The Postum Building

STATUS Threatened

250 Park Avenue

ARCHITECT: Cross & Cross and Phelps Barnum

DATE: 1923-24

STYLE: Neoclassical

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Built in 1923/24 and designed by Cross & Cross and Phelps Barnum, the building is unique as one of the only remaining Pre-World War II office buildings on Park Avenue. The Postum was part of “Terminal City,” also known as the Grand Central Zone, an early 20th century commercial and office development in Midtown Manhattan, developed atop the former Grand Central Station railyard. (NEW YORK 1900, Stern, Gilmartin, Massengale). Along with New York Central Building and the Roosevelt Hotel, the Postum is a significant physical remnant of the City Beautiful design and planning ideals demonstrated in Grand Central Terminal.

The building fills the whole block-front on Park Avenue down to Vanderbilt Avenue, part of Terminal City, from 46th to 47th streets.

Cross and Cross is responsible for many important buildings in New York, such as the General Electric Building and 20 Exchange Place.

The Postum “was considered one of the finest examples of urban design for its era, and, like many buildings of that time, it has a richly embellished façade.”  The New York Times, Shawn G. Kennedy, March 31, 1985.  In the mid-1980’s, the building’s façade — including cartouches, sculpted panels, and a row of lion heads – were cleaned; the original vaulted ceiling was revealed and restored.

photo credit: Nathaniel Lindsey

STATUS Threatened

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