through their deep connections and understanding of the importance of preserving our local histories, The Bronx has been able to have several spotlights shown on endangered communities as gentrification creeps into the borough."
Ed García Conde,
founder and Executive Director,