Modulightor Building

STATUS Designated Individual Landmark

246 East 58th Street, Manhattan

CLIENT: Modulightor

ARCHITECT: Paul Rudolph

DATE: 1989

STYLE: late-modern

Designated: December 19, 2023

Paul Rudolph began this remarkable fusion of commercial space, residential space, interior design, and architectural vision near the end of his life, completing the first phase before he died. Rudolph’s legacy is very much alive here. Modulightor, the lighting company Rudolph founded with his partner Ernst Wagner, still operates out of the ground floor showroom; Wagner still lives in the residential space, and the building is stewarded by the Paul Rudolph Foundation, which opens the building to the public.

Perhaps no other modern structure in New York City remains as closely aligned with, and devoted to, the vision of its creator, functioning as both a residence and showroom for the people and businesses he intended. For that reason alone, it would be significant. Of course, it is also highly architecturally significant. As the LPC itself points out, “Modulightor Building’s remarkable front and rear elevations are composed of intersecting and overlapping horizontal and vertical rectangles of varying projection and size. Painted white, the steel I-beams form jigsaw-like screens that recall the De Stijl movement, Russian Constructivism, and Mies van der Rohe, as well as Rudolph’s celebrated Milam Residence of 1959-61. Other noteworthy architectural features include a multi-level roof terrace and three cantilevered steel balconies that face a rear patio.”

STATUS Designated Individual Landmark

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